UPDATE!

hello everyone,

just a quick post to let you know that I now blog on http://awholelotofchittychat.blogspot.co.uk 🙂 so if you still follow me on here please do head on over, catch up & leave me a comment. So much more has gone off on my new blog 🙂

image

I’m writing this since apparently 315 people follow my blog via email, not sure how true this is but if it is true…that is CRAZYYYYYY & thank you sooo much..please do move along to my new blog, it would mean so much 🙂 I hope to see you there 🙂

xxxx

Advertisements

My new blog..

I’ve decided to move on over to blogger for a while..I’m going to still blog about mental health & I’m going to throw in other little bits & bobs in there whilst I’m at it..
So if you like my blog & want to head on over to my new spot on the internet, click here

If you don’t want to that’s fine by me, nobody is going to force you.

I’m going to keep this blog open just incase I decide against using blogger, but so far all is good. I’m getting the hang of it.

Most of my posts are moved over to there now too, thanks guys!

– Anna ♥

Why do I blog?

Some people who may come across someone’s blog about health related issues will probably be like “oh they are just doing it for the sympathy vote”, “oh they just want people to feel sorry for them”..(I’m well aware they are similar things,nevermind!) But I’m sure nobody blogs for those reasons. I know for a fact that I don’t & others I know don’t either. We blog to help others, to make them feel less alone & scared in their current situation.

I blog about my experiences with mental health & try to give advice & support to others, whilst still giving everything a bit of a positive spin on it..After all positive minds, live positive lives. I’m helping to break down the stigma that surrounds mental health aswell, let’s be honest..it’s okay to talk about mental health. The sooner we all realise that the better, so why not start the conversation today?..

Since starting my blog a couple of months ago I have received such lovely & positive comments. I thought I’d include a few in this post that I have received via twitter.. I favourite them, that is why I have found them all, just so you know..

– “Just thought you should know – you have a wonderful blog! “

– ” I love all of your posts! #numberonefan x “

– ” You should be really proud of yourself for getting your blog out there!! Really enjoy your little bits of advice x “

– ” Your blog is so inspiring! all the best for your recovery ❤ “

– ” Love your blog, your one brave beautiful girl xx “

– ” Your blog is a great read. Keep strong – you seem to be doing so well xx “

– ” Love your blog!! Keep me up to date with it yeah you brave amazing girl! 🙂 xxxx”

Seeing all the comments reminds me exactly why I am doing it..To make people feel less alone/scared, share advice &  support!

This was a very little blog post today just to basically give the simplest reason as to why I blog..

– Anna ♥

keep you head up, keep your heart strong.

p.s have a little positive image from weheartit..where I actually get all my little pictures from!

Always a way!

In life when we come across a mountain to climb, a hurdle to jump, a challenge to complete, a puzzle to solve or an enemy to defeat. Always remember there will be a way to solve the problem/situation at hand. Sometimes we just need to remain calm & take a step back to be able to fully analyze the situation. Since no two people are exactly the same not everything will work for us all. It really is a case of trial & error to eliminate the ways that don’t work for us.

When I went to my initial assessment appointment this week I was thinking I was going to be told I was going to have to go through the same procedure as last time..turns out CBT is actually broken into sections. The cognitive side, which is the thoughts side & then the behavioural side, which is obviously our behaviour. Last time I had the behavioural side which I didn’t feel was long enough treatment time, turns out that is just short anyway. But this time round I’m having the cognitive treatment, which turns out is a lengthy procedure..which will hopefully have a lasting effect.

So to you who are reading this & feel close to giving up & loosing hope, please don’t. Keep on fighting, if one way isn’t working for you try a different way. If you feel like your just bothering your doctor & wasting their time..think again. They are there to help & support you. If you don’t tell them your finding something difficult how will they find out otherwise? If you don’t feel you’re getting the support from your doctor/therapist/counsellor don’t be afraid to swap..your life is important & we all deserve the right to live! Keep positive guys, things will get better!

– Anna ♥

Also, remember….

Image

If at first you don’t succeed..

Try,try,try again! Life isn’t meant to be easy, you & I both know that but I’m sure we all do question how much more we can take..When we’ve tried so many different techniques, medication with our mental health related troubles. Don’t worry you are not alone! It is completely normal to question how much more you can take of feeling like you’re getting nowhere, but I believe life is worth fighting for! I’m sure I’m not the only one who has hoped to find a magic spell to cure mental health.. Just imagine if we could actually have a magic spell to cure all illnesses, that would be incredible! My point of this post is to never give up,ever! In your darkest times just always remember things will get better.. I go by the quote..

“Everyone wants happiness, nobody wants rain but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain”

So when the dark days have cleared don’t sit about worrying that they will soon return, just focus on the here & now. Enjoy the good days with the good people in your life whilst you can! Then when you’re having a really dark day, try & think back about all of those happy memories & think about creating some more!

During anything in life there is going to be times when you are going to get knocked down or knocked back a few steps, but the most important part of this is that you get back up & try again!

Tomorrow I am going for an initial appointment at my doctor’s surgery to be put back onto the service that deals with different anxieties, phobias, depression, obsessions, all sorts mental health related. I have already tried this around this time last year actually, but I felt it didn’t do anything for me because I felt I was already doing everything right. Maybe I was just being stubborn, who knows..but I’m not going to be knocked down & kept down..so tomorrow morning I shall get up & face what the day has in store for me & see what options are available for me to try…

So if you are reading this & your feeling like you just keep getting knocked back or going nowhere, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Somebody out there will help you.

– Anna ♥

image

It’s just a bad day, not a bad life..

I feel there is so much pressure to put on a brave face & take on the world. Some days you will feel on top of the world & others you will just feel really poopy. Today is just one of those days for me were I’m just feeling really poopy & sorry for myself so I thought this would be an appropriate post. I managed half an hour at work this morning because I just felt ill & couldn’t concentrate so I’m back at home for the day. I’ve made myself feel a little bit better by getting into some cosy clothes, making a drink & just curling up on the sofa.

Really I could go at this day in two different ways the usual way of beating myself up & getting annoyed..with the shoulds of life..I should be at work, I should be feeling fine, I should be able to manage full days at work, I should be out there living every day life having fun, enjoying myself..comparing myself to others basically. I’m sure a lot of us are guilty of this.

 But instead I’m taking a different approach at this & just accepting the fact that I don’t feel very well today & I’m just having a bad day..Tomorrow is a brand new day & will come with a completely different set of feelings & emotions.

You know what though it’s absolutely fine to not be ok all the time. Life isn’t about being perfect, performing perfect…there is no such thing as perfect. Life is about taking each day as it comes.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so if you aren’t feeling well enough to cope doing certain everyday tasks just take a break & step back, recharge your batteries. The more pressure you put on yourself, the more it is likely to effect your health & will probably make it harder for you to live life in general. So when your down, getting frustrated with yourself & thinking life isn’t worth living just remember….

Image

– Anna ♥

Blog For Mental Health 2013

I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project.  I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health.  I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.

blogformentalhealth2013

I was proudly pledged by Tracey who can be found here at Tracey Pallett who blogs about her struggles with mental health.

I have been suffering with anxiety & panic attacks since I left secondary school. During that time I’ve had family illnesses & deaths, relationship troubles & unemployment. Obviously leading to higher anxiety.. I am still in recovery, but now I have accepted my mental health problem I am one step closer to living life to the full again!

I decided to start blogging to help work towards ending the stigma surrounding mental health. If I just help one person feel less alone, then I am doing something right. No matter what you are going through you shouldn’t have to face it alone.

I would like to pledge five of my blogging friends who do a great job of helping break the stigma of mental health by speaking out..

Jess at Infinite Daffodil

Sophie at Sophie Ann Blogs

Alannah at The Little Blog Of MAdness

Steven at Break The Shell

Sara at Elephant In The Mind

Guest Blogger – Jess ♥

Here is another guest blogger…meet Jess, Jess was my first friend I made through anxiety about two years ago now I’d say! She is one of the most loveliest, bravest people you will ever meet! She automatically puts a smile on my face when I speak to her. I hope one day to meet Jess, but for now we have phone, Skype & Twitter! Jess is the kind of person who you know will always be there to listen & never fails to make me laugh..is there any wonder with pictures like these?..

picture020

Jess

I wouldn’t change her for the world, who wants to be normal anyway! 🙂 Hope you enjoy reading Jess’s post, I’m sure you will! She also has a blog so feel free to check that out too & give her a cheeky follow if your feeling kind 🙂 http://infinitedaffodil.wordpress.com/

– Anna ♥

Hello there!  Forgive me, as I’m not 100% sure what to write here but Anna is free to chop out any boring bits 😉 (I haven’t chopped out any “boring bits” because there isn’t any!)

So I guess when it comes to me and mental illness I’m all about the anxiety. I think panic disorder and agoraphobia are those that seem to fit me so, that’s what I go with!  I can’t honestly tell you what kicked it off; but I can tell you what I think.

 –         Note 1: Never underestimate grief.

 My mum died on Christmas eve night of 1998 when I was 6, so all was fine and dandy when I went to bed and then I woke up to that. It was an asthma attack so extremely sudden, I don’t think anybody saw it coming. As I say I was 6 so I have limited memory, but after that I got REALLY attached to my dad, I mean, quite understandable I suppose. It sort of became the safe thing for me, and I guess that idea has never really gone away.

Whereas I got out of that and lived the majority of my life normally (I have amazing friends and family friends and everyone was there to support both my dad and me and the rest of our family), I guess when that sort of thing happens, you expect some stuff like that, you don’t think about it being anxiety that will come back to haunt you 12 years later.

Thinking back now, it’s always been sitting there, but you don’t think about it until you’re in the stage I’m in now, where I know what it is. You just think you’re having a bit of a moment, it’ll pass.

–         Note 2: There is a difference between everyday stress, and the point where it impacts your health, whether or not you notice it to start with. Be careful.

 It seemed to come along in somewhat stressful situations, exams and such. I never really felt like I was overly stressed by these things but seems my body thought otherwise. Once I got to my A Levels it seemed all was too much and it went completely out of control.  So I won’t go into the crazy details, but I’ve been stuck in this rut for just over 2 years now, I hate it, but it’s there.

–         Note 3: Talking about it, honestly, can do wonders! Talking or however you choose to get it out there (maybe a blog 😉 ) I promise you you’ll feel better for it.

 I’m lucky in how I feel, where I have literally no problem talking about it, yeah some parts are hard when in counselling and therapy and things, but if people ask me I’ll tell them, and I’ll stand up to anybody who, often simply in ignorance, tells me to “get over it” and I’ll stand up for anybody who gets told the same! I explain things the best I can and I know full well it’s almost impossible to understand unless you’re experiencing it but it doesn’t mean it’s not impacting a HUGE amount of people. This stigma against mental illness is something I’m always willing to fight against.

–         Note 4: There is nothing wrong in seeking support! It is a sign of bravery not weakness! Do not underestimate how brilliant those around you can be!

 I feel incredibly guilty on a daily basis, but try my best not to dwell on it, or I think I’d be constantly crying in a corner somewhere!  I’m extremely lucky to have my dad who has experienced this too to some extent so at least understands. I can’t express how much that has helped me, it’s a lonely existence that I was suddenly dropped into and if I didn’t have friends and family who accepted me this way things would be a lot worse!

 –         A final word! (I’m sorry it’s so long, honestly if you know me…I can talk like it’s some kind of Olympic sport I don’t half waffle on about things! …I’m doing it now!)

 As far as recovery is concerned, frankly, I’m really rubbish at it. I’m scared to death of all the things I have to do to get better, but I hope I get there one day, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to 🙂 But hey! Optimism prevails!

And if I can say I’ve got anything good out of this, it is that I understand myself a lot more, and I’ve met some completely wonderful and brilliant people who are experiencing the same! Lifelong friends for sure 🙂 I’ve also found that though people expect the worst from humanity, it’s not as common as you think. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to has been more supportive and understanding than I could have imagined, I guess I might be an extra lucky one! But my message is – there is ALWAYS someone out there who is willing to support you and be there for you! You are never alone with this, as much as (I know) it feels that way!

 I’ll leave you with something I heard Graham Norton say on the radio today “Don’t focus on the life you don’t have, focus on the life you do have!”

 Keep smiling. The world is a magical place! ❤

 xxx

Only you can make a change..

In our life at some point or other, we are all going to experience something we’d rather not. At this time of my life when I should be having the time of my life, I am experiencing anxiety & panic attacks..for anyone going through them will know it sucks. Some days can be a real struggle but who said life would be easy? NobodyI’m pretty sure we would all complain if it was easy anyway.

So when life throws a challenge at us, what do we do? Do we just sit there & let it defeat us? Or do we get up & rise to the challenge & beat whatever the challenge may be? It does take a lot to realize when you should be up fighting, sometimes you are going through something & just let it affect you. I’m sure a lot of us are guilty of doing this.. But when you feel the time is right you will jump up & start battling!

Last week I had another doctors appointment, when he decided to re-refer me to talking therapy with somebody else. I obviously agreed to it but if you have ever been on a waiting list, they are never short. While I was there though he also recommended I ordered a book called Feeling Good by David D. Burns. So of course I ordered the book & whilst I was ordering it I spotted another book by the same author called When Panic Attacks. Obviously the name drew me in.. I ordered them both. They both arrived on Monday & I got straight to reading them & have now produced some charts to record my progress. The book itself claims to teach various techniques to get rid of anxiety. But obviously it’s alright reading the books, they won’t just make you better. You have to put everything into action & get back out there. Not everything will work for everyone so it’s a trial & process.

So grab a supportive bunch of family & friends to help you & keep you on track. I know full well I would be terrible if I tried to manage without the support of others. Just a simple action of them checking how I’m doing will help me so much.

But to make a change in your life, it’s down to one person….any guesses who?….thats right..you!

– Anna ♥

p.s. here is the picture of the books I have mentioned & some of my charts & my notebook to keep me on track..wish me luck guys!

Image

Guest Blogger – Ally ♥

This blog post has been taken over by a girl I met online on elefriends (the site I mentioned in my “You are never alone..” blog post) & I would now safely class her as a friend, a very good friend! Miles away but she still gets me. She feels like a sister to me now! People will probably be like how can you be friends with someone so far away or who you have never met? Unless you have experienced this then you won’t get it! A friend is a friend, wether it be two miles away or two thousand miles away! You can be a million miles apart but there is always skype & phones..

– Anna ♥

I Will Survive 

By Ally

 “I creep up on you slowly,

I build a cosy nest inside your soul,

I take over your thoughts and mind,

I destroy your every goal.

My name is depression,

Perhaps you’ve met me before?

I live in your past, present and future,

I hide behind your door.

The door to your feelings,

The door to your life,

I’ll eat away at your dreams,

I’ll cut you with a knife.

I’ll strangle you to unconsciousness,

I’ll make damn sure you can’t see,

I’m your best friend and your worst enemy

Depression lives in me.”

Depression is all about survival. And to survive is what drives depression. The two come hand in hand and fit so perfectly. When you’re feeling sad, a funny film and some chocolate will probably make you feel a bit better. But when you’re feeling depressed, living is the hardest possible task. No matter what you do or what people say, you just won’t feel any better. The only way to get through depression is to live it and survive. It will hurt, it will frustrate you but time really helps. It goes slowly but it helps.

“Why are you depressed?”

“You don’t look depressed?”

“Cheer up!”

“There’s no point in worrying!”

These are quite possibly the last words someone suffering with depression would want to hear. But knowing what to say is a real challenge.

When someone is depressed, they might not make sense to you. They might not even want to talk about it but please just ensure them you are there for them. Listening and trying your very best to understand is what they might just need. Avoid telling them what to do or presuming how they feel.

“I’m here for you” is one of the best things you could say.

 “Live everyday as if it’s your last” is complete bullshit. Unless you feel happy everyday, how can you possibly do this? How can you live when you want to die? And how can you treat each day as if it’s your last when you’re just trying to get through it.

Depression lives in your clothes, your hair, under your skin, it’s at every corner you turn and reflected in every mirror you stare into. Whether it comes or goes, it will be there with you until you can find a way to cope.

 Apart from survival, another way to deal with depression is to talk about it. This is often the last thing someone suffering will want to do but even if it’s a friend, your GP or the Samaritans, confiding in someone will give you that support you need. You don’t even have to call. You can email or text and write down exactly how you feel. This is often almost impossible when you’re depressed. Your mind is fuzzy. Your brain is on fire. This is why death feels like the only way out. Even if it’s just words, writing down how you feel is a release.

 But as dark and dreary depression is, sometimes you have to confront it. By doing this, you can start to live with it.

 Of course, I’m only speaking from experience. Now I can manage my depression, I try my best to prevent it or I accept and embrace it as much as humanly possible. Of course, embracing depression isn’t something that’s particularly easy to do. Why would we want to embrace it? But sometimes we don’t have a choice.

 The thing to remember about depression and low mood in general is you won’t feel like this forever. That thought can be comforting. You know you’ll get out of that black tunnel. But small baby steps are the only way through.

 If you’re reading this and you suffer from depression, you’ve already made a huge step towards recovery. You aren’t alone. No one can ever fully understand how someone else is feeling or what he or she is thinking but I get it. Take your time, think of you, be selfish and listen to your heart. Depression will strengthen you.

Image