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 😂 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?! 🙄

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

Follow my new twitter account: https://twitter.com/DMWAAG

Email: depressedmesswithanxietyandgrief@outlook.com

 

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

 

 

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