Anxiety: A Poem

Anxiety: A Poem

Hey guys! This week I’m going to be sharing a poem about what anxiety feels like for me. I hope this can help make others feel a little less alone and maybe create a tiny bit more awareness for mental health in general.

Anxiety is more than just being shy around strangers and having panic attacks in shopping malls;
It’s looking up what you want online before you go to a restaurant
It’s having meltdowns in the middle of the night
It’s struggling to stand when you need to keep going
It’s feeling so alone even when you’re surrounded by people.

Late night panic attacks and crying fits are just the tip of the iceburg
You know nothing until you look into my dark, twisted mind.
The lies I tell myself creep in through the window
Consuming every waking moment.
Am I a failure?
Am I going to survive this episode?
You may think I’m a social butterfly
But wait until you see what’s really inside
There are thousands of butterflies screaming to be let out
There are times when the pain is too much to bare.
But you know what they don’t tell you about anxiety?
“You’ll survive.”

Let me know in the comments your thoughts and whether you have experienced similar feelings. This poem is quite raw and unpolished so I’d appreciate the feedback ❤ Until next time, love, Vee.

My Experience With OCD

My Experience With OCD

This is quite a sensitive subject to cover on my blog. But I think it’s important to make people more aware of OCD. I never really realized I had OCD until it started to get worse. First of all, I’m going to start off by explaining what OCD is and then move on to what my version of OCD feels like.

What is OCD?

Mind describes OCD as: “Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder. It has two main parts: obsessions and compulsions.

Obsessions are unwelcome thoughts, images, urges, worries or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind. They can make you feel very anxious (although some people describe it as ‘mental discomfort’ rather than anxiety).

Compulsions are repetitive activities that you do to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. It could be something like repeatedly checking a door is locked, repeating a specific phrase in your head or checking how your body feels.”

My Experience

I’ve always had a bit of OCD. When I was 9 I went through a phase of having to drink lots of water – more than normal – so that I felt things could be alright. I have had those “I have to touch it otherwise a family member dies” type experiences. But predominately the one obsession I get over and over again is having to read the same sentence in a book three times over. If I’ve read the sentence twice because I wasn’t paying attention the first time around, I have to do it a third time otherwise something bad will happen. It changes every day, which person will die if I don’t do it, whether something else bad may happen. I know it won’t, but my mind always asks me “what if?” So to be on the safe side I do it anyway. I haven’t really told people that – and it’s partly why I’m such a slow reader.

fb_img_15472951072141038327781605810085.jpg

Another compulsion I have had since I was little is to have to say goodnight to everyone I love three times in my head. And to also repeat the same sentence three times if I think a bad thought and want it to go away.

I try to work on it every day, by dismissing it and telling myself over and over that nothing bad will happen if I don’t say the same thing three times in a row. But our minds work in mysterious ways. I know for a fact we will all die, something bad always happens no matter what. It’s just trying to overcome the urge to complete the compulsions that I find difficult. But I will get there.

I wanted to write this post mainly because I always feel very alone in this. But I know there are loads of people out there who feel the same things as I do. We aren’t alone in this. OCD has always been stereotyped as needing to be a clean “freak.” But that’s not at all what OCD is. It’s about obsessing and having to repeat yourself and battling with the thoughts in our heads every day. You are not alone.

How to Take Care of Yourself

OCD can be really scary sometimes but there are ways to take care of yourself. These include:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Try some relaxation techniques
  • Try mindfulness
  • Create a support network of who you can trust
  • Try to get some exercise
  • Try to say affirmations every day
  • Manage your stress levels the best way you know how
  • Get online support (OCDAction and OCDUK have online communities)

I hope you found this post helpful. If you did, don’t forget to check out my other mental health posts.

 

Book Review: Emergency Contact

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! In this week’s blog I’m going to be reviewing Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read it and what you thought!

Overview

From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

Review (may contain spoilers)

I saw the cover of this book on Instagram (as most of the books I buy are found on aesthetic Bookstagrammer’s pages) and I was intrigued. The cover is so pretty and once I read the synopsis I really wanted to buy it.

When I started reading it, I was so excited after all the hype around it that it sort of fell flat at first. The writing isn’t amazingly thought out; it’s very much “he said, she said” and nothing more. But as the book went on I started to forget the overused verbs and enjoyed the story line.

I really warmed to Penny’s weirdness and related a lot to her without even knowing it. She keeps an emergency stash of supplies in case of an apocalypse and her emotions are totally the opposite of what she wants them to be. I also thought Sam was lovable and even a gentleman. I don’t want to spoil anything for you but it’s so sweet and cringy when he thinks that a baby (not really a spoiler, it happens early on) can solve everyone’s problems.

I actually really related to the whole texting instead of talking in real life idea. It’s true, even with my partner of three years, I still have the urge to text him my feelings because I can better explain things via writing. It was a fresh idea and I think it worked well. The only thing that was slightly disappointing was Sam not getting his big break that you expect him to. 

For a debut novel, I think that Choi hit the ground running with this unique story of love, awkwardness and family drama. It has a bit of something for everyone and I even warmed to Mallory once I got to know her.

Overall, the characters were well set up, the plot was intriguing and even though the end is slightly predictable, the journey was the best part. I hope you pick it up and read it! It’s such a heartfelt book.

Happy reading! Love, Vee x

Coping With Anxiety

Hi all, in this blog I’m going to be covering anxiety and how I cope with it. I will also be giving you some pointers and tips to help you personally.

So, first off let me explain what anxiety is for those of you who are unsure or curious. Anxiety is a condition where one feels nervous or scared. It feels different for everyone and there are lots of different variations of anxiety. I personally have anxiety when I’m in a situation that makes me uncomfortable. I have anxiety especially if I am alone and out of the house. I sometimes have symptoms such as dizziness where I feel I may faint or fall over uncontrollably and depersonalisation where I feel disconnected from myself, my situation and everything moves in slow motion. One of my biggest fears is fainting which naturally makes me anxious which makes it worse. Basically, it’s a vicious circle.

Some people describe anxiety like drowning; it feels like you’re sinking and you can’t save yourself. Some people are socially anxious where they feel nervous or uncomfortable in social situations. I also have social anxiety because I constantly think people are judging and criticizing me. Anxiety impacts my life by dictating what I should wear, how I walk and what I say. It’s also common to go over a conversation over and over again in your head because you think you said something silly or idiotic.

Some people, like me, experience panic attacks where you feel a fire in your chest and all logic melts away. I think the worst possible things I think could happen, even though they won’t. Symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, sweating and breathlessness. Your heart rate quickens because of the “fight or flight” instinct and you may feel overwhelmed with bad thoughts and situations.

I try some techniques to try to avoid panic attacks and they help to calm me down. I have listed them below:

1. Affirmation 

When I am on the brink of an anxiety attack I continually tell myself that I am okay; that I need to stay calm and try to say soothing things to myself. I sometimes even create stories in my head to think about something else. Whichever tactic or sentences you come up with to help soothe anxiety, it is an individual choice personal to you and what I say to myself might not work for you – try having conversations with yourself and see what choice of words calms you the most.

You also have to remember anxiety won’t hurt you and that you will always be okay – even if you panic, it will be over. You are giving anxiety a voice and letting it control you is something we all have to conquer in our own way.

2. Music

Make sure to have a playlist which you can sing along to which distracts you. Having music on helps me think deeply and distracts me from panicking. Find which songs soothe your anxiety and compile a playlist. You could even title it “Anxiety Relief” or something like that so you can quickly find it on your device.

3. Support

The most important thing is to have a support system of friends or/and family members who understand and want to help you. It can be hard for people to understand anxiety if they have not experienced it, or they have experienced a different type of anxiety. I always find it reassuring to be able to call someone I trust to talk to when I’m anxious. Having these people helps with my recovery and through the bad times.

If you don’t have someone who you can call, maybe try joining a local support group or finding friends on a Facebook page. I’ll put some links below to some Facebook groups:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/anxietysupport4u/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/letsfightanxietytogether/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AnxietyDUnite/

4. Listen to other stories

Listening to other peoples’ stories and their experience with anxiety helps to know you aren’t alone. And sometimes you can even gain a few tips. Watching YouTube videos can be a good way to do this or reading blogs. I will probably blog my own story in the not too distant future. I’ll also put some anxiety related videos below for you to watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O53tADdnEs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzpky0zQSOk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QIa1kSG45A

5. You are your home

Ever since I began having anxiety and panic attacks, my family have always told me that wherever I am, I’m my own safety net, my own home and I can get through anything. If you have a safe place, like I do (my bed), then you need to try to realise that you are your own safe place and wherever you go, you are strong enough to get through it. It may seem impossible, but you will learn that you are your own safety net and that you carry your home in your heart. It can be scary to realise you’re the only person who can help you, but once you know how strong you are, you will be able to conquer the world.

6. Health and well-being

I know a lot of people who do meditation to help with anxiety – personally I don’t have the patience – but it’s incredibly good for your well-being.

Getting a therapist or a counselor or talking to a doctor is a good idea – don’t worry if they act like you’re crazy – don’t give up till they help you. Talking through how you feel and receiving tips is what to expect from a counselor or therapist. But discuss that more with your doctor.

Rescue Remedy is excellent too. I use Rescue Remedy which helps to calm my nerves. You can get it here:

http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/vitamins-supplements/homeopathic-flower-remedies/rescue-remedy/

Eating healthy and drinking less caffeine can also help to boost your mood.

Helpful Links

I will put links to some websites which have more anxiety information down below:

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/a/anxiety

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/#.WLgxTm_yjIU

https://themighty.com/anxiety/

Overall, that is my list of what is hopefully helpful anxiety relief advice. I will be talking more about this subject in future blogs but for now I thought giving some tips would be a good start.

Remember that this is an account of my personal experience and if you have different ways of coping, please comment! Also, always feel free to message me if you ever need someone to talk to.

My social media:

Instagram:
@readycupcake
@pastel.swift