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?..
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! ❤
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