‘This is not a ‘pity me’ post – or me asking you to say you like me – this is me just sharing how my brain works – hope this makes sense!’
I touched on this a while back on an Instagram post – but that was more about accepting myself physically, this blog post is covering my issues with accepting or liking/loving myself mentally.
You’ll find the original Instagram post HERE – did try and embed it, but the video wouldn’t show!
I know it does seem strange to say this, considering how much of myself I put out there on Social Media, but I do find it really hard to like myself, let alone love myself. I don’t know if this is part of my anxiety disorder or whether it’s just a particularly annoying character flaw – which in turn makes me think “Well if I can’t like myself, how can I expect anyone else too?” I even question the poor Hubby now and then, “Do I annoy you?“, “Do you really love me?” I mean a lot of the time I irritate myself! Read More »
I’m not 100% sure what’s triggered me feeling like this today – I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing by sharing it on my blog, but if just one other person reads this and feels just the slightest relief that they’re not the only one who has flat days then I think it’s worth it!
That’s the best descriptive word to cover my mood today – just flat – it’s one of those days where doing anything takes an exorbitant amount of effort (including writing this), so considering how much I had to do today made it exhausting. Plastering a smile on your face and pretending you’re fine – when in fact colours look muted, nothing holds your interest, noisy crowds are overwhelming and in reality all you want to be is safely at home! Just ‘meh’, feeling sad and lonely, even with people around. Read More »
I did something today that I found really scary – no I didn’t parachute out of an aeroplane or bungee jump off a bridge – I opened up about my anxiety and shared my deepest darkest fear publicly on social media!
Now in doing this I seriously suffered further anxiety, worried that people would think I was doing this to just get attention and have people say nice things about me and I can assure you this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Outwardly I am a confident and chatty person but I’ve always been a worrier – even as a kid I wondered if people liked me. When I saw the wonderful charity Mind doing their Take Off the Tape campaign today I knew I had to take part. We need to get people talking about their anxiety and not holding it in, it’s absolutely draining and exhausting (I speak from experience) – initially I thought I would put I get anxious about “Failing”, “Not being good enough” or “Affecting my kids with my anxiety” amongst about another 100 thoughts and then thought I do actually share that part of my anxiety with people, I am quite open that I am an anxious person, but what I rarely mention is that I am constantly thinking; “Do I annoy people?”, “What do people think about me?”, “Have I offended them by saying x, y and z” – boiling down to “Do people really like me?”.
It took me an hour to post the image – I was flushing and feeling so hot and terrified as I pressed post on Instagram and my true inner feelings were shared across Facebook (including my Blog page) and Twitter as well! What I couldn’t have foreseen is the generous outpouring of support and lovely comments from my wonderful friends – I cannot thank you all enough, really I can’t! It means more to me than you can ever realise!
Everyday is a constant battle with these negative thoughts – One example being, you send someone a message on Facebook and you can see that they’ve read it, but they don’t reply and hours and even maybe a couple of days have gone past – logically you know it’s probably a case of they’ve opened it, been busy and thought I’ll read that later and forgotten, or they’ve written a reply and just haven’t hit send (things I’ve done myself) but that small voice in your head says “you’ve offended them”, “you’re just being annoying”, “They don’t like you” and you know in your heart of hearts it’s silly (and to be honest, and not in a horrible way – they probably don’t give you that much thought) but that’s the issue with anxiety – it isn’t logical, it’s all consuming and tiring! This is just one example of the hundreds of thoughts I have all day everyday. Some days are better and you do wonder how you can get so bogged down by your own thoughts, but it creeps up on you and suddenly you’re in floods of tears and you have no clue what to do!
Which is why I am very lucky I have such a wonderful supportive family, who though don’t always understand why my mind does what it does they are always there for me especially my hubby. Also a network of great friends (who, yes I do worry whether they really like me or not!) some of them who are also anxiety sufferers.
Then there is Mind who’s work and support to people like me is just invaluable, I have used them, the counselling sessions were so good, and I would go back to them again and I want to thank them and back them so that they can continue to help more people.
Join in the conversation – here’s how..
Anxiety is shit! It really is! It makes you feel out of control, like you’re losing your mind, completely alone, like you can’t cope and that you’re a failure! It can make just stepping outside and talking with people the hardest thing. Let’s show our support for Mind and make a big noise on social media – Don’t be silenced – we can help each other know that we’re not alone and we can beat this!
What makes you anxious? – Feel free to share, comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I know how you feel and am very happy to listen! Don’t be alone and Don’t be silenced! #TakeOffTheTape – http://www.mind.org.uk/tape xxx
Or so Bob Dylan sang! This is exactly what is happening in my life currently – I’ve been going through a massive period of change and it’s very exciting but also in equal parts terrifying!
Towards the back end of 2014 I was struggling at work – not with actual work based aspect of it, I’m very good at what I do which is data analysis – I’m not bragging just being truthful, my issue lay with how stressed I was, the work life balance and to be totally honest the monetary reward against the amount of hours/work I was putting in was pretty pants. I’m not greedy, but it would be nice to actually feel slightly valued! I am sure you would agree.
Let me give you a quick synopsis of my work history…
Just before I had my Pink One in 2009 I was working full time for HSBC Global Asset Management – where I really liked working and the pay was very good. After my maternity leave I went back part time doing three days a week which was perfect – the money was still good even at the reduced hours.
I then went on to have my Blue One in 2012. Went back to HSBC starting my hand over – then the phonecall came. The department was restructuring and my job was at risk – after a very strange month where I went into work to job hunt – it is very surreal to be sat at your desk at work with you CV out looking for a job I can tell you – it all came to an end and I was made redundant. I went away with a good package and no hard feelings, I would be happy to work for them again in the future.
So I continued job hunting – I didn’t need something too urgently, but with what our mortgage payments were at that time, the sooner something came up the better.
After what felt like ages, but was literally only about a month I found the role I have just left. A data manager for a school. I found it in the jobs and careers newspaper – which I bought very rarely as I think it’s a rip off at about £3.99 for about what feels like six pieces of paper!
I liked the idea of a job in the school – and everyone tells you how lucky you are, it’s so hard getting a job in a school and it’s the perfect job to have with kids, and on paper this seem to be the case, I was only having to do 14 hours a week, term time only – so school holidays off, fantastic!
Though as time went on and I sat down and worked out what I was actually earning, especially once childcare had been paid, and the hours I was actually putting in, it was actually pretty pointless – it would be a great job if you didn’t have childcare to pay or young children of school age – as we’d also sorted out our mortgage so that payment had fallen to pretty much half – I might as well work in a supermarket again a couple times a week like I used too – less stress and not bringing work home with you (and if I did, my friend pointed out that’d be shoplifting!!!). The holiday that was most important to be off was the summer holidays but that was my most busy time doing the analysis on the A Level and GCSE results.
So I started considering stopping work to be with my kids, discussed it with my husband and checking we could financially cope for a couple of years and we could, but then I started to worry – what would I do when I wanted to return to work? What would my skills be? What work would I be able to do? As you can see I am a bit of a worrier!
Then an idea came to me, maybe I could be at home with the kids and study – so be there for them but also be doing something for me, as I don’t currently have a degree, which hopefully will make me still employably attractive when I want/need to return to work (and show that I am really good at working at home too 😉).
So that’s where I am now, I resigned from my job in November 2014 finishing up January 2015, I am a stay at home mum and I’m doing the first module (TU100 My Digital Life) of a BSc in Computing & IT with the Open University part time – my current vision is to return to work as a Data Analyst in London, but things change as time goes along, but having an end goal in sight it helps you focus! It’s not been easy and definitely has taken some getting used to, and remembering how to learn but I’m adjusting! I must say the Open University is very supportive and I’d highly recommend them!
This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, I’ve had some sort of job since I was 16 (pretty much half my life) but I pray and hope it has been the right decision, I am so grateful for my husband’s and family’s support!
So after the amazing experience of running my first 10km today feels a bit of an anti-climax, so to improve my mood I will share with you that I have entered the Bupa London 10,000 and I am doing this in support of the charity Mind – a charity that has helped me and who is close to my heart. 1 in 4 of us are affected by mental health problems in our life times – with charities like Mind they can help people get through these tough times, improve people’s quality of life and make mental health less of a taboo and I would be most grateful if sometime between now and May you could sponsor me – with much thanks in advance!
Now moving back to Janathon Day 19 – well my contributions today are the walk I took to take my daughter to school and again this afternoon when I collected her – which was 1.3km each time – so a total of 2.6km all with a near 3 year old in tow, so I am sure this increases the exercise content of this mundane walk!? ;-P
I also did 10 mins of vacuuming which included the stairs!!!
So a more gentle day today – but good for loosening up the muscles in my legs after yesterday, which currently don’t feel too bad, long may this last!