One word, so much pressure?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks a lot of pressure surrounds the word, should..
But seriously how can one word add so much pressure to every day life?
I think when we leave school the word should has so much more pressure on us..
Whether it is just because we are more aware of it, who knows?!
 
The word should really makes me think that life actually goes according to a plan,
believe you me not one single persons life goes to plan.
Yes, people might make plans but how often can they say that the life plan they created went right & ended exactly how they planned/thought it would?..
 
I think so many people make remarks involving the word should without actually thinking how much it might affect the person they are speaking to or making the remark about.
 
I have heard the word so much it doesn't make things any easier, trust me.
I'm going to list a few examples..
 
- You should be happy.
- You should be out with your friends.
- You should be in full time work.
- You should be out enjoying yourself.
- You should be care free.
- You should be learning to drive.
- You're so young, you should be fine.
 
If any of you reading this feels the word should puts so much pressure on you to live your life a certain way feel free to leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you!
 
Like always I love browsing through weheartit
& I found a quote which does fit in to the subject..
 
Image found on weheartit
In a way I think this quote completely fits in with the whole should situation.
Basically the point I'm making is that not only should we just say
 what we think & want to say, not say what we think we should say.
But we should also do exactly what we want to do in our lives,
not what we think we should be doing...
 
Let's be honest, does life come with a manual on how everything should happen?..
 
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it!
 
- Anna
 
 
 
 


I wish I knew then what I know now..

Image found on weheartit
Of course we would all love to go back in time &
change things based on what we actually know now..
Unfortunately that can't happen so I thought I'd do a post about it
& maybe change other peoples thoughts about life maybe, I don't know..
 
- People will come & go out of your life.. I believe those who are meant to stay & be a part of your life will make every effort to make sure they do stay. Others clearly won't & that is their loss. Don't loose sleep about it or shed any tears, just focus on those who are still with you.
 
- Be true to yourself.. Don't feel you have to blend in with the crowd & do what everyone else is doing. We were all born to be unique & different so maybe we should keep it that way.
 
- Mums really do know best.. Let's be honest, if you are in your teens now you will be reading this & thinking, yeah right..as if my mum does know best, she's just trying to ruin my life.. trust me, you will soon realise how right this point is, we have all been there & thought it I'm sure.. If you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s...whatever age you will know exactly how true this is.
 
- There will always be someone worse of than you.. No matter what situation you are in I always think there is someone, somewhere in the world in a worse situation than you. Obviously it won't feel like it, that is normal. Without a doubt they would swap places with you in a flash.

Thank you for reading this post, hope you enjoyed it!
  
- Anna
 


The 30 Day Snap..

Image from Louise aka Sprinkle Of Glitter's blog

 
I came across the 30 day snap challenge on Louise's blog aka Sprinkle Of Glitter.
I automatically thought what a fantastic idea.
Basically all those involved have to do is take one photo every day for the whole month of June...pretty simple hey..
So why not join in?
For a little bit more info head on over to Louise's blog..

by clicking here
 
- Anna

Remember to look after yourself too..

 
In life there will be various times when you have to help, look after & care for other people.
They could be affected in different ways, for example it might be their health & they could become unable to do their usual tasks during the day.

Hopefully we have all been brought into this world & been cared for properly.
Our parents bring us into this world, bring us up, love us, protect & care for us, put food in our tummies, provide clean clothes for us to wear, a nice warm bed to sleep in at night...the list goes on really!
At some point or other the roles are switched & we have to care for them..

But remember you also have to look after yourself too!

Here are a few of my tips on how to look after yourself whilst also looking after someone else.

- Get outdoors .. Usually if you are caring for someone you will probably be stuck indoors the majority of the time. So make sure you try & get yourself both outside & get some fresh air.

- Relax, remain calm & breathe .. It can get stressful so when it does all build up, just go to one side & concentrate on your breathing. Inhaling for 7 seconds, exhaling for 11 seconds is a good technique I use & calms me down.

- Don't forget to have some you time .. It can be anything from having a nice bubble bath, listening to your favourite album, doing some crafts, reading your favourite magazine/newspaper, popping to the shops, popping round to a friends house, having a phone call with a family member or a friend, whatever you enjoy doing to relax.


- Anna






Guest Blogger - Nicola ♥

Once again I have taken to my friends I have made through anxiety & asked them if they fancied doing a blog post & this time it is Nicola's turn. I met Nicola through an old friend & we speak on the phone once a week. Nicola doesn't have a blog so I thought it would be a good way for her to speak out & just basically get out everything she wants to say..
So here goes...
 
"Get a grip."
"You're pathetic, you are so childish!"

"Just go out and get over it."
"You really are annoying."

These are just a few things that have been said to me over the years, 2 were family members, 1 was a school peer and another was from a friend, who I have never fully forgiven. It really makes me wonder how people can even question why mental health issues are seen in such a bad light, well this is why! It's the people bad mouthing them that have no idea.

There are three sides, in my opinion, to the ignorance of non sufferers.
1: Those who have someone close who suffers and they are in denial that the person can have such issues that they don't accept what they see before them.
2: Those who genuinely know very little of the situation and therefore play dumb to it (as with other areas in life, like tax, or bills, you're oblivious until it hits you in the face). 
3: The just plain ignorant a**holes that don't give a monkey's about anyone but their own happiness. Yes, I know a LOT of these people.

I've not really got many people I can go to with my problems, in fact, I can probably count them on one hand- Anna being one of them!
 This makes things a lot harder, especially on those days you just want to crawl into a hole and sleep.  Some of my relationships have been improved because of my problems, whilst others have helped me see the real friends from those who are willing to leave without saying goodbye.
 Not a lot of this may make sense, I'm having a tired day, but I think that having certain issues (not just mental health issues) opens our eyes more than others.
Take two examples: 1) My mum and I have been a lot closer since I had a breakdown in front of her. 2) My friendship with a boy I used to think of as my rock has turned to one full of hatred and anger, when he completely dismissed me for his girlfriend. Ok, so the second one may sound like I'm jealous, but I'm not. I would never have classed him as a boyfriend, I would have classed him as my brother, he was with me through thick and thin and often held me until the crying stopped. I went to him and told him I wanted it all to end and to go away. So when his new girlfriend decided she didn't like me, for whatever reason, and he walked straight past me in the car park, stopped talking to me, stopped checking up on me, I knew I'd lost him. We went from talking and hugging everyday to...never. We didn't even get a chance to say goodbye.

So that's why support from other people is so important to me now, and why it takes a lot longer for me to trust. How do people expect us to help ourselves if they aren't willing to do so. I often give advice, support and help to other sufferers, because I don't want them to feel the way I did, and still do sometimes. I just wished more people saw that, that all of these people need someone to understand, because when there is understanding, then you can begin to move forward.

Living with an anxiety disorder that often leaves me housebound is pretty hard to understand, I get that. It's always hard to explain exactly what I'm afraid of because, in truth, I don't know anymore. Over time I've lost what it was that I was afraid of. The fundamental basics of my issue is embarrassing myself in public and being judged negatively by those around me; so this includes things like being ill, fainting, tripping over, along with other rarer events. I'm always in a constant battle with myself, on the one hand, I know what I'm worried about is ridiculous and likely not to happen (and even if it did, it wouldn't be the end of the world), and on the other, I'm still so scared and over think any possible outcome.

I have had social anxiety disorder (along with all the other issues and phobias that come with it) since I was 7 years old. It began with me getting so excited about going somewhere I would make myself sick, which then turned into worry that going somewhere would then result in me being sick. Over time, to cut a long story short, I became so fearful of going anywhere and potentially being ill, that I stopped leaving the house completely, save for school and family visits.
 I am now 19.  And it isn't just me, there are so many people out there who suffer just as I do, and a lot of other types of mental health issues, and I have so much love and respect for them, to all of you.

You do not choose to have mental health issues, you cannot just 'get over them' and you sometimes have less freedom than people with other forms of disabilities. Being out in public with me, during a panic attack, and telling me 'not to be so ridiculous' is not the way to calm me down, if anything you will only make me worse.
 Don't treat us like babies either, we don't want to be coddled.
 Yes, give us support, ask us how we are occasionally, but please don't check up on us every 5 minutes. Just accommodate for us. Like my mum the other day, where we were helping at a local event and she knew I would not eat the buffet in the main room, so she took me into the back so I would get some food down me.

I always hate having to write 'mental health issues', 'problems' and 'issues', it always makes them sound so negative, which I suppose they are, but there just isn't an easier way to name them.
 I suppose that's what always surrounds this topic, negativity, and however much positivity we throw at it, it only masks the bad for so long.

I'll end with one of my favourite quotes, not an uplifting one sadly, but one that I'm sure many of us can relate to. From Perks of Being A Wallflower.
 


Why do I blog?

Some people who may come across someone's blog about health related issues will probably be like "oh they are just doing it for the sympathy vote", "oh they just want people to feel sorry for them"..(I'm well aware they are similar things,nevermind!) But I'm sure nobody blogs for those reasons. I know for a fact that I don't & others I know don't either. We blog to help others, to make them feel less alone & scared in their current situation.
 
I blog about my experiences with mental health & try to give advice & support to others, whilst still giving everything a bit of a positive spin on it..After all positive minds, live positive lives.
I'm helping to break down the stigma that surrounds mental health aswell, let's be honest..it's okay to talk about mental health.
The sooner we all realise that the better, so why not start the conversation today?..
 
Since starting my blog a couple of months ago I have received such lovely & positive comments. I thought I'd include a few in this post that I have received via twitter..
I favourite them, that is why I have found them all, just so you know..
 
- "Just thought you should know - you have a wonderful blog! "
 
- " I love all of your posts! #numberonefan x "
 
- " You should be really proud of yourself for getting your blog out there!! Really enjoy your little bits of advice x "
 
- " Your blog is so inspiring! all the best for your recovery <3 "
 
- " Love your blog, your one brave beautiful girl xx "
 
- " Your blog is a great read. Keep strong - you seem to be doing so well xx "
 
- " Love your blog!! Keep me up to date with it yeah you brave amazing girl! :-) xxxx"
 
Seeing all the comments reminds me exactly why I am doing it..To make people feel less alone/scared, share advice &  support!
 
This was a very little blog post today just to basically give the simplest reason as to why I blog..
 
- Anna ♥
 
Image found on weheartit
 

Always a way!

In life when we come across a mountain to climb, a hurdle to jump, a challenge to complete, a puzzle to solve or an enemy to defeat.
Always remember there will be a way to solve the problem/situation at hand.
Sometimes we just need to remain calm & take a step back to be able to fully analyse the situation.
 Since no two people are exactly the same, not everything will work for us all.
It really is a case of trial & error to eliminate the ways that don't work for us.
When I went to my initial assessment appointment this week I was thinking I was going to be told I was going to have to go through the same procedure as last time..turns out CBT is actually broken into sections. The cognitive side, which is the thoughts side & then the behavioural side, which is obviously our behaviour. Last time I had the behavioural side which I didn't feel was long enough treatment time, turns out that is just short anyway. But this time round I'm having the cognitive treatment, which turns out is a lengthy procedure..which will hopefully have a lasting effect.
So to you who are reading this & feel close to giving up & loosing hope, please don't.
Keep on fighting, if one way isn't working for you try a different way.
If you feel like your just bothering your doctor & wasting their time..think again.
They are there to help & support you.
If you don't tell them your finding something difficult how will they find out otherwise?
If you don't feel you're getting the support from your doctor/therapist/counsellor don't be afraid to swap..your life is important & we all deserve the right to live!
 Keep positive guys, things will get better!
- Anna ♥
Also, remember....
Image found on weheartit

If at first you don't succeed..

Try,try,try again! Life isn't meant to be easy, you & I both know that but I'm sure we all do question how much more we can take..When we've tried so many different techniques, medication with our mental health related troubles.
Don't worry you are not alone! It is completely normal to question how much more you can take of feeling like you're getting nowhere, but I believe life is worth fighting for! I'm sure I'm not the only one who has hoped to find a magic spell to cure mental health..
Just imagine if we could actually have a magic spell to cure all illnesses, that would be incredible!
 
 My point of this post is to never give up,ever! In your darkest times just always remember things will get better.. I go by the quote..
"Everyone wants happiness, nobody wants rain but you can't have a rainbow without a little rain."
 
So when the dark days have cleared don't sit about worrying that they will soon return, just focus on the here & now.
 Enjoy the good days with the good people in your life whilst you can!
Then when you're having a really dark day, try & think back about all of those happy memories & think about creating some more!
 
During anything in life there is going to be times when you are going to get knocked down or knocked back a few steps, but the most important part of this is that you get back up & try again!
Tomorrow I am going for an initial appointment at my doctor's surgery to be put back onto the service that deals with different anxieties, phobias, depression, obsessions, all sorts mental health related. I have already tried this around this time last year actually, but I felt it didn't do anything for me because I felt I was already doing everything right.
Maybe I was just being stubborn, who knows..but I'm not going to be knocked down & kept down..so tomorrow morning I shall get up & face what the day has in store for me & see what options are available for me to try...
So if you are reading this & your feeling like you just keep getting knocked back or going nowhere, don't be ashamed to ask for help. Somebody out there will help you.
 
- Anna ♥
 
 

It's just a bad day,not a bad life..

I feel there is so much pressure to put on a brave face & take on the world. Some days you will feel on top of the world & others you will just feel really poopy. Today is just one of those days for me were I'm just feeling really poopy & sorry for myself so I thought this would be an appropriate post. I managed half an hour at work this morning because I just felt ill & couldn't concentrate so I'm back at home for the day. I've made myself feel a little bit better by getting into some cosy clothes, making a drink & just curling up on the sofa.
 
Really I could go at this day in two different ways the usual way of beating myself up & getting annoyed..with the shoulds of life..I should be at work, I should be feeling fine, I should be able to manage full days at work, I should be out there living every day life having fun, enjoying myself..comparing myself to others basically. I'm sure a lot of us are guilty of this.
 But instead I'm taking a different approach at this & just accepting the fact that I don't feel very well today & I'm just having a bad day..
Tomorrow is a brand new day & will come with a completely different set of feelings & emotions.
 
You know what though it's absolutely fine to not be ok all the time.
 Life isn't about being perfect, performing perfect...there is no such thing as perfect.
 Life is about taking each day as it comes.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so if you aren't feeling well enough to cope doing certain everyday tasks just take a break & step back, recharge your batteries.
The more pressure you put on yourself, the more it is likely to effect your health & will probably make it harder for you to live life in general. So when your down, getting frustrated with yourself & thinking life isn't worth living just remember....
 
 
- Anna ♥
 

Guest Blogger - Jess ♥

Here is another guest blogger...meet Jess, Jess was my first friend I made through anxiety about two years ago now I'd say! She is one of the most loveliest, bravest people you will ever meet! She automatically puts a smile on my face when I speak to her. I hope one day to meet Jess, but for now we have phone, Skype & Twitter! Jess is the kind of person who you know will always be there to listen & never fails to make me laugh..is there any wonder with pictures like these?..
 

 
I wouldn't change her for the world, who wants to be normal anyway! :) Hope you enjoy reading Jess's post, I'm sure you will! She also has a blog so feel free to check that out too & give her a cheeky follow if your feeling kind :) http://infinitedaffodil.wordpress.com/
 
- Anna ♥
 
Hello there!  Forgive me, as I’m not 100% sure what to write here but Anna is free to chop out any boring bits ;) (I haven't chopped out any "boring bits" because there isn't any!)
So I guess when it comes to me and mental illness I’m all about the anxiety. I think panic disorder and agoraphobia are those that seem to fit me so, that’s what I go with!  I can’t honestly tell you what kicked it off; but I can tell you what I think.
 -         Note 1: Never underestimate grief.
 My mum died on Christmas eve night of 1998 when I was 6, so all was fine and dandy when I went to bed and then I woke up to that. It was an asthma attack so extremely sudden, I don’t think anybody saw it coming. As I say I was 6 so I have limited memory, but after that I got REALLY attached to my dad, I mean, quite understandable I suppose. It sort of became the safe thing for me, and I guess that idea has never really gone away.
Whereas I got out of that and lived the majority of my life normally (I have amazing friends and family friends and everyone was there to support both my dad and me and the rest of our family), I guess when that sort of thing happens, you expect some stuff like that, you don’t think about it being anxiety that will come back to haunt you 12 years later.
Thinking back now, it’s always been sitting there, but you don’t think about it until you’re in the stage I’m in now, where I know what it is. You just think you’re having a bit of a moment, it’ll pass.
-         Note 2: There is a difference between everyday stress, and the point where it impacts your health, whether or not you notice it to start with. Be careful.
 It seemed to come along in somewhat stressful situations, exams and such. I never really felt like I was overly stressed by these things but seems my body thought otherwise. Once I got to my A Levels it seemed all was too much and it went completely out of control.  So I won’t go into the crazy details, but I’ve been stuck in this rut for just over 2 years now, I hate it, but it’s there.
-         Note 3: Talking about it, honestly, can do wonders! Talking or however you choose to get it out there (maybe a blog ;) ) I promise you you’ll feel better for it.
 I’m lucky in how I feel, where I have literally no problem talking about it, yeah some parts are hard when in counselling and therapy and things, but if people ask me I’ll tell them, and I’ll stand up to anybody who, often simply in ignorance, tells me to “get over it” and I’ll stand up for anybody who gets told the same! I explain things the best I can and I know full well it’s almost impossible to understand unless you’re experiencing it but it doesn’t mean it’s not impacting a HUGE amount of people. This stigma against mental illness is something I’m always willing to fight against.
-         Note 4: There is nothing wrong in seeking support! It is a sign of bravery not weakness! Do not underestimate how brilliant those around you can be!
 I feel incredibly guilty on a daily basis, but try my best not to dwell on it, or I think I’d be constantly crying in a corner somewhere!  I’m extremely lucky to have my dad who has experienced this too to some extent so at least understands. I can’t express how much that has helped me, it’s a lonely existence that I was suddenly dropped into and if I didn’t have friends and family who accepted me this way things would be a lot worse!
 -         A final word! (I’m sorry it’s so long, honestly if you know me…I can talk like it’s some kind of Olympic sport I don’t half waffle on about things! …I’m doing it now!)
 As far as recovery is concerned, frankly, I’m really rubbish at it. I’m scared to death of all the things I have to do to get better, but I hope I get there one day, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to :) But hey! Optimism prevails!
And if I can say I’ve got anything good out of this, it is that I understand myself a lot more, and I’ve met some completely wonderful and brilliant people who are experiencing the same! Lifelong friends for sure :) I’ve also found that though people expect the worst from humanity, it’s not as common as you think. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to has been more supportive and understanding than I could have imagined, I guess I might be an extra lucky one! But my message is - there is ALWAYS someone out there who is willing to support you and be there for you! You are never alone with this, as much as (I know) it feels that way!
 I’ll leave you with something I heard Graham Norton say on the radio today “Don’t focus on the life you don’t have, focus on the life you do have!”
 Keep smiling. The world is a magical place! <3
 xxx

 

Only you can make a change..

In our life at some point or other, we are all going to experience something we'd rather not. At this time of my life when I should be having the time of my life, I am experiencing anxiety & panic attacks..for anyone going through them will know it sucks. Some days can be a real struggle but who said life would be easy? Nobody... I'm pretty sure we would all complain if it was easy anyway.
 
So when life throws a challenge at us, what do we do?
 Do we just sit there & let it defeat us?
 Or do we get up & rise to the challenge & beat whatever the challenge may be?
 It does take a lot to realize when you should be up fighting, sometimes you are going through something & just let it affect you. I'm sure a lot of us are guilty of doing this..
But when you feel the time is right you will jump up & start battling!
 
Last week I had another doctors appointment, when he decided to re-refer me to talking therapy with somebody else. I obviously agreed to it but if you have ever been on a waiting list, they are never short. While I was there though he also recommended I ordered a book called Feeling Good by David D. Burns. So of course I ordered the book & whilst I was ordering it I spotted another book by the same author called When Panic Attacks. Obviously the name drew me in.. I ordered them both.
They both arrived on Monday & I got straight to reading them & have now produced some charts to record my progress. The book itself claims to teach various techniques to get rid of anxiety.
But obviously it's alright reading the books, they won't just make you better. You have to put everything into action & get back out there.
Not everything will work for everyone so it's a trial & process.
So grab a supportive bunch of family & friends to help you & keep you on track.
 I know full well I would be terrible if I tried to manage without the support of others.
Just a simple action of them checking how I'm doing will help me so much.
But to make a change in your life, it's down to one person....any guesses who?....thats right..you!
 
- Anna ♥
 
p.s. here is the picture of the books I have mentioned & some of my charts & my notebook to keep me on track..wish me luck guys!
 
 

Guest Blogger - Ally ♥

This blog post has been taken over by a girl I met online on elefriends (the site I mentioned in my "You are never alone.." blog post) & I would now safely class her as a friend, a very good friend! Miles away but she still gets me. She feels like a sister to me now! People will probably be like how can you be friends with someone so far away or who you have never met? Unless you have experienced this then you won't get it! A friend is a friend, whether it be two miles away or two thousand miles away! You can be a million miles apart but there is always Skype & phones..
 
- Anna ♥
 
 
I Will Survive 
By Ally
 
 “I creep up on you slowly,
I build a cosy nest inside your soul,
I take over your thoughts and mind,
I destroy your every goal.
My name is depression,
Perhaps you’ve met me before?
I live in your past, present and future,
I hide behind your door.
The door to your feelings,
The door to your life,
I’ll eat away at your dreams,
I’ll cut you with a knife.
I’ll strangle you to unconsciousness,
I’ll make damn sure you can’t see,
I’m your best friend and your worst enemy
Depression lives in me.”
 
Depression is all about survival. And to survive is what drives depression. The two come hand in hand and fit so perfectly. When you’re feeling sad, a funny film and some chocolate will probably make you feel a bit better. But when you’re feeling depressed, living is the hardest possible task. No matter what you do or what people say, you just won’t feel any better. The only way to get through depression is to live it and survive. It will hurt, it will frustrate you but time really helps. It goes slowly but it helps.
“Why are you depressed?”
“You don’t look depressed?”
“Cheer up!”
“There’s no point in worrying!”
These are quite possibly the last words someone suffering with depression would want to hear. But knowing what to say is a real challenge.
When someone is depressed, they might not make sense to you. They might not even want to talk about it but please just ensure them you are there for them. Listening and trying your very best to understand is what they might just need. Avoid telling them what to do or presuming how they feel.
“I’m here for you” is one of the best things you could say.
 “Live everyday as if it’s your last” is complete bullshit. Unless you feel happy everyday, how can you possibly do this? How can you live when you want to die? And how can you treat each day as if it’s your last when you’re just trying to get through it.
 
Depression lives in your clothes, your hair, under your skin, it’s at every corner you turn and reflected in every mirror you stare into. Whether it comes or goes, it will be there with you until you can find a way to cope.
 
 Apart from survival, another way to deal with depression is to talk about it. This is often the last thing someone suffering will want to do but even if it’s a friend, your GP or the Samaritans, confiding in someone will give you that support you need. You don’t even have to call. You can email or text and write down exactly how you feel. This is often almost impossible when you’re depressed. Your mind is fuzzy. Your brain is on fire. This is why death feels like the only way out.
Even if it’s just words, writing down how you feel is a release.
 But as dark and dreary depression is, sometimes you have to confront it. By doing this, you can start to live with it.
 Of course, I’m only speaking from experience. Now I can manage my depression, I try my best to prevent it or I accept and embrace it as much as humanly possible. Of course, embracing depression isn’t something that’s particularly easy to do. Why would we want to embrace it? But sometimes we don’t have a choice.
 The thing to remember about depression and low mood in general is you won’t feel like this forever. That thought can be comforting. You know you’ll get out of that black tunnel. But small baby steps are the only way through.
 If you’re reading this and you suffer from depression, you’ve already made a huge step towards recovery. You aren’t alone. No one can ever fully understand how someone else is feeling or what he or she is thinking but I get it. Take your time, think of you, be selfish and listen to your heart. Depression will strengthen you.
 
 

Fearing the unknown..

What are you supposed to do when you fear the unknown? Unfortunately fearing the unknown sometimes plays a huge part in anxiety. How are we supposed to conquer a fear when you can't actually see it? Some fears are obviously visible & others just aren't. Obviously you can eventually overcome a visible fear, such as a fear of dogs, cats, spiders, heights, water..but how are you supposed to overcome a fear you just can't see?
A fear that you actually have no control over.
 A fear that is controlling your life & way of living.
 I've heard of people having a fear of getting old, well nothing can be done about that. Nobody is getting younger or staying young, we can't all become Peter Pan (wouldn't that be lovely if we could). A lot of people have a fear of dying, unfortunately that is part of life. Others may fear illnesses such as cancer, sadly we don't have a say in that either.
 
I know I won't be the only one having a fear of being alone. Mental health sufferer or not, nobody wants to be alone.
My main fear at the minute is throwing up in public (some people will be reading that, like what the hell?!).. I haven't always had this fear. I think it's developed into a fear because my main anxiety symptom seems to be feeling sick. I know I'm struggling to come to terms that feeling sick doesn't mean I'm going to just throw up everywhere. I'm not going to make out that I'm doing really well at the minute with this, because I am struggling to leave the house some days.
I suppose you can say I still haven't come to grasps with the fact that feeling sick can just be anxiety & worry. Even when in your mind you're not worried, your body can sometimes feel differently. Life events might trigger the feelings & symptoms without you actually being aware. I hadn't actually experienced worry up until I was about 17/18. Either that or I actually had but just didn't have time to stop & think about it because I was too busy enjoying life. (I really want to get back to that point soooooo bad!)
 
The questions I keep asking myself are why am I suddenly worrying about this? Am I the only one? But I do know I'm not alone in this because of the amount of people who have approached me on Twitter. I love hearing from you guys so feel free to leave me a comment or send me a tweet!
Things will get better with baby steps. Yes, it's hard to accept but slowly & surely with the support of my family, family friends, cyber friends & my fantastic doctor I will beat this!
 
- Anna ♥
 
P.s. my new goal in life is to..
 
Image found on weheartit
 

You've got a friend in me..


 
Most people who suffer with their mental health will probably feel that their friends aren't there to support them. Some might class it as ignorance because they just aren't interested. Others might class them as being unaware/uneducated. I can honestly say before I started suffering with anxiety & panic attacks I didn't have a clue such a thing even existed.
 So it is safe to say I was unaware & not educated on the topic.
Mental health is such a wide category. Covering illnesses such as anxiety, eating disorders, depression, bipolar..the list goes on. It is such a large category but yet there is such a stigma surrounding it. I have learnt that having a supportive bunch of family & friends around me really helps, no matter the distance. I have a few friends who mental health has united me with..see a few good things do blossom from the bad times & things in life.
To be honest if it wasn't for these girls I'd of lost the plot & gone crazyyyy a longgg time ago....okay, a little more crazier than I am.
 
I'm going to share some of my tips on how to help & support your friend/family member/partner who is suffering.
 
- Be there for them..Nobody deserves to feel or be alone. Just let them know you are there for them. Wether that be just listening to them, keeping them company or offering support & advice.
 
- Don't treat them any differently..They don't want you to treat them like they are weird & have just grown two heads and ten sets of eyes. They are the same person beneath it all.
 
- Keep in touch..Wether it be a phone call, text message, email, letter or meeting up. A friendly voice/face always makes everything better.
 
- Take an interest..If you are unsure about what they are going through don't be scared to ask them. We will be able to break the stigma!
 
Let's get breaking the stigma, little by little! Help & support one another & this scary place called earth will be more manageable.
 
- Anna ♥

Never judge a book by it's cover..

In terms of books I always judge it by it's cover, whatever catches my eye is usually the books I'll check out. But I guess that is as a selling point to grab people's attention & make them interested..anyway this post isn't actually about books.
 
It's about people, basically you shouldn't judge someone just by looking at them. We have all been guilty of this at some point or other, I used to do it but now on my adventures with anxiety & panic..they have opened my eyes more & taught me that so many people are suffering on the inside. This thought has come across my mind at some certain points that have stuck in my head. The first time was when my friend was telling me about when her family were all at the hospital when her mum passed away & afterwards they had called at the supermarket to pick up some tea. She felt a weird feeling that nobody at all actually knew what had just happened to them as a family, they just looked like everybody else doing their shopping.
Then more recently, last week my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer & the next day I went shopping with my grandma to get a few bits & bobs. As we walked around I couldn't help but think what other people could be going through. A lot of people in the small town where I live in always speak when they see you.
Just the usual "how are you?" "fine thanks,how are you?" "good,I'm good thanks"....But really are they fine or good?
 
So just because someone looks fine on the outside, doesn't mean they are on the inside. I've heard a few people being told their too pretty to suffer with a mental illness, or the classic "you look fine, there's nothing wrong with you". Mental health does also come with physical symptoms, which a lot of us admittedly mistake for a physical illness. So when you see someone from your school or work looking completely fine on the outside & your thinking "why are they having time off there's nothing wrong with them". Just stop for a minute & think. It could have taken them weeks to get out of the house & they could be petrified. They could have been a victim of an attack & too scared to open up to someone about it..They could be caring for a parent or sibling..
They could be a victim of abuse.. The boy you see always wearing a jumper all year round could be hiding cuts, scars & bruises because he might be self harming or a victim of violence & daren't ask for help. The girl you see in baggy clothes could be hiding an eating disorder & doesn't know where to turn for help. The people you see online on Twitter or Facebook & you think "oh well their well enough to be online". Just think these people are using these sites to communicate with others in similar situations to feel less alone & isolated. These websites are instead of socializing at clubs/parks/events/parties..anywhere. So before you go to make a remark just stop right there....
 
Image found on weheartit
 
- Anna ♥
 

Positive thinking the way forward?

After this week I have had a thought going round my head....Is positivite thinking the way forward to a healthier & happier lifestyle? I do know a lot of you will struggle to see the positive side of things sometimes. Changing your way of thinking unfortunately doesn't just happen overnight, oh wouldn't it be lovely if it did!
 Your positive thoughts won't only just help you, they will give off positive vibes to others around you. I know when I've been round a positive upbeat person even just for a few minutes, it automatically boosts my mood & changes my outlook on things.
 I took to one of my favourite places (weheartit) to get some quotes & images for this post. As you'll be able to tell I found a few & just couldn't pick a favourite one so find them all at the end of this post. One that did stand out to me was "focus on the solution, not the problem".
I think this one is fantastic! Instead of just thinking negative about what could go wrong or get worse with the situation you're in, just think about a solution to either make the problem that much easier or to solve it all together.  I do feel everyone should try & give the positive thinking a go, it is definitely worth giving it your best effort to achieve it! Only you can change your life, so it's down to you..I do believe you can all do it!
 
- Anna ♥





 

 

 

You are never alone..

Remember that you are never alone. There will always be someone there for you, whether it be in real life, on the other end of the phone, over the internet (be safe of course)..there will always be someone! There really is someone out there who loves you & cares about you.
The amount of people who have spoken out to me over the past couple of days is amazing & some of them felt alone thinking they were the only one going through what they are going through..
I'd like to think that now they don't feel alone at all.
A couple of weeks ago I recently joined elefriends which is an online community for people suffering with mental health, which is brought to us by Mind. I genuinely think it will help a lot of people.
 I have told a few people about it so far & I would recommend it again to anyone who feels they are alone & suffering with mental health. You can sign up via email or via Facebook.
You don't have to use your real name, you can use a nickname..you don't have to use a photo of yourself for your profile picture, you can use one of your pet, favourite animal, favourite character, favourite quote, favourite place..absolutely anything! You can say as much as you want or as little as you want, so even nothing at all. The site has a feature to where people can "like" what you say by giving it a thumbs up, "think of you" by giving you a heart & "hear you" by hitting a little ear symbol. You can communicate with other elefriends by the commenting to each other or by private messaging. You must also respect other elefriends of course.
Go by the quotes I like, "treat others as you want to be treated yourself" & "if you don't have nothing nice to say then don't say nothing at all".
If anyone wants to join elefriends you can do so by visiting their website,http://elefriends.org.uk/ .
 
- Anna ♥
 
p.s. whenever you feel like you are alone & life has no meaning...
 
Image from weheartit
 

Acceptance is hard..

 
One night last week I got tucked up in bed with a book & a peppermint tea.
I thought to myself I need to get my head around my two new best friends..meet anxiety & panic. They are not only my best friends but are also my shadows. Every corner I turn they are always there, whether it be right behind me or in the distance. I feel that by accepting what you are going through something is definitely one of the main steps to start recovery.
Unfortunately acceptance is really hard though, it's not as simple as being like "right I'm going to beat this today".
It's an ongoing battle really.You need to keep reminding yourself that & be ready for set backs too. Let's be honest ignoring the situation or blocking it out won't help at all & will just make it worse in the long run.
I have connected with a few people online due to mental health related issues & I thought what a good idea to get them involved in this post.
 So I got on to them straight away to do a little message/ photo of what acceptance means to them..
 

 
Thank you very much for your help girls, I really appreciate it!
 
- Anna ♥
 
 
 

Love yourself ♥

I'm well aware this might come across as a bit of a cheesy post, but hey ho nevermind..I'm doing it anyway! So many of us genuinely don't love ourselves, whether it be enough or actually not at all.
 I personally have learnt to accept myself for me. I would go as far as saying I love myself.
Loving yourself doesn't necessarily mean your vain.
Loving yourself comes from within, within your mind.
 During school when I was bullied/singled out for various things I don't think it affected the way I thought about myself.. People were mean about my teeth, just because they were different (so pretty much the main reason people choose to bully is because something is different)..
I still don't have perfect teeth but I have just learnt that really that is just part of me & I wouldn't look the same me as I'm used to. All the way through school I never actually smiled on my photos..to be honest I look really miserable..now I've learnt to just smileeeee! 
 I also got bullied/singled out for the size of my forehead, does that bother me? Not at all, I still push all my hair back & whack it up in a bobble so I feel more fresh faced & wide awake!
When people made remark to how skinny I was, did that bother me?
No, it literally went in one ear & out the other. Why should I be bothered if I was skinny or not, I was healthy & that's all that mattered to me..Maybe I was skinny because I absolutely loved doing sport, where most girls are usually like "urgh,not this again..I don't want to do that, do we have to go outside?". People also felt the need to embarrass me so I'd go bright red & then felt the need to go "oh my god,why are you bright red?"..which obviously then led to me going even redder.
Was there anything I could do about going bright red & embarrassed? No, so I just accepted that was part of who I am!
 
Lets be honest, if you just accept yourself for who you are, life might just become that little bit easier (no promises there though, sorry guys).
 Everyone has flaws & I'm pretty sure we'd all like to change something about ourselves. I'm pretty sure all the people on TV, in films & in papers/magazines would too. They are only human after all, just like me & you.. ok, maybe they have a little bit more money but nevermind..
Money isn't everything. So lets all start to love ourselves, flaws & all!
 
- Anna ♥
 
Image found on weheartit
 

When it rains, it pours..

Life still goes on when the heavens open & we get a down pour of rain.
 Last weekend I did a post about enjoying the little things in life & I think we should all still go by this even when the weather isn't brilliant & we don't really feel like it.
Last Saturday was glorious sunshine but still cool & breezy so it is safe to say this Saturday was the complete opposite, it rained for most of the day & was just grey & miserable.
But I thought if I'm going to stick to my regular 30 minute walk a day to improve my mental health I'm going to have to get out there.
So on went my wellies, waterproofs & layers. I took my puppy friend Pudding like last Saturday & took some similar photos to share them with you because I couldn't believe the difference. You'll find the photos at the end again.
 
Basically what I'm saying is you've just got to keep at it (whatever it may be for you), whether it be applying for jobs & you keep getting knocked back, trying to achieve a better physical or mental health, whatever it is. Your going to have knock backs but all that matters is that you get back up again & again & again & again..I'm sure you get the idea. 
You've just got to come back up fighting. Remember guys to achieve your goals, you just got to keep at it, one step at a time, rain or shine!
 
 - Anna ♥
 
 

 
 

Life is just like a rollercoaster ride..

Recently I have been thinking to myself how life is very much like a rollercoaster ride & sometimes it actually leaves you with the same feelings....feeling like your about to throw up, like your head is spinning & about to fall off, like your heart is going so fast it could jump out of your chest at any minute, wibbly wobbly jelly legs like you are going to fall over..I'm sure your all aware of those feelings.
 
But what do you when one minute your in high speed zooming up to the top of the steep hill & then you just stop. Run out of power, don't know which way to go or don't know what is your best next move. I'm pretty sure we have all felt like this at some time or other, but how do we get the rollercoaster ride of life back up & running again?
 
 I'm still actually trying to figure it out at the minute so as soon as I know, I'll get back to you..but in the meantime if anyone else has any tips feel free to throw them my way! Of course I couldn't end my post without a little image, so this one is a little wooden hanging quote that a twitter friend of mine bought & I just loved it,so she took a photo so I could use it on instagram & now it's on my blog..Thank you Alice!
 
- Anna ♥
 
 

Enjoy the little things in life..

After a very busy Monday to Friday it felt like everything was getting a little bit too much. By Friday I was pooped & feeling pretty down too, so I thought what should I do? So I got on the phone to my friend Jess, we are brought together by anxiety, one good thing & possibly the only good thing to come out of anxiety is it brings you together with other sufferers & you can create new friendships.
 
So after feeling my mood being lifted a little by Jess, I woke up Saturday morning feeling the need to relax & enjoy myself. I think it's really important to take time out & enjoy the little things in life..after all the best things in life are free (yes, I'm well aware that sounded really cheesy)! Such as taking a walk in the countryside, which is exactly how I spent an hour of my Saturday.
It was a lovely day, the sun was shining & it was nice & cool. So I thought what better way to spend some of it than going out & getting some fresh air, because fresh air really does do you the world of good! So off went me & my little puppy friend Pudding.I took my phone so I could snap some photos of the beautiful scenery (find a few of those at the end of this post).
 Saturday night soon rolled in & my parents were off to see Olly Murs live but luckily I didn't have to spend it alone,I got to spend some time with the family on my street who are literally like my second family, which was brilliant & I am so grateful for them! If they weren't around I think I would be so much worse, I know if I need a distraction I can just go up there!
So instead of always sitting staring at your mobile phone,televisions,computer screens,iPad screen...whatever kind of screen,take some time out away from staring at them, have a break & enjoy the world beyond screens.
 
- Anna ♥
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lifting your mood..

I'm going to focus this blog post on lifting moods, what helps lift your mood & gives you a bit of a pick me up on a bad day? When all seems to be going wrong with your day, it's hammering it down with rain, the clouds are as miserable as sin & its soooo cold..you will all know exactly what kind of days I mean..when you just feel like curling up under your duvet cover & not coming back out until Summer. But what do you do when that isn't an option?
 
Everyone will have so many different ways of lifting their mood, whether it be turning to family & friends to cheer them up. But what about when you just want to be alone or maybe nobody is actually around. Unfortunately some people don't have anyone around. So they might turn to a favourite magazine, have a read of a book by an author they love, put on the TV & find a classic programme that never gets old (Friends, never fails to make me laugh) , put on a comedy film or stand up DVD, have a nice soak in the bath, paint their nails, do some baking, do some crafts, have a nice cup of tea or listen to some music. I go by the phrase "headphones in, world out". So I mainly turn to music, usually my iPod. Maybe you could all create a happy playlist/CD, I'm definitely going to be creating a happy upbeat playlist for my iPod. I know one song that will be going in that playlist will be One Direction's cover of one way or another (teenage kicks) I absolutely LOVE the song..whenever it comes on the radio I can't help but let out a smile & then just sing away to it & full on dance when nobody is around (sssshhh,that can be our little secret)! On the way home today it came on, on the radio & both me & mum burst into song! So whatever your age, gotta admit we all love a bit of One Direction!
 
I guess really this isn't much of an anxiety related post cos we all feel down, mental illness or not. Apparently music is good for your mental health too. So get singing away.."Sing like nobody's listening" & while you're at it why not, "Dance like nobody's watching". Got to admit we all love a boogie!
 
- Anna ♥