Society’s Standards

Over the years, standards have been set. You should have a job, have your own living quarters, and heck, even have sex at a certain age according to society. I can understand how some of these standards have become expected, but I think that for them to be set in stone and expected to be followed by every individual is simply wrong.

I can understand why certain standards are set – I can. People should try hard to find employment and their own living quarters by a certain point in their life. I don’t, however, think it’s necessarily up to us to decide when that point should be for others.

I think that when people feel they are ready to do something, that is when they should. While people shouldn’t use this way of thinking to shirk their responsibilities or not work hard, I do think that it’s okay that not everyone does everything at the same time. We’re all different and sometimes things are harder for some of us than they are for others. This does not mean that we give up or don’t keep trying our hardest to accomplish our goals, but rather that we don’t constantly beat ourselves up for not always meeting society’s standards.

A word that I really don’t like is ‘pathetic’. So many people who are less than understanding throw this word at people when society’s standards are not met. No one is perfect and people struggle – struggling is difficult and no one enjoys it.

It may be hard to see at times, but even those who struggle are often trying their best. Things may not be as easy for some of us as for others, but this does not mean that we’re not putting our best foot forward.

If you find yourself struggling and comparing yourself to others, remember this: no one is perfect! You are not alone. You don’t have to meet society’s standards. All you have to do is try your hardest and never give up on becoming the best you can be!

 

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Mental Health Update

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well!

I don’t know how many of you still check out my blog on a regular basis, but you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t posted a lot about anxiety lately. This is in no way because I don’t struggle anymore (unfortunately, I still struggle a lot) or that I don’t care about mental health issues, but rather because when it comes to writing, I’ve been focusing on writing more positive things.

I feel it’s only right to update you on my mental health. As I mentioned, I still struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. The panic attacks aren’t nearly as bad and frequent, but the general anxiety is very difficult for me. I’m still trying on a daily basis to get through it. On a positive note, I have made a lot of progress in some areas!

In addition, unfortunately, I haven’t been exercising and facing my fears like I should. It’s a horrible trap to fall into – I think pure laziness and being occupied with other things has gotten in the way. On one hand, distracting my mind with working on my writing is a good thing, but on the other, I should definitely still be spending a lot of energy on working hard to get better. By just sitting around, my anxiety isn’t going to lessen or be easier to manage.

I want you to all know that I am still here for you – seriously. I’m not going to stop blogging about anxiety and mental health. If you need to talk, I’m here.

Please remember that the best way to get through anxiety is to do what works best for you. Taking small, manageable steps in facing fears is what I find personally helpful. It allows the anxiety sufferer to take their own, beneficial steps in order to overcome their obstacles.

Once again I hope you are all doing well.

-B.G.

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Sleeping

Before I begin this post, I don’t mean to be a downer so near to Christmas. In fact, if you’d rather not read a post about anxiety and my sleeping issue, then feel free to skip reading this. I totally understand. I just thought I would write this to talk about what I’m going through and hopefully help anyone experiencing the same issue.

I’ve found that for a while now, I’ve been sleeping a lot during the day. I think this is for many reasons. For one thing, I don’t go out a lot because of my anxiety. This means that I’m not currently working and I have a lot of time to just sit around and think. This may seem like something a lot of you would love, but trust me, it’s not always very thrilling. I would much rather have a job than not work because anxiety gets in the way of me doing something I want to do. Anyway, back to the sleeping issue. I also think I sleep a lot during the day because I get bored. Let’s face it, I can only browse the web, watch Netflix, write, and read so much before I get tired of doing all of those things.

I don’t like sleeping so much. Without telling you my exact age, I’m between 20 and 35. I shouldn’t sleep as much as I do. It can be hard though to break the pattern and I think that anxiety can sometimes, plain and simple, tire a person out.

I’m not depressed, so I know that’s not one of the reasons I sleep so much. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I get sad and bummed that I struggle with anxiety and can’t do a lot of the things I want to, but I’m not ‘depressed’. I know from reading blogs and hearing about depression that it’s much more than feeling down once in a while.

Still though, the fact remains that I hate that I find myself sleeping a good portion of the day. I just get so bored sometimes and not being able to go outside (plus it’s winter) or do stuff due to my anxiety makes it hard not to just say to myself, “Well I might as well just go to sleep, there’s nothing else to do!”.

I’m going to try my hardest to stay up more during the day. I’m going to try to take that time I’d usually take sleeping and exercise instead.

What about you? Do you sleep a lot during the day due to anxiety or depression? If you do, don’t be ashamed, I know a little about what you’re going through.

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What I Should Have Said

Okay, so as you all know, I suffer from severe anxiety. After a while of going to different therapists, I finally found one that I’m happy with. I’m not saying we never have slight differences of opinions, but he’s helped me more than any other therapists ever have. My psychiatrist, however, is a different story.

I was seeing another psychiatrist for a while and that didn’t turn out well. She was really nice until one day she changed her mind about something she said and because of this, she told me she couldn’t see me anymore. After that horrible experience, I decided to find a new psychiatrist.

I quickly found that my new psychiatrist (while devoted to seeing me and not giving me false information), wasn’t the most understanding individual. On several occasions I’ve explained that I don’t like the idea of taking medication. However, I did eventually decide to take some and then, because I was still struggling a lot, I increased my dosage. While never technically forcing me to take more, he always says things to make me feel guilty that I’m not taking even more medication.

My psychiatrist is constantly saying that I’m not on tons of medication. Fine, whatever. Whether or not he considers my dosage ‘high’, to me it’s a lot to take (I’m also on medication for epilepsy, and I just don’t like medication!). Anyways, every time I go for an appointment, he says that if I wanted to get better, I would take more medicine. This is not true!

I had another appointment today. I was asked if I was experiencing any side effects. I said that I felt I might be. Immediately, I was shot down. I was told that what I was experiencing was not from the medication. Maybe my psychiatrist was right, maybe it has nothing to do with taking the medicine. Still though, would it kill him to actually look into it instead of just saying off the top of his head, that it’s not even remotely possible?

Though I said how I felt (I mentioned how I sometimes randomly start slurring and how my hand gets weak after writing a lot or drawing), I didn’t completely say how I felt.

I should have said that he never listens to me. I should have said that he makes me feel ridiculous and like I’m making up how I feel. I should have said that he should look into the possible side effects instead of just shrugging it off. I should have said that I hate how he makes me feel guilty about not wanting to take more and more medication. I should have said these things, but I didn’t. I was anxious and I just took it all in, feeling once again defeated by the fact that he doesn’t listen to me.

Please, please tell your doctors how you feel. I know it’s not easy, but it’s important. If you don’t feel they’re listening, speak up! You deserve the right to be heard! Be nice about it, but say how you feel!

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Hardships and Consistency

I’ve been struggling the last few days, especially last night. Between feeling like a burden to those around me and struggling to do simple things, I’ve been feeling pretty crappy.

I know I always talk about staying positive and remembering how amazing we all are. While I mean every single word of that, it’s not always easy to follow through with. It’s not always easy to put a positive spin on everything or to magically just snap our fingers and stop feeling depressed and sorry for ourselves.

Last night I was going through a lot. A family member said a mean comment and it just made me realize how many people I’ve disappointed with my anxiety and other issues. It made me remember all of the times when people have said cruel things to me or made it like I was this impossible individual to deal with. That feeling sucks. It sucks to know how many people you have let down and to feel like you’re a burden to everyone. My other family member assured me that I’m not a burden, but let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to shake the feelings of inadequacy and sadness.

I have to admit, I still don’t feel great about myself. I still feel like I let a lot of people down and drive a lot of people crazy with my anxiety and other issues. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I’m loved and cared for. I just sometimes feel like I’m not really liked – like I frustrate everyone around me. It’s hard to feel otherwise when some people have actually come out and said how frustrating I am.

I’m not writing this post though to whine (although it does help to get things off my chest). I’m writing this post to show you that it’s okay to sometimes feel down, to sometimes struggle with putting a positive spin on everything. It doesn’t make you a bad person to struggle. Usually I realize quickly that I’m not a burden, but this time it seems harder to shake off the feeling that I am.

My family member who was trying to help me brought up a good point though that I think is very important to share. While it didn’t help me feel 100% better, I know that he has a point. Many people say mean things to us because they don’t understand what we go through. It doesn’t make it okay, but it’s true. Just because people get frustrated with me due to my anxiety, does not mean that they don’t love me or that they hate me as a person – it just means that my anxiety is frustrating or that when I go through it, I’m frustrating at that moment.

I’m not saying that this makes it all better. I’m not saying that it’s okay for others to be cruel, it’s not. What I am saying though is that we are not burdens. It may be hard for us to believe at times, but it’s true. We’re loved, sometimes we’re just not understood. Our family and friends love us though and they care about that. Please don’t ever forget that.

Another thing I want to talk about is consistency. I know that I talk about this subject all the time, but it’s important. As I mentioned, I’ve been struggling lately. There’s little doubt in my mind that the cause for this is that I haven’t been exercising and practicing facing my fears as much as I should be lately. Just like staying positive, while I  consider consistency incredibly important to practice, it’s not always easy to follow through on. Even though the most important thing to me in terms of my health is to get through anxiety, I still struggle with practicing and exercising on a consistent basis.

Sometimes I wonder why it’s so hard to do something that I know is so important. I want to get through my anxiety more than anything, so why don’t I do what I know is necessary? Honestly, I think it’s because other things get in the way. They shouldn’t, but they do. Let’s face it, as human beings, sometimes we just don’t feel like doing things – sometimes we get lazy. Other times as important as things are to us, we just forget about them. You wouldn’t think this is possible, but it is. Other times I think my anxiety stops me from facing my fears. Sometimes I feel too anxious to do stretches or other exercises. Whatever the reason, I need to stop becoming complacent. I need (and we all need) to exercise and practice facing our fears on a consistent basis. We need to figure out a way to hold ourselves accountable. Remember, it’s worth the time and effort to get better. We are worth the time and effort.

 

If anyone has any tips on how to practice facing ones fears and exercising on a consistent basis, please feel free to comment!

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We’ll Get Through This!

For almost a week now, I’ve been struggling with something. For a while I was doing really well, but for some reason lately, things have been tough. It’s not that I haven’t been trying, but when it comes down to it, I can’t seem to get this particular thing accomplished. To be honest, it’s starting to really upset me.

I know deep down that I can do this, that I can succeed. I’ve seen myself do it before and I know I have both the ability and strength to get through my anxiety. Still though, it’s hard. It’s hard to see myself make so much progress and then see myself taking steps backwards. I don’t want to lose momentum.

It’s weird. On one hand I have faith in myself, but on the other, it’s difficult to have that faith. It can be difficult to believe you can get through something when you keep seeing yourself shy away from the challenge at hand. However, I know deep down that I can do this!

When you start to notice that you’re struggling, you have to take actions to prove to yourself that you’re stronger than your anxiety. Take me for example. I’ve been having a hard time doing something lately so what am I planning on doing? I’m planning on exercising and stretching more – showing myself that I can get through this!

I have another piece of advice that I think will be helpful. While I know that this isn’t always easy, sometimes we need to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves. Every day since I’ve been struggling with accomplishing the task I’m speaking of, I obsess about it. I worry that I’ll never be able to get it done, I worry that I’ll fall into the pattern of not succeeding. My advice? Try your hardest not to think about it. Say to yourself, “Okay, I’m struggling with this. I’ll try my hardest to stretch, exercise, and practice facing my fears in small steps. I won’t think about [insert task here] for the rest of the day. If I get it done tomorrow, great. If I don’t, I’ll keep working on it”.

Obsessing can be a dangerous thing. Obsessing can make problems seem bigger, scarier. Obsessing just allows anxiety to build up and control us. DON’T ALLOW ANXIETY TO WIN! Remember: you are stronger than your anxiety!

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Moment To Moment

Something that many anxiety sufferers are probably familiar with, are the many waves of anxiety. One moment you can be doing really well and noting all the progress you’ve made and then in another, you feel as if you’re struggling more than ever. This feeling is not fun and more than that, it’s frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always grateful for those moments and days when I’m doing well, but I always hate when things come falling – or crashing, down.

Take yesterday, for example. I got outside quite a few times, pedaled about 4 miles worth, did some sit ups, and did some other stretching. However, during that same day, I struggled with other things that I wish I would have done better at. Also, so far today, things are a little rough and I’m feeling kind of lousy.

I know that I’m not a failure and I know that I’ve made a lot of progress. I’m proud of myself. Still, it doesn’t feel good to struggle – to have a hard time doing things that are simple for so many people. These things were once simple for me too and now, due to my anxiety and over-thinking, so many things are way more difficult than they should be.

Something else that’s really frustrating is the fact that sometimes I try so hard and yet it doesn’t seem to amount to much. Yes, yesterday I went outside a lot and exercised, but what about today? I don’t feel like the progress I made yesterday carried over like it should have. I think that’s a huge problem for me. I make progress but it’s like my mind wont accept it and learn from it. I would love to be able to think, “I made tons of progress yesterday and that shows me that I don’t have to worry about these things. I’m capable of getting through my anxiety and getting things done without trouble!” and be able to actually believe it. While I think on one hand, I believe that I’m able to do these things without anything bad happening, I know that there’s still a huge part of me that believes otherwise.

As many of you know, struggling with anxiety is not easy – it’s a constant battle. Many times trying our best or at all might seem pointless, may seem futile. However, the truth is that we have to try our hardest and that it is worth it! No matter how difficult it is to fight the war against anxiety, we must not give up! We can get through this, we just have to refuse to surrender!

I wish you all the best in getting over your fears and through your anxiety. Please know that you have my support.

 

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