Mental Health Improvement (Anxiety, Depression and Emetophobia)

I have received a lot of positive feedback from talking about my anxiety so openly. It’s a daunting thing to talk about as it is something so personal. I’ve spent many years being embarrassed of it and trying to hide it but I’m fed up with doing this. Anxiety is a part of me and I am embracing that. I often talk about how my anxiety is affecting me and the negatives, however today I wanted to share with you my progress.

It wasn’t until I was lying in bed unable to sleep at 2am this morning that I realised just how much progress I had made. A few months ago I would not have been able to just lie there, almost content with the fact that I couldn’t sleep. After I had the norovirus I was in a very bad placed, both with my anxiety and with depression. During the day there were enough distractions for me to paint a smile on my face and to carry on from one task to the next until the day was over. Nighttimes were the worst, I couldn’t bare to lie there  and have to confront myself. The early hours of the morning can be very lonely when you’re the only one awake and the only company you have are your own thoughts. I hated who I was and I hated the anxiety. I used numerous techniques to shut my brain off such as playing music, going downstairs and watching tv or sometimes I would just go out for a drive. However, the next evening it would all come flooding back.

Being in my own company was almost impossible for me. I dreaded being alone for too long as it forced me to see what a wreck I was. Unable to go out on my own or spend anytime by myself was further adding to my depression and anxiety.

Slowly I began to force myself to spend time on my own. I would go for a walk at lunch time and talk to my boyfriend, however some days I would leave 5 minutes early to just be by myself. Over time (and with the help of improvements in other aspects of my life) I have learnt to be happy with myself again and to spend time with myself. Now I dance for joy at the thought of having a day to myself. I still don’t go out on my own very much as I find that incredibly anxiety provoking but I will tackle it, it will just take time.

I’m not sure exactly what the point of this post was – I guess I just wanted to share my story and to show that things can improve. You just need time to heal and to push yourself into doing things you don’t want to. I’m looking forward to sharing the rest of my journey with you.

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XOXO

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17 thoughts on “Mental Health Improvement (Anxiety, Depression and Emetophobia)

  1. Stay strong Liz, I too had the sleep issues. Your mind d raci g about everything and nothing at the same time. I too forced myself into moving out of a life that was feeding the anxiety. I moved out on my own forcing me to have to go out and do things and meet people. It’s hard at first but now instead of 2hours of sleep I am getting y to 8 hours. I have a girl friend and things are getting better everyday.
    Hang in there… let me if you ever want to discuss more. Support is very important..

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    1. Thank you! I can go weeks and weeks where I sleep fine but once it starts again it’s a pain to shake off! Glad you’re doing so well ☺️ It’s such a tough journey, isn’t it?

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  2. I have been taking medication for depression at a very low dose for a long time. This is due chronic pain which stems from R.A. As it turns out and I am sure many are aware chronic pain can lead to depression. I have never been diagnosed with anxiety but I suspect I may have a bit of that mixed in also. I don’t like to have confirmed diagnosis’ as I feel it labels one and makes you feel different from everyone else because you have a label attached. When really in my mind you have a different normal than others. If you think back when you were young say 6 to 11 you probably had the beginnings of it. But it wasn’t until you got older you started to define why you were feeling as you did. During those younger years if you were like me you just thought everyone was this way. Because you didn’t know any better. You knew you were different in you mind. You just hadn’t gotten a label attached yet. So, one thing I try to do is not let those labels define me. I choose to think “my normal is just different than others” as we all have something we feel not normal about in our psyche. It keeps me from getting too down about the why me’s. When I was first diagnosed with RA I went through a long time of wondering how it would affect my life. Was I going to die younger than most? Was I going to end up in a wheel chair? The doctor actually told me that it was more than likely I would. That was 28 years ago. I am still walking 5 to 10 miles a day. I have had 4 lower back surgeries and all but two joints in my neck fused with rods and screws in both locations. I still work full time and I go swimming in the summer. I will not let it define who I am or what I will become. The mental aspects of a chronic disease are a tough foe to keep in check.
    But I have found that your Point of View of yourself is the key to getting up everyday and making the most of it. I have a very dear Friend whom I met about 7 years ago that taught me the importance of your Point Of View on how you handle challenges in life. It made all of the difference in my acceptance of my Normal. So I would challenge you to change your point of view on how you see yourself and dump the labels. Yes, you know you have it and you will battle it but don’t give it any more power than it already has.
    I am no expert on mental disorders but I know what I have experienced and what has worked for me. What can it hurt to try? Stay on your protocols that the Doctor has laid out but the labels is something you have control over. Take that control and live your life every second of everyday!
    RJ

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    1. I agree, the older I became and the more understanding I have of my problems the more hold they have over me. I think it would be easier if we could ditch all the labels and just accept that everyone state of mind is ‘normal’. Thank you for your advice!

      You’ve had a very difficult journey, congratulations on making it so far!

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  3. Hi Liz, can you tell me what it would take for you to be able to hold during your really bad days? I am a loss to know what to say to help those in distress.

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