Fearing the unknown..

What are you supposed to do when you fear the unknown? Unfortunately fearing the unknown sometimes plays a huge part in anxiety. How are we supposed to conquer a fear when you can’t actually see it? Some fears are obviously visible & others just aren’t. Obviously you can eventually overcome a visible fear, such as a fear of dogs, cats, spiders, heights, water..but how are you supposed to overcome a fear you just can’t see? A fear that you actually have no control over. A fear that is controlling your life & way of living.

I’ve heard of people having a fear of getting old, well nothing can be done about that. Nobody is getting younger or staying young, we can’t all become Peter Pan (wouldn’t that be lovely if we could). A lot of people have a fear of dying, unfortunately that is part of life. Others may fear illnesses such as cancer, sadly we don’t have a say in that either.

I know I won’t be the only one having a fear of being alone. Mental health sufferer or not, nobody wants to be alone. My main fear at the minute is throwing up in public (some people will be reading that, like what the hell?!).. I haven’t always had this fear. I think it’s developed into a fear because my main anxiety symptom seems to be feeling sick. I know I’m struggling to come to terms that feeling sick doesn’t mean I’m going to just throw up everywhere. I’m not going to make out that I’m doing really well at the minute with this, because I am struggling to leave the house somedays.I suppose you can say I still haven’t come to grasps with the fact that feeling sick can just be anxiety & worry. Even when in your mind you’re not worried, your body can sometimes feel differently. Life events might trigger the feelings & symptoms without you actually being aware. I hadn’t actually experienced worry up until I was about 17/18. Either that or I actually had but just didn’t have time to stop & think about it because I was too busy enjoying life. (I really want to get back to that point soooooo bad!)

The questions I keep asking myself are why am I suddenly worrying about this? Am I the only one? But I do know I’m not alone in this because of the amount of people who have approached me on Twitter. I love hearing from you guys so feel free to leave me a comment or send me a tweet!

Things will get better with baby steps. Yes, it’s hard to accept but slowly & surely with the support of my family, family friends, cyber friends & my fantastic doctor I will beat this!

– Anna ♥

P.s. my new goal in life is to..

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You’ve got a friend in me..

FriendshipMost people who suffer with their mental health will probably feel that their friends aren’t there to support them. Some might class it as ignorance because they just aren’t interested. Others might class them as being unaware/uneducated. I can honestly say before I started suffering with anxiety & panic attacks I didn’t have a clue such a thing even existed. So it is safe to say I was unaware & not educated on the topic.

Mental health is such a wide category. Covering illnesses such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression, bipolar..the list goes on. It is such a large category but yet there is such a stigma surrounding it. I have learnt that having a supportive bunch of family & friends around me really helps,no matter the distance. I have a few friends who mental health has united me with..see a few good things do blossom from the bad times & things in life. To be honest if it wasn’t for these girls I’d of lost the plot & gone crazyyyy a longgg time ago….okay, a little more crazier than I am.

I’m going to share some of my tips on how to help & support your friend/family member/partner who is suffering.

Be there for them..Nobody deserves to feel or be alone. Just let them know you are there for them. Wether that be just listening to them, keeping them company or offering support & advice.

Don’t treat them any differently..They don’t want you to treat them like they are weird & have just grown two heads and ten sets of eyes. They are the same person beneath it all.

Keep in touch..Wether it be a phone call, text message, email, letter or meeting up. A friendly voice/face always makes everything better.

Take an interest..If you are unsure about what they are going through don’t be scared to ask them. We will be able to break the stigma!

Let’s get breaking the stigma, little by little! Help & support one another & this scary place called earth will be more manageable.

Happy Easter guys, hope you have all got a few easter eggs & have eaten the majority of them! I think it’s acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast, dinner & tea on Easter Sunday! hehehehe!

– Anna ♥

Never judge a book by its cover….

In terms of books I always judge it by it’s cover, whatever catches my eye is usually the books I’ll check out. But I guess that is as a selling point to grab people’s attention & make them interested..anyway this post isn’t actually about books.

It’s about people, basically you shouldn’t judge someone just by looking at them. We have all been guilty of this at some point or other, I used to do it but now on my adventures with anxiety & panic..they have opened my eyes more & taught me that so many people are suffering on the inside. This thought has come across my mind at some certain points that have stuck in my head. The first time was when my friend was telling me about when her family were all at the hospital when her mum passed away & afterwards they had called at the supermarket to pick up some tea. She felt a weird feeling that nobody at all actually knew what had just happened to them as a family, they just looked like everybody else doing their shopping. Then more recently, last week my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer & the next day I went shopping with my grandma to get a few bits & bobs. As we walked around I couldn’t help but think what other people could be going through. A lot of people in the small town where I live in always speak when they see you. Just the usual “how are you?” “fine thanks,how are you?” “good,I’m good thanks”….But really are they fine or good?

So just because someone looks fine on the outside, doesn’t mean they are on the inside. I’ve heard a few people being told their too pretty to suffer with a mental illness, or the classic “you look fine, there’s nothing wrong with you”. Mental health does also come with physical symptoms, which a lot of us admittedly mistake for a physical illness. So when you see someone from your school or work looking completely fine on the outside & your thinking”why are they having time off there’s nothing wrong with them”. Just stop for a minute & think. It could have taken them weeks to get out of the house & they could be petrified. They could have been a victim of an attack & too scared to open up to someone about it..They could be caring for a parent or sibling..They could be a victim of abuse..

The boy you see always wearing a jumper all year round could be hiding cuts, scars & bruises because he might be self harming or a victim of violence & daren’t ask for help. The girl you see in baggy clothes could be hiding an eating disorder & doesn’t know where to turn for help.

The people you see online on Twitter or Facebook & you think “oh well their well enough to be online”. Just think these people are using these sites to communicate with others in similar situations to feel less alone & isolated. These websites are instead of socializing at clubs/parks/events/parties..anywhere. So before you go to make a remark just stop right there….

be kind

– Anna ♥

Positive thinking the way forward?

After this week I have had a thought going round my head….Is positivite thinking the way forward to a healthier & happier lifestyle? I do know a lot of you will struggle to see the positive side of things sometimes. Changing your way of thinking unfortunately doesn’t just happen overnight, oh wouldn’t it be lovely if it did! Your positive thoughts won’t only just help you, they will give off positive vibes to others around you. I know when I’ve been round a positive upbeat person even just for a few minutes, it automatically boosts my mood & changes my outlook on things. I took to one of my favourite places (weheartit) to get some quotes & images for this post. As you’ll be able to tell I found a few & just couldn’t pick a favourite one so find them all at the end of this post. One that did stand out to me was “focus on the solution, not the problem”. I think this one is fantastic! Instead of just thinking negative about what could go wrong or get worse with the situation you’re in, just think about a solution to either make the problem that much easier or to solve it all together.  I do feel everyone should try & give the positive thinking a go, it is definitely worth giving it your best effort to achieve it! Only you can change your life, so it’s down to you..I do believe you can all do it!

– Anna ♥

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You are never alone..

Remember that you are never alone. There will always be someone there for you, wether it be in real life, on the other end of the phone, over the internet (be safe of course)..there will always be someone! There really is someone out there who loves you & cares about you. The amount of people who have spoken out to me over the past couple of days is amazing & some of them felt alone thinking they were the only one going through what they are going through..I’d like to think that now they don’t feel alone at all. A couple of weeks ago I recently joined elefriends which is an online community for people suffering with mental health, which is brought to us by Mind. I genuinely think it will help a lot of people. I have told a few people about it so far & I would recommend it again to anyone who feels they are alone & suffering with mental health. You can sign up via email or via Facebook. You don’t have to use your real name, you can use a nickname..you don’t have to use a photo of yourself for your profile picture, you can use one of your pet, favourite animal, favourite character, favourite quote, favourite place..absolutely anything! You can say as much as you want or as little as you want, so even nothing at all. The site has a feature to where people can “like” what you say by giving it a thumbs up, “think of you” by giving you a heart & “hear you” by hitting a little ear symbol. You can communicate with other elefriends by the commenting to each other or by private messaging. You must also respect other elefriends of course. Go by the quotes I like, “treat others as you want to be treated yourself” & “if you don’t have nothing nice to say then don’t say nothing at all”. If anyone wants to join elefriends you can do so by visiting their website,http://elefriends.org.uk/ .

-Anna♥

p.s. whenever you feel like you are alone & life has no meaning…

Dont give up

Acceptance is hard..

ImageOne night last week I got tucked up in bed with a book & a peppermint tea. I thought to myself I need to get my head around my two new best friends..meet anxiety & panic. They are not only my best friends but are also my shadows. Every corner I turn they are always there, whether it be right behind me or in the distance. I feel that by accepting what you are going through something is definitely one of the main steps to start recovery. Unfortunately acceptance is really hard though, it’s not as simple as being like “right I’m going to beat this today”.It’s an ongoing battle really.You need to keep reminding yourself that & be ready for set backs too. Let’s be honest ignoring the situation or blocking it out won’t help at all & will just make it worse in the long run.

I have connected with a few people online due to mental health related issues & I thought what a good idea to get them involved in this post. So I got on to them straight away to do a little message/ photo of what acceptance means to them..

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Thank you very much for your help girls, I really appreciate it!

– Anna ♥

Love yourself ♥

I’m well aware this might come across as a bit of a cheesy post,but hey ho nevermind..I’m doing it anyway! So many of us genuinely don’t love ourselves, wether it be enough or actually not at all. I personally have learnt to accept myself for me. I would go as far as saying I love myself. Loving yourself doesn’t necessarily mean your vain. Loving yourself comes from within,within your mind. During school when I was bullied for various things I don’t think it affected the way I thought about myself.. People were mean about my teeth, just because they were different (so pretty much the main reason people choose to bully is because something is different)..I still don’t have perfect teeth but I have just learnt that really that is just part of me & I wouldn’t look the same me as I’m used to. All the way through school I never actually smiled on my photos..to be honest I look really miserable..now I’ve learnt to just smileeeee!  I also got bullied for the size of my forehead, does that bother me? Not at all, I still push all my hair back & whack it up in a bobble so I feel more fresh faced & wide awake! When people made remark to how skinny I was, did that bother me? No, it literally went in one ear & out the other. Why should I be bothered if I was skinny or not, I was healthy & that’s all that mattered to me..Maybe I was skinny because I absolutely loved doing sport, where most girls are usually like “urgh,not this again..I don’t want to do that, do we have to go outside?”. People also felt the need to embarrass me so I’d go bright red & then felt the need to go “oh my god,why are you bright red?”..which obviously then led to me going even redder. Was there anything I could do about going bright red & embarrassed? No, so I just accepted that was part of who I am!

Lets be honest, if you just accept yourself for who you are, life might just become that little bit easier (no promises there though, sorry guys). Everyone has flaws & I’m pretty sure we’d all like to change something about ourselves. I’m pretty sure all the people on tv, in films & in papers/magazines would too. They are only human after all, just like me & you.. ok,maybe they have a little bit more money but nevermind.. Money isn’t everything. So lets all start to love ourselves, flaws & all!

– Anna ♥

You're beautiful, smile

When it rains, it pours..

Life still goes on when the heavens open & we get a down pour of rain. Last weekend I did a post about enjoying the little things in life & I think we should all still go by this even when the weather isn’t brilliant & we don’t really feel like it. Last Saturday was glorious sunshine but still cool & breezy so it is safe to say this Saturday was the complete opposite, it rained for most of the day & was just grey & miserable.

But I thought if I’m going to stick to my regular 30 minute walk a day to improve my mental health I’m going to have to get out there. So on went my wellies, waterproofs & layers. I took my puppy friend Pudding like last Saturday & took some similar photos to share them with you because I couldn’t believe the difference. You’ll find the photos at the end again.

Basically what I’m saying is you’ve just got to keep at it (whatever it may be for you), whether it be applying for jobs & you keep getting knocked back, trying to achieve a better physical or mental health, whatever it is. Your going to have knock backs but all that matters is that you get back up again & again & again & again..I’m sure you get the idea. You’ve just got to come back up fighting. Remember guys to achieve your goals, you just got to keep at it, one step at a time, rain or shine!

-Anna ♥20130309_12141720130309_12211720130309_122125

Life is just like a rollercoaster ride..

Recently I have been thinking to myself how life is very much like a rollercoaster ride & sometimes it actually leaves you with the same feelings….feeling like your about to throw up, like your head is spinning & about to fall off, like your heart is going so fast it could jump out of your chest at any minute, wibbly wobbly jelly legs like you are going to fall over..I’m sure your all aware of those feelings. But what do you when one minute your in high speed zooming up to the top of the steep hill & then you just stop. Run out of power, don’t know which way to go or don’t know what is your best next move. I’m pretty sure we have all felt like this at some time or other, but how do we get the rollercoaster ride of life back up & running again? I’m still actually trying to figure it out at the minute so as soon as I know, I’ll get back to you..but in the meantime if anyone else has any tips feel free to throw them my way! Of course I couldn’t end my post without a little image, so this one is a little wooden hanging quote that a twitter friend of mine bought & I just loved it,so she took a photo so I could use it on instagram & now it’s on my blog..Thank you Alice!

-Anna♥IMG_0396

Enjoy the little things in life..

After a very busy Monday to Friday it felt like everything was getting a little bit too much. By Friday I was pooped & feeling pretty down too, so I thought what should I do? So I got on the phone to my friend Jess, we are brought together by anxiety, one good thing & possibly the only good thing to come out of anxiety is it brings you together with other sufferers & you can create new friendships. So after feeling my mood being lifted a little by Jess, I woke up Saturday morning feeling the need to relax & enjoy myself. I think it’s really important to take time out & enjoy the little things in life..after all the best things in life are free (yes,I’m well aware that sounded really cheesy)! Such as taking a walk in the countryside, which is exactly how I spent an hour of my Saturday. It was a lovely day,the sun was shining & it was nice & cool. So I thought what better way to spend some of it than going out & getting some fresh air, because fresh air really does do you the world of good! So off went me & my little puppy friend Pudding.I took my phone so I could snap some photos of the beautiful scenery (find a few of those at the end of this post). Saturday night soon rolled in & my parents were off to see Olly Murs live but luckily I didn’t have to spend it alone,I got to spend some time with the family on my street who are literally like my second family,which was brilliant & I am so grateful for them! If they weren’t around I think I would be so much worse, I know if I need a distraction I can just go up there!

So instead of always sitting staring at your mobile phone,televisions,computer screens,iPad screen…whatever kind of screen,take some time out away from staring at them, have a break & enjoy the world beyond screens.

-Anna♥20130302_10155920130302_10204620130302_101841 20130302_10233720130302_102738Pudding