An Open Letter to My Anxiety

To my anxiety-

You are the worst part about me, and I’m not enjoying your late night visits.

You’ve been gone for a while, only making visits at normal times, maybe just give me a few surprise attacks here and there, thanks for that. I know you’re a part of me, that little messed up part of my brain that doesn’t like the rest of me for some reason. The part of my brain that makes me think everyone hates me, the part of my brain that picks at every insecurity, the part of the brain that makes it hard to move some days, the part I hate the most.

You are the secret I’ve been keeping recently until now. No one really knows your back but me. You are becoming overbearing again. You are trying to take over my life. No matter how often the people around me validate their feelings for me, not matter how good of a job I’m doing on something, you are the part of me that destroys that.

Thank you for constantly reminding me of the B- in philosophy and belittling it even though I should be proud of because I worked so hard for it. Thank you for reminding me that even though I put forth so much effort that people who did less still did better than me. That had to be your favorite class because that is where I felt you the most, preventing me from raising my hand, preventing me from sharing my opinion, just in case it was wrong. Thank you for making me feel worthless for being unemployed and making me question my marketability. You get inside my head and make me feel as if there is something wrong with me because I can’t even get a call or an email about a job.

You have yet to start to interfere with relationships, but that won’t last long. You come out in an angry fury at the smallest things that drives rifts into the strongest of relationships. The longer you stay, the sooner this will happen. You ruin everything you touch, which leads me to believe that I will ruin everything I touch.

Thank you for making me feel as if I’m undesirable. Thank you for ruining any potential crush of mine by letting me know that no one could want someone who cries when there are too many people in a room or shuts down when one little thing isn’t where it’s supposed to be. You not only remind me of every imperfection that my body unfortunately has, but make me feel as if I am crazy too.

You belittle me until I feel hardly anything. You make me not even want to post this because you are the voice in my head that tells me that people will judge me, they won’t want to be around me. They don’t take you seriously, they think I make you up. Because you are the voices of the people who claim “you’re faking it” or the people who say “you’re being over dramatic” or “you can’t have anxiety when you have no problems” “You just need to calm down, and you’ll be fine”. You are the voices of those who don’t believe in you which is one of the most ironic things of all. The voices who don’t take me seriously, the voices who don’t even believe you are a real thing period. You are the judgment I receive anytime I try to be open with my anxiety because it is a discussion that society needs to have and try to better understand, not for me, but for the millions of people suffering.

Even after you subsided for months, letting me feel as if I’m in control for maybe even a week, you take it all away from me. You are the worst part of me, the most controlling part of me, the part that I just wish would go away.

To my anxiety- please go away.

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Healthy Hobbies = Probable Progress

A Collaboration between gettingthroughanxiety.wordpress.com and Mary at marysaverageadventures.wordpress.com

While many of us struggle with anxiety, the ways in which we struggle vary. While certain issues may not apply to everyone, I think a major issue that is usually attached to anxiety is overthinking and focusing too much on irrational fears. Along with practice and exercise, an important step in getting through anxiety is finding a way to get our minds on something other than our fears. While this step can certainly be difficult since fear can be a very powerful force, there are ways to turn negative thinking into positive energy by concentrating and working on things we enjoy instead of fear.

It can be hard to focus on something other than our anxiety when it is so strong. However, there are plenty of positive things we can focus on. There are so many hobbies in the world to choose from; healthy ways to get into action and be productive instead of spending all your time and energy on something that holds you back and makes you feel limited.

Hobbies. Hobbies are employed not only by those of us who suffer from anxiety, but by almost everyone in the world. Hobbies have the ability to take our minds off of the things that slow us down.

Boredom is one of the worst things for anxiety. Oftentimes, when we are bored, our minds begin to wander. Unfortunately, for those of us who suffer from anxiety, most of the time when our minds wander, we tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. Hobbies can help us change our thought process, they can give us something entertaining and healthy to do.

I’ve always been someone who is often bored. I was always telling my parents when I was younger how bored I was and I still find myself saying it sometimes. However, I have found that hobbies are a great way to keep busy and keep focused on what we are doing instead of how we are feeling. Here are some of the hobbies I have started to do. I will explain just how they help get my mind off of my anxiety.

Puzzles- Working on a puzzle that is challenging helps the person working on it focus on the task at hand instead of what is bothering them. Puzzles take a lot of attention to detail and hard work and because of this, puzzles are a great way to get your mind on something other than your usual negative thoughts. Puzzles, much like being successful in getting through anxiety, also enables a person to feel successful when they find the piece they are looking for. Seeing that you can do a challenging puzzle may also help you realize that you have the ability, with hard work, to get through your anxiety. Puzzles, while not as challenging as fear, show that just because something is hard, does not make it impossible! Puzzles are also colorful and can cheer you up simply by staring at the vast amount of colors!

Reading- Reading a good book that you can really get into can help immensely with anxiety. I’ve read books before that don’t quite do the trick but when a book is really interesting, I’ve found reading helpful. Reading a good story helps us fall under the spell of another world, a world where fascinating things can happen. Even if there are parts of the story that are stressful for the character in the book, the stressful situation is part of the character’s life and not ours. Also, while we need to deal with reality, there is nothing wrong with taking a break from our own lives and diving into the fictional life (or non-fictional life) of a story and a character.

Movies & TV- Watching calming TV shows (or at least ones that aren’t too anxiety inducing) is a great way to get our minds off anxiety. While we shouldn’t watch too much TV (sorry to sound like a parent), watching TV can be a great way to concentrate on what’s going on in the show instead of our own hectic lives or situations. The benefits of watching TV to get our minds on something other than stress is similar to that of reading a book. However, for those of us who may want to visually see something distracting instead of having to make up our own images in our mind, a TV show is a great way for almost all of the senses to lose themselves in something entertaining. By hearing people talking in TV shows, we get distracted from our fears. By watching TV, we are able to visually see something which in turn, helps us focus on the show instead of anything else. Movies do the same thing!

Crafts- For me, hobbies have always revolved around being creative. I’m no artist, I can hardly draw a stick person but, that doesn’t stop me. One of my favorite things to do is paint pottery. The simplicity of just doing basic painting strokes really helps me feel at peace and forget everything that makes me anxious.

Writing- Whether I’m writing about what’s going on in my head or about something to distract me, it can really help. Words are an escape whether it’s through writing or reading. Writing helps to put negative energy into something more positive that helps you get it out. When you want to get your feelings out without actually talking about it.

Writing- Writing a story or book also helps you create your own world. You are able to focus on something that you created, but in a positive way. Instead of focusing on anxiety that you may have created, you can focus on something you are good at: writing. When you are working hard on your writing, it’s hard to focus on your fears. Also, not only does writing stories or poetry help you get your feelings out, but if you share your works, you can also feel good knowing that you are sharing your feelings with others and possibly, even connecting and helping them.

Sports- Sports are a great way to get out your frustrations in a more physical way. I know when I’m really anxious I run, I sprint as fast as I can for as long as I can. It’s almost like physically running away from your problems, without actually hiding from your issues. In most sports, like soccer, baseball, any type of hockey, tennis, or several other sports, you can hit things, and that physical release can really help to get out anxieties. Using sports as a hobby is a healthy release of our fears or anger, instead of an unhealthy way.

Exercising/Stretching/Practicing- While perhaps not always considered a hobby, exercising and practicing facing your fears should also become a habit. By consistently exercising and stretching, you prove to yourself that you can get through your anxiety and other issues. Also, by facing your fears, you are allowing yourself to make progress and you can begin to see that you are capable of doing so.

While anxiety may seem all consuming and unbearable a lot of the time, hobbies can help to be a distraction and a relieving way to release some of your built up anxieties. All of these hobbies distract you from the negative energy your body is holding against you. Whether it’s running, puzzles, yoga, or painting, you can find a sense of security in a hobby. I really encourage the use of hobbies as a way of handling anxiety. While it may not be entirely distracting, it is a good way of releasing those bad feelings that anxiety bring you.

I Won’t Do That

Today is super late because I went to visit my friend at the job I don’t like so much and I ended up working and just doing like the fun part of working there for twenty minutes, so that was an unexpected thing that happened today. And I guess it’s not really super late considering I used to post at like 1 or 2 in the morning but for now it seems late since I have to be up early in the morning. Also, I had a good post planned for today but now I will save that for a day when I don’t feel like I’m rushing.

Okay, so I just changed what I was going to blog about last second because something on Facebook sparked my mind. The other day I blogged about how anxiety won’t stop me from doing things I really want to do, yet today I got kind of discouraged because there are some things that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do. My friend posted a video at a crowded restaurant watching the extremely good game of the World Cup today (to be honest I don’t actually know I just heard about it all over twitter) and it was everyone chanting and screaming after what I assume was someone scoring a goal. I watched this video and I thought to myself, I would’ve had to leave way before it even go to that part. I will never be able to go clubbing or go to a sports bar during the World Series or anything like that because my mind wouldn’t be able to tolerate it. I can’t even go to a crowded mass without having to sit outside or leave because it’s either too hot or just too many people freaks me out. That sucks.

I was before writing this I was going to write about wedding and that made me think, what will happen when I go to weddings? Will I freak out then too? What if it’s so bad that I miss one of my sister’s first dances or a best friend slap her spouse with cake? Things like that are harder to control than talking on the phone, because the phone I can hang up. I don’t have to answer, I can ignore it. I can hold going to the bathroom if the place has one that’s only a one person bathroom. I can remove myself from situations, but I don’t want to remove myself from memories. That sucks. It would really suck and that’s what scares me with anxiety. I have no control over what I do or what happens to me. I never want to be in a place where I’m going to miss something important because of anxiety, but it’s going to happen and I really hate that. I really hate that at where I am today, I’ll never be able to go to one of those crazy bachlorette parties that you always hear about (I mean I’d be the DD anyway, but whatever) or for what it seems like even go to a party. When I think about missing that sort of thing, that’s what makes me want to get help, yet even the idea of going to the doctor makes me anxious. Adding to my list of summer goals, I think I want to try and see someone to figure all of this out. I am at an age where I’m supposed to be having the time of my life and instead I’m just trying to have fun without having a panic attack so I skip out on things and I don’t like that.  Hopefully I can get to that point.

XOXO,

Mary.

Happiness is Everywhere

It's not fun being sad, for one day, as hard as it is, no matter what has happened, try and smile at least once. Try and find one thing every day that makes you happy.
It’s not fun being sad, for one day, as hard as it is, no matter what has happened, try and smile at least once. Try and find one thing every day that makes you happy.

The first thing I feel obligated to put in this post is that I’m talking about that people that view mental illnesses as a trend, which they are not, I am not targeting anyone who actually struggles with these illnesses. The main point of this whole this is to be happy and not to try and fall into the new “trend” of mental illness. I would just like to emphasize once again that I am NOT at all writing about the people who actually struggle with these illnesses.

Happiness is everywhere, you might have to look but it’s there. Two things that I’m really trying to get in the habit of is finding at least one thing every day that makes me happy, and another thing is to try and make someone’s day or just put a smile on their face.  I think we live in a society where happiness is trumped by depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses that are glorified to be something beautiful, when in actuality there are so many people who struggle with them. I mean I love tumblr as much as the next internet-obsessed girl but there are so many people there who glorify things like self-harm and depression and they call it “beautiful” and “deep” but what about people who are so depressed that they do things like commit suicide? That’s not beautiful or deep it’s sad and tragic.

One of my favorite YouTubers, Troye Sivan, recently commented on this on Twitter, this is what he said and I think it just shows how big people are seeing this as a problem.
One of my favorite YouTubers, Troye Sivan, recently commented on this on Twitter, this is what he said and I think it just shows how big people are seeing this as a problem.

sivan

Like it’s not something to take lightly, things like #cutforbieber aren’t cool. These aren’t things meant to be trends, these are real things that real people struggle with. Why are we romanticizing things like depression when we could be shining light on the things that make people happy? We could emphasize things like flowers and rainbows. Yes, I know that sounds extremely cheesy but why can’t we do this? Why do we have to be a completely miserable species? Why can’t we find happy thing beautiful and deep?  But even major corporations like Urban Outfitters releasing shirts that say “Eat Less” to what? Emphasize the need to be skinny and make curvy girls feel worse about themselves? To encourage diseases such as anorexia? That’s not okay, it’s not okay to glorify diseases. What if they were putting on the shirts “Get Mono” people wouldn’t be okay with that because it’s a physical disease, but as soon as it’s something mental it’s okay. Even as I’m looking up information for this post, I found out from The Huffington Post that they now have a shirt that is literally covered in the word depression (which luckily they were smart enough to pull from the shelves). Why? Be happy! If you do not actually have one of these mental disease, stop trying to act like you do. Stop reblogging those pictures of slit wrists, stop supporting stores like Urban Outfitters, don’t go on tumblr and favorite all of those posts about how suicidal poems are so beautiful, instead talk someone out of committing it.

You can be someone's light, you can change someone's life.
You can be someone’s light, you can change someone’s life.

Like this, you don’t have to be the kid on the left, you can be the girl on the right. You can make a difference. When you have the option to be happy or sad, wouldn’t you want to be happy? If you see someone wallowing in their self pity you can try and fix it, you don’t have to let them be miserable, be their friend. Sometimes the only thing that people need is a friend or a person to talk to. Make that difference, change someone’s life, be there for someone.

The more you smile the more in life you'll enjoy, and then the less you'll have to regret.
The more you smile the more in life you’ll enjoy, and then the less you’ll have to regret.

Do you really want to look back on your teenage years and be like man that was pathetic? What are you going to do when your kids ask you about your teenage years? I’m sure they will be glad to hear that you spent every night wallowing in self-pity when really there was nothing wrong. Side note: I am only talking to the people who treat depression and other mental illnesses as a trend, if you have any of these that I mention, I am not talking to you, please don’t be offended. If you smile more and have fun with life and embrace every moment you’ve been given you’re on the right track to being happy. Can we please stop glorifying things like depression, anorexia, and self harm and instead glorify happiness, butterflies, and flowers? I mean I know my posts aren’t always the happiest or most peppy things in the world, but I’m not a sad person all the time, I would say I am happier more than I am sad, I laugh more than I cry, no matter how angry I am I still find something to smile about (after I yell usually). Don’t follow this new “trend” because it’s not a trend, it’s something that real people struggle with and the more of a trend that it becomes the worse life it going to get for those who are actually suffering.

Well I think that’s it for this but this is just something that’s been driving me crazy and I saw Troye’s tweets this week and I was like okay this week is the week for this post. Anyway, I hope everyone can see that these are real diseases that people struggle with and they aren’t just some fad. Thanks for reading.

XOXO,

Mary

Answer

January 16: George Clooney

Question

January 17: What World War II Allied offensive was given the whimsical code name Chattanooga Choo Choo?