Hellooo everyone! Hope you’re good!
Today I am writing/ranting about an issue very, very close to my heart. Maybe it will help some of you to read this and assure you that you’re not the only one in the world, maybe you won’t want to read this because it is down right depressing; however you choose to view this post, I am hoping that out of everything that it will help me the most.
So, if you are a regular reader of my blog posts, you will know that I suffer with Depression and Anxiety quite badly, and unfortunately with that also comes Paranoia. I have suffered with it for a very long time but it only showed itself when I got into my second relationship, and suffer I did.
I think it all stemmed back long ago when I was a child the age of 7, that’s the earliest I can remember ever experiencing some sort of trauma/anxiety/sadness that really affected me and, little did I know, would affect me for years to come.
I was bullied. Originally when I first started school I had 3 very close friends, but only one of them was truly special; it was quite common back then for children to start school and for their parents to decide after a year whether or not to keep them there or move them elsewhere, and unfortunately they all moved away and started a new school. I then became ‘friends’ with two other girls who would bully me from the age of 7 to 11 when I left Primary school and started Secondary school. I might write a more in-depth post about bullying and my experiences with it, but all you need to know for now is that school, which I used to love, became an unsafe, anxiety-prone environment for me; I hated going because I knew I’d be bullied and I hated leaving my mum at the school gates, she was the only thing that made me feel truly safe.
I experienced a little bit of bullying at the start of Secondary school but it wasn’t as harsh as before, regardless I was still often in tears and worried about being alone at school. When I turned 14 my mum passed away, my safety net was gone and I think that was when this all kicked in (along with pubescent mood swings and rebellion against school and my family). In the words of The Vampire Diaries, I switched off my ‘humanity’ and became an absolute b**** to everyone except my friends.
I got into my second relationship when I was 17 and that was when I first had the ‘true love’ experience; I was super happy and loved up, that was until I discovered that he had lied to me at one point (quite early on in the relationship I might add). It was probably entirely innocent, and he probably lied to prevent an argument between us and not because he was doing anything wrong but I didn’t trust him and that was when it all spun out of control. I was miserable for the majority of that relationship (it became a long-distance relationship too for many years which did not help) and not because he was a terrible person but because I was my own enemy and anxiety plagued me every single day for at least 3.5 years until I went on anti-depressants. It was then that I started to worry less, and in the end, care less which led to the failure of our relationship and me ending it.
After everything that happened I’ll admit that it was quite a shock that after essentially 5.6 years when it ended in October, I was FREE. I was free from the anxiety and the worry that was triggered by that person, I was free to just be me. Until I got into another relationship and now I’m terrified that once again the relationship may be burdened with my anxiety.
It took me a long time but I think I’ve finally realised that my anxiety stems from the fear of loneliness; from the earliest age I can remember feeling anxiety when my best friends left me and then I was bullied, and then I lost my mum, and then my relationship failed because I was forever worried that he was going to leave me (which in the end he pretty much did by moving away). It’s pretty clear that I have an extreme vulnerability and abandonment issue, and that’s why I panic like mad every time I get close to someone who isn’t family, no matter how much I care about them I’m terrified that they’ll leave me.
Deep and depressing just like I said. What is one to do about such a situation? How am I meant to get my brain to decipher the facts from the opinions? The worries from the problems? Why does my brain only want to believe the worries I cook up and not the facts that are put down in front of me? Negativity, negativity. All my brain can believe, nothing is true, nothing is real, they’ll all leave, I’ll get hurt, I’m clearly not good enough.
My brain is in two states, both are fighting but the negative side wins every time.
“You are good enough for anything and you absolutely deserve someone who will love you and give you the time you deserve. You have it inside of you to love someone and make them feel truly happy, so you deserve it and they deserve someone like you.”
“This person is too good for you; you don’t deserve them because you’re riddled with depression and anxiety. You’ll only bring them down, and get in the way of their life and happiness just like you did before. They’ll leave you because there is something better out there but they just don’t know it yet. When they are away from you they don’t think about you or miss you, they don’t feel for you; they are not affected by your absence because you are not special enough, not good enough. All you ever do is complain and go on about your anxieties, you want them to understand how you feel but you don’t trust that they can understand you, you’re just pushing them away because you never shut up. Eventually they will realise that you are too much, too stressful to deal with, and they too will walk away from you just like everyone else.”
How can the good side ever win against THAT?
When you’ve been through as much crap as I have, it is really hard to live in a fairytale daydream and believe that you’re going to get your happily ever after. You spend hours upon hours worrying and figuring out prevention methods in case such things occur, all to protect yourself from getting hurt. You do it so much that you fail to see the beauty and happiness that does enter your life, you fail to believe those who try their hardest to make you realise that they do want to be in your life, and you fail to hold on to those memories when they’ve passed because you have so much negativity festering in their place. You spend so much time worrying about tomorrow that you forget to live today, you worry so much about losing someone that you forget to enjoy them and be thankful for the happiness they bring you, you worry so much about the future even though next week you could be killed and never even get there. You waste so much time worrying and yet you can’t stop. Over-thinking will kill you.
Basically I’m not living my life because I spend too much time worrying about it and I’m not enjoying my relationship because I’m too damn worried about it failing, and even though I know both of these things, I still continue to worry over them because I can’t help it.
I’m not in the worst position in life; yes I still live with my dad at the age of 23, yes my job is terribly boring and makes me feel brain dead, yes my relationship is a struggle because it is very long-distance and we are apart for long periods of time; but I also have a roof over my head with a family that loves me, that boring job pays me better than a lot of the jobs my friends have and allows me to buy things I want and do things I like, I have a savings account that a lot of people older than me are struggling to achieve, and that person who I don’t get to see very often makes me feel the happiest I have been in a very long time and makes all the waiting well worth it. I’m not homeless, I’m not poor, I’m not sick, I’m not lonely and I’m not in debt. I have no responsibilities right now other than showing up for work and paying my dad the same rent each month, now is the time to live my life and I should be extremely grateful for everything that I have and managed to achieve; I am too busy looking at what I don’t have rather than what I do, my glass might be half empty but it is also half full, I am in a far better position compared to most.
My brother gave me a lot of tricks to use that can help my mind take a step back and look at a situation as a whole in order to be more logical about my thinking. From now on I am going to try and live by the following rules in order to fully enjoy and be fully grateful for what I have in my life; hopefully they will help me to look at life more positively and also help me to train my brain to be less sour:
- Face the day with low expectations – It’s not surprising that I feel down a lot when often, without realising, I’m expecting the day to be great. If I face it with low expectations then I won’t be so shocked if it sucks but more importantly, I’ll be much happier and thankful when something good does come my way.
- Be thankful each day for what you have, not what you don’t – These days it is so easy to forget what we have and worry about what we don’t; I’m going to practice remembering everything that I do have and be thankful for them.
- Is it an opinion or a fact? Problem or a worry? – My brain’s greatest struggle is separating fact from fiction, so whenever I face an issue I will ask myself if it is my opinion or if it is fact because you should never trust an opinion even if it is your own. I will also ask myself if it is a problem or a worry. What’s the difference? A problem is something you can attempt to sort out now, a worry hasn’t or may never happen and you can’t impact on it. Why worry about something that doesn’t or may never exist?
- Ask yourself what you would tell a friend – Whenever I find myself in a dilemma, I will ask myself what I would tell a friend if they were in my situation; I guess the brain will automatically become logical and provide good, honest advice which I should then try with all my might to actually listen to.
- Live for today – I know this is a sucky thing to say but I might die next week (touch wood that I don’t), if I don’t live for today then all that time leading up to my death would’ve been wasted; we only have one life so why do what society expects of you? Do what makes you happy regardless or you’ll just regret it.
- Write down your worries – Sometimes I find my mind very loud and annoying, buzzing with thoughts at the most inconvenient of times. Writing down your thoughts is a proven method for relieving stress and calming the mind, I’ll be able to acknowledge that I have written that thought or worry down and therefore I won’t forget it and can come back to face it later when I have calmed down or thinking more rationally.
- Talk but don’t obsessively talk – I’m SO guilty for this; I’ll start talking about my worries and then obsessively talk about it, like it all just spills out and can’t stop but it never gets me anywhere and then leaves me worried that I’ve bored the person I’m spilling it out to. From now on I will not allow myself to feel guilty for confiding in someone but I will try my hardest to listen to their advice and learn when enough is enough.
- Try, try, try – I’m also very guilty for getting annoyed with myself if I don’t achieve something; in my mind I HAVE to get something done rather than try to get it done, so it’s not surprising that I get so hung up on it if it doesn’t get done. However, if I tell myself to try and do something then it won’t seem so terrible if it doesn’t get done or it only gets half done. I will have a ‘try to do’ list that will help me to feel accomplished when I physically cross something off but at the same time, if it doesn’t get completed then I can’t be too hard on myself. You should be praised for achieving something but you should also be praised for trying your hardest.
- Say F*** it and let it go – That’s right, sometimes you just gotta switch off your humanity and say f*** it to whatever is bothering you, especially if you know that there is nothing you can do about it or that it is insignificant. No one else cares so why should you? Let it go and move on, it’s not worth your time. Nothing is forever because it’s only temporary, be it a day or a month, it’ll be over at some point.
Just writing this post has me feeling more positive, and I am determined to reduce my anxiety with these tips; I’ve already set up something to help with my career and I’m currently looking into project to do during my spare time which will hopefully help me feel accomplished personally. As for my relationship, I know that I really want this so I am determined to do everything I can to make things easier but I know that our current situation and the difficulty that comes with it is not much to do with me but the nature of his job; I know this will get easier with time and I still have a lot to get used to and learn, so hopefully once I am more used to it then I won’t feel so anxious about the whole thing.
I don’t know if this has helped anyone but it has definitely made me feel more uplifted to get it off my chest. I hope that I make at least one person who reads this feel better. I know that sometimes it can be depressing to see your friends or others around you with a seemingly better life than you, but you’ll never know what goes on behind closed doors. As a blogger, I know that many other bloggers out there (especially those who make a living from it) seem to have this perfect, exciting life and don’t like to be open and honest about the bad stuff that goes on, but we must always remember that not everything is perfect and I for one don’t see an issue with letting my readers know that sometimes I have hard days too, as do celebrities and the Queen.
I know that tomorrow I could go 3 steps back and have another crap day, or maybe I’ll be fine for the rest of the week and have a crappy Monday; this happens a lot and often makes me feel even worse that I moved forward 3 spaces and then back 2 but I can’t be angry at myself if I continue to try. My current life is one that I haven’t experienced before, especially with this kind of relationship, so I guess I’ll just have to accept that I still have a lot to get used to and that it is going to take me a little while to process it all rather than the couple of days I was expecting to process it in haha. Hopefully things will get easier the more I get used to it.
All we can do is try to make the best of what we’ve got and try not to let other people’s lives and expectations uproot us from who we are or what we believe in, or try to change what makes us happy and comfortable. We should be thankful for what we have, thankful for what makes us happy and live life in a way that works best for us. Negative thoughts fester and spread, but light needs darkness in order to shine and show you how much you appreciate it; so before you think that everything is lost because life seems dark, remember the good you have to show you the light and bring you back to a place where you can see life much more clearly.
Thank you for reading~♥