Tag Archives: depression

High Pressure BPD – theboywithbpd

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Borderline Personality Disorder and pressure wouldn’t be my first-choice of cocktails, yet here I am having a big old pitcher of the stuff every day.

I’ve been racking my brain on how to write this piece, what’s the best angle? But the only way I can write it, is to make it about me. Not in a showy off way, I’m not that vain, but I admit parts of it will come across so. It’s not really an inspirational piece either, maybe a little, more advisory, a little cautionary perhaps. A tale of two sides.

A brief history lesson into me, I’m 38, I have 3 kids, at the time of writing they are 7, 2 and 7 days old. I have been with Sarah my partner for 10 years this November and I have BPD. I’ve always known there was something ‘different’ with me but I was only diagnosed 6 months ago, mainly because of the little breakdown I had, but that’s another story.

I have been for the first 37 years of my life what you call ‘high-functioning’, meaning from the outside you wouldn’t have clue if I was depressed, suicidal, manic or somewhere in between. I also haven’t told many people of my diagnosis, only 12 to be precise. None of which I work with. I was the master of bottling things up. On one side you could say it’s served me well in my career, on the other you could say it caused my breakdown. Eventually that pressure has to go somewhere right?

For any of you that work in Recruitment you will know how tough it is, for those that don’t, I don’t have the word count to explain, you’ll have to just trust me. I specifically work in Technology Recruitment; it is very sales and target driven. It is also very cut throat, I have worked in places where if you don’t hit target for 3 months you are fired, no ifs or buts. Fired.

Yet somehow here I am 12 years in the job. I also manage 4 teams, I am a Billing Manager, which means not only do I have to hit my own personal sales target, I have to make my teams do also. Combined I am responsible for a target of just over £1m.

That is a big number with a lot of pressure.

I hate it. I fucking hate it.

But let’s start with the good stuff, the showy off stuff. The money is good, I’m not a millionaire, I’m not rich, but good enough that Sarah doesn’t need to work, the kids don’t go without holidays and any new toys they want. I was also able to buy my house with no outside help. We generally do what we want, within reason.

Great right?

Yeah, but it has come at a price. And that price is me. My job is the main cause of my depression, there are not many days that go by where I don’t think about jumping in front of that train. I have lost count of the times I have sat crying in the toilet, or holding back tears as I walk home. Every day I want to cry. Every damn day.

The worst part?

It’s all by my own design, I am held hostage by my own circumstances. I am in a position where I don’t know how much longer I can cope with my job mentally, but I also have the responsibilities that come with it, and the mortgage my job has allowed me to have. It’s not like I can just quit and start again.

I didn’t lie, this piece is not an inspirational one, I suppose you could say I have managed to hold down a well-paid and high-pressure job with my BPD which may inspire others to believe they can do the same. But then you have to take the cautionary side into consideration, the pressure and the damage it has done.

There is a third option, the way that I would like this story to be taken if I had my say. You could, use it as a metaphor for not judging a book by its cover. From the outside I have ‘nothing to be depressed about’, you never can tell what someone is coping with, especially if they don’t want you to.

For the gods of mental health, we are a walking buffet, everyone is up for grabs, BPD and other disorders have no prejudice, we shouldn’t either.

Author Bio: I am theboywithbpd. I was only recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I’ve always known there was something, ever since I was a kid, but it took a breakdown to find out. I am 38 years old and have three kids with my partner Sarah. I am now finally trying to do the things I’ve always wanted to, writing being one of them, you can read my blog here https://www.theboywithbpd.com/

Blogmas – Christmas Giveaway from Koral Dawn!

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Hello my Unsanity readers and friends. This year has had MANY ups down lefts and rights for myself and my loved ones. How did I cope? Through you guys and blogging mostly! Even if it was just networking and working with all of you to get your stories shared and published, you made it all happen. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and for attempting to keep me sane through the rough last half of this year. 2019 is definitely a year I won’t forget, that’s for sure. So let’s go out with a bang!

That being said, The Unsanity and Koral Dawn are doing it’s first ever giveaway for the holiday season!

***YOU MUST ENTER AT THE FOLLOWING LINK: CONTEST***

RULES & GUIDELINES:

  • The Unsanity contest starts December 12th and ends December 20th.
  • You MUST enter at the link above for your entries to count!
  • You must be following me on Twitter – this is a Twitter and blog post contest/giveaway.
  • Comment on this blog post with your favorite coping mechanism for your mental health – Yoga, Reading, Baking, a bath etc. I want to know what helps you!
  • This giveaway is open to the blogging community worldwide. 
  • Winner will receive the following: 1.) a Mindfulness Journal; 2.) Fineliner Pens for Journaling/Coloring; 3.) Let That Sh*t Go Activity Book.
  • Approx value of giveaway is $45, which includes shipping worldwide.
  • Winner will be announced and notified the morning after the contest has ended.
  • Return of items not accepted from winner.
  • Should winner chosen not be following, not have commented or tweeted the content, another winner will be selected at random.
  • Items will be sent out by Monday, December 23rd 2019.

Blogmas – Frugal Winter Date Night Ideas

MERRY BLOGMAS

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Winter is usually full of snow (depending where you live, if you’re in PA like us, it’s FULL of snow and staying in most times) and cold temperatures. With the holidays around the corner, and buying gifts for the family and others in your life, sometimes there’s less money in the budget for enjoying the things you and your significant other like to do to wind down.

Remember, not every thing needs to cost money to enjoy each other’s company, but you also want to be mindful that you need to keep your mental health in check during the stressful holiday season. Winding down with some cheap, easy and fun things to do with your S.O. when you can, will definitely help. What I’ve done is curated a list of 10 cheap and fun date ideas you can do during the cold winter nights.

  1. Play the board games you have! You can make it a fun competition with some sort of prize or where the loser needs to do the laundry for the week or clean the bathroom for a month.
  2. Go sledding. Sledding was the highlight of winter during our childhood, so hit the hills to go sledding again this winter. Sometimes all you need is a little rush to make you feel like a kid again or take away the stress for just a bit.
  3. Decorate your tree together. Either pick out a real tree or set up your fake tree together. Turn on the holiday music and get cozy as you prepare for Christmas the right way! Even putting up for decor outside can help decrease stress.
  4. Make/test cocktails for holiday parties. Google some recipes and put all those bottles that are sitting on your mini bar cart to good use. Test out the recipes and pick the best ones for the upcoming holiday party you’re hosting!
  5. Build a snowman. Get all bundled up and hit the yard to make a snowman or snow angels! Even if it’s only for a half an hour after work one day when you have a bit of time together, it will still bring back some nostalgia to your day.
  6. Go to trivia night. Test out your knowledge while drinking beer and cocktails. It’s a great way to have a competition with your partner and see who can come up as the winner of all!
  7. Make an indoor picnic. Some of you may like the cold and want to picnic outside, but if the temperature is -5 below zero, you may want to think of an alternative! Put a blanket in your living room or on your bed even and make some picnic food and enjoy an afternoon in!
  8. Cook food together. Cooking together can be fun, so long as you can agree on the meal. Once you pick a meal, grab a drink and enjoy each other’s time and learning a new recipe that will hopefully turn out great.
  9. Have a boozy snowball fight. Grab your flask or a bottle of wine to split and conjure up a snowball fight with forts and fight to the death (no, not really!) The more the merrier, see if any local friends want to come over and enjoy the snowball fight too.
  10. Go bowling. This one came to mind because my husband and I love bowling and we usually turn it into a friendly competition. Some alleys have drinks, apps and pizza that you can enjoy or even bowling packages for the winter months. Get out and have fun!

What If It’s Not A Happy Holiday? – Renata Leo

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The holiday season is quickly approaching, which means plenty of parties, family gatherings, holiday specials, and most importantly, pressure to feel happy and have a great time. When you suffer from depression and are constantly at war with your brain, it can be difficult to separate your emotions from how you believe that you’re “supposed” to feel. Every day is a struggle to understand how you really feel and to fight the impulse to force yourself into certain emotions. I can’t tell you how many vacations have been ruined for me because my brain was continually telling me that I should be happy even though I wasn’t, which made me even more miserable.  And there’s no time when societal pressure to feel a certain way is more present than the holidays.

Between all of the tv shows and movies with messages of love and good tidings, cheerful songs extolling all the virtues of humanity and family members talking about how wonderful it is when the family gets together, we are bombarded with the message that we’re supposed to be happy during the holidays. Gifts, love, and free vacation days, who can be upset with that?

The pressure comes from every direction! If you’re hosting a party, it needs to be perfect. If you’re attending a party, you need to be thrilled every minute. And due to this ever-present pressure, tensions at holiday parties can run high. With the hosts and party goers all feeling that everything needs to go perfectly, the smallest mishap can make tensions boil over. Family gatherings are constantly on the edge of contentious catastrophe. For an empathetic person, this atmosphere is really a minefield. Unable to escape this tense vibe, empaths can feel anxious and smothered by the forced merriment. All of this frivolity can be damaging for introverts as well. While interacting with so many new people and attending several parties can already drain an introvert, the added energy used by plastering on a fake smile and pretending to have a great time can be even more exhausting.

Then, there’s the pressure to take care of everyone else. The holidays are supposed to be a time when we think of everyone else instead of ourselves. Escaping from the festivities becomes a selfish and heartless move instead of necessary self-care. You don’t want to be a Grinch, right?  Self-care is an important part of everyday life, though, and it is especially important during the holidays when you are expected to attend to everyone else. You can’t take care of others if you’re too burnt out from neglecting yourself! Self-care is important, especially when dealing with depression, but when everyone around you is proclaiming that you need to be as selfless as possible, self-care seems selfish.

Make sure that you take care of yourself throughout the holidays, without worrying about everyone else. If you need to take a moment away from the festivities, confide in some people who would understand and make your exit. Don’t pressure yourself to feel a certain kind of way. This internal pressure only compounds on a heavy societal pressure to feel jolly and merry. Just let yourself feel. It’s okay if you’re not enjoying the festivities. It’s okay if you still feel sad and empty during the holidays. It’s okay.

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Author Bio: Renata is just an open-minded, overly-sensitive, optimistically cynical feminist millennial whose passions are people and words. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @renataoleo, or at her blog here.

Another Dietary Plan with Antidepressant Implications? – John Caruso

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Another dietary plan with antidepressant implications?

The connections between diet and physical health have long been assumed. While the science exploring this is still in relative infancy, most of us understand the concept of “you are what you eat.”

But is it possible that how we think is also affected by what we eat? Could simple dietary changes give us a boost into more vibrant mental health? Or prevent us from sliding into poor mental health in the first place?

To answer those questions, let’s not make assumptions. Let’s see what the science says.

Published in the October 2009 edition of JAMA Psychiatry (formerly Archives of General Psychiatry), researchers from the University of Navarra set out to determine what impact eating the Mediterranean diet might have on the incidence of depression.

Using a massive sample size of 10,094 participants, researchers measured incidents of depression after a median of 4.4 years, then compared those outcomes with the results of a 136-item food frequency questionnaire to determine any potential correlation between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and clinical depression.

Their results were not insignificant.

They found the Hazard Ratios (probability of depression incidents) to be considerably lower among those who adhered more closely to the Mediterranean diet than those who did not.

The researchers grouped participants into five groups based on their adherence to the diet and compared the risk of depression relative to the group who least closely adhered to the diet. Here is how they performed (from least close to closest adherence).

Group 1:               Least adherence to Mediterranean diet

Group 2:               26% reduction in risk

Group 3:               34% reduction in risk

Group 4:               51% reduction in risk

Group 5:               42% reduction in risk

The closer participants adhered to the diet, the greater the reduction in risk. Curiously, the group with the closest adherence bucked the trend and experienced a slight uptick compared to the group just behind them, but the reduction in risk of 42 percent is still quite significant.

So we should all just adopt the Mediterranean diet then, right?

Not so fast!

While these results are extremely encouraging, we need to take a closer look at them, as well as other studies to see what they mean to us.

First of all, the results of this study need to be replicated to find out if there is consistency. And while adherence to the diet as a whole may have shown lowered risk, risk was not eliminated entirely. Also, some foods showed increased risk when evaluated independently.

For example, while fruits and nuts showed decreased risk of between 31 percent toward the lower end of consumption and 39 percent on the upper end, meat products showed a decreased risk of 8 percent on the lower end and an increased risk of 35 percent on the upper end.

So, does that mean that some meat is beneficial while a lot of meat is detrimental? And some fruits and nuts are beneficial while a lot of fruits and nuts are very beneficial?

Perhaps. But this is why further studies are needed. Can these foods be studied in a vacuum, or do they work synergistically with one another when in proper balance?

This is precisely the reason to take these results with a nice grain of Mediterranean Sea salt.

What is our takeaway then?

When you look at the results of this study and add them to the results of others that have shown similar findings, such as this one about the DASH diet, this one about turmeric, and even this one about saffron, you can start to see a common thread begin to emerge.

We are seeing more and more evidence that some of these whole foods-based, nutrient-rich diets may offer more than just benefits to our physical health. They may offer a profound impact on our mental health as well.

Much more research is needed to confirm these findings and to discover what mechanisms within these diets may be responsible for their potential benefits. But in the meantime, they give us a great head start in chasing down some answers.

(And when you chase them down, always chase them down in consultation with your physician!)

Reference: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/210386

The statements contained in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Unless otherwise specified, no writer for PursuitOfGreat.com is a licensed physician, medical doctor, trainer, nutritionist or health professional of any kind. Do not consume anything written about on this website if you are allergic to it.

The opinions expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Please consult a physician or health care professional for your specific health care or medical needs.

Please talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or diet program, including those found in this article. The information provided in this article is not intended as a substitute for consultations with your doctor nor is it intended to provide medical advice specific to your condition.

Author Bio John Caruso is the owner and writer of www.PursuitOfGreat.com, a site specializing in health and wellness reviews, positive mindset, belief, finances, and solutions that provide an equal playing field in life for all. The goal of PursuitOfGreat.com is to find and share tools that anyone can use to achieve greatness in life, regardless of who they are or where they come from. Stop by and, if you find something that helps you, spread the word! Twitter Pinterest

Christmas Traditions – Lexie Wohler

Christmas Traditions

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Christmas time is a time of celebration. It is a time to get together with family and friends. It’s a time to remember how blessed you are to have had another year of life. It is also the time to start buying gifts for your family and friends. Christmas light will be starting to pop up on your street and all around your neighborhood. There will be hordes of people trying to buy just the right gifts for their loved ones.

You’ll start hearing Christmas music. Do you start listening to Christmas songs in early November or do you wait until December? I normally wait until after December first to start listening to Christmas music. What’s your favorite Christmas song? One of my favorites is “On This Very Christmas Night” by the Tran Siberian Orchestra.

What are some of the traditions that you and your family celebrate during the holiday season? Do you go caroling with a group of friends or people from your church? Do you go help care for the homeless, or bring clothes to those who are less fortunate?  My family and I often go see Christmas lights around our city and then go see Christmas lights and decorations downtown. My dad often puts up our Christmas tree and the Christmas lights over the few warmer days that we get in late November, or early December.

My mom starts decorating the house in early December. Our praise team starts singing Christmas songs at church in late November, when we start preparing for Advent.  We lead worship at the 5p.m. service on Christmas Eve. Normally, the church is filled with over 200 people on Christmas Eve.

Some of my other Christmas traditions include listening to “The Time, Life and Treasury of Christmas” and “The Child of The Promise” CDs.

We also go to my grandmas on Christmas morning to open presents. Going over to her house was and is one of my all-time favorite traditions. We normally rotate who hosts Christmas every year. Sometimes we end up hosting it at our house two to three years in a row. Who hosts Christmas every year in your family?

The most important part of Christmas is celebrating Jesus’ birth. We get so busy with the rush of the holiday that we forget to focus on Him. We get so caught up in buying gifts and getting our house ready for Christmas that Jesus is often overlooked as the reason for the season.

Jesus’ birth paved the way for everyone who believes in Him to be saved and eventually go to Heaven. Unfortunately, the world thinks it’s all about the gifts and the decorations, when it’s all about focusing on how important Jesus is in all of our lives.  As much fun as it is decorating our homes and spending time with our loved ones, let us never forget the true reason for every Christmas season.

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Lexie Wohler is a repeat guest blogger with The Unsanity and you can find some of her previous posts here, along with her author bio and social media links.

I’m Fine – How Often Do We Mean It? – Ami Ireland

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This next guest spot is from a dear friend of mine I had the pleasure of meeting online this year and working with. In continuing to work with her, I got to know her more and more each day, learning about her disability and what life likes for her. If you havent read any of her blog yet, please head over to Undercover Superhero and take a look around. I promise you’ll find something that intrigues you. 

The phrase “I’m fine” is one of the most popular answers to respond with when asked about how we are feeling. But do we actually mean it? If no, then why do we use the phrase as a default response?

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A recent poll I conducted on Twitter shows that out of 108 people, who took part in the poll, 52% of them use the phrase and mean it between 0% to 25% of the time. There are so many reasons as to why that is:

It’s Easier To Hide How We Really Feel

I’m sure that many of you will agree that we often feel like a burden when we open up and feel anxious about the other person thinking or saying “What have you got to be down about?”, “Things could be worse” or something similar. There is still so much stigma around mental health which also causes us not to express how we are truly feeling. The lack of understanding and empathy towards one another is something that I, personally, think that is the main issue with regards to replying with “I’m fine” as there are some people who just do not or choose to not understand mental health.

Convenience

“I’m fine” is definitely a lot easier and quicker to say rather then going into detail about how we actually feel. Then again, this can coincide with the fear of how others react to when we open up. Also, it could just be convenient to say if you were to quickly acknowledge a passer-by in the street or something.

Repetition

If like me, you have a variety of conditions, it can get pretty exhausting repeating ourselves to different people. As a result, this is where convenience ties in making the phrase an easier and quicker response.

Fear

The fear of causing others around us to worry. It could possibly be due to the fear of finding out who our true friends are and how supportive they are.

27% Of People Use The Phrase and Mean It Between 25% > 50% Of The Time & 19% Of People Mean It Between 50% > 75% Of The Time

This is interesting. As you can see, the less of the amount of people who use the phrase, the more of the chance they actually mean it. Personally, I think this is because people are in the process of realising who understands mental health and those that choose to ignore it.

Is It A Test Or Cry For Help?

Do we reply with “I’m fine” to test others? This could explain the process of finding out who truly care about how we feel. On the other hand, it could be a cry for help, which will also let us find out who care enough to be supportive.

3% Of People Use The Phrase and Mean It Between 75% > 100% Of The Time

I’ve been thinking long and hard about why only 3% mean it between 75% and 100% of the time. Here are my thoughts:

Trust

The person has surrounded themselves with those who are supportive and understanding which enables them to open up rather than just saying “I’m fine”.

Honesty

I think the person is comfortable with being honest, regardless of the situation or outcome, therefore they are completely honest with each person they come across. Or the person does actually feel fine.

Do you use the phrase as an automatic reply? Or do you truly mean it?

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Author bio: Ami is a disability Blogger who writes about her recovery and talks openly about living with multiple disabilities. Her blog, UndercoverSuperhero is a place where she attempts to look at life more positively. Ami has a passion for volunteering and a strong love for superheroes. She aims to raise awareness of disabilities, illnesses, mental health illnesses, etc and has an ongoing series called “The Reality of…” which enables fellow bloggers and readers to raise awareness of the conditions they live with. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Ohio’s Beauty in the Fall – Lexie Wohler

Have you ever seen the colors of fall? The leaves changing to different colors are some of the most incredible things to see. There is nothing quite like taking a drive and seeing the colors blend beautifully together. Instead of seeing just green on the trees, you get to see bright red, orange and yellow. We often take the fall weather and the fall beauty for granted because we have lived here for so long.

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We don’t always see the beauty for what it is, until someone else mentions it to us. We often hear the comments of, “What a beautiful fall we are having”, and “it’s nice that we get to see the change of seasons unlike other places.”

Some of my family members come up to Ohio just to see what fall looks like for us. Many of my relatives don’t get to experience the serenity of fall because of where they live. They are in awe of the changing colors and the different atmosphere they feel when they come to Ohio in the fall.

Most of the time, the leaves start changing color in the middle to late September and they continue falling until after thanksgiving in November. When the leaves start dropping, you can see clear across the valley that we have in our backyard. The smell of fall is something very different, too. You can tell that fall has come when the air has a crisp clean sent to it and you feel the colder air in your lungs when you take deep breaths.

It is so refreshing to walk outside on a crisp clear day. It is one of the ways I enjoy fall. I take walks and photograph the changing colors of the leaves and the beauty all around me.  I hear the leaves crunching under your feet as you walk. Have you ever walked outside and smelled the air after a thunderstorm? Well multiply that clean smell by 10 times and add the rustling of the leaves all around you and you just know fall has come.

Sometimes the fall can be fairly warm for our Indian Summer as we call it, in the 60s and 70s. Whereas some other years, the temps can drop to the 50s pretty quickly. The temperatures are some of my favorite aspects about fall. They are often just perfect enough for me to break out some of my favorite sweatshirts and some of my favorite sweatpants. There is nothing like sitting around a warm campfire, drinking warm cider as the temperature drops to the 50s in the evening and into the night.

Some of the fun things you can do include going on nature hikes in some of the area’s finest Metroparks systems. The truth is, you never know what kind of animals you’ll see, from possums to beavers to deer and sometimes even wolves and coyotes. My family often jokes that we have the Disney movie Bambi, right in our backyard with all the woodland creatures around us.

Some other fun things to do include going camping and sitting by campfires and raking a huge pile of leaves just to jump in them and have them spread all over your yard. Fall gives you more wonder to gaze at than you ever thought possible.

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Come experience fall in Ohio if you’ve never been here before. You will not be disappointed.

As the catchphrase goes for Ohio, whatever you’re looking for, you can always find it here.

*Lexie is a repeat guest blogger for The Unsanity and you can find her bio and previous posts here.

I Am A Warrior – Dannii

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I’m a warrior against anxiety and depression. This is my story.

I was twenty-six when I had my daughter Mia. I lived with my boyfriend at the time in a one-bed house and we’d only been together about a year. We hadn’t necessarily planned to have a baby. I was scared but believed everything would be ok. My pregnancy was good with no problems and very easy. I had to be induced because I was twelve days overdue but I had a fairly straightforward labour. I fell in love with Mia the second I saw her. She was perfect. But I was terrified.  All of a sudden I was a mother. I was responsible for every decision, every choice for my little girl. Everything I did would shape and mould who she’d become. Very quickly I learnt how scary, beautiful, frightening, wonderful, terrifying, emotional, nerve racking, blissful, stressful, rewarding and amazing motherhood was. You go on this emotional, mental and physical, rollercoaster ride and it blows you away. Some days are tough; other days are tougher. Some days are testing, emotional and stressful. Other days are perfect and you feel more joy, love, contentment and happiness than you’d ever known was possible.

I didn’t know until much later that I had post-natal depression and anxiety. I’d previously suffered with depression as a teenager and young adult but had counselling for that and I never associated it with this. I felt different. So I didn’t believe I had post-natal depression until later. I had terrifying thoughts, dreams, and my mind played tricks on me all the time. Most days I’d cry for no reason and couldn’t understand what was wrong. My boyfriend asked all the time if I was okay, and I’d just say there was nothing wrong and that I was fine. I’d get angry with him asking me all the time because I thought I was fine but secretly knew something had to be wrong—I just couldn’t explain it or pinpoint it.  Also, I just didn’t want to admit that I was struggling in case he thought I was a useless mother. I wanted to control everything and do everything myself, even though deep down I did want help with things, but I wanted things done a certain way. I just wanted to be able to manage everything on my own because other mothers seemed to do fine and my boyfriend worked so hard; I just wanted to cope with it all. I dreaded going out and leaving the house but at the same time, I was desperate to get out, although I was just too scared. Breastfeeding didn’t come easily to me and after six or seven weeks I admitted defeat, switched to bottle feeding and felt like I’d failed. Mia wasn’t a great sleeper and I was exhausted. Her dad worked long hours on his feet all day so I wanted to do as much of the night feeds as possible, but sometimes I just needed rest. It really took its toll. I turned into someone else; I’d lost who I was. I had no self-esteem, I hated how I looked and how I felt, I lost my self-worth and self-belief and doubted everything, doubted myself. I was a nervous wreck but did everything to hide it. In hindsight, I should have got help but I didn’t because I was terrified that people would think I was an unfit mother and take my daughter away from me. I hid my feelings; I never spoke to anyone about anything that I thought or felt. I was trapped in the madness of my own mind.Inside it was eating me up and I was screaming from within.

On top of all of this, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and undergoing chemotherapy when Mia was still a baby,. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, my Gran and Grandad (Dad’s parents) both passed away within months. Although Dad made an amazing recovery from the cancer, it had all been too much and he turned to excessive alcohol consumption. Sadly he began to deteriorate drastically so I had to deal with that and trying to help keep his business going whilst he was so unwell and unfit to cope. I’d get calls at all times of the day and night from the staff or people who knew my dad at the pub, telling me he had fallen down the cellar or down the stairs. Times when they couldn’t wake him—the list goes on. I had time off work to keep rushing over to check on him. Eventually he ended up in hospital and I was backwards and forwards visiting him. I was at breaking point and I just crumbled. I couldn’t cope. I remember several times just getting in my car and driving somewhere, parking up and just sitting there and crying. I cried so much my eyes burned with the tears, my heart pounded so hard in my chest, I felt like I literally couldn’t breathe quick enough. I felt so sick and so empty.  I used to think what if I just disappeared, what if I could just fly away from it all, like a bird. How could I possibly be a good mother to Mia like this? I’d failed her. I felt useless. I used to imagine just floating, drifting away, almost like imagining an out-of-body experience. Sometimes I’d lie down in a field or on the bonnet of my car and just look up at the sky, the clouds, the stars and just wish to be up there. It sounds ridiculous now, but I felt so defeated.  I did this on several occasions, just sat there by myself.

Nobody knew.

The emotional pain and torment I was facing and tried so hard to hide just completely overpowered me. It was unbearable. My relationship broke down and I knew we couldn’t carry on for Mia’s sake. I didn’t want to risk our friendship and I knew we both deserved more than what our situation had become.

To this day, even writing this, I cannot begin to explain all the emotions and feelings that were searing though me for all that time. I was angry, desperate, frustrated, frightened, lonely, scared, deflated and just totally drained with everything.  Above all, I was so bitterly sad and upset. Something had to change. I couldn’t live like this. I still had to be a mummy. I had to rise above it all and get my inner strength back. I had to find myself again. I had to get ME back. I just wished I had addressed my anxiety and depression sooner. I was so tormented by my inner demons for so long. I want to stress that if anyone reading this feels the same or has been in a similar situation that you are not alone.

It shouldn’t be something to be ashamed about or be hidden or brushed under the carpet. For years I’ve had it and didn’t realise. I thought I was going mad and thought there was something wrong with me. I couldn’t love myself, let alone anyone else. Anxiety can strike at any time. You’re never really free of it but it’s about how you re-wire your mind and your way of thinking. Mind-set is key. It’s about keeping active but also taking time for you, to relax and rest when you need it. Although my anxiety has been so much better lately, I’ll always feel like ‘it’s in the mail’—on its way to me. Anyone who has anxiety and/or depression will know exactly what I mean by that. Anyone who has this, or thinks they do, are not alone. You don’t need to suffer in silence or feel alone.

Every day I try to be the best I can be, always worry and always just want to be all I can for Mia and my family. But sometimes I can’t be super-woman; sometimes I do feel weak. Sometimes I do question everything. It’s the not wanting to face the day or let anyone see, to just want to hide away, but then it’s the million-and-one things that my mind does going through all the consequences if I didn’t. It’s the constant over-thinking and over-analysing everything. It’s the stupid thoughts that you don’t want that frighten you but you can’t stop them in your head. It’s a constant battle. It’s the wanting to still go out and have fun to see friends but not wanting to leave the house. It’s the wanting to be alone but not wanting to be on my own. It’s the not being able to explain it or make anyone understand. It’s sometimes not being able to say a word but wanting to say so much. It’s feeling so utterly alone even though you’re surrounded by loving, supporting people. It’s about just needing a hug. No words.

Sometimes I do break down and it does take over me. But it won’t beat me. I know I’m stronger, now more than ever. I know a bad day is just one bad day in amongst a million good ones. I know my strength is within me and I’m a fighter. There are so many people in my life who inspire me in so many ways and help me with positivity and motivation every day. The key for me is having a routine, staying focused on the good things, doing things you love, keeping your mind filled with positivity and mind-set activities. Eat healthy, exercise and try to get out as much as you can to just breathe, take in your surroundings—even if it’s just for ten minutes, even if it’s the last thing you want to do sometimes—it really does help.

I know I’m probably not easy to live with or be around sometimes, but I still like to think I’m outgoing and fun a lot of the time. Again, just the many issues of having an active personality but an anxious mind. The people I love—Gary, my husband, my amazing family and friends, but most importantly my gorgeous little girl whom everything I do is for—are more precious than I could ever say. I wouldn’t be anything without them; they are my medicine and they fix me when I feel broken. But there are so many people and organisations like Mind who can help.

The fight continues. It’s okay not to be okay.

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About the Author: I’m Dannii, I’m a full time working mum to my daughter Mia, wife to Gary and we live in Bucks with our little sausage dog Ralph. I’m on a mission to use my passion for writing to reach out, help and support other mums, women, parents and anyone in general really, who reads my blogs and can get something valuable from it. My life and motherhood experiences in their real, open and honest form. This is me, the good, the bad, the ugly, but more importantly keeping it real and from the heart. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram.

Dear Anxiety – Jess Ling

People who know me may know that I am suffering from anxiety. But in fact, I don’t just suffer from anxiety, I have other psychological problems. I’ve never said to anyone else. Not because I am afraid, I just feel that there is no need to make things serious. Therefore, even if I know that I am living in anxiety, I will still choose a happy way to face it.

Maybe I was thinking that I could fix it and think that this is a small matter. When I started to want to deal with it, things have slowly accumulated, and I realized that I have never dealt with it. When I was a child, I lived in an ordinary family. My parents are easily upset and easily get angry, and when we were children, my family had been arguing all the time and fighting.

I remember that one day I saw my parents pick up the knife. My mother was very angry and wanted to die. My father left when I was only 7 years old, I didn’t know anything happened and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I know that this had been going on for many years, but I have never forgotten it. (I also know that this reason makes me unable to believe in human beings, belief in feelings, I think only myself is the most reliable. So this is also now everyone knows why I have never been good at discussing my relationship problems.)

Jess Ling - Anxiety

Of course, due to emotional problems, my parents Sometimes we will whip us because of venting. So you asked me which time was the saddest, I think I have passed. In the process of growing up, I didn’t have a day to be happy, at home, or at school. Many times I chose to be alone, eat alone, watch movies alone, and just want to do anything by myself.

I think anxiety is hard to explain because it can be different in a minute. I can still talk happily at this second, but I don’t know what will happen in the next second. This feeling may be a bit disturbing, but in fact, if you understand anxiety. Every day I still face anxiety; life is so embarrassing, but I still have to try, and I have been working hard on this. Sometimes, the most important thing to fight against anxiety is to keep positive thoughts, because many times I will be defeated by these negative emotions.

But please tell yourself that if you fail today is not important, we will come again tomorrow. Sometimes these days are repeated. I have been reminded many times how brave I have been these past years. Now, I have learned how to put down and face these things. I know it sounds terrible, I have to face so many things myself. But I think I just learn from these things, and when others encounter the same events, I can share and encourage.

Anxiety disorders are not terrible, don’t be afraid to be repelled. I believe that many friends in the world still dare not express or face their own anxiety. Please believe me, you are not alone. Because I live like this too. Today, I will share my past, not to make you feel how pitiful I am, I just want to help more people out of the woods. The messages I see every day are anxiety, depression, and how many people are taken away. This world should not be like this, so we must help each other.

Remember no matter what mental health, the best help if you need an audience, I will always be here.

Author Bio: Hi I am Jess (From Jerserry.com) a 20 something living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A dog person and love to write about lifestyle, travel,food and more. I start my blog since May 2017, trying to be a full-time blogger and I love to write all the time, I also found out is a great place to meeting so many amazing people from all around the world through the blog. Here is a little story about me: I’m shy & weird, I don’t talk much, but I love to meet new friends. When I was in high school, I didn’t have many friends, so I always spent time alone and wrote my diary book until I got my first computer. I started to make a blog and start my blogger life (when I was 15) but if you have seen my post before about “A post about why I started blogging” you will know that I have changed few blog address before. This one will be stick with me forever and let me continue my journey! Let Be Friends!

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