Busting Anxiety 💪🏻

Ever had an awful feeling something so simple as a conversation you haven’t had yet, take over your every thought and action? Last week was a big week for me reguarding beating one part of mental health I battle against every day – anxiety. I haven’t discussed anxiety in itself on my blog before but it’s time I did. I’m so proud of myself. So so SO proud of myself.


Here’s some feelings I have put into questions that I experienced:

How many times and how many conversations can you really make up that could potentially happen but then to just think constantly about the answers and how you could perhaps change the way you respond to them can one person make?

How many nights will I lack sleep or have disturbed sleep?

How many of them nights will I wake up in a sweat/panic?

How much hair will I have pulled out due to Trich thinking it is a great time to play up? (Oh Trich just never lets me live, it has me under its thumb… grrrrr)

To finish, how many times will my dreams incorporate this meeting and make me think of every single thing that could go wrong and resulting in waking up with my heart going so fast it makes me shake? All over one meeting, that my mind over thought and over thought and would not let me rest.

It was like this whilst outside the room where I had this meeting, let alone the lead up to it. My anxiety was literally shouting at me whilst on my way and outside, telling me to go back home and I wasn’t worthy of talking to someone. That the person I was about to talk to didn’t care and that no one cares. That what I was feeling, I deserved. Anxiety is a nasty, nasty thing to live with. It makes it so hard to get on with your daily life without having these potential set-backs. The reality of anxiety is, it is not cute. Anxiety isn’t trendy. It is awful to feel this way over things that would be so normal to do for every other person. It frustrates me no end the stigma surrounding anxiety.

The day before I had one of the most incredible books delivered* to me. The book is called “We’re All Mad Around Here” and is a guide on how to cope and survive social anxiety. It’s written by a fab lady called Claire Eastham and I have a lot to thank this woman. When she asked me if I’d like a proof copy of this book I couldn’t turn it down. I read the entire book in one night and she made me feel less alone. The way the book is written is like she is talking to you. There is the perfect mix between the science of why these feelings happen and her own experiences. The addition of Claire’s own experiences makes you feel like you’re not alone, especially when you can relate. I learnt an awful, awful lot about social anxiety from this book. I learnt ways that I can help myself and I learnt ways I can help others.

I was able to take what I learnt from this book to before my meeting to make me feel less anxious and nervous. I will be reading this book again, especially if I’m ever in that situation.


I’m proud of myself, that although all the signals in my mind told me to turn around and go home, I was able to overcome them and go into the meeting. Even if the lady told me to put my laptop down because I was shaking too much and was making her feel giddy. I did it. I didn’t let anxiety and it’s overpowering thoughts take over. I’m so glad I did too, it helped me a lot.

If you have something important coming up and you’re in the same situation I believe you can do it. If I was in the state I was and did it, you can as well. You’ve got totally got this. Bust anxiety in the floor and show it, you’re the boss… not anxiety.
** I was sent this as a little gift not as a sponser! Thank you so much to the lovely Claire 😘

Advertisements

#WorldMentalHealthDay 10th October

I’ve said in a post previously that I’m going to take time away from my blog to focus on my studies, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write a post about World Mental Health Day which takes place on October 10th. I’m quite the advocate of Mental Health especially now I have found a place where I can share my story to the world.

Although I feel that sharing my story with the world means I am putting myself in the firing line. I always worry that people will think I write on my blog about my experiences to gain attention. I’ve been suffering with Trichotillomania for over fourteen years now, which is a massive, massive part of my life I wouldn’t be writing my posts for attention. I post them for awareness. I worry that people will think that I ‘know it all’ which I really 100% don’t. I don’t even understand the depths of my own mental health illness. Let alone any of the others.

What I’m trying to say is, I write these posts to help at least one person. That is my aim, every time I pour my emotions into a post and quite frankly let the world into sometimes my deep and dark feelings. I write my blogposts to help raise awareness.

I think it’s so important that you shouldn’t be silenced because you suffer from a mental health illness. Suffering with a mental health illness is just as valid as suffering from a physical illness. Not everyone will understand what you’re feeling or going through, hell you might not understand what is happening with your feelings yourself, I myself feel this all the time. I never know how I’m going to feel when I wake up these days. I never know if I’m going to get a huge awful mood that covers my whole day like a massive storm cloud. I never know if Trich is going to worm its way into my day and make me pull half my hair out and make me feel worse than I already do. This is why it is SO important to speak out. To someone you know, to someone professional or in a journal/your own blog. Whichever makes you feel most comfortable.

It takes me a lot of energy and power to post the posts I do, but the support you receive from it helps you. It helps you know that you aren’t alone and you aren’t being silly or however you may feel. It helps not only you by getting these thoughts and feelings out but it helps other people understand too. I am so grateful that I started writing about my mental health journey and although there are times where I know it may not be everyone’s cup of tea or everyone would want to read it, it makes me happy when people do.

Please, if you ever get comments from people online, or from people you know try your best to ignore them. It makes them shallow and they’re clearly uneducated/misunderstanding. I just hope with everything I have they never feel the way we do most days. Just think of your blog/speaking out about how you feel as educating someone about how another human is feeling.

Do not ever feel silenced.

You’ve got this, 100%. 

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-18-32-45

Bullying VS Trich

The one thing I love about my blog is that I now have the confidence to share my experiences to help other people know they aren’t alone. That is what I hope to do with this post. In my first ever Trich post explaining an overall of my story and what Trich is I mentioned about bullying. Bullying was such a massive massive part of my schooling. I was bullied constantly for nine years. Right from year three through to year eleven. It was a huge part of my life. I’m not going to go into every single detail about how I was bullied in this post but I will give some examples. I think it so emotional and so upsetting thinking back to this time, how a groups of people can make someone feel that bad. I would still like to know what goes through a bullies mind to make them chose ways to mentally, emotionally and sadly sometimes physically destroy innocent people.

I will talk more of my high school experience of bullying as that is more prominent in my mind. I was bullied, believe it or not, for having a ‘square shaped head’ I know right, ridiculous? I had Spongebob Squarepants shouted, and I mean physically shouted at across classrooms, down corridors, around corners and even in the street. I would have the theme tune hummed as I walked by. I had square head shouted and drilled into my mind every single day whilst in high school that I began to believe I had one and there was something wrong with me. I had people walk by me making square gestures with their hands, a bit like big fish little fish cardboard box. These people were usually in groups which I still find funny now that if I saw them on their own they wouldn’t even think of doing it. You know perhaps showing off to their mates to look ‘cool’ but instead they were awful people and they were destroying someones self belief and worth.

Having words like these drilled in your head for years makes your self confidence and self worth plummet. I still to this day am not as confident as what I would like to be. I used to be so scared to put my hand up in class if I knew the answer, incase it was wrong and the class would abrupt into a laughter and shout horrible, horrible things to me. Now, looking back I shouldn’t of cared. I should of gone for it but they made me feel so so so bad. I have presentations at uni now, which I do almost every week to show how we develop our ideas I still feel sick, I still shake and I still have panic attacks about them now. I blame the bullies for this completely. 

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-11-38-05

Whilst they were shouting things at me in the classroom I had to have something which distracted me. I needed something which I could block out their voices and laughter. I needed something that showed them I didn’t care, although I cared so so much. I didn’t have the voice then to tell them to be quiet and go away. I didn’t have the confidence and I 100% didn’t have the power, especially when they were in groups.

That’s when Trich came in. I’ve mentioned before that when I go to pull my hair, most of the time I get into a trance state which I can’t get out of until Trich is satisfied. I barely know what’s going on around me and my hair took full focus. Back then, I used to blame the fact I was nervous onto why I pulled my hair as I had no idea what it was. I used to pull and snap away and away. I didn’t understand Trich at all back then. I didn’t even know what it was so I didn’t have near enough as much frustration with it then as I do now. I got angry because I couldn’t stop. I got told more and more and no one understood that I couldn’t and I was in fact using it as a coping mechanism to get past these awful bullies.

Although this was only one part of what bullies done, they also stopped me from coming out of school and in school on time because of waiting at the gate for when I left. I was so physically scared that I would go into registration late almost every morning and have a teacher walk me to the gate at the end of the day. That happened all the way up to year ten. They stopped me from ‘hanging’ around with my friends at lunchtime and made me be on my own many lunchtimes. They used to corner me in classrooms and in changing rooms and were just so nasty to me, saying awful things that weren’t true. I had rumours made up about me and I was basically the girl they could throw all this shit to and nothing happen because I was that scared. I did tell teachers but I still think to this day they were scared of them too and didn’t want to make a massive deal of it. It didn’t stop at school either, I had messages on Bebo remember them days? that would be nasty. They used to make me scared to log on to see what was in my inbox. I think their mission was to stop me from having any social time at all, in real life or on the internet. Screen Shot 2016-10-02 at 11.38.52.pngI’ve now sat and thought about it and now I’m grateful it happened like that at school. I wouldn’t know now how to stand up for myself without them tormenting me all the time. I wouldn’t know that I have this strength inside me to say enough is enough if it started up again. I would not let anyone, whoever they are, make me feel like that ever again. They may have ‘grown up’ and forgot about the way they treated people like me at school but I haven’t. They have mentally scarred my self confidence and self worth.

If you are being bullied then please please message me. On any of my social media or email. I know what you’re going through 100%. I’ve been there and I’ve done it but trust me it gets better. Please don’t let them take control of you. If you have a teacher you like at school then please go and tell them. You don’t have to put up with it. You shouldn’t put up with it. You can overcome them. You’re so much stronger than you think, trust me.

And finally, to them bullies… THANK YOU for making me the strong person I am today. You may have made my life hell for nine years but now I’m stronger than you could imagine. You didn’t win, I DID, I WON.

Here are some organisations which can help you if you’re getting bullied, they’re there to listen to you also and give the best advice they can… Please don’t be afraid to get in contact if you need them:

I hate you Trich.

Today marks the beginning of BFRB awareness week and I feel like I can really share some of my stories, tips and how I’m feeling throughout this week. I didn’t want my second post for this week to be negative but, I had a really bad Trich night last night which I think sharing the reasons why I HATE Trich will help people who have Trich relate and realise their thoughts aren’t bad or wrong and in fact they aren’t alone.

Recently, I’m going to be honest, Trich hasn’t been fulfront of my mind. This week I just went back to university and a whole lot of work thrown in front of my face and third year is becoming more and more real by the second. As well as other things that are happening I haven’t felt like Trich has really been there. It probably was but I didn’t know about it, that happens a lot too. In the past two days I have had my hair down the WHOLE day. Major major deal guys. I went to an event with my blog which was so lovely to see other bloggers at and I also went to London. The journey to London is twice as long from Southampton as it is from home and Trich does not like long long journeys. When I went to London on the way there I had the horrible horrible constant thoughts of ‘you should pull’ ‘why aren’t you pulling’ ‘you’re doing nothing with your time right now – bingo easy time to pull’ ‘you have neglected me for so long why haven’t you pulled’ and I managed to push past them, try and quiet that voice and managed to beat it. That was until I was ONE… Just one stop away from home and I began pulling. It must of been around 9PM I started and was still pulling and snapping at midnight. It sounds so silly but I had straightened my hair yesterday because I wanted it to look nice, and pretty for once. Straighteners make my hair coarse and it is such a huge huge trigger for me. It was like my mind thought, hellllllll no we are not letting her forget she straightened her hair, she will get them urges to pull and she will pull. I tell you, Trich tries its absolute hardest to ruin any positive thoughts I have with my hair and 90% of the time I let it win… I’m so silly, I know.

Whilst I was lying awake pulling and pulling all these thoughts came to me as to why I HATE Trich. Hate is a really really strong word but I would not wish Trich on my worst enemy. Here are the thoughts that came to me last night:

  • TIME CONSUMING. Holy hell. It wouldn’t even matter if I was at work, if I had to be somewhere Trich will ALWAYS stop me from doing that AND make me spend hours on pulling. When I sit down to do uni work, get ready or something as simple and brushing my hair 50% of the time I’m sat there waiting for it to pass so I can actually do what I was meant to do.
  • Embarrassing. I felt this more on the train yesterday. You know that feeling where it’s busy and you sit there pulling and pulling and pulling and can SEE PEOPLE STARING. I don’t think people realise how sad, upset and little it makes you feel. I wish people minded their own business more.
  • People thinking its ‘weird’. ‘Why do you pull you’re hair out?’ ‘Doesn’t it hurt?’ ‘It’s so weird you do that’ I’ll tell you now, if I could miraculously stop pulling I would. I would stop as soon as. I’ve been suffering from this for years and years. In fact I worked out it was around when I was 8 it began which means I’ve been suffering with this for a good fourteen years. If I could stop wouldn’t you think I had done by now?
  • If I don’t want to get in a photo, or I’m fussing over my hair that’s because I feel so insecure. If my hair is broken at the sides I’m going to make it look less like that. I’m going to want to spend time sorting my hair out, maybe more than other people. I’m not doing it because I’m vain, it’s because I feel so rubbish if I don’t.
  • Self confidence is down the pan. From last night I feel this more. I feel like I’ve taken 100 steps back after my 200 forward. I’m not going to lie I’m frightened my hair will look like it did at the beginning of the year. I’m frightened if one step back will make it go further and further back and I will be back at step one. It’s happened so many times it is possible. I’m frightened.

 

There are many other reasons I hate it, most because I try so hard to get people to understand and it’s hard. I don’t understand it myself and trying to get other people to understand is so much harder than I thought. This week I will be sharing some experiences I’ve had whilst having Trich, some reasons to what I think has caused it and some tips.

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-13-57-39

(Photo credit – Instagram)

I’m sorry again this is quite a negative post, but it isn’t always sunshine living with this and where it is sunshine I like to celebrate it, hard.

Drawing for BFRB awareness week

This week beginning Saturday 1st October to Friday 7th signifies BFRB awareness week. BFRB stands for Body Focused Repetitive Behavour and Trichotillmania is segmented under that. If you don’t know what Trichotillomania is then a quick overall from what I’ve dealt with is that it’s a compulsive urge to pull out your hair. For me it’s my hair on my head but can be hair from anywhere on the body. It makes you feel so small and weak. It ruins your self confidence. It ruins relationships. You can read more of my story on my blog and I’m hoping to share some stories off the side for this week. 

For me one of the ways, when things are getting pretty bad is I like to distract myself through art. I study a degree in graphic design, fashion graphics and it involves a lot of creativity. I like to draw illustrations then ‘destroy’ them with colours that represent how I’m feeling. This week I’ve found things pretty hard and have been so upset, so one evening I made use of drawing. 

I thought I’d let you in on the thought process for this drawing. The girl I drew is just a random person that developed as I drew. I added splashes of red over her eyes to signify how the bad times take over whilst I’m experiencing it. I used blue as a calm colour to say that although it’s there now it won’t be forever. There’s only a little blue as at the moment I don’t 100% believe that, it will change though. I put rainbow sploges in the background as a reminder that things will be OK. We go through the rainbow of emotions when we’re feeling like this and even though it hurts now we will move onto the next colour. I put the black over the mouth to signify that although the majority of the time I want to speak out, most times I don’t because of fear. I’m sure some of you will relate. The eyes and mouth had a drop shadow behind them to show they are the parts that show the pain more. 


What kind of things do you guys do I would love to hear. Keep a look out for my post throughout the week on BFRB awareness week! 

Just a little note…

University started again this week and I feel like it’s given me a massive smack around the face. Finally going into the final stretch of my university life and head first into third year is so daunting. Suddenly everything feels so real. It’s now all about getting them grades that will help get me my future after. I have so many anxieties about this such as if I actually have the skills I need to be able to do this in the first place. In fact I think this worries me more than it should. Damn you brain

Sadly it means that I’m going to have to step down a little from my blog. I want to try and post every week but I’m not sure it’s going to happen. I’m going to be trying to juggle university with a job and can already feel the stress. I really hope you all understand. 

 I’ve had the most incredible support over the summer from this blog… it is so crazy that five months ago no one apart from myself knew I had Trichotillomania. I kept it as my own little secret away from the world. I was so ashamed of it and I thought even if I went to try and explain to people they would not understand. I mean, hell even I don’t understand it. It’s a difficult thing to understand if you’re suffering from it yourself, let alone someone who hasn’t. Thank you to every single person has got in contact with me after my posts of Trichotillomania. If you suffer from Trich yourself or know someone who has it then please, if you need someone to talk to… I’ll be here always. 

I’m so proud that through my little space on the internet I was able to reach out to people about this awful illness and try and bring understanding and awareness to people literally all over the world. 

Another thing I’m incredibly proud of is THIS. The first picture is my hair two years ago compared to one of my latest selfies (I take way too many!) HOW HAS THIS HAPPENED!!! I’m not going to lie to you all, I teared up seeing this. I’ve always always dreamed of having hair all the same length, ever since Trich took over and… I’M ALMOST THERE. Almost


Hope to speak to you guys soon. 1st October – 7th October is BFRB (body focussed repetitive behaviour) awareness week and Trich falls underneath this. I’m hoping to post through this week. Thank you with everything I have for supporting this blog and I hope you all continue to, even if I may be a little quiet. MUCH LOVE and remember I’m always here if you’re struggling. Don’t fight it alone. You’ve got this.

Happy two years Southampton

Grab yourself a cuppa, this one is going to be long. Today marks exactly two years ago I made one of the biggest decisions and done the biggest thing I’ve ever done; move over 100 miles away from my family and friends. 100 miles away from home.

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-19-51-46I still remember the run up to going away. I remember every time I went to go and visit my nan. She would have added an essential thing you needed to have when living on your own which I would never of thought of. You know things like medicine – of course you’ll need that at some point unless you’re supernatural and immune to all illnesses, if thats the case please give me your secret. My nan still does that to this day, tops me up with the stuff that I will need but may not already gone out to buy it or wouldn’t necessary bought with a food shop – thank you nan! I really appreciate it.

I also remember my going away meal. The meal where my family got together for a little goodbye to uni and I bought my good friend Shannon along. It was the weekend before I went and I remember then it kicking in that my family won’t just be down the road. That if I needed eggs to bake cakes I wasn’t able to just run to my nan and steal two eggs and instead have to go to the shop and grab six eggs and waste four because I don’t like eating eggs on their own.

However, it meant that I was about to start to gain my own independence and that was exciting. I was about to have all the freedom I possibly could have, not that I didn’t have that before but even more so now. It meant that I had to grow up, quickly. Hell did it smack me round the face as soon as I got there. Once I had grabbed my fob (I was staying in student halls first year, as many people do) and unloaded the car of way too much of my belongings into my room I’ll be living in for the next ten months, grabbed a food shop and saw my dad off which was hands down one of the worst times – ever, I headed back to my room and sat on my bed thinking, what now with tears down my face. Even now when I say bye I always cry, there’s something about your family leaving you down away that is just so so sad.

In my first year I’m not going to lie I got homesick a lot. To the point I wouldn’t leave my room and just lay in bed feeling sad. I missed the whole different lifestyle I had at home which I didn’t realise I had until I moved away. I would call any family member as many times as I could just to talk to them. I didn’t even meet the people I’m currently living now, who lived down my hallway until a few weeks in. Not every one has an experience like that but because I feel like I’m such a family girl, it hit me hard. Looking back on that to now I don’t get it nearly as much. I’ve finally got round to thinking in my head, I’m only a three hour train ride home, it’s not that bad. Besides, it’s so much nicer to go home and see my family after a long while, it feels more… special?

It’s no secret if you’ve read my blog before that I have a mental health illness which is triggered majorly by anxiety and depression. It was life changing moving away from home and battling with that. It’s made me more aware of how to look after myself more and it literally is just me here, to look after myself. If I’m sick and I don’t have medicine in, I have to go out and buy it and still make my dinner and get through the day. This is probably one of the biggest thing’s I’ve learnt. I have had an overwhelming amount of support for this, however. Last year, just after I had started my second year I went to seek help with dealing with anxiety and the way it was making me feel from the uni after advice. It helped me a lot. I’ve wrote about it in a blog post here.

All in all I have learnt a lot about myself. I have a stable job here now, I’ve been passing my university projects and now going into third year and I have my own little uni family. I know more than two people now, I know all the great coffee shops and take aways and I now have people down here who look out for me. I have no idea, how I’ve made it this far without going home… especially after them first few weeks, but I battled through it and still going now. It’s been an adventure for sure. I still haven’t left Southampton and gone anywhere else down the south coast, that is still on my list to do, as well as go the Isle of Wight.

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-19-54-22

A massive special thank you to the family and friends who listen to my rants constantly. Who listen when I have something I’m finding difficult and just need to speak it out. Those who give the most invaluable advice and those who check up on me to see how I’m doing. Those who call me for hours and hours because I’m feeling alone and those who text me to make sure I’m OK. I appreciate it so much, so so much. Genuinely. If you have just moved to uni and feeling alone, down, don’t really know what to do.. please please do message me. I would so love to help you and give you tips.

I’m lucky now that I can call Southampton my second home and I’m proud of myself.