Friday, April 29, 2016

Are we making the stigma worse?

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, and here's why.

I took a full-time job, guys. Not that I didn't put in 40 hours before but it was much less chaotic and deadline driven.

My new job is great, I am reporting on health. It's just very demanding. Leaves little time to be inspired or see a cool anxiety study and then jump on here to rant about it.

I did, however, start Periscoping! I'm at @healanxiety there if you want to follow me. It's been awesome to talk about my own experiences and talk to others about theirs.

There was a recent study about more people being aware that mental health is a real issue--that people can't help anxiety, depression, borderline, schitzophrenia, all of the disorders we grapple with. They said that there's less of a stigma. It was interesting, but what got me about it was that it didn't talk about the people suffering with those diseases as much.

I think a lot of people suffering with mental health are still perpetuating the stigma.

Many seem afraid of medication, for one. I understand not wanting to jump on Periscope or the web and be like, "I think I am going nuts, I have panic attacks when I do X, Y and Z!" but I can't tell you how many people I have come across--namely on Periscope, and not in my scope so much as others--where people are freaking out about taking meds. Why?

This perpetuates the stigma that these are not real problems. They have real solutions. And while meds aren't for everyone, they can help a person make a full recovery. I am living proof. I'd rather be healed and having had to take a pill to help me do it than to live in perpetual illness and refuse to take a pill or bash others who have.

This is not to offend anyone, please don't take it that way. Just something that's been on my mind.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Get in my scope.

I've taken to Periscope, people!

That said, I won't want it to replace my blogging here. Here's where I get my thoughts down.

And I've had so many thoughts about being able to use my anxiety for good...that's really my goal. Make all that turmoil somehow worth it. It's worth it anytime I can connect with someone and let them know they're not alone, or inspire them to have a better day.

What a gratifying feeling it is!

And I realize that many people in the throngs of anxiety aren't at maybe the happiest place. That's okay. Be where you are. It's your journey. Just make sure you reach out and seek healing along the way...that's kind of all you can do. Just don't get stuck in it.

And if part of that reaching out is watching me on Periscope ramble away, then I'm happy to do it:)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Two faces of anxiety.

Has anyone seen the article about this woman shooting her before-and-after panic attack photo?

I think it's brilliant and she's so strong for putting herself out there. I also love the juxtaposition of how we normally appear and what panic really looks like.

Thoughts?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Anxiety books.

What books have helped you learn about and cope with anxiety? Saw this post on "12 Less Obvious Books That Can Help You Deal With Anxiety." So interesting!

Monday, March 7, 2016

In it.

Hard couple of days here. Nothing really wrong, but things have just been mentally tough. Tough to stay grounded, find my center and stay peaceful. But I'll get there.

It's just humbled me. Reminded me that anxiety isn't who I am, but it is a part of me that will always be there I want to break old patterns and embrace it instead of fighting. So I'm kind of just going with some icky feelings right now, feeling them and trying to make sense of them. But trying to also sit with my anxiety/depression and just let it be. It won't destroy me. Also, I am trying to take good care of myself and making sure to inject some good stuff. (Not a good time to watch the "Downton Abbey" finale, so I'll catch it on-demand at a later date.)

I want to call my therapist so badly--haven't seen her in a few years. I know she's only one call away if I need her, and there's nothing wrong with seeking help.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

15 Things You Need To Know About People Who Have Concealed Anxiety

A Facebook friend posted this article, and I haven't stopped thinking about it.

15 Things You Need To Know About People Who Have Concealed Anxiety

That was me. All 15. And this author hit the nail on the head, articulating so many things that I've been trying to in my book. The thing is, it's really hard writing about that old stuff you can't articulate. It's not just saying, "I had a hard time traveling." When I was agoraphobic--and I was--I didn't know that I was, really. I just felt my world imploding around me. And I was so Type A at the time, that I was able to--for the most part--hide it.

And now that I have done some healing--and believe you me, I'm grateful for it because I realize some people never make their way "out"--it's hitting me all over again. Reading about those old feelings.

Sometimes things come up in my life that kind of stir up those old fears, old mindsets. I fear of relapsing. I fear of living with agoraphobia, and I fear living in a concealed anxiety cocoon. There is no healing in concealed anxiety, and you don't even know that because you can hardly think about managing your anxiety because you're holding on to it so fiercely so no one can see.

My days of concealed anxiety are largely behind me, mostly because I am more apt to be open and reach out for help now. Yet I feel the need to explore it again. Not just because I'm writing a memoir (named after this blog) but I guess it's part of my continued healing.

I couldn't see how sick I was until I got better. Now I see how diseased my mind was, and I don't know why I can't help but stare. Feeling grateful I'm no longer there, but feeling so fixated that I can't walk away. Kind of like when you pass a car crash on the road and you don't want to slow down and look, but you do.

Why am I looking? Why am I revisiting? What's there for me to see?