I Must Confess…

Ahh, this is going to be hard to write – it’s going to be hard to admit this on my website BUT hey! I created this website as a place to come to find happiness, find ways to calm the mind & share my journey through life.

So here I go…

I have anxiety!

Wow, that was harder to write than I thought!

It does not define me, it is just a part of me – It is ‘just visiting’ & will leave shortly.

I have had anxiety for approx 3 years, and it has been quite the journey to be honest. Its been very hard to deal w/ & some days I just want to give up bc I can’t take it anymore.

I was always ashamed to say I had anxiety & would hide behind a smile – I didn’t want anyone knowing & judging me for a ‘mental illness’ – Mental illness’ in my eyes were frowned upon, you must be mental if you have a mental illness, right? … That’s what I thought anyway.

I was bed ridden for a very long time, my mother would have to do my grocery shopping & I got anxious being out of my room in the kitchen let alone the backyard in the sun! (The thought of going to a shopping center would make me extremely anxious & I would avoid it at all costs) I never wanted to be around people, I would get really claustrophobic & freak out – I couldn’t go on public transport bc I wasn’t in control of the piece of machinery which lead me to being anxious & my brain always thought they went too fast. I stopped going in elevators bc of the physical tummy feeling it gives you etc. I had already developed health anxiety which than social anxiety creeped upon me too.

This anxiety formed from being admitted to hospital about 3 years ago due to feeling very lethargic, dizzy & lost a tonne of weight in one big hit. Being in hospital for 2 weeks were the worst two weeks of my life – little did I know that they would change my life forever.

The doctors couldn’t find what was wrong, but all I kept hearing was these words: brain hamerage, brain tumor, fluid on the brain, stroke, heart attack, heart failure, lung cancer, stomach cancer. I was poked w/ needles twice a day & I had a lumbar puncture to my back  (worst experience evvvvvvvvver – nothing has ever felt that painful in my whole entire life) hearing all these words, created a fear of the unknown, especially bc no one knew what was going on – every single test was coming back fine.

When I was discharged from hospital, that’s when my whole life changed, for better or worse, I will never know but I am trying to look at the positive out of it.

Every time I had a headache, I thought all those words the doctor was saying ie brain tumor, stroke etc. Or every time I had chest pain, I thought I was having a heart attack. It sounds silly but I have health anxiety – at first this was hard for me to accept, I didn’t know what was wrong w/ me , I didn’t know I was feeling this way, I didn’t know how to make it stop – I just constantly felt like I was dying.

This has been a very hard thing to overcome & I am by no means saying that I am cured but I am on the road to recovery. It’s hard to share these things w/ someone who would think ‘she’s crazy – what’s wrong w/ her’ But, this is the fear I have – & I have learnt to live w/ it. I always think I am dying, every day, every single day! Whether its from  headache, a sore tummy, chest pain, tingling in my fingers, sore eyes, sore toe – You name it & I will think I am dying.

I constantly WEBMD things & I always think I have cancer, all my symptoms show cancer – so I freak out thinking I have cancer.

It has been a hard journey bc there isn’t a thought that goes by every day where I don’t feel some form of anxiety.

I began to be scared of physical feelings ie being dizzy, sore head, heart palpitations, tingling feelings etc.

But, there is always sunshine after a storm & this too shall pass.

This has been such an amazing journey (& also sad!) It has taught me soooooo much – I feel God has given me anxiety to teach me a lesson for my journey. I have learnt so much about myself, it’s crazy.

The amount of fears that I have conquered in the past 3 years have been life changing.

  • I am back on public transport (I catch a train 1 hour to & from work every single day)
  • I catch an elevator to the 50th floor of my building for work 5 days a week
  • I caught Taxi’s for work (big thing bc I am not in control of the car)
  • I’ve been on a plane. Yes, a plane! Who would’ve thought?!?!?!
  • I no longer have claustrophobia (I do freak out leading up but in the moment, I am fine!) I just did Adele concert w/ 95,500 fans!
  • I can go to shopping center’s & not stress out that I felt claustrophobic & the shopping center was too loud.

I have come across a few blogs over the past few weeks that have really intrigued me – these are blogs from women just like me that suffer anxiety & they share their thoughts & feelings on what they experience on a day to day basis.

These women have most certainly motivated me to voice what I am going through & to never be silent, bc we are all battling our own wars  – So here I am sharing my story of who I am & how far I have come.

Writing all this has created a mix of emotions but embarrassed isn’t one of them – I am sick & tired of hiding & being embarrassed – this is me & this is who I am – I will no longer hide.

I am happy to have shared my journey.

I have had some amazing support along my journey & I am so thankful for the people that have helped me get to where I am today for without them, I wouldn’t of had the push I needed.

Some days I have bad days & some days I have amazing days – & that’s the beauty of it. I accept I am not in control & that anxiety just likes to come visit sometimes – how I get through the episodes of anxiety is what really matters. Its taken me a while to find what works for me & its been quite some trial & error – but I know what calms me & I am working w/ those coping mechanisms at the moment.

I am on the road to recovery & every day is a learning curve for me…

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‘God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hacking Happy Chemicals

Dopamine

Dopamine motivates you to take action towards your goals, desires & needs – it gives you a surge of reinforcing pleasure when achieving them.

Procrastination, self-doubt & lack of enthusiasm are linked w/ low levels of dopamine.

Break big goals down into little pieces so you can create a series of little finish-lines which releases dopamine.

Create new goals before achieving your current one, this ensures a consistent pattern for experiencing dopamine.

Serotonin

Serotonin flows when you feel significant & important.

Loneliness and depression are present when serotonin is absent.

Gratitude practices can help you remind that you’re valued and significant.

Although too much ultraviolet light isn’t good, some daily sun exposure is healthy for boosting your serotonin levels.

Oxytocin

The release of oxytocin creates intimacy, trust & strengthens relationships.

Often referred to as ‘the cuddle hormone’ a simple way to keep oxytocin flowing is to give someone a hug.

Giving someone a gift will also cause their oxytocin levels to rise.

Endorphins

Endorphins are released in response to acute pain & stress to help alleviate anxiety & depression.

The surging ‘second wind’ and euphoric ‘runners high’ when running are a result of endorphins.

Along with exercise, laughter is one of the easiest ways to induce endorphin release.

Keep some scented oils & dark chocolate near your desk for a quick endorphin boost.