autism · journey to recovery · mental health · mental health blogger · mental illness · personal journey · Uncategorized

Day 1: Survived Anxiety

Day 1 of placement is over – and I can finally breathe a little. I survived. Savannah survived. I usually back out on everything that gives me anxiety and I didn’t…and I did it. I actually did it. I am tired; I am drained; I am feeling anxious, but I did it and I feel happy. I know I have to face it all again tomorrow but feel slightly more relaxed now that I’ve done it once…

My anxiety has been so severe these past few weeks – but that’s expectant when you have both Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, mixed with Avoidant Personality Disorder – right? It’s been so severe even standing up after being in bed gives me great anxiety, and it hasn’t been that bad in a really long time. So, I thought I’d share some insight into how I actually survived today…

Most of you know I’m religious, and I used this today to relax me. I put on my christian playlist on the bus which calmed me slightly. My tactic? Imagining Jesus sitting right next to me. Imagining him getting off the bus with me and walking into placement. Jesus walking right beside me every minute at placement. Feeling as though I wasn’t doing it alone – slightly helped.

The other thing – stimming. Stimming, stimming, stimming and more stimming. If you’re not sure what stimming is head over to my blog post on stimming. I pretty much stimmed when I got up until I got to placement. Then I tried my hardest to relax and be professional and be socially acceptable (because as much as I hate it – stimming is not seen as a positive). Then, as soon as I left the building; the stimming began again.

Anxiety is deliberating. It stops me from speaking; from asking questions; from expressing my thoughts. It stops me from having self confidence; from looking people in the eye; from getting involved in group conversations. It makes it harder to be alone; to work; to do things out of the ordinary routine. It gives me headaches; sickness; tummy problems; panic attacks; cold sweats.

It affects the way I think, feel and behave as well as sending lovely physical symptoms.

But anxiety isn’t going to win…

because Savannah survived today; and she’s going to survive tomorrow

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journey to recovery · mental health · mental health blogger · mental illness · personal journey · Uncategorized

Forever thankful

Being thankful, grateful, appreciative and open-minded can be difficult when there are so many things going wrong. Lately, university has presented difficulty, there’s been stress trying to prepare for America and the ultimate occurrence of mental health difficulties. Life presents so many difficulties….there have been so many struggles lately, so many tears, so many emotions, so much happening out of my control.

As a perfectionist, mistakes are hard for me to cope with. I understand that people make mistakes and that in order to learn we must first make mistakes, but this simply doesn’t make it easier. I made a mistake this week – one that lays out outcomes for my future. Now that the mistake is done, everything is out of my control. This is difficult for me to comprehend. I feel a range of emotions – frustration, guilt, anger, upset, hurt…having mental health problems make me a little bit more vulnerable to the feelings of being out of control. It’s easy to lose control mentally when everything in real life begins to go down hill.

Now, despite all this, im continuing to remain blessed. In my mental illness journey I have encouraged myself to think more positively, to be grateful, to breathe, to appreciate surroundings. In this journey, I teach myself to grow and be the best person I can be. I am so thankful for the people I have around me. There are days where I feel absolute alone with no one to turn to, but I’m trying to accept that people have their own lives too. I am thankful for the people who support me, who believe in me, who see me as someone positive in their life.

This leads me to why I feel so thankful today. Even though things with university are making me so stressed and upset today, one thing brought so much comfort – an email saying that I’ve been nominated for the National Diversity Awards as a positive role model. I do not know who put me forward for this award but I am so thankful. So utterly thankful and blessed for the opportunities that are given to me in the midst of the darkness.

I love and appreciate each and every one of you and hope that in the future I can continue changing lives. My ultimate goal is to not stop until I diminish the stigma attached to mental health and improve services intended to treat mental health issues.

click here to vote for me in the National Diversity Awards

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