Anxiety – the misunderstood illness

Yesterday I had a serious meltdown.

I am not generally the kind of person who cries often, but yesterday I cried for so hard and for so long that I struggled to breathe.

I have had anxiety for a long time, it takes over me.

Unfortunately it isn’t something I can control, or something that I can just get over.

Those who struggle with anxiety..know exactly what I mean.

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I often think that people consider anxiety to be a feeling of sadness, but anxiety is actually teamed with depression.

Often the work in tandem, rather like a wrestling tag team…when one needs to rest the other hops in never giving you a second to be at peace.

Most days my anxiety simmers beneath the surface, I never really allow myself to let people see my weakness.

I am much better at pretending everything is OK and painting on the fake smile.

Which is what I have done, right up until last night I got by with the fake smile.

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Have you every filled a glass with water so much that it overflows?
Even when you turn the tap off its still so full that water spills out.

This is the same with anxiety.

My anxiety is always so close to the surface that bits will spill out here and there.

Very much like that overfilled glass of water.

Have you reached that point where everything you do or say is ignored?
Where you feel increasingly insignificant – as if nothing you do is ever good enough?

I am constantly feeling this way.

I am a mother to 3 beautiful kids, and married to a wonderful man..but never feel like I deserve these things.

As though I am undeserving of happiness.

Interestingly, sadness is not my greatest enemy.

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Those who hear the words depression or anxiety think sadness is all we feel.

But it is so much more than that.

On a daily basis I feel a mix of self loathing, anxiety and emptiness.

Sadness tends to be the end result of everything spilling over.

And that is what happened to me just yesterday.

I felt like I was drowning, like I wasn’t seen, didn’t exist.
I was crushed under the weight of the pressure I put upon myself.

Right now I feel empty.
My heart feels full and heavy.
But my body..me as a person feels empty, inside.

I am working so hard to not feel this way.
I really, truly wish I could just feel ‘normally’ about myself.
I don’t like the word normal, but you understand my point.

To be able to wake up in the morning and not feel like a failure before my day has even begun.
To not feel as though my friends and loved ones are just putting up with me.
To be able to stand in a group of people I don’t know, and feel comfortable..willing to speak up and feeling confident.
To be able to be happy in my own skin and my own self.

To not feel empty.

Loves, if you have anxiety don’t feel like you cannot talk about it.

Anxiety is real. And it is an illness.

Don’t be fooled into thinking it is just a feeling of sadness.

It is so much more. And it is crippling.

Try to be the warm hug or the comforting shoulder for a friend who suffers in silence.

Believe me when I say, suffering in silence is the worst pain

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Dear world media – please think before you print

So I have wanted to write a piece for a while now in body image – and I have been holding off because I sort of lost my flow..blogging wise.

But you know something that the beautiful Anastasia posted caught my attention – and I have to write about it!

So thank you Anastasia for giving me the nudge 😀

I know I have written many times before on the importance of instilling a healthy body image on our young girls – but darn it so many things are aimed at them nowadays, I don’t think enough can be said.

So an article came to my attention. Read it here

It’s about helping 8 year olds to look better in a swimsuit..
I mean what the heck??
Seriously??

When I was 8 I was not worrying about finding a swimsuit to flatter my figure… At 8 I didn’t really have a figure.

It wasn’t something important to me as a youngster.
And it shouldn’t be something that an 8 year old needs to focus on, in fact it isn’t something anyone should focus on!

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Magazines aimed at young girls should be helpful.
They should offer encouragement and advice for those who struggle.

But this kind of article is so rife right now – because image is considered the most important thing.

This kind of article encourages low self-esteem, low self image, weight loss, eating disorders.. the list goes on!

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Believe me an eating disorder is not something I would wish on anyone, especially a young girl.

I was 10 when I had mine, and I was dangerously underweight and hospitalised.
To this day I am still fighting with it.
It never really leaves you, just remains dormant.

You may feel in control or enjoy the comments people give you..but they only need the eating disorder.

I don’t let my kids see me weigh myself, which just lately (I am not proud to admit) I have been doing almost daily.

For so many years I refused to have a set of scales in the house, because I knew I would become addicted to weighing myself.

It’s not a healthy place to be in.

But once you have the idea in your head that you are not “perfect” like your favourite celebrity – it’s hard to shake.

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This is a really scary – but rather truthful portrayal of society’s image of “perfection”
Do you see how distorted it is?

It is not possible to fit into this mould.

Perfect hair
Big breasts
Tiny defined arms
Toned and honed slender stomach
Narrow hips but a big booty
Thigh gaps and slender legs.

This is how body image is portrayed to us.
This is how I wanted to be for years.

But I am making peace with how I look.
I mean for goodness sake my body has carried 3 children!

There is no one perfect body out there, all bodies are perfect and beautiful in their own way.

I don’t buy into the whole “real women have curves” stuff because in my opinion that is on the body shaming spectrum.

I believe that all body shapes are beautiful
All women are beautiful.

And our girls need to know that they are beautiful, just as they are.

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You are you
And you are beautiful

Seeing these kinds of articles aimed at children so young breaks my heart and sickens me at the same time.

It only strengthens my resolve to not buy these kinds of magazines for myself or my girls

Because they are dangerous, they poisonous and they fuel the fire of low self image.

I just want the media to understand just how dangerous their words are.

Words have the power to harm or to heal.

Dear world media please use your words to heal.

Stop harming people with your “perfect” body propaganda.
Read it before you print it. Please.
Think before you write.

Keep our girls as young girls.
Don’t pressure them into illness and anxiety.

We are all beautiful.

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FMF – grow

Oh guys..I am sorry for my absence..I can’t even explain why, I just kinda lost my blogjo ( it’s a word! )

I had to take a step back and look at where I am and consider things from my writing perspective.
On several occasions I have wanted to write post on certain things, but I held back for fear of repeating myself I guess.

But I have decided on something, to kick that fear to the kerb.

Do you know why?

Because I have a message, I have honesty and truth to share.
I want to help others through there own sadness.
And I can’t do that if I fear sharing my own sadness and journey you know?!

So I am back baby!

And I am back with a bit of five minute Friday 😊

You know how it goes, every Friday (ish!) we join together across the internet to free write for five minutes on a given prompt.
And as usual I am joining in with kate and her link up.

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This weeks prompt – grow

Let’s go

It’s that time of year again where everything bursts back into life.
Where plants begin to grow and new life springs up everywhere you turn.

Life is suddenly enveloped in a delightful green hue.

After so long being surrounded by shades of wet, soggy brown..it is terribly refreshing 😊

Spring is my favourite.

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There is something about new life that fills me with joy and hope.

Life is bursting around me

I see the buds on my trees, ripe with leaves and flowers

The lush green grass and the brown bark of trees suddenly covered in leaves.

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All the new flowers that now line my path – sprinkles of beauty.

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This spring has also been a time for personal growth for me.

I am always walking the path of growth – I planted my seeds and I am watering them daily with self love and kindness.

The more I water, the more they grow.

So this spring.

Plant, water, grow 🌼

Stop.

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