Challenging, Chronic Pain, Depression, Doctors, Exhausted, misunderstood, Tired

They just don’t get it!

Doctors. You love them and you hate them but most of the time they just don’t understand. They don’t understand how hard it must be to be in chronic pain and to deal with that every day, they don’t understand that when you’ve been in so much pain and so sick for so long ¬†any diagnosis is a good diagnosis. They don’t understand that when you’re in pain every single day and you don’t know why, getting a diagnosis can be life changing in a good way. So when they tell you that your test results are negative with a big smile on their face you nod and say that’s great but on the inside you’re crying and screaming just wishing that they were positive and that you had some answers because when you have answers, you can start a treatment plan and find what works and what doesn’t. When you go to a new doctor and you have to tell them your medical history and you tell them how much pain you’re in they just don’t understand what that means, they ummm and ahhh and write things down.

I had my gynaecology appointment yesterday and she was good as far as specialists go but I still felt like I wasn’t being heard. She told me that I have chronic pain and that she thinks all my pain in my abdomen is from my nerves. She thinks that she isn’t going to find any endometriosis when I can get in and get a laparoscopy which will be in 6 months to a year because the public waiting list is so long. Privately it will cost around $5,000 and because my body is complex I would have to stay in hospital a night to two after the procedure so there’s another one to two thousand. She’s put me on Lyrica which I REALLY don’t want to be on because I know how nasty it is, but I don’t really have a choice. I have to try that for 6 weeks (if I don’t get any horrible side effects and have to stop it sooner) and if that doesn’t work go back to her and talk about medically induced menopause. She’s going to put me on the wait list for surgery in the mean time. So for now I’m still stuck with pain and I probably won’t get any more answers for a year which doesn’t make me feel any better. I didn’t expect to go in there and come back with a cure, but I did expect her to take my level of pain more seriously and do more than put me on a medication which I told her I’m not very fond of and really don’t want to go on. Since I’m now taking Lyrica I can’t take the steroids my gastroenterologist wants me to go on because then I won’t know which is helping if I do start to feel better and be in less pain.

I just want some answers.

Keep safe,
Maddy xoxo

Twitter: @ChronicMaddy 

 

Featured image: https://www.moceanic.com/2018/when-donors-complain/pop-art-frustrated-woman-123rf-2/

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Anxiety, Challenging, Chronic health condition, Chronic Pain, Depression, Doctors, Exhausted, Gastroparesis, Generalised Anxiety, Panic Attack, Social Anxiety, Tired

I’m so beyond exhausted and over it

It’s been five years of pain, tests, hospital visits, being told it’s all in my head, countless doctors, doctors not knowing what they’re doing and doctors not knowing what else to do for me. After five years I thought that I would be better and all my conditions would be in remission and yet I’m actually just getting worse and not better. In the past six months my health has dramatically declined and it’s scary.

My itchy scalp that I’ve had for the past two years is worse than ever, It’s literally itchy 24/7 and I can’t do anything about it, neither can two dermatologists who couldn’t find anything visually wrong with it. I’ve been suicidal because of how itchy it is, it keeps me up at night and I’ve scratched so much that I’ve damaged my scalp and my hair is falling out. I’ve also been feeling suicidal lately because of how tired I am. I’m tired of the doctors and doing all the things that they tell me to do and not seeing results. I’m tired of the medication and I’m tired of the pain. I can’t stand the pain anymore. I can’t stand not knowing what’s wrong with me and I’m exhausted from being tired all the time. I thought that in five years the chronic fatigue syndrome would’ve gone into remission and I’d be able to do more in my life, but nope, I’m just as tired- if not worse- than I was five years ago.

There’s only so much one person can take before they give up and to be honest, I’ve given up a little bit. I am still alive though and I am still looking after myself and that’s what matters right now. I want to find out what’s wrong with me. I want to find out what’s causing me so much pain and this itchy head and I want to get a treatment plan that works. I have not gone through five years of hell and pain to end up not knowing what’s wrong with me. I would just like to get some relief from the pain and the itchy head though, that would be really nice. I would also like to wake up in the morning and not be so tired that even though I have to pee really badly I can’t get myself out of bed until I’ve nearly wet myself.¬†

As of now I am taking my pain meds to help try and manage the pain, I wear cotton gloves to bed so I don’t scratch my head at night, I’m on antibiotics to see if that helps with my bloating and to see if I have SIBO and I’m seeing my pelvic floor physio once a month to work on the pelvic floor dysfunction and the bowel incontinence.¬†

I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about the bowel incontinence and that’s because I’m embarrassed about it. It’s not fun to be out in public and then all of a sudden have to run to the toilet so you don’t sh*t your pants and be so worried about the fact that you are so close to pooping yourself in public. Just the other day I was out and luckily enough there was a hospital right next to me so I could speed walk and try to find a bathroom before I had an accident. The treatment that I’m doing for it is also embarrassing, it’s called rectal balloon training and it sucks.¬†

The itchy head feels like ants crawling on my scalp combined with a burning feeling and it won’t stop. Like I said before it keeps me from sleeping and it’s itchy 24/7. I’ve tried so many shampoos and lotions and meds and nothing will help it. It’s making me suicidal and is the main thing apart from my abdo/bowel pain that is getting me so down. I’ve got a referral to a neurologist now to see if they can help me seeing as how no one else can figure out what’s making it so itchy.

My gastroenterologist said that the CT scan and ultrasound I got done might have showed crohns disease but it might also be nothing so he wants me to start steroids after I see the gynaecologist and see if the steroids help the pain. I’m seeing the gynaecologist in October and I’m going to ask her about endometriosis as a possible cause for all my pain and womanly problems.¬†

All in all, I’m not feeling too great and having a really hard time. I’d like the pain, fatigue and itchy head to fu*k off. I’m keeping safe though and talking to people and have a support team. I’ll be ok, just right now I’m overwhelmed and reached my limit. My anxiety has also been really bad so that sucks.¬†

Keep safe, 
Maddy xoxo 

Twitter: @ChronicMaddy <—¬†

Featured image: https://me.me/i/shes-strong-but-shes-exhausted-r-h-sin-2745442

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Anxiety, Body image, Challenging, Chronic health condition, Depression, Doctors, Exhausted, Family, Friends, Gastroparesis, Panic Attack, Self confidence, Social Anxiety, Tired

I’m struggling and I’m scared…

I’m not really sure what to write in this post because I’m not really sure how I’m feeling about everything… I think the main struggles I’m going through at the moment is my health and trying to create a life around my health. So lets talk about my health.

I got three blood tests done and they all came back positive for Systemic Scleroderma (I’ll just call it scleroderma). Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that changes the amount of collagen that you make; it gives you too much collagen causing very painful skin, muscle and joint problems and it can also affect your organs causing stuff like kidney failure and lung disease. There are many different types of scleroderma and the one I tested positive for is the systemic one which means it attacks my organs along with my skin (side note: I could have another type of systemic scleroderma that doesn’t affect your skin at all but I’m not sure yet if I even have it). I have an appointment with a rheumatologist in October to get checked out more and to get more tests done to see if I for sure have it, so right now it’s a waiting game. I’ve also been having so much more abdomen/bowel/pelvic pain lately and I can’t find a cause for it. I got a colonoscopy, ¬†gastroscopy and a CT scan done and all of those tests came back normal so I have no idea what’s causing the daily double-over pain I’m getting. I honestly can’t tell you how bad the pain is and how hard it is to handle on a daily basis. I’m also booked in to see a gynaecologist in October because I’m starting to wonder if maybe all my pain isn’t actually in my bowel but on the outside with something like endometriosis. I’ve always had severely painful and heavy periods but I’ve always swept that under the rug but maybe it’s time I start looking out of the box because I can’t handle to be in so much pain anymore. I’m also not sleeping well and if I don’t have something to help me sleep then I will literally not sleep all night. My psychiatrist gave me two medications to try and one of them I was allergic to and the other one doesn’t help me at all so once to twice a week I’m taking seroquel so I can finally get some sleep because me and not sleeping don’t mix well together.¬†

In my title I also wrote that I was scared and it’s true, I am scared. I’m scared because I don’t know what’s wrong with me and what’s causing all this pain and why my bloods are abnormal. I’m scared because I don’t know how to help the pain and because I have no idea what’s going to happen to me. I don’t know how to create a future when I don’t know what’s wrong with me and also when I’m so tired and in so much pain. How am I meant to do anything when I have a hard time getting off the couch? I just don’t know what to do. I do know that I want to finish VCE through online schooling again but then all the ‘buts’ come and I psych myself out of calling the person I need to call. A major thing a part from the pain and fatigue that’s stopping me from calling them is the fact that my brain fog is so bad lately that I’m having a really hard time reading and putting a sentence together. I’ll proof-read this post but I’m sure you’ll find so many mistakes reading it and that’s because I just don’t see them. And also, what if I completely suck and can’t even pass year 11 and 12, I mean I passed year 10 by a millimetre. ¬†

I have other stuff going on that I don’t want to talk about but it’s stressing me out and causing a major panic attack.¬†

I’m just having a really hard time with where my health is at and trying to remember and remind myself that I can still have a future even if I do have scleroderma or endometriosis and that I can make a life around the pain. I need to work on reminding myself that I am worthy of a happy and fulfilled life and not a life full of pain and loneliness because that’s another thing, I am so freaking lonely. I have my mum and I know that I’m lucky because some people don’t even have one person and she’s my best friend who I can go to with anything but sometime it’s not enough… I need someone else to hang out with me and to be my friend. I need some more support.¬†

I also saw a dietician the other month and a part from telling me that she was concerned about my pain and that I needed to get that checked out, she said that she couldn’t do anything to help me to lose weight because I’m eating right and doing what I can but it’s really hard with my stomach and it’s condition because it doesn’t digest properly, I have no metabolism and what I can eat isn’t that great. I can have some veggies and salad but too many and I feel so sick and have such a bad stomach ache. It was hard to hear that she couldn’t do anything to help me lose weight because that’s still a big problem I’m trying to deal with.¬†

I don’t think there’s anything else I want to talk about…. I just thought I’d sit down and try to write out some of my feelings and worries…¬†

Keep safe,
Maddy xoxo 

 

Featured image: https://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/3026573/why-are-outsourcers-like-capita-and-bt-struggling

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Anxiety, Body image, Challenging, Chronic health condition, Depression, Doctors, Exhausted, Family, Gastroparesis, Grief, New housemate, Panic Attack, Siblings, Social Anxiety, Tired

Life Update

It is the 4th of March and in 4 days the 12 weeks of hell will start. It’s the 12 weeks of hell because on the 8th of March my brother was diagnosed with his brain tumour and then on the 30th of April it would’ve been his 10th birthday and then on the 31st of May it is the 5 year anniversary of his death and then on the 5th of June it is the 5 year anniversary of when we buried him and said goodbye. From the day he got diagnosed to the day he died it is exactly 12 weeks… So I’ve got that to look forward to! <— Insert very heavy sarcasm.

A month and a bit ago I got some blood test results back that weren’t too great at all. One of my markers was a low positive for Scleroderma which is a very serious and horrible disease. I went to a rheumatologist and he tested my bloods again and they came back as completely negative which is great! I really didn’t need another health problem. I also went and saw my gastroenterologist and I have to get another colonoscopy in a week to check for stuff like Ulcerative Colitis because my bowels haven’t been too happy with me lately. He also gave me some new pain relief that should hopefully actually work. I’m nervous about the bowel prep because my stomach can’t handle that much liquid and it’s so sensitive and the bowel prep is some nasty sh*t. I’ll do my best but I’m really not looking forward to it at all.

I’ve started a new diet to try and help my lose the weight I need to lose and that’s the 5:2 diet. For two days a week I only eat 500 calories and then the other five days I eat healthily and my normal calorie limit. ¬†I’m also trying to walk on the treadmill every day or take my dog to the dog park and walk around that a few times.

I’m looking into maybe doing year 11 through Distance Education to get my brain doing something and to get a sense of achievement and accomplishment at the end of the day so I don’t feel like I’ve achieved nothing. I have to call the co-ordinator back and ask her a few questions on whether or not they can accomodate all my issues.

I’m still seeing my psychiatrist, psychologist and social worker. My psychiatrist’s fix to all my issues is to go catch a train and get me using public transport. Yes, it would open up more ‘opportunities’ for me to do, but at the same time, what exactly can I go do with my mental health issues and physical health issues? Even if I can push past my anxiety and catch a train or bus, my fatigue and stomach pain is too bad for me to actually do anything. So I really don’t see how pushing myself to catch a train is going to help. Also, when I do push my anxiety, fatigue and stomach pain to catch a train, I’m going to end up pushing myself too much and then take 20 steps back and be bed ridden for a week.

I had to stop my sleeping medication because it was making me so hungry and I was putting on weight which doesn’t help my mental health at all so now I’m not sleeping much and the sleep that I do get is poor and full of nightmares and tossing and turning. Lack of sleep also make my mental health crapper and I don’t have the same resilience to my life and therefore I have to fight even harder to stay out of the depression hole with no energy to spare. It’s exhausting not sleeping.¬†

Things with the housemate are still sh*t, awful and a major stress. He’ll be moving out very soon fingers crossed!¬†

Basically nothing has really improved at all and I’m still struggling and trying to do my best!¬†

Keep safe everyone,
Maddy xoxo 

Twitter: @DMWAAG
Email: depressedmesswithanxietyandgrief@outlook.com

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image: http://www.beautybabbles.com/2014/09/a-little-life-update.html

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Anxiety, Challenging, Change, Chronic health condition, Death, Depression, Doctors, Exhausted, Family, Gastroparesis, Generalised Anxiety, Grief, Mother and daughter, Panic Attack, Siblings, Sisters, Social Anxiety, Step-father, Tired

2017

Well another year is over! I survived another 365 days of being chronically sick, mentally sick and grieving. I stayed alive to see another year through. I should be proud of myself right? I wish I could say that 2017 was my year, but it really wasn’t.¬†

Here’s an overview of what happened in 2017:

The best thing to happen in 2017 is that I got my puppy Asher in June! She is the sweetest little cavoodle, although she does have a bit of a mean side like her Mum… (me)ūüėȬ†She is now 8 months old and going through her terrible threes a little bit. Yikes, indeed. But when she’s not running around trying to chew everything and destroy tissues she is loving and loves to give you hugs and affection. She has been a great distraction and friend for me but that’s not to say that it’s been easy looking after her. There are some days when I’m just too exhausted emotionally and physically to give her what she needs (a walk, attention and to be played with ect) and that’s where my Mum steps in. Sometimes I wish that I didn’t get her and have the extra responsibility but I guess that extra responsibility is what I need to make sure I don’t become a complete hermit and let myself get sucked into the dark hole of depression and lay in bed all day. Asher makes me get up out of bed, feed her and look after her. I love her so much and could never re-home her but I’d be lying if some days I thought it would be easier without her… Those thoughts usually only occur when like I said before, I’m exhausted -usually from life- I’m in a lot of physical pain or when I’m having a really hard time with my anxiety and depression. It’s nice though that when I am feeling so down she comes into my room and climbs onto my bed and attacks me with her kisses and hugs. She can make me smile when I feel like I might never smile again.

Here’s a photo of one of the funnier ways she’s fallen asleep. ¬†

IMG_6357

She also has her own Instagram page if you’re interested!¬†https://www.instagram.com/asherthecavoodle/

There was also a lot of bad sh*t happen in 2017, mostly regarding my physical and mental health. My physical health got so much worse which I didn’t think was possible but I was so wrong. My chronic fatigue became unbearable to the point of me literally not being able to get out of bed or I was able to just make it to the couch and that is where I stayed for the rest of the day. My gastroparesis also went through a couple of pretty bad flares which left me in a lot of incredibly bad pain and nausea. My medication for that also stopped working like it used to so I stopped that for about a month to give my body a break from it and just stuck to soft foods while I let my body rest and now I’ve been back on that for the past few months. I didn’t lose anymore weight, I actually put about 2kgs back on. Dammit! I tried to walk everyday but between my physical health and mental health I had a pretty hard time with that.¬†

I joined my local youth programme within my council and went to one of their programmes which was once a week for 4 weeks. That didn’t help at all with anything and was really just a waste of time. I never heard back from the youth worker after that finished though so no more help from them.¬†
I went to a programme at the outpatient pain clinic at my local hospital. That was for two days and once again, I didn’t find helpful at all…¬†

I really suffered with my mental health. There was a period a few months ago where I thought I was going to end up back into the psych ward but I was able to medicate myself and find a way out of that suicidal hole. I still have extremely bad anxiety every day so me going to both of those programmes I mentioned above was such a big deal for me even if I did come home and have a  total breakdown and panic attack over it. 
I continued to see my psychologist regularly and even spoke up one session and told her that what we were doing and some of the things she said to me wasn’t helpful. That was a massive step for me because I had never said anything to her about how what she was saying I found unhelpful before.
I started seeing a new psychiatrist whom I have been seeing every fortnight. She has been very helpful medication wise but there have been a few things she has said in our sessions that I found to be very insensitive and hurtful. I tried talking to her about how I found those things she said insensitive and hurtful and I was semi-able to say what I wanted to say but I also found myself lying to her about something because I felt like she would never hear me properly…
She started me on a new medication to help me sleep and with a few dosage changes we have found a dosage that usually gets me to sleep and keeps me asleep. It doesn’t work all the time but I don’t expect it to work every single time. She also started me on a new medication to try to help me with my chronic fatigue and I guess it works the tiniest bit. It takes a very thin layer off of my fatigue so that I’m able to get dressed and move off the couch but it hasn’t helped with my brain fog or given me energy. I don’t know if a higher dosage would help or not but for now we’ll keep it at what it is. She also gave me a new medication for my anxiety and panic attacks and that definitely helps but I try not to take it unless I really have to and can’t handle my anxiety or if I have to go somewhere like to a medical appointment. I also take it if I’m having a really hard day with my depression and grief.¬†

Yes my grief is still here and active. I still miss Chase every single day and struggle with him not being here. I don’t cry as much as I used to and I don’t know if that’s because I’ve gotten better at suppressing my overwhelming grief or if I’ve become more detached from my feelings but there are still days like I mentioned before where the grief is so bad that I can’t handle it and I have to take something to help me get through the day. ¬†
2017 marked 4 years since Chase’s death and it also would’ve been his 9th birthday if he was still alive.
A few people said this year that it was time that I moved on from Chase dying and that it had been long enough and to them, four years might sound like a long time but to me, it feels like it happened last week or a year ago. People also said that Chase dying was the cause of all my health conditions and to that, I say no, it wasn’t. It is so unfair and disgusting that they are happy to blame my baby brother’s death for the reason I’m sick. I had stomach problems since I was a BABY! NOT only after Chase died. Sure, the emotional stress put a strain on my body and therefore triggered or flared my stomach problems up but him dying didn’t cause them. Same with my anxiety and depression. I was already starting to get anxiety from school and my stepfather before Chase died and I was also starting to show signs of depression before Chase died.
I will continue to grieve my brother because I have that right and if his death and my grief stops me from doing certain things in life then that’s fine too. What I went through was so incredibly horrific and I have the right to take as much time as I need to heal and process what happened. My brother dying, my right to take as long as I need to grieve.

Since we’re talking about siblings, my sister Holly comes to mind as one of that bad things of 2017. She continued to hate on my Mum and I for saying that we didn’t like her boyfriend and therefore pushed us out of her life. I decided to write her a letter which she read but never responded to and then in April after not hearing from her for months she randomly messaged me one day asking for my details for her will. I messaged her back and said that I hadn’t heard from her for months and then all of a sudden she wanted my details for her will and that that isn’t ok. She then decided to tell me (all through message) that she had a brain tumour not that I would care! Yes, you read the right folks. My sister told me over message that she had a brain tumour and then added that I wouldn’t care.
(Side note: For those of you who are reading ¬†this blog post and who haven’t read my other posts about my brother Chase, he died from a rare, incurable and inoperable brain tumour at the age of 5 and from the day he got diagnosed to the day he died it was 12 weeks.)
So of course I rang her straight away and asked her what was going on and what did she mean when she told me that she had a brain tumour and she told me that she had a MRI done and they found a brain tumour. Well, that brain tumour ended up being a pretty common pineal cyst, NOT a brain tumour.
The fact that she said and I quote ” I have a brain tumour not that you’d care” hurt me so ¬†much. The next day I rang her and said to her that if she wanted to talk about the letter that I sent that I would be happy to talk to her but I also said that if she wants that to happen that she has to contact me and that I wouldn’t chase her around trying to get her to talk to me. Well, I never heard from her again so I guess she didn’t miss me that much and doesn’t want to have me in her life…¬†
I am so hurt that she basically disowned me but I have to accept that I guess. Holly will never be able to be the sister that I want and we’ll never have the relationship that I want to have. And before you say “But you’re family” or “Maybe in a few years you two will reconnect”, Holly and I have always had a very strained relationship and the fact that she dislikes my Mum so strongly I can’t handle. I don’t want to have someone who can feel so negatively about the ONE person in my life who has been there for me through everything and who is my best friend. Anyway, that’s another story for another day.¬†

So basically 2017 was a big ball of sh*t! It was meant to be my year for everything to change from 2016 but that didn’t happen. I really need 2018 to be different; I don’t know if I’ll be able to survive another year like 2017 and have nothing change. I will take all the steps that I can towards things changing this year but I also think people in my life need to remember that I’m not just fighting mental health issues OR physical health issues, I’m fighting BOTH at once. It’s not one or the other for me.¬†

I hope 2018 will be the year that things change for the better for you people reading this and that you get everything you want. I also hope that 2017 wasn’t too bad for you.

Keep safe,
Maddy xoxo  

 

Twitter: @DMWAAG
Email: depressedmesswithanxietyandgrief@outlook.com
Featured Image: http://imperial-properties.com/en/2017-happenings

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Anxiety, Body image, Challenging, Chronic health condition, Depression, Fat shaming, Gastroparesis, Generalised Anxiety, Heat, Mother and daughter, Panic Attack, Self confidence, Social Anxiety, Summer, Vegan

Summer sucks, bring back winter.

Summer. You either love it or you hate it, and for me, I despise it. I hate everything about summer from the heat to the bushfires to seeing perfect skinny people walking around showing their perfect bodies in shorts and bathers while I’m over here in my black maxi skirt and top trying not to go up in flames from overheating like a car engine.

Not only does summer make my self hatred and lack of confidence go down even more, it makes all my health conditions 10x worse. My chronic fatigue gets worse, my POTS gets worse but the main thing summer does would have to be the fact that my anxiety and depression plummets even more.
Winter is good because everyone is bundled up in jackets and scarves and you fit in, but in summer people try to wear as little clothes as they can without being arrested for public indecency. For someone with no confidence and self esteem and who finally gets the courage to go outside, it is so hard to see so many people showing off their bodies and walking around like they don’t have a care in the world. I on the other hand, spend an hour trying and retrying all my clothes on to see what I feel looks even remotely ok on me and even then I’m still hating on myself and just want to hide. I hate my arms so much that when it’s 35degrees outside I’m still wearing a light jacket-y/shawl thing so my arms aren’t showing. The other problem is that I only like to wear black maxi skirts so when I have to walk anywhere the inner part of my thighs start to chafe and then I’m stuck with a horrible burning and stingy feeling every time I take a step.
Another problem I have when trying to find clothes for me to wear is that because I’m so bloated all the time from the Gastroparesis I look pregnant and so I can only wear loose fitting tops and if I do find a dress that I don’t hate and doesn’t highlight my muffin top, I have to suck my tummy in the whole time I’m out and that sh*t is painful after a little bit!

So between the struggles of trying to find something to wear and the inflamed self hatred I have from seeing skinny people out in their shorts, I end up staying indoors most of summer! That gets expensive though because then you have to have the air-conditioner on all the time and those bloody rising electricity and gas prices… annoying much?!

I have a hard enough time regulating my internal thermostat when it’s not boiling hot, but when summer hits I basically shut down; I overheat and feel like I’m going to pass out alot and I can never get cool. My hot flushes get worse and the pounding heart I get thanks to the POTS also gets worse too. Oh and sleeping! My god that’s an even bigger nightmare every night. I toss and turn and then I get Restless Leg Syndrome so I have to stand up and try to walk around my house until the pain of that goes away but then when I lie back down it comes back again. I end up sweating and panting because my two fans just aren’t enough to get me cool so I have to get up and go to the lounge room and sit under the aircon for a little bit until I’m cooler and then try to get some sleep. Oh and if I had to go outside that day and walk around, I also have to be mindful of the chafing I experienced so I can’t sit or lie down with my legs closed so that makes trying to sleep that little bit harder.

I wish I had the confidence to wear whatever I wanted whether it be a cute dress or a skirt that goes above my knees or a cute singlet top without worrying about how I look but I just can’t do it. I become even more aware of how I look and have a harder time with my anxiety and depression and all those unhelpful negative thoughts I get. I am constantly trying to cover up my stomach with the little jacket/shawl thing I’m wearing so no one can see my love handles or that my bloating is really bad that day and I can’t suck my stomach in at all so I end up looking 7 months pregnant (this is not an exaggeration btw, I genuinely end up looking heavily pregnant sometimes because of the bloating associated with the Gastroparesis. On a ‘normal’ day I look around 4-5 months pregnant and I can kinda suck my stomach in.) ¬†I end up fidgeting more and have to make sure that my arms are covered and I am so in my head that if I’m spending quality time with Mum, I’m not really there with her because I can’t relax and enjoy myself.
I end up feeling like a sweaty, pregnant looking beached whale. 

Summer sucks all around for me and I don’t know if I’ll ever enjoy it…¬†

Keep cool to the people experiencing summer at the moment and to the people in winter right now, I’m super jealous.¬†

Maddy xoxo 

Twitter: @DMWAAG
Email: depressedmesswithanxietyandgrief@outlook.com

 

Featured image: https://me.me/i/i-feel-like-the-wicked-witch-in-this-heat-im-18479222

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Anxiety, Body image, Challenging, Chronic health condition, Depression, Exhausted, Friends, Generalised Anxiety, Panic Attack, Social Anxiety, Tired

Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety!!!

I’ve talked before about my depression, health conditions and I’ve mentioned my anxiety before but I haven’t dedicated a blog post to what is a big part of my life and that is, you guessed it, anxiety! *Insert clapping*

Anxiety is a tricky thing as it’s different for everyone who gets it and the symptoms that people experience with anxiety will also be different. Sure, anxiety sufferers might experience SIMILAR symptoms but they will never be EXACTLY the same. There are two main types of anxiety that I’m aware of and they are generalised (you get anxious about everything and anything) and social (you get anxious about going outside, seeing people, talking to people ect) anxiety.¬†I have both generalised and social anxiety.

I can’t tell you which is worse as they are both incredibly bad and somedays one will be worse than the other and then other days they’re both at the same level of anxiousness. My anxiety has definitely gotten worse over the years and now I have a hard time leaving the house just to take the rubbish down. When I’m sleeping I have anxious dreams because of my PTSD and when I’m awake I’m sometimes shaking with anxiety doing absolutely nothing, so basically I am just one big ball of anxiety.

I’ll talk about my social anxiety first:
There’s a big difference between being nervous about going somewhere new and being anxious¬†about going somewhere new. Being nervous is normal and a useful human emotion but being anxious takes it past the level of being useful and a good human emotion to being a draining and fearful experience where there is no need at all to be fearful and to act and feel like you’re being chased by a lion about to be eaten!
I’d like people to stop using the term ‘anxiety’ so loosely and about everything when in fact, they are just NERVOUS and or excited NOT anxious.

A lot of my social anxiety revolves around how I think I look because of my weight which makes going out anywhere incredibly hard. I have a hard time going out and eating because I feel like everyone will be looking at me and judging me for eating. I can’t stand crowded places with too many people and loud noises and I have a very hard time talking to people like shop assistants when I’m out. ¬†I have a constant monologue of unhelpful thoughts running through my head the whole time I’m out and some of them are: “That person is looking at you because you’re fat” and “People are looking at you because you’re fat and eating” and “People are looking at your acne and that’s all they’re seeing.” As you can see, those thoughts aren’t nice or helpful and yet no matter how hard I try I can never stop them while I’m out. I’m always fidgeting and looking like I’m going to hurl and I know these thought aren’t rational but in a society where it’s openly known that you’re judged on the way you look, it’s hard not to have those thoughts and it’s even harder when you have no self confidence at all.

My social anxiety really inhibits me from doing a lot of things like going out with my Mum and spending time with her or going out and trying to find some friends. Social anxiety is not fun at all and I hate it, I hate everything about it because we know that it’s not rational to be so scared of seeing and talking to people that you want to cry, throw up and run away (all at the same time I might add) and yet you can’t stop feeling like that. Pushing past all those anxious feelings is really freaking exhausting which is why after I come home after going out anywhere I have to have a nap¬†ūüėā¬†Not only is pushing past those anxious feelings to actually go somewhere exhausting but consciously challenging all those anxious and unhelpful thoughts is exhausting as well, it almost feels like a full time job…

And as I right this blog post about anxiety I am starting to get anxiety… how effed up is that?!¬†ūüôĄ

Now I will talk about my generalised anxiety:
Having generalised anxiety means that I am¬†anxious nearly all the time and¬†usually about nothing. I could be sitting on the couch watching TV and feel like I¬†can’t breathe and my heart is racing and yet there’s no reason for me to feel¬†anxious at all. Even when I’m sleeping my dreams are anxiety inducing and so I¬†wake up with anxiety. I always feel like I am in that fight or flight state and that I can never properly relax, I am¬†always on edge and¬†always ready to go go go (even¬†though I have no energy).

Continuously feeling¬†anxious for no reason is hard work. I can sit¬†somewhere quietly and do my breathing exercises or distract myself but I still¬†can’t seem to quit being anxious. Being anxious has become part of¬†who I am now and I hate it. I don’t like¬†feeling anxious all the time about nothing and¬†never being able to relax, I want to be able to sit¬†down and give my body a rest.
I get anxious about making plans for the day, taking the rubbish out, Mum going anywhere and sometimes I get anxious just looking outside my window…

Nearly everything causes me to have anxiety and therefore continuously makes my body react like there’s danger and release that adrenaline and cortisol that your body produces when it’s in danger and yet, there is no danger for me at all. My body and mind are always on high alert and can never get a proper rest unless I take my anti-anxiety medication. I’m not against medication at all but I don’t want to take my anti-anxiety medication everyday just so I can get through the day without having all the feelings of anxiety and the starting symptoms of a panic attack, I want to be able to get and work through my anxiety myself but everything I try just doesn’t work. I have worked with many counsellors and psychologists to try and help me with my anxiety and apart from them all giving me the same techniques to use, they just don’t work.¬†

My anxiety also makes all my other health conditions worse. When my anxiety is worse it makes my depression worse which then makes my health conditions worse which then makes my anxiety worse and it’s a cycle that I can’t get out of.¬†

Here’s a little chart I made:

anxiety chart screenshot.png

Living with anxiety is a daily struggle that I have been dealing with for nearly 5 years now and you’d think that I’d get use to it by now but I haven’t, I’m still surprised over the level of my anxiety sometimes and how I can have anxiety for no apparent reason. I will continue to fight it and maybe one day I won’t have it anymore but for now, It’s making my life 1000000x harder and its just another thing that I have to deal with.

Keep safe everyone and know that you are not alone with your anxiety.
Maddy xoxo

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Email: depressedmesswithanxietyandgrief@outlook.com

 

(Featured image: https://www.jmrocketreporter.org/arts-entertainment-2/staff-columns/2017/05/18/stress/)

 

 

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