To Share Or Not To Share

I really haven’t had much to say, which I haven’t posted in almost a month. Well there are things that are in my head, but no anything I particularly want to voice on the internet in a public way. In fact I just haven’t mentioned things at all. This sounds a little bit strange, especially coming from someone who uses blogging and the internet to work out their frustrations, but it is true. What it has done, is make sections of the internet, completely separate from what has been going on offline.

And I think that it is important, knowing where to draw the line with posting personal things online. Like, I have always used the internet to vent, to let out those annoying wee things that grate on me. But, I will not go into discussing a bad situation where someone else is involved. It could be to do with family or friends, but it is for me to share something, that whilst personal to me, is also personal to them. I mean, if other people are like me, my parent’s have me on facebook. The last thing I would need is someone talking about a personal situation that had me tagged, and that my parents could read, especially as it may be something that I didn’t want to share with them.

But, that is one of the best things about the internet. You can decide what you share. You might might be obnoxious and funny, but through Facebook you are simply funny, due to not sharing absolutely everything about yourself. It can be dangerous too, as you may never truly know someone you are friends with online. You can only virtually know whatever side of their personality, a person is willing to share.

When I write things on my social media accounts, sometimes I feel bad for the people who follow me. Because I can get so wound up and angsty, and they may never know why. I’ll just post those annoyingly vague updates about ‘some people are dicks’, and leave it like that. I know it is annoying, but sometimes, my anxiety gets me worked up over nothing and I need to vent. That is why there are sometimes no specifics about a situation, just that I am feeling crap, going to buy a cat and live in solitary confinement for the rest of my life.

I have been training myself to kind of push past any feelings of anxiety. Like, to allow myself to cry my eyes out over what ever non-event I am panicking irrationally over, but then when calm afterwards, pick up a book or listen to music. I do things that make me feel better. And then I can try and get things done (sometimes successful, sometimes not). These actions maybe don’t sound like something that require training, but it did. For years I would have a panic attack, and dwell on the cause for days. Causing more panic attacks, and a general feeling of complete loss. I have spent 2016 teaching myself how to power through the tears and the struggling to breathe. And whilst I still have A LOT of anxiety problems, it is a lot rarer these days, that I will lose a complete weekend to endless panicking over everything.

If I post every little panic attack I have, I think I would have no friends left. Even less, if they knew what I had panicked over. So sometimes, it is good not to share everything. But because I have had a bad few weeks, I decided it was best to just not share anything. Because as much as my new coping methods help me, I was going round in circles, and couldn’t even think straight to write properly. But, hey, I am posting. Progress is progress.

Freak Out, Let It Go

I have been suffering panic attacks more than usual over the last few days, and have ripped into a few people. Something that is so unlike me. So, I hope people read this and kind of understand why i may have been strange with them. 

My mind must be wired wrong, or something. It doesn’t take very much, for the bad thoughts to start coming into my head. If I think someone is angry at me, I start feeling that it’s my fault. That a better person would have not made anyone angry. Of course, in a calm state I would know thinking like that is irrational, but when you start to panic, nothing seems too much. 
The first sign that a panic attack is coming, is that my heart starts pounding like a hammer, and i can feel it getting faster. I can feel my breath starting to catch in my throat, which if bad, can cause me to get a strain like a stitch. And as it all gets worse, and i lose more control, I can get dizzy. I shake so bad that physically can’t do anything. It is horrific. 

If I can feel a panic attack coming on, I will try to take myself out of the situation triggering it. If I can. Sometimes it comes on so fast that I can’t react. I can try to force myself out of the triggering situation, but that is hard when everything goes to jelly, and sometimes you can’t even see straight.  

Anxiety is crippling. People have presisted in talking to me, when I’ve had an attack. I struggle to get thoughts together enough, and if I reply it is usually so far out of my character. I could tell someone to fuck off, really offend them, and i haven’t even thought about it. I have some times been in such a panic that I don’t even remember what I have said. The feeling that someone could be angry with you over something you can’t control is awful. And it can make it worse. It is a vicious cycle of shaming yourself and then panicking because of the shame. 

The worst thing is, it there may actually be nothing specific to set me off. Someone could say ‘hello’, and I could start wondering if there is something wrong with me that I have been talked to. That I didn’t answer right, and that I am an idiot. And if I think someone thinks bad of me because of myself, anxiety strikes. 

I have become a lot better at dealing with anxiety. I recognise when I get a feeling of my heart starting to race, or when breathing gets hard. I try not to put myself in a situation where I could triggered. It does infuriate me, that sometimes, that is not enough. 

It’s a hard thing to get someone to understand, but I thought I’d better try. I’m tired of apologising for something that no one seems to really understand. 

A Little Peace

Trying to find things to keep me calm. The worst thing about suffering from anxiety, is that feeling of utter panic that can rise from just about anything. The thing that I find most difficult is trying to get other people to understand. I went through a bad phase where I would have a panic attack if I didn’t have the right change for the bus. And it made it worse that people behind would complain, despite the bus drivers always being lovely. I don’t know what started me feeling that way, but it is something that could spiral pretty quickly out of control.

The best thing that I did, that helped, was try and find things that would help avoid the situations which panicked me. Like, the bus thing, I’d make sure I always had plenty of change in my purse whenever there was a possibility of me having to catch the bus. It helped. I felt in control with it. The same when shopping, particularly food shopping. I have mentioned my issues with food on here before, and I would get the wrong thing, which would end up with me freaking out. A lot of the time, I would just go home empty handed. And I tried to get round that, by writing up a list, be in it a notebook or on my phone. Thinking about what I needed before being in the store, actually took a lot of the pressure off. I felt like I could just pick up what I had planned, and even had a sense of achievement that I made it out with a load of shopping.

The two examples that I have given are things that have happened most frequently. For the vast majority of the issues that I had with my anxiety happen at random. So, I have to just find ways to try and cool myself down. Force my breathing, the way you have probably heard of. In through the nose, and out through the mouth. By slowing things down, it can sometimes allow your brain to start thinking a little bit, and stop the irrationality that comes with having a panic attack. I always carry my ipod in my bag. On it, there is a playlist of all my favourite songs. From Spice Girls to Cradle of Filth. The music that makes me feel good, and that can make a huge difference. The music distracts me from whatever is going on in my head. And then, when my mind isn’t so ‘racing all over the place’, I can take out my notepad, or my ever reliable phone, and just write stuff. It could be words, complete sentences, or even a rambling post on Tumblr. It helps. It makes me feel like I have let the thing frustrating me, go.

The thing is, that what calms one person down, is different from another person. If anyone is having any problems with anxiety or panic attacks, is to try and think of solutions. Try to have what relaxes you, with you at all times. The biggest solution that I have found is planning. A good plan, can ease many fears that your mind may try to conjure up.

When I was looking for help I went to Mind, whose website has a lot of information about mental health. The page I have linked, deals specifically with advice on dealing with anxiety. Hopefully, it helps someone else, like it helped me.