It’s all about small steps, spring and well-being

In my last post I said I’d write about few things. I said I’d reflect on holidays, diet, applications and the course I’ve been to. It would be too long for one post so I think I’ll concentrate on the course and holidays first.

I love spring. When the weather becomes nicer and the flowers start flowering I think the world is a better place. And although I do feel better I still get my usual fears. So even though I love spring, the feeling this morning reminded me of last year summer when Graham had chemo and then the memories keep coming back. And then it’s just an easy way to remember seizures and here we go again. The memories are so vivid.

But the fear is not as overwhelming. And it’s not as overhelming not because it became so much better. I think I learn better ways to cope with it. But if I let my mind go wild,  it will overpower me easy and quickly. It feels a bit like an animal in a cage. Exactly this – a wild anima in a cage. But it is still there, still alive and still wild. Maybe I should give it a name?

I still struggle to fall asleep. I’ve found Melatonin a great help. I went recently to Poland where it is widely available. And actually recommended for shift (especially night shift) workers. But what I found really interesting is that in Poland I had absolutely no problems sleeping. No fear.  The holiday was actually so relaxing – I relaxed more than I imagined. Or hoped. And I don’t know if it is because all what happened last year happened in my house in UK. So I have no bad memories in mum’s house in Poland. Or maybe it was the thought that there was someone else with me in the house (mum). So I didn’t feel alone. Maybe it’s the feeling of being alone which is daunting. So although I do know that mum wouldn’t be much help in an emergency situation… maybe just knowing I wasn’t alone was enough. But I have rested and I have relaxed. I haven’t relaxed mentally so well in ages. I could say that my fear-wild-animal in the cage was asleep.

But on the positive –  since I’ve been back I attended a Wellbeing at work course. It was work related but we have talked about wellbeing in physical and mental sense. We were also discussing what’s available in my place of work but also in general what is good for our wellbeing overall.

I thought I’d summarise few things here so I wont’ forget what’s been said.

First of all change – The less we think of condition (reason) the less likely we are going to make changes. People continue to practice unhealthy behaviours because of incorrect perception about the risk they bring. If you perceive condition/reason as serious – you will more likely change habits.

We should be doing 30min of physical activity five times per week. And we need many different types of exercise, yoga, body pump, spinning or resistance exercise (I need to check what resistance exercise is and how can I fit it into my routine!). I was also thinking of doing some yoga. Need to check yoga CDs or books. Or you tube. I’m not very good with YouTube I have to admit.

The other thing for me to check is Dr Jayson Funj and his recommendation about fasting. Which would go nicely with my low carb diet and book by Tom Kerridge. So, just to touch on that – 25th of March I started low carb diet. I knew Tom Kerridge lost a lot of weight but I didn’t know that he did exactly that. Low carb diet. I got his book as it was a very good price on Kindle… only about £2!! so recipe book is not the best on Kindle but  hey, beggars can’t be choosers!! I got inspired by his introduction and advice. I think it summarises the diet very well. I only glimpsed on the recipes so far, but will have a proper look later. They use quite a few fairly expensive and fancy ingredients so not sure how well it will suit me.

Apparently Happiness is 50% genetics, 40% our control and only 10% external circumstances. I’m not sure what can or can’t we do about the genetics, but 40% in our hands is huge, isn’t it?? And we are not happy when we are stressed or worried. I had no idea that a stress curve existed. Because when we don’t have enough stress – we are in stagnation, have no motivation to do anything. The same if we have too much stress – we start to have physical symptoms and be unhappy which can lead us to being Overstressed and eventually to a mental breakdown. So the point is to keep ourselves in the middle – it’s always about balance. Too little stress isn’t good for us either. I have not really thought that some stress is needed. It motivates us. So we can have many activities to manage stress. We tend to do things to di-stress. We can do things like walking, yoga, reading, meeting up friends – which cover up the stress but don’t take it away (called palliative). Or we could for example drink more alcohol or eat chocolate – they help us feel better for a short while but the stress does come back and they can be harmful (called Indirect activities). And finally we could do meditation or mindfulness for example which would be a Direct activity which helps us acknowledge the problems and improve the situation.

It is recommended to have a selection of palliative type activities so we don’t rely only on one. They help us to reduce stress. I think it also works for worrying and anxiety. That leads us to the Fight or Flight response of our brain. I admit this is something I have to look into more. But one sentence I’ve heard which caught my attention was: in stress our mind can manage only two decisions – it either fights or flight. And nowadays, in current society exposure to prolonged stress keeps our mind in that state for too long. Plus neither of them really works. You can’t fight or flight really from your problems. To help ourselves dealing with stress it is recommended to increase physical activity or keep stress diary and mindfulness.

Interestingly we covered a bit of CBT as well.

We have an event A and we have it’s consequences C. And event makes us feel in a certain way. But in between A and C is – B our perception of the event which can change the consequences. This is a pause. In fact instead of REACTING to an event we should pause and learn to RESPOND to it. it is so powerful, isn’t it? We have a choice how we RESPOND. And the way we respond we can learn. Pause is good. We can re-train our mind.

I think I’ve written it before here but it comes back to the positive affirmation and law of attraction. If you say something often enough you will believe in it. And we tend to do that we negative things and take them as facts. “I’m useless”, “I’m fat, ugly, worthless” etc etc But instead let’s talk to ourselves “I’m pretty, sexy, intelligent”. Why do we believe more ourselves talking negative things than positive?? I’m sooo guilty of it. But actually – why do I repeat to myself all those negative comments and BELIEVE in them but when I try to say something positive I dismiss it straight away. Oh no, let’s try it. Let’s talk to ourselves positively and imagine if only it’s true – if we repeat it often enough we may actually believe in it as well 🙂

Thoughts are not facts. Especially negative as they can cause more harm. Change your mind, imagine you are in a court and put your thoughts for a judgement. Challenge your thoughts like in a court. What evidence do we have it is true? Our brains have a negative bias.

We are spending too much time to try to control things we have no control over. What we can’t change we need to accept and try not to make judgement. That brings us up to John Kabat Zinn as someone who brought us mindfulness. And as in a circle  – brings me back to Headspace. Meditation. Something I started last year and stopped.

And just to end this rather long post, apparently we should be doing 3 things each day to promote mental wellbeing.

  1. something which makes us happy
  2. something which gives us sense of achievement (even small, like cleaning, knitting etc)
  3. something which makes us close to someone, intimate (can also be small – to open up to someone or even just stroke a cat

There are also 5 ways to wellbeing. CLANG

  1. C – CONNECT friends, family, relationship at work or outside
  2. L – LEARN learn something new
  3. A – ACTIVE physical exercise
  4. N – NOTICE take a notice, mindfulness, be in a moment, practice gratitude, consciously think of few things you are grateful for
  5. G – GIVE give to others, but don’t forget to give to yourself too.

But if I go back to the beginning, where I said that my PTSD/anxiety – my fear – I cope with it better. If I look back – I did unconsciously exactly what’s been recommended in the course. I love my friends and appreciate friendships so much in life. I try to learn something new – I signed for swimming lessons and I do mean to learn Spanish. I try to be more active. I practice gratitude and positive thinking. And I learnt to give and be kind to myself. And I think the diet helps as well.

So overall – small steps. It’s all about small steps. You can’t overcome fear and anxiety all at once. And that’s what I wanted to do. But the small step technique is like a water going around a stone. If it goes long enough it will finally make a change.

Happy Easter if you celebrate! 🙂

 

Morning thoughts

I came across a dispute in press between P. Morgan and W. Young about PTSD. The first criticized the other saying that he hasn’t got PTSD but WNTS – Whiny Needy Twerp Syndrome. I don’t know much about W. Young life or what traumas he has or hasn’t had in the past. But I cannot see why would someone labelled himself PTSD or anxiety sufferer if he hasn’t felt that way??? It is certainly not a state to desire to be in.

I think P. Morgan said that PTSD term was much overused as most young celebrities these days or maybe even most people claim to suffer it. I also read somewhere that his family member was a war veteran and suffered trauma there and had a “right” to call himself PTSD sufferer.

I definitely agree that trauma during any war is huge. And I’m not surprised that people experience metal health problems afterwards. But I think that any trauma can cause PTSD syndrome. It all depends how we reacted to it at the time. We also perceive trauma differently. Some things would be traumatic to anybody, but other events would be traumatic to only certain people. Personally I do believe if the first time I witness Graham’s seizures happened in a different circumstances – maybe if I was with someone or maybe if I just read about epilepsy and I’d know from the beginning what was happening OR even if it happened in the hospital at first instance – all would have caused a different response. I can pinpoint in my memories exactly the moment when I felt “the impending doom” and that activated the fight or fright response.

I’m not an expert by any means, but I just think that possibly PTSD is an illness of new century. Of our times. Or maybe it has been there for ages, but people did not admit they suffered. Or maybe the media these days allow people to speak more freely and reach larger numbers of people so it just seem more common.

The problem with mental conditions is that you cannot confirm them as easily as physical ones. Or some of the physical ones. Let’s take diabetes. You perform tests – blood sugar tests and here we go, Voila! we have confirmed condition. And even if you think it’s crazy so many people in our society these days have diabetes – you can’t really argue that’s true. Can you? Because we have tests results. And those results are not subjective. Everyone will interpret them in the same way. And luckily we can tailor the medication to treat that particular problem. Luckily there is an antidote. But diabetes is also an illness of our twenty-first century. The diets changed, food changed, more convenient food, more carbs, more stationary lifestyle.

I don’t think our brains are designed to deal with the twenty-first century problems either. We cannot, unfortunately, just perform a test. As answers would be subjective and so would be interpretation of the test. But still I cannot see how someone who hasn’t got a problem would fabricate the fact they do. To get attention? To get sympathy? I don’t know how the celebrities world work. But I suppose fabricating a problem itself would show that someone has some sort of issues anyway – need of approval etc.

As simply saying it is really not fun to have anxiety or PTSD.

Positivity

I was meant to write last few days actually but it got so busy at work and I become frustrated and very tired. Frustrated about work and politics. I was going to write that I felt so much better. I was thinking about last year, how difficult it all was and how low I felt. It is a horrible place to be.

I don’t think it’s the best method in mental health problems but “it could always be worse”. Also I remember when I was in the middle of last year I was going through all of it, I discussed it with one of my friends and she said “I can get used to anything”. Why can’t I? Flexibility.

So, I feel better. I am doing positive affirmations as much as I can, when I remember and have time. But as soon as I have few things piling up or change of my routine – the anxiety comes back. My daughter isn’t well, I’ve been up most of the night with her. The dark scenarios I saw in my head…. But after imagine the worst, I felt – it’s not bad. What I have now it is NOT bad. As it could always be worse. Maybe if I tried I could get used to anything as well???

My evenings are much better. My nights… not. I have problems falling asleep and then I wake up with any noise. But the falling asleep is difficult. I increased my melatonin to two tablets 2mg. It’s not a big dose at all. But sometimes it helps. I still take sleeping tablets but I try not to rely on then and take them occasionally. It’s sad as sleep was never ever my problem. I could sleep anywhere, anytime – no problems. Fell asleep in 30seconds!!

Maybe it’s just time. Maybe at least I know what I’ve got and I can deal with it – at least it is not worse. But tiredness and change of routine definitely triggers my anxiety so need to remember that. I need to remember that whatever I think in moments like that is NOT prediction of the future.

Sometimes I think life is so much piling up. I have no time to catch up with everything I want. But need to take day by day, moment by moment. Not to overthink, not to go ahead in the future. I am actually coping all right. I’m trying.

To add to it even more, I started diet. I looked at the mirror and thought – enough is enough. It’s only good to say – don’t think of it now, there will be time to lose weight. Well, the time is now. I started swimming lessons so that’s completely new to me 🙂 I try to get going with the law of attraction – good thoughts bring good events. But I also get on with my crocheting. I finished one blanket and the second project is well underway 🙂

So maybe flexibility and change of focus is the answer. Law of attraction, positive affirmation and change of focus. Yes, life is not easy. Yes it’s more than I could think I would have to deal with. But I am strong.

Finished blanket 🙂
Pepper’s favourite!

Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons

The title isn’t really relevant to anything, but I just like it. I decided to become more creating (even more!) and I set up another blog where I’ll be putting my art designs. I don’t want to mix anxiety and creating. Although I suppose they are blending one into another.

I’m still reading (listening ) the book The Worry Trick. I’m intending to go back and listen again and take notes and write them here. But few things which already bring results. Firstly – I think that listening to the book is actually better as it’s almost like sessions with a therapist. Almost.

So I gave up the idea of tick tacs as I’d eat the whole box, that’s how often I had “what if” thoughts. But it has helped me to realise when and how often they appear. The next thing is AHA approach and scheduled time for worrying. Find two minutes each day (best twice a day) and all you do is worry. And repeat the worry out loud, standing in front of a mirror. This is WIERD. It is really really really uncomfortable. I’ve done it once only. But the point is if a worrying thought come up you have an option to tell yourself you’ll think about it at your appointment with worry. As long as you do show up for the appointments. It’s not about dismissing the thoughts.

AHA approach: Acknowledge the thought, Humour it, Activity. So Acknowledge a thought – that your brain is an organ creating thoughts and it is just another thought it your head. A worry thought, an unpleasant thought but it is just a THOUGHT. Not a prediction of future events, not reality. Only a thought. Then you can humour it – you can make a funny song or write a poem. The author suggests limerick or haiku. I’ve tried limericks 🙂 And then resume usual activity – with the thought. Just carry on life as normal. Maybe go for walk? anything you would be doing anyway. The most difficult in this I found – making an effort to worry. As worry is subconscious activity – a bit like occupying your bored brain. But also it’s not pleasant activity so to do it consciously and purposely is a bit weird. But – practice makes perfect. we will see. Below my limericks

Once I had a scary thought
A seizure will happen in a spot
The world will end
My life won't mend
And I'll certainly loose a plot
My tiredness is winning over
And anxiety creeps up stronger
it won't end I feel
It gives me so much thrill
That it will stay here so much longer
Will I sleep tonight she ponders
Sleeping pills make such wonders
But it a straight way
For a long pill-rely
And it can cause life thunders
I'm scared if my worries tonight
will keep me awake at night
I feel so weak
to put up with this shit
Why I can't be simply all right 

New Year

So here we are, completely brand New Year 2019.

I have never liked New Year or any new year resolutions. But I’m optimistic this year. So far 😉 I have made few resolutions. Actually 3 resolutions, two of which are pretty straight forward, while the third one is complicated. And I ‘m going to use this blog to help me achieve the 3rd resolution. Or possibly all of them. Actually I could think of couple more sub-resolutions, but apparently the longer the list is the more difficult to keep up.

  1. Loose weight
  2. Get rid of toxic relationships
  3. work on my anxiety
    1. finish college course
    2. finish all my crafts projects

I think that’s the updated current list of my resolutions. I might have had few others leading to this point but I decided to these. I am going to use this blog to make them happen. I think losing weight unfortunately is pretty straight forward but extremely difficult – eat less, move more.

Getting rid of toxic relationships….. not much more to dwell on either. I wish I could recognise them before they become toxic, that’s all.

ANXIETY though is a huuuuugggeeee subject. I’m so glad I started to write this blog as I can go back to what happen a year ago and kind of step by step follow my way to self-discovery. I never knew I was anxious. When I heard that on one of my therapies it suddenly made sense. I still haven’t been officially diagnosed, but I know that’s what I have – generalised anxiety disorder. And it’s hard to live with it. It is a bit better to live with it knowing what it is. But it is difficult to change your own mindset.

But its always been anxiety. Yes, I have been down and almost depressed. But I overcame that. Anxiety stayed. It is a very very uninvited guest. But I’m going to work on it. I started already but it hasn’t helped hugely. I did my CBT course, which helped but the more time goes on the more difficult it is to actually remember the techniques and it’s easier to slip into old ways of thinking. I tried mindfulness but I haven’t got time for it. I know I should make time but that itself causing anxiety! So, we’ll do it step by step. I made list of all the books I have to help me work on my anxiety. I will list them in a separate post so I can then see how am I doing with progress on reading them. There will be books I just want to read as well. And then I thought I’d make weekly reviews of my week and progress. Some of the books are daily positive quotes and to be fair it is difficult to remember it all, so I think reviewing it weekly and summarising what is the most important will help in progressing.

Side effects

I think whoever considers taking antidepressants should be told at the beginning not only about side effects but also about withdrawal symptoms. If I go back in time and the way I felt in February maybe I would have made the same decision. I don’t know. But I feel awful at present.

I’ve been meaning to write an entry for a long time. I’m not sure if writing this blog does make any sense as nobody is really reading it. It does help though when things get a bit too much of me to unload a bit. It’s a bit sad replacement of a motherly hug and somebody to tell me hey, it’s going to be all right.

I’ve been quite good over the last few months. Not perfect. I still cannot get back to me before the seizures appeared. I feel it was so careless then. It wasn’t at the time. But now it feels it was. I don’t know if my life will ever be again with the fear.

I feel horrible. You could tell that I haven’t written as things were all right. But if this gave me the push to keep writing that’s I suppose one good thing.

I’ve been desperate in February to start antidepressants to help me with the way I felt. As I mentioned before I first took Sertraline and it was horrible. I was suicidal after that. Then I started Venloflaxine and there was a week when I was unable to feel any “extremes”. I didn’t feel sad and I didn’t feel happy. I felt fine. But that wore off pretty soon and after that I felt normal. But I was told by my GP you have to continue to take antidepressants for at least 6 months after you felt better. The thing is that I don’t know if it was antidepressants which made me feel better or the psychotherapy I had? I tend to think it was the psychotherapy. 

I felt all right on the Venloflaxine apart from horrible night sweats at first (it was sorted by reducing the dose). Then libdo is non-existent which was a bit annoying to say the least. And I’ve had a very very VERY vivid dreams. Unfortunately about half of then were nightmares. I dreamt graveyards, my mum dying but I could never attend the funeral. There were many weird dreams, including a tortoise escaping from an aquarium and me chasing it. I dreamt lots of animals. But one time for example I had a dream that me and a group of other people were trapped by a murderer who was playing games with us, setting us tasks and whoever lost was first to be killed. I remember he broke my thumb in the dream and I asked to go to hospital but he replied there was no point as I would die soon anyway. 

So, not nice. I accepted it as a part of the course I suppose. A bit of different thing. I didn’t like the nightmares but it was interesting to be able to remember so many dreams. And then I had my last CBT 3-month review, I’m completely discharged from them by the way) and my therapist suggested that dreams like that do not help with anxiety and maybe I should speak with my GP about it. I think GP have enough to deal with that someone talking about dreams, but I have to say I didn’t think of how bad impact the dreams may have. And then I was thinking more about other things happening, I’ve noticed I was bruising a lot without any apparent reason. So I did call my GP last Wednesday and she told me to reduce my Venloflaxine to one tablet per day for three days and none at the weekend and she would call me back on Monday to discuss another antidepressant. 

Little I knew about withdrawal symptoms :((( horrible horrible thing!! I suppose me working night do not help. As on nights I’m emotional and existential wreck anyway. BUT last night was just horrible. Awful. I had headache and felt lightheaded at the same time. I felt dizzy a bit like vertigo – when the world spins for a short moment. I felt sick. Very sick. And I had brain zaps – I still actually have them. These are strange it’s like an electric shocks going through your brain. Hot flushes. And it comes in waves. So I felt like that then all of the sudden felt fine. And then after an hour or so felt very sick suddenly, brain zaps and lightheaded. And mood swings… felt so low. Not suicidal but so fed up and low with everything. With feeling like that and also thinking that nothing will ever change. As soon as I thought that I felt like crying. Tears were just coming to my eyes. I just felt it was all pointless, I have had enough of the fear of seizures and I do feel that it all will never end. I’ll never feel better. 

But actually I also feel very very upset and angry that this year has been so though and shit really. As it has been. I feel angry that my friend of 7 years just dumped me like that. How could she cross off 7 years of friendship just like that? I know I haven’t written about it here, I’ve tried to be subtle but… what’s the point. People don’t care about you, how you feel. People only care about themselves. She started her text message to me with words “my husband think I should talk to you and I gave it a thought and realised I don’t want to” – that hurt. I didn’t actually read the rest of the message too carefully as it was just a rambling. Just like that – I don’t want to talk to you anymore, goodbye and she had a cheek to “wish us happy future and to look after each other”. I do feel like say F*** Off. Yes, it has kind of resurfaced now because it hurts like hell. When you are accused of not being there for someone (even though I’ve tried my best) but to say it to me, knowing very well that me and Graham have been through hell this year – is just cruel and heartless.  

That actually reminds me of two quotations. My grandma used to say that what you throw behind you, you will find in front of you. Everything comes back, what you give is what you get returned. But also having friends like that you don’t really need enemies. 

So that’s me today. Not a very good come back to the blog but here I am again. 

Perspective

I’ve been reading through the old posts on this blog and trying to correct all spelling mistakes. I don’t think I caught them all. But it definitely showed me how much things changed. It also showed me how negative I am. And also how big progress I made with my anxiety.  Things are actually okay at the moment. Graham still isn’t feeling 100% but towards the end of the tablets he does feel better and better. It will take months after chemo for him to properly be himself again. He has never ever made a fuss about himself and what’s been happening…. sometimes I think he dealt with the chemo much better then he ever dealt with a common flu. But is there anything worse then a man flu??

And yet I’m reluctant to just think everything will be okay. Anxiety has a reason. And my reason is to protect myself from negative emotions. Protect myself from being hurt and exposed to negative feelings. It’s my brain defensive mechanism. Completely similarly to when I was younger and my brother used to say NEVER tell anybody what’s happening at home. So I never talk about the most private feelings. And to put myself completely out there I’m going to post this blog. I don’t expect huge answer. The truth is that’s what is really important for me there is completely non meaningful for everybody else. It’s natural. But I will post the link on Facebook – something I’ve never done in my life. Talk about my real feelings. Not that I lied. But I just avoid talking about my deepest feelings.

Apart from the beginning of the year, when I was so desperate I was telling I was scared to anybody, completely random hoping that they would say something which would sort the situation out. Instantly. Of course it didn’t happen and I was more upset.

I’m definitely calmer. I start to believe that the worst is over. And yet I don’t want to believe it in case it isn’t. Time is the only answer and quite logical would be not to worry about it now as it cannot be changed either way. I think the way to go is to continue watch my thoughts, continue expose myself to uncertainty and continue with my hobbies so I can have moments to switch off.

It’s also good to have a moment to just let the thoughts go freely through your head. My counsellor asked me last week – if I sat down next to Graham for 20min doing nothing, would I think it was waste of time? yes I would. I need to do something. When I watch TV I do my paintings or playing a game. When I have time in the afternoon I sew or catch up with tidying. I never do nothing. I do like to go shopping and have a break to drink coffee but yet I’ve never sat down in the garden with a drink and just let myself BE. Maybe only on holidays. But never in everyday life. And it’s important to let your thoughts and emotions to settle. To feel them, named them acknowledge them and let them fall into right place. Maybe that’s why I feel anxious in the evenings as when I finally switch off and go to bed the process starts then.

It’s ok to like yourself. I’ve been talking about the quilt. I’ve got the idea when Emily was born and kept her favourite baby grows as I could’t part with them. But keeping baby clothes in the loft is pointless. So I thought I’d make a quilt from them so she has a memory of it and they are actually useful again. Unfortunately I never got round to do it and then Aurelia was born and I have to make two quilts like that. It took me 9 years to actually start the quilt. I have started now both and I’m half way through!!! But when I told about it to my counsellor she asked – who is judging me on the time?

Nobody. Just myself. And it’s me who set the rules and yet again I find it so strange that it’s also me who judge myself on them. And cannot change them. Nobody else is doing it to me. I’m my own best friend and worst enemy.

Perspective is really everything!

 

And me

I don’t quite know where I am at present in my mind. Sometimes I do feel trapped in my own thoughts. I thought the counselling was going well. I think overall I feel stronger. It amazes me how long the anxiety takes to reduce… but I suppose I was having it all my life so to change lifetime habits is difficult.

But I had absolutely amazing birthday. I received beautiful gifts but not only material. I decided to believe people when they say nice things to me and they actually said quite a few nice things. On Facebook wishes and also in email messages. When people say nice things about me I tend to deny and not take the credit. I don’t know why I don’t believe or maybe feel embarrassed to believe in it. Maybe because I was told as a child it’s not good to be egoistic and self-centered. I know some people have absolutely no problems in believing in themselves and it’s really great. Despite if we agree with them or not. I tend to think I have bad points maybe because I was always reminded of them in my childhood. So as a birthday day gift for myself I decided to actually believe the compliments.

Anxiety is strange. I’ve noticed my increases when I’m tired. I slept only 3 hours yesterday and I was completely in pieces. I was petrified something bad would happen. I cried because of the disagreement I had with my friends. I felt lonely, scared. I felt nothing good would never happen. I felt that all the bad things will approach me all at once. And then I slept 10.5 hours!!! Yes! and in the morning life was better again. Anxiety is really annoying. As at the time when the thought come they are so real. I need to remember that though are just thought. Emotions are only emotions. They aren’t reality. As Headspace said recently “We are NOT our thoughts. We are NOT our emotions. If we can learn to experience them in this way we are free”.

And I have few things I’m worried at the moment. Cancer. Chemotherapy. Seizures. Finance. Graham’s job. Graham not driving and the impact it has on the family. Children. Friends who sometimes decide to leave. And mum…..

mum has been recently diagnosed with brain tumour. Luckily non-malignant. She just needs to be under observations – every six months have a scan to make sure it doesn’t grow bigger. Mum also has AMD – eye disease and recently she had double vision. It all led to finding out that her neck arteries are blocked and she may need a surgery. She is at a very high risk of a stroke.

I’m worried about her. My relationship with mum have been difficult. As my dad was an alcoholic and wasn’t there really I turned to mum with everything. I did believe we were friends. But now going through my counselling I discovered it was always based on me doing what she wanted. My mum is really a wonderful person – she did and still does love us (me and my brother) and I have no doubts if I was in trouble and had a problem and needed a concrete solution she’d gave me her last clothes or piece of bread to make sure I am safe not her. But in less tragic situations it’s more difficult. Maybe it’s the age gap as she had me when she was 39 or maybe it’s just the way mum is… we have no deep relationship. Mum hasn’t got much common sense and to be honest is completely different that I am. And I have to say sometimes it hurts really badly when I think I don’t have a friend in her and that I can’t relay on her the way a child can relay on a parent. That there is nobody who can hug me and tell me it all would work out ok. Nobody to tell me they are proud of me and that I am strong and doing well. It may come from friends but when a parent say it it’s different. It’s like a hug itself. Its so difficult to explain to people when they ask me if I get on with my mum. Yes I do. But it’s not a deep relationship. I wish there was a mum for me who would cook me dinner, who would bake me a cake just because I like it and it is my favourite. Someone who cares about me and helps by just being there.

But there isn’t. And what I am trying to do is be that mum for my children. I want to be there when they need me and I want to be their friend. I want to be that warm mum they can laugh with and cry to and who is there with slice of cake or warm dinner on the table when they need it. And who has good advice or can be silent when needed.

But hey, that’s what I’m trying to do. And at the moment it’s another evening which I have to distract myself from my anxiety. My quilt is getting there – I’m awaiting some fabric from Ebay as I didn’t want to pay more for faster delivery. It’s UK stock but they can dispatch it within 15 working days…. 😦 I finished one diamond paiting and I got addicted to it. I bought more but most come from Honk kong so I have to wait lol But one arrived so may start on that. And my lovely brother in law got me my favourite game Professor Layton which is exactly what I need now – to concentrate on puzzles rather then keep thinking negatively.

 

About everything and nothing

It’s been interesting week. I got caught up in an anxiety circle from a completely new point. I felt fed up with watching my thoughts constantly, I lost the energy to work on myself, I stop headspace 😦 I just felt I needed a break from it all. I spoke about that on my CBT therapy and realised that my anxiety creeped up on me even here, I just started to do my regular anxiety circle on my work to reduce anxiety!!! it’s so confusing. I have to say it upset me. There will be of course up and downs, it’s not a straight line process.

I had a homework to actually stay up longer then Graham one night and face my fears. I wasn’t staying longer up then him as I was too anxious and preferred to sleep as it would stop me thinking about this…. I didn’t 😦 I didn’t do my homework. What’s more old emotions from things that happened a year ago started to resurface again. I forgot about things as the seizures where my number one. But now I start to come back to the emotions from the past which I haven’t dealt with yet.

Is everybody so emotional?? I think it’s just me. I literally live through emotions and usually guilt. But speaking of which… that seem to improve. I had an incident at work which I would usually react with a strong guilt afterwards. But I didn’t. I asked myself few questions: was I rude? no. Was I personal? no. Do I believe I was right? yes. And I didn’t feel guilty at all. I know that social situation like that would normally knock me down completely, I actually behaved sensible. I’m proud of that 😉 but now just deal with the personal aspects.

I do see the world through negative glasses. It’s been taken up from my childhood I believe. Or maybe even from the general Polish culture. I wonder if there is a process of re-teaching yourself to see more positive (apart from just remembering to do that every day lol). I feel it could be the answer. If you see a positive you think positive.

I’m slightly antisocial last few days. Yes, I’m working nights again and I’m very tired. I just used to never trust people. I don’t think it help me to make new friendships, but at least I was more or less constant. I presume everybody sooner or later would hurt me (as unfortunately that’s what I learnt as a child). But then I met my husband, I met really nice and good and wonderful people, made new friendships. I know that nobody is all good or all bad. We all make mistakes. We all make wrong decisions. And that’s normal, that’s life, that’s learning process. But I have a slight problem when people make wrong decisions which relate to me. Because it hurts. And it doesn’t hurt just one day there and then. It drugs behind you. I think overall I was better not trusting people. That is sad. I can’t just expose myself to being stabbed, I just can’t. It takes me so long to heal thats’ simply not worth it.

I feel a bit lost. I’m not down or actually I’m not as anxious as I used to be. But as I say, dealing with old problems of hurt feelings, then all the Graham health problems and learning new way of thinking – it all drains literally all energy out of me. I just need to find a way out – a way of escape from it all. Sewing is one thing. I used to paint. I used to put music on and paint or draw. I used to draw mainly flowers, but my brother then criticised me and said it was pointless as nobody famous draws only one things. And I stopped. I like being creative though.

So the plan is to get back to do homework from counselling, see more positive in life and it’s time for ME time. What do I want? not everybody else. I need to listen to myself, what actually I do want. What makes me feel comfortable. As I have only one life and it would be silly to live it the way other people want.