My Anxiety Tells me that you Hate me.

We’ve all had those days, right? The ones where you feel like everyone and everything is out to get you. The kind of day that makes you want to wall yourself up in your house and never leave again. This is what everyday feels like to those of us with Anxiety. It’s a feeling we have to push through every single day. Anxiety tells us to worry about people talking behind our backs. It tells us to be scared of judgement. It tells us to hide away. But, our heart tells us to love people. It wants us to be open and inviting. We’re social butterflies with social anxiety. We are the definition of an oxymoron.

Anxiety can make it feel like the whole world is against you. It lies to you. It kicks you when you’re down. It’s a constant nagging feeling in the back of your brain. It’s a lump in your throat when meeting new people. It’s paranoia when you walk into a quiet room. It’s fear of rejection. Anxiety is sometimes being afraid to leave the house because you know something is going to go wrong.

Living with anxiety is hard, because you know that when things are going good, it’s just a matter of time before it comes crashing down. It’s depression. It’s distancing yourself from the ones you love. (And being extremely grateful when those people don’t give up on you.)

When something goes wrong, a person with Anxiety will obsess over it. If we make a mistake, we will beat ourselves up more than anyone else is capable of doing. We apologize more than we should, and then feel like we’re being a burden for doing so.

If a person with Anxiety is backing off from you, don’t take it personally. We’re probably scared we’re going to lose you. We may seem unapproachable, but we are some of the most understanding group of people around. We know what it’s like to feel alone, and we don’t want anyone else feeling that way.

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The Physical Effects of Anxiety

Everyone knows the amount of emotional distress Anxiety Disorder can cause. It’s enough to bring anyone to tears. It’s enough to cause the strongest of people to just breakdown. I’ve been seen it bring complete defeat.

All of the emotional effects aside, anxiety can play a huge physical toll on your body.

Exhaustion

Every panic/anxiety attack sucks every fiber of energy out of your body. It can lead to not being able to leave the bed for the rest of the day. Your body and your mind can barely function sometimes.

Muscle aches

During an attack, every muscle in your body is tensed up. Spasms aren’t uncommon, either. Later, when your mind has relaxed, your body still feels like it’s been hit by a bus.

Headaches

When there’s a constant battle inside your brain, it’s bound to cause a headache. Even if just gr8 the sheer stress alone.

There are also several that may not effect everyone, but do effect some. For example: stomach ulcers, migraines, nausea, uncontrollable twitching, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and even suicide. Yes. Even suicide. I’ve seen this disease bring down those who tried to be strong for so long.

If you’re struggling, and feel like you’ve been strong for too long, please talk to someone. Get help.

( 1 800-273-8255 – suicide hotline, available 24/7)

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A Thank You to those that Love Someone with Anxiety.

To those of you married to someone with an anxiety disorder, the parents, the siblings, the friends supporting people with a mental illness: this is for you.

I think it takes a special kind of person to love someone with anxiety, unconditionally.

As someone that has anxiety, I know just how much patience it takes to deal with loving me. It takes understanding, and a kind heart.

If you are loving someone through their mental illness, you are more of a hero than you know. Every hug, late night talk, and reassuring smile makes us feel a little more normal again.

To those of you that sit in silence with us when we can’t find the words: you are speaking volumes.

To those of you that treat us like a normal human being, because that’s what we are: you make us feel sane.

To those of you that take the time to actually listen when we just need an ear: you’re helping us to get our emotions and feelings off our chests.

Living with a mental illness can be frustrating, challenging, lonely, and sometimes unbearable. But, having at least one person that knows just what to do, can make a huge difference in our lives.

You may not understand why we are the way we are, but you love us anyway. And, that is impressive. You will probably get aggravated with us. (Hell, we get aggravated with ourselves!) But, you don’t leave. You always stick by us. And, that is impressive. You show us compassion, even on the days we don’t want it. And, that is impressive.

YOU are impressive.

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Why Treating Yourself is Important

Treating yourself is essential for good mental health.

I’m not talking about spending $1,000 at your local makeup store, or buying $20 bath bombs. (But if that’s what you want to do, go for it!) I’m talking about taking fifteen minutes out of your day.

“But, fifteen minutes isn’t enough time to do anything.” FALSE.

Here are five things you can do each day in fifteen minutes or less to help relieve stress and improve mental health:

1. Meditate or pray.

Taking 15 minutes of silence can do a lot more than you would think. Spend time with yourself, and your thoughts. Pray for your needs. Concentrate, and just breathe.

2. Take a bath.

(If you’re not a bath person, showers are fine, too.) Make sure to use all your smell good bath products and essential oils. Putting some Lavendar in your bath is great for relaxation.

3. Do Yoga.

You don’t have to be experienced to do a Yoga routine. There are plenty of beginner videos that are great on YouTube. If you aren’t into Yoga, just take some time to stretch your muscles and relax your body.

4. Listen to music.

Music is a big part of my life. It doesn’t matter what mood I’m in, I always want to listen to music. It’s so therapeutic. I have different playlists for my different moods. It ranges from Broadway to alternative rock, and everything in between.

5. Go outside.

Fresh air and sunshine can make a big difference in your mood. Go for a walk around the block, or just soak up the sun on your deck. Take in that Vitamin D!

A lot of people think they can’t take care of themselves because they don’t have the time or money. But, it is so important to take that small amount of time out of your day to take care of yourself. You only get one body, and one mind. Make sure you treat it right!

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#Speakup 

So many people suffer from Anxiety Disorder. It’s time to speak up about it and start telling our stories! 

To those that don’t struggle with this disorder, it can be hard to understand. Sometimes verbally explaining it, just doesn’t get the point across. And, I get it. It IS hard to understand. I have it, and don’t even understand it sometimes. 

People that don’t get it, may say things like:

“Just pull yourself together.” 

“Get over it.”

“It can’t be that bad.”

Or my personal favorite: “But, you don’t LOOK sick.” 

I don’t think this comes from a bad place. But, this is common. I do think there needs to be more awareness around the subject. A light needs to be shed. We need to be able to talk about it without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. We need to make people understand. 

Anxiety is so much more than having your random panic attack once in a while. It’s a daily struggle. 

You feel as if you’re drowning…

Suffocating…

Unable to sleep…

You have dark thoughts…

Depression….

You can’t breathe…

And, you can’t escape it…

This really doesn’t even scratch the surface. But, it does show a small portion of the daily struggles felt by someone suffering with Anxiety Disorder. 

If you have anxiety: 

Do not be afraid to talk about it. Do not feel ashamed. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help. Your story matters.

If you don’t have anxiety:

Please try to understand that even though we don’t look sick on the outside, doesn’t mean we aren’t struggling. Don’t be quick to judge. 
#endthestigma #speakup

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Photo credit: Shutterflies Photography

Model: Natalie Fiore

The Ugly Parts of Anxiety… 

I’m not going to lie to you, it’s an ugly night. I’m fighting, but anxiety is currently winning this round. I hate go say that, because I try to keep this blog inspirational and upbeat. I almost decided not to write this. But, this is living with Anxiety. This is what it’s like to be me. I said I was going to be open about my disorder, so here it is: 

Tonight is one of those nights that I literally feel like my anxiety is ripping me apart. I can barely think. My mind is spinning. I feel dizzy, sad, scared, hot, and wired. 

Honestly, I feel so many emotions, I couldn’t even pick one that stands out the most. 

My sister, who also suffers from anxiety, is here. I’m trying to hide my panic attack so she doesn’t see. I don’t want to upset her. She’s having a good night. Trust me when I say that hiding a panic attack is so much harder then it sounds. 

I wanted to write this while in the middle of my panic attack, so I can really explain, in detail, what it feels like. But, I can’t think clearly enough to put it into words. I don’t even know what to say. 

At this point, I think I’m just writing to try and get my mind off of it. 

I am exhausted. My body hurts. I feel like I can’t get my breathing under control. My heart is pounding. If you’re wondering, nothing in particular brought it on. I was just laying on my couch. I was fine. And then, I wasn’t. 

I know I’m not alone in this. Chances are that someone reading this is feeling the same way. Just know I feel you. I understand completely. You are far from alone. And, even further from being crazy. 

I’m going to keep telling myself that I am strong. This is a temporary feeling that will soon pass. 

Here’s to a better tomorrow. 

Here’s to being calm and happy. ♡


Photo by: Kari pillow photography. Check her out on FB. 
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Anxious Girl: You are Going Places.

On top of making you feel depressed, anxious, and crazy, Anxiety Disorder can make you feel like you will never achieve your goals. It can make you feel like you are inferior to everyone around you. 

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-Anxious girl: Do not be afraid to chase those dreams. 

Just because you have Anxiety Disorder, doesn’t mean you can’t make something of yourself. Do not let your disorder determine your success in life. You can do whatever you want. 

Be an inspiration to others. Just because you have a disorder, doesn’t mean your dreams are less important. Prove all the stereotypes wrong. Prove all the people who doubted you, wrong. 

Go out into the world and make something of yourself. Do not be afraid to dream big. 

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Anxious girl: Don’t listen to the negative thoughts inside your head. 

When you struggle with anxiety, your mind can be a pretty dark place.

The thoughts of never being good enough are always circulating inside your brain. STOP LISTENING TO THOSE THOUGHTS. You are always going to be your own worst critic. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked myself out of going for my goals. I’ve told myself I wasn’t good enough. I’ve questioned my abilities. I’ve felt like a total failure because of my anxiety. But, NO MORE! I am taking control of my life and chasing my goals. I’m no longer believing the cruel things I’ve thought about myself. 

You just have to realize that not everything you think about yourself is true. 

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Anxious girl: You’ll be surprised at how successful you can be. 

Success isn’t limited to anyone in particular. It’s not for a certain type of people. Everyone is capable of success. It doesn’t matter if you have a mental disorder. What matters is your determination. I am confident that my anxiety is not going stop me from becoming successful. 

You are not your disorder. You are so much more than that. You are you, and that’s pretty spectacular. You have the capability of greatness. 

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Anxious girl: you are going to go places. You are going to do great things. You are going to be so much more than your disorder. 

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