Anxiety…what to do?

We’ve heard it all before, “just be happy, everything’s going to be okay.” Do you know how many times I have told myself that in hopes that maybe my brain would finally believe what I was telling it? The truth is, everything really will be okay. Anxiety has a funny way of making it seem like everything will go wrong and everyone will eventually hate you. Here’s a secret…some things will go wrong and some people might not like you, but that’s life. Anxiety is one of those things that left unrecognized can make you feel legitimately crazy and sometimes even more so when you acknowledge it. If you let people know you are having anxious thoughts or feelings it can often times lead to a downward spiral that just makes that anxiety one thousandtimes worse. So, how do we deal with it when nothing is going right, everything feels overwhelming and you’re drowning in a four-inch puddle of water that feels like an ocean?

 

There are ten thousand remedies for anxiety, a million people who think they can help you and millions of pins on Pinterest offering the latest and greatest solutions for how to “cure” anxiety. There is no magic cure and there is no magic pill that will make it just go away. I’m certainly not going to sit here and tell you that if you do steps 1-5 you’ll get rid of your anxiety and be a happy butterfly, but I am telling you that if you do just one of these things and focus some attention on it, you might find yourself in a different headspace. 

 

In my previous post I touched on what I’ve been going through mentally and here are just a few of the things that have helped me push through the hard days that are filled with anxiety.

 

1. Working out: this doesn’t have to be anything crazy, it can literally just be walking. Get up and get moving and get out of your head.
2. Put on your favorite movie and just sit there…this one’s hard, but if you need a distraction grab a coloring book and just focus on letting yourself relax.
3. Clean…I know, what’s wrong with me? Honestly, though cleaning has really helped keep me busy and uses my anxious energy for something positive. 
4. Do not stuff your feelings down. I keep a notebook on my coffee table and every time I need to get something out I just write it down. Nothing has to make sense, you just have to be sure you’re processing your thoughts and emotions instead of pushing them down.
5. FEEL…yes that’s in all caps because it’s important. You have to feel and if that means crying, screaming or sitting in silence it’s completely okay. Anxiety will make you feel like you’re a burden but you’re not at all. 

 

In conclusion, just know that you are not alone and that if you are dealing with anxiety others are too and you just have to reach out. If you have relationships with people (friendly or romantic) make sure they know how you feel and don’t ever apologize for those feelings. Sometimes focusing on yourself is more than okay and if people can’t help you create a better space for you (anxiety and all good included) walk away and create that space for yourself. 

 

New Year, New Me

Mental health…what a taboo topic. In 2019, things have come a long way and the discussion on mental health has definitely increased, but there’s still an air of negativity surrounding individuals who are open with their struggles. For three years (2016-2019) I have had the most up and down journey with mental health to include depression, abusing substances to make myself feel better (legal not illegal) and my eating disorder, which I have struggled with for upwards of 10 years. To add to the mess of my mental health, I am an extremely empathetic person and that has gotten in the way of me really focusing on what is important for my personal recovery. Being open about my struggles has been extremely hard because admitting to not being able to take care of yourself is something that no adult wants to do, especially someone who has a job that involves making sure other people are taking care of themselves and making time to do things that all adults need to do. For the past three years I have had to make sure that others around me are doing great, all while feeling isolated and unable to identify what I was really struggling with. This lead to me pushing those who loved and cared for me away, letting those who wanted to use me in and allowing them to have a negative impact on my life and completely letting myself go leading to me hitting my rock bottom.

 

When you’re struggling with any type of mental illness, it’s incredibly hard to pull yourself out of it because denying there’s a problem is so much easier. Even when those around me who cared voiced their concerns I would brush it off and project onto someone, making it seem like I had it all together. Throughout the last three years I have unsuccessfully gone to therapy, thinking that I could handle all of the negative aspects in my life. I used my eating disorder, negative relationships and any substance I could…mainly alcohol (never to the point that it impacted my ability to do my job) to escape my problems and make it seem like I had it under control. Controlling the negatives things I did to myself gave me a fall sense of “having it all together”, when in reality I had nothing together and every day was a struggle. I found myself punishing myself daily with exercise, controlling my food to an absurd level, bingeing, purging…anything to make myself feel something because feeling pain was better than feeling the nothing that had consumed my life. I’m not writing this for pity, I’m simply writing this because although my sense of positivity is newly found, I feel like I’m finally on the other side. I no longer feel the need to punish myself because that’s not helping anything, I’m working to improve the relationships I let go to the wayside, I’m cutting out negativity from my life to include people and things that do not spark job and I’m finally focusing on me for the first time ever. 

 

As cliché as it sounds, you become your thoughts, you become the people you surround yourself and only you have the ability to change the way you feel. Yes, people around you can help with that, but you ultimately have to decide you want to be better. It took me 3 years of pain and suffering to finally decide that enough was enough…I woke up one day and decided that I was going to eat because I want to fuel my body, workout because I love my body and want to be healthy, put down anything that didn’t make me feel 100% and work every day to make myself and my relationships with the ones in my life that have always been there better. I don’t have it all figured out and I will never claim to, but every day I’m taking steps to figure out how to cope with sadness, grief, loneliness, and letting go of what I cannot control. 2019 is my year to really focus on myself and become the Sara that I know I’m meant to be and the first step in doing so is letting go of my past and making sure that I take steps everyday to change the things that clearly did not get me anywhere. If I can help at least 1 person see that they are not alone and that we all have demons we struggle with, my job here is done. I like to be an open book and not hide my struggles because that honestly does no good. I am not ashamed that I have struggled, I am proud that I finally found the strength to pick myself up and find value in my life. If any of you needed a sign to keep going, this is it. 

 

P.S. I don’t know if this made sense and I’m sorry to anyone who proof reads my writing. I really just wanted to get this out and maybe help one person today. If you are struggling, it’s okay, it does get better and you can do this!

Pride

Sometimes in life you have to put your pride aside and just be human. Today I had one of those moments and it reminded me that I am trying and learning everyday.

I went out on a limb and enrolled in a class to get a certification for IT in order to set myself up for a better future once I get out of the army. This 80 hour course and certification exam is one that even IT specialists have a hard time with, so I went in knowing it would be hard. For two weeks I spent my time studying for the exam and learning way more about computers than I ever thought possible. This morning I put that knowledge to the test and for the first time in my life, I failed but I ultimately won. I won because I went out on a limb and took a class to better myself, worked in an area I’ve never worked in and put hours of studying in. I didn’t pass, but I proved to myself that I am still capable of learning and growing!

Depression

Today as I sit here and wonder what I’m doing, I can feel a sense of hopelessness but also of hope. I know that rationally this feeling won’t last and that in time I will feel better, but right now it seems like it will never end. Storms are moving in to central Texas, and I can feel it starting to change my mood and the way I feel, but it won’t last. Whether you struggle with depression, anxiety, or a combination of the two just know that feelings don’t last and you can make it through anything. For the time being, I will sit with my feelings because I’m allowed to be sad, mad, angry and tomorrow I will wake up and hope that these feelings fade.

Morning person?

A lot of people look at me like I’m crazy for waking up at 0345 on weekdays, but for me my motivation is knowing that I can start my day in a productive manner. Is it easy everyday to wake up before the sun rises? Heck no, but it’s so wonderful to be awake before the rest of the world, knowing that I’m doing something to better myself. Whether you wake up early to workout, or simply just to have time for yourself before a busy day, a few hours can make all the difference.

Here are just a few ways you can become a morning person:

1. Make a schedule and stick to it: Come up with a time you would like to go to bed, and then what time you would like to wake up. Make sure you’re getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep, even if that means hitting the hay an hour earlier.

2. Write down a list of goals to accomplish before starting your day: My goals typically include a workout, a water intake goal and some self reflection/improvement through journaling or listening to podcasts.

3. After a week of this new habit evaluate how you feel: Take the time to see how you’re new schedule is working and tweak it if you find that the times you set for yourself aren’t working.

These are only 3 ways to start a new routine, but each tip will get you that much closer to becoming a morning person and accomplishing more throughout your day.

Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Sara and I’m new to this whole world of blogging. I’m 25, I have been living in Texas for the past 7 years and although I moved here as quickly as I could, I am not a Texan by birth. I was born in Kansas and grew up in Germany, which allowed me to experience so many things that have molded me into the person I am today. I graduated high school in 2011 and attended Texas A&M, where I graduated with a bachelors degree in 2015. From there, I moved to central Texas and have been there ever since…but enough of the boring stuff. In my 25 years of life, I’ve experienced quite a lot and most of those things have not been the most socially acceptable. First off, I’m human so if anything on here is embarrassing (I’m sure there will be) please just read it and move on. Second, everyone goes through things in life so I’m just here trying to live my best life and help others do the same. Within the past decade I have overcome an eating disorder, graduated high school, graduated college, got married, deployed, got a divorce and was diagnosed with a chronic illness…so yea, there’s been a lot going on. This blog will focus on life while dealing with chronic illness, a busy work schedule and an overwhelming determination to succeed in every aspect of life. Life is an adventure, and I’m incredibly excited you’re here to join me on mine.

IMG_5307The Journey Begins