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Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

100 Faces

Were it not for the weather it would have been a perfect day. Two girls, demon free, being beautified and getting to pose and laugh in a real studio! It was a fabulous experience and one I would love to repeat!

The fantastic lady who took our photos is Jo Belfield, she’s everywhere; on twitterflickrblogger and at her very sexy website. She has also taken it upon herself to set up the 100faces project which will involve 100 people with various mental illnesses and aims to promote mental health awareness. Hopefully it will be on show next year so you can all go and visit and see how gorgeous Samm and I look in it!

Getting to Macclesfield to Jo’s studio wasn’t exactly smooth sailing but it was smoother than getting back! After some wandering around Macclesfield we phoned Jo who directed us to her new studio where we warmed up and got the tour of her new studio! It must be said that Jo is hilarious and had us rolling around in laughter within minutes, she also makes an excellent cuppa! We arrived just before our incredible make-up artist; Dora. The woman is a miracle worker, I swear to you she is gifted. Should you wish to be made stunningly beautiful by a gorgeous lady with very gentle hands, give her a call on 07507560929 or email her at makeupbydora@googlemail.com I assure you that you will not be disappointed.

Once our make-up was all sorted we got our chance in front of the camera! There was much hair swishing from Samm who took to it like a duck to water, and markedly less from me! Jo was great, telling us what we needed to do and showing us the photos occasionally so we got an idea of what we were doing wrong! Despite the fits of giggles she managed to get some good photos and hopefully they are what she was looking for! She’s really good at boosting your confidence and getting across what she’s aiming for, we both felt at ease with her.

It was a great day out and I would definitely recommend her to anyone from models to groups of friends to family shots or couples. She really knows what she’s doing and Dora is, as I said before, a miracle worker! I could not recommend them highly enough, and in a couple of weeks we will be going to see the finished products, and if I’ve got any monies I shall be buying one to prove to everyone how pretty I am for all time!

Photo Credit: Jo Belfield Photography (the same one I’ve been raving about for the whole post!)

Samm’s review of the day can be found here on her fab blog which has also been featured on Breaking the Silence

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Brief background: I have suffered with anxiety and depression (possible bi-polar disorder) for most of my life, recently I have been through excellent counselling (privately) and have recovered from my depression and am getting there with the anxiety.

Recently though, I have been on the other side of the fence, and I’ve gotta tell ya; it’s not pretty. I have no idea how, or why, my friends and family put up with it for so long. Having seen both sides, it is much worse to watch someone you love suffer and go through the never ending stress that is caused by it. My patience is being pushed to its very limits and I am fighting the urge to yell and scream because I know that will only make it worse. I am down to my last nerve, at the end of my tether and any other turn of phrase you care to use and that is making me feel very guilty.

The worst thing, I think, is knowing that nothing I say will make a difference. When I was in the depths of depression or the throws of anxiety there was no talking me out of it, it didn’t matter what anyone else said, I couldn’t help it and that knowledge makes it all the harder. I can’t just leave it and stand idly by while I watch him suffer, but at the same time I know there is a risk that anything I do say may make it worse and definitely wont make it better.

Another problem I’m having is that I know how I can help, but at the moment he is in a different country and there is nothing I can do to change that. Once he’s home I can book the counselling appointments and the doctors appointments and implement a stable routine at home to make sure he sleeps and eats and knows what’s coming. I can start building him back up by letting him plan his days out, helping him remember all the good times and showing him that there are things worth living for, but in a different country I can do nothing. There is no way I can fly out there as it’s too expensive, and even if I did all the help he requires is here; a doctor that knows his history, a counsellor who he has already bonded with, a mental health service that I am familiar with and a support network to prove that he is loved and help me when I need to cry/scream/vent at someone.

I feel like I’m at breaking point; I know he is struggling to get on the plane to come home but every extra day he is out there is another days deterioration in his condition and another day that my body and mind are pulled apart by stress. I desperately want to help him but I fear that if I continue as I am that my health and future will suffer.

Is there only so long that you can wait for someone? Am I right to be so confused and guilty about the possibility of giving up? How do I know when there is nothing more I can do? Is there ever a right time to give up on the man you love?

NB: Mainly for the people who know him and might be worried I’m posting without his knowledge: I emailed the post to him and asked if it was ok for me to post it, he said yes.

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Now Demons, I know!

I’m like a magnet for demons, I draw them to me and then they stick. It takes consistent battle for me to keep any one of them at bay, let alone fight them all. At the moment my main battles are with insomnia and anxiety, the latter being an ongoing battle for the past two years.

Today I have an induction at Hope House, a charity shop that raises money to look after terminally ill children, it will be the first work of any kind I have done for two years, since having to leave a job because of panic attacks. It is voluntary so there is less pressure but it’s still a huge step. It seemed like a good idea at the time, it will get me out of the house, it will help me ease into work again, it will have me socialising, but now I am slowly being gripped by anxiety again. The last time I tried to get a job I couldn’t even do one full day, I spent the couple of hours I was there frozen to one spot, unable to speak and shaking uncontrollably and I have no idea if I’ve improved. There is every chance that I could walk in tomorrow and lose it all over again, and that terrifies me in a way that only those who have been there can understand.

I didn’t used to be like this. When I was younger I was bubbly, sociable, loved to party and spend time with people. I had a large group of varied friends who I enjoyed spending time with as often as possible, then the proverbial brown stuff hit the fan and since I have been a stranger to myself.

Don’t get me wrong when I’m at home I’m just like I’ve always been, you would never guess there was anything wrong, over the past year I have gradually managed to even plaster on an air of confidence again when I walk out of the door, but sadly a false smile and strut do not remove the churning in my stomach or stop the panicky voices in my head.

I think the worst thing isn’t even the anxiety itself, it’s the way I disappoint myself every day. I am not a weak person, far from it, I know that I can cope with life because I did it before and yet for some reason that knowledge does not translate to being able to kick anxiety’s butt. Every day I disappoint myself; when I have to make a phone call I find myself bargaining with myself, if you make the call you don’t have to go out today, if I go out it’s only to do shopping and it is over as quickly as I can possibly make it. That’s not me. I am forever yelling at myself to snap out of it, get a grip, pull yourself together and every other generic pep talk you can think of and yet none of it makes any difference. I used to be able to give myself a mental shake and I could get through all sorts and now I can barely live on my own.

It scares me that I know if I didn’t have to go out, I wouldn’t. If I didn’t make myself walk out of that door, I would stay in, all day, every day, with the doors locked and the phones unhooked. It scares me more that I have no control over that.

I’m not like that all the time, I have my good days where I go out and don’t walk as fast as I can around town, but it’s always there. I can go to new places with friends, sometimes, but I could never go alone, not even on a good day. And every part of me wishes that I could just drag myself, alone, onto a bus and go somewhere I’ve never been before to prove that I’m stronger than it. But I can’t, and that I can’t get my head around. I want to go, I believe I can do it and yet just the thought of it sends my heart racing and my mind spinning.

I know I’ll get over it, that’s not up for debate, I am just impatient now. I just want to get on with my life, but I know I can beat it, and I will.

Prompt number 2 at this weeks writing workshop was Demons, specifically those that you are battling right now.

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My lovely friend has brought to my attention that today is National Self Harm Awareness Day so I thought, what an excellent idea for a blog post. Self Harm is something that desperately needs to be brought to the nation’s attention because, in most cases, it is not “a cry for attention” or an attempted suicide, it is a way to deal with intensely difficult situations and it is the cause that must be addressed, not the symptom.

I used to self harm. My early teen years were not easy, I was bullied at my first high school, lost my Gran, who lived with us, had to deal with a girl at my 3rd high school having a vendetta against me and then lost my Dad, all between the ages of 12 and 15. I am not telling you this to ask for your sympathy but to put into context the first time I picked up a pair of scissors and cut into my arm. I was 14, it was the day before my Dad’s funeral and I had no idea how to deal with it. I don’t know what made me think of it but it seemed like the only way out and after I felt so at ease, like I’d been meditating for hours. That was where it began and it continued, almost every day, for about 2 years. I always ended up wearing jumpers or long sleeved tops all year round to hide my arms until it came out and I went back into counselling (for the second time). It took a lot of hard work to stop, I tried having rubber bands round my wrist to ping when I got the urge, squeezing ice cubes, squeezing dyed red ice cubes, a star chart and various other methods and eventually I got there.

However, in the same way that an alcoholic is never truly cured, I will never be cured either. In times of great stress or overwhelming emotion I still find myself desperately searching for a pencil sharpener blade, a knife, a pair of scissors, anything with a sharp blade that will release the unbearable build up of pain that I have no other way to deal with. I will sit alone, in the quiet, in floods of tears and and watch the blood flow until the crying stops and the pressure has dissipated.
The difference now is that I am not ashamed of it, I refuse to be. It has made me who I am and I am grateful for that.

This is just my story, and every one who self harms has different reasons for doing so and different ways. It will feel different for each person and they will be in different situations when they do it but they will all have one thing in common; they have reasons for doing what they do.

If you, or someone you know, is self harming or you suspect that they are there are things you can do. I am not a professional but I would say that confronting them is not the way to go, but being there as a shoulder to cry on, to talk to about their problems and to try and bring them out of their depression is the best way to deal with it. There are also lots of websites and resources out there to support the sufferer and their friends and family and they were invaluable to me.

http://self-injury.net/

Get Connected

The Site

Secret Shame

http://www.nshn.co.uk/

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Where do I start?

Everything is a mess at the moment and to be honest, I’m terrified. I’m terrified that Stuart will never fall back in love with me, I’m terrified that everything we had has meant nothing and I’m terrified that the last three years of my life have been wasted. Not only that, I am now scared in my own home, I don’t feel safe and I have no idea why, unsurprisingly this is affecting my sleep and meaning that I can’t get to sleep until the sun has come up. And just to add to the fun I have to try to work again so that I can move out and take the pressure off my parents, having not worked for about 2 years now because of my anxiety and depression and I have no idea if I actually can work. I’m still wary around big groups of people and people I don’t know, and for the past 2 years pretty much everywhere I’ve gone I’ve had Stuart or a friend with me. I feel like I’m at a total loss and have no idea what to do, I was happy in my little world and now it’s come crashing down around me.

Job wise my mum has suggested starting with Voluntary work, which is a fabulous idea aside from the fact I need a wage that will at least pay for my food. I’m trying to think of something I can do from home but everything that comes up on google looks suspiciously like a scam.

I don’t understand how this has happened, my life was on track and my whole future was planned out and now I have nothing.

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