High-Functioning Anxiety…

You often see a lot of posts about anxiety. Specifically an anxiety which withdraws us from being able to cope/manage with things. But what about being overwhelmed by thoughts such as “you’re not good enough”, as you continuously strive for perfection, or “you’re not good at your job”, as you work 12 hours a day? The thoughts can be overwhelming as you try and get through the day…

I’ve always suffered with anxiety, but I also enjoy the adrenaline rush of being anxious before a performance, for example. However, I have bouts of anxiety wandering into town, into shops, alone, struggling to look up. I speak like a child when at the counter, and I approach anyone and anything cautiously as I’m paranoid I’m being watched, waiting for something to go wrong, for me to make a mistake…

Most recently, I have looked back on things realising that my anxiety comes in many other ways than shyness, feeling terrified, chest pains and childish voices, I also find myself being extremely talkative, have a smile on my face and act with such confidence, that it’s exhausting.

I have only recently noticed I do this after organising a craft fair event.

I’d planned the entire thing, from booking the venue, to arranging stall holders. I seem to be quite competent in organising such things, anything which has a deadline, I find myself being able to *just about* achieve. If there isn’t a deadline, I find myself slacking and struggle with motivation.

It’s weird to think of this new found “confidence” as an anxiety, I mean, could it just be that I’m confident in those situations? No. There were moments where I wanted to cry, I could feel myself getting stressed, but as time went on, I was getting more and more excited about the event being successful for everyone that it was as if I put all those negative feelings aside, and suddenly I was filled with a beaming confidence, like I was a “grown up”, and in control of the situation. Seriously though, if anything was to be a disaster, then I know I would lose it.

It’s not just this event though, the more I think about it, the more I think about how I am with phone calls, sometimes I can be confident, if I’m in the right headspace, and other times I can be really anxious and can’t even dial the number.

I want to say it’s like having a selection of masks or hats, and wearing one for the occasion. After all, we all have our work-hat, our home-hat, and so on.

Perhaps having anxiety works that way too, that the symptoms express themselves differently, depending on the situation you’re put in.

I’m sorry this is a rubbish post. I started writing in two weeks ago, and been distracted since.

Perhaps I can revisit this topic another time…

Speak soon!

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Cat Meditation? Does this help you?

Let’s all take a deep breath and paws for thought for a second. It’s going to be a stressful week. Teenager was found dead at BoomTown after taking ket, coke, M-cat, LSD, and Es It’s the US election, it’s cold and wet and Christmas shopping and necessary irritating prep will arrive soon. And two prisoners…

via This cat meditation video will help you stay calm while the world potentially falls apart — Metro

Let Me Introduce Myself… Again.

Hey everyone,

Here we go again, another attempt at writing about myself… A new introduction to my new followers, readers and even the old, as I feel it is time to be more open about things, and even giving people, such as my “wife”, a name.

If you have followed me from the beginning, then you may remember my post Let Me Introduce Myself, written when I was 27. I’ve just turned 29!

So I think its time for a reflection, a review and a reminder.

So, here I am again to bore you to death about me and my life.

You may have noticed that there were no posts in July, August and September, and that posts before then were few and far between. As always, it’s hard to keep up with things. I would find myself laying awake at night, thinking about what I could write, and event writing it all out in my mind, only to realise that it would be impossible to keep up with the thoughts as I physically write them down.

I want to blog about the positives and the negatives of living with mental illness and physical disabilities. Of course, there seems to be more negatives than positives, but most recently, coming out of therapy, I feel I can handle things a lot better now, and that although not “cured”, I am somewhat on the way to being about live life like a “normal” human being. Well, as “normal” as can be, and whatever “normal” is!

In my first post about who I am, I left it till almost the last minute to let you know my name. Of course, you know this now… It’s Erica Trinity. And as stated above, I’m now 29! Yes, it is my birthday on Halloween, so as of today (3rd November 2016), I’ve been officially 29 for 4 days. Though I still feel like a little girl, and sometimes scare myself by feeling older. I dissociate often, and along with body dysmorphia, I find myself looking at a different me at every glimpse of a reflection.

From the age of 13/14, I started getting symptoms of depression and anxiety, and this soon turned into a downward spiral of mental and physical torture. Still, despite the self-abuse and bullying, I managed to get through high school and go to college, even university – even if I did struggle with how people were with me, or me with them. I was later diagnosed with PTSD and OCD as well, which occurred in my late teens (although my Dad remembers the OCD being in my childhood).

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Hypermobility in 2011, after a bazillion tests. When I look back, I realise my pain started around the same time as my depression and anxiety, I’d get headaches, aches and pains. But it had got to the point where I knew something wasn’t right, and it wasn’t just self-inflicted anymore.

Shortly after, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, in the UK, it’s known as Emotional Instability Disorder, or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. The only frustrating thing about this diagnosis, was in fact I’d been diagnosed a couple of years prior to this diagnosis, but the outcome of the assessment didn’t get clarified to me or my GP, which is why I was re-referred to the secondary mental health services.

In 2015, I was diagnosed with Migraine, Stabbing Headache and Hemicrania Continua, a rare headache disorder which only affects one side of the head, and is a constant pain with varying intensity. The most intense pain terrifies me as I feel it could kill me, and when I have a BPD episode, I fear I could do just that.

Then only a few months ago, I was seeing an orthopaedic specialist for the pain in my shoulder, and he questioned my fibro and hyper mobility diagnosis’. For a couple of months I thought that I might be able to erase the diagnosis’ from my file, from my life, and that things would in fact be okay. I was wrong. For that time, a question mark was over the diagnosis, only for me to be seen by rheumatology again, to have Fibromyalgia and Mild Hypermobility clarified yet again for me. I actually walked away from the appointment in tears.

In between all of this, I’ve also been diagnosed with facial arthromyalgia (temporomandibular joint disorder), recurring De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, being gluten intolerant,  dermatillomania (hands and face) and trichotillomania (affects my face), struggle with EDNOS which coincides with the BPD, and had to live with a bout of right cervical lymphadenopathy.

Life has become very interesting and I don’t know how I will feel from one day to the next, well actually, from one hour to the next! My mental and physical symptoms fluctuate so frequently and quickly it is hard to know whether I am coming or going!

Some more about me in a nutshell:

  • I am a perfectionist, I am a typical Scorpio. I am me.
  • I come from a large family, I have four brothers and one sister, and I’m the second eldest.
  • Despite having BPD, I have been able to maintain a relationship with my wife, Lauren, for 10 years this year (We have been married for almost 2 years!)
  • My favourite band is Within Temptation, and soloists – Pink and Sia.
  • I absolutely love Tim Burton as a director and artist, and almost have all his films on blu-ray.
  • I am working towards becoming an animal-assisted psychotherapist.
  • I love animals. I have several pets – 3 cats, one rabbit, one guinea pig and a hamster. (We unfortunately lost my beautiful baby rabbit at 7 years old on 28th September 2016…He was my best friend and I’m still grieving).
  • Rabbits are my favourite animal.
  • I enjoy Pyrography art, drawing/illustrating and writing.
  • My favourite television programmes are: Casualty, American Horror Story and anything Derren Brown.
  • I have many tattoos and multiple piercings.
  • I walk with a walking aid as I’m very unbalanced, and I can’t do stairs very well duet my fibro.
  • I love dreamcatchers.
  • I enjoy crafts.
  • I run a BPD support group on Facebook.
  • I am part of a local depression and anxiety support group.
  • I love singing and am part of an LGBT+ singing group.
  • Most of the time I don’t know who I am, and I change my look a lot, so I confuse everyone around me as well as myself.

Initially when I started writing my blog it was because I’d completed a one year psycho social group based Therapeutic Community, for those with complex emotional needs associated with personality disorder. I was then part of the additional group for Leavers for a further 18 months. However, I was due to leave in January 2017, but decided to leave early for my own mental wellbeing, as I could see myself falling into the vicious cycle and getting worse mentally again. I started to blog about my feelings and my journey into the World Unknown, and then once the therapists caught wind of my blog, I felt threatened to stop writing, which caused writers block, and for a lack of posts to come up.

Now I am no longer in “treatment”, I only see my care co-ordinator, every three or four weeks, and it’s a scary time because I’m not too sure what it is I am meant to be doing.

I have three home-study courses on the go, and I am determined to complete these somehow, despite most days procrastinating, getting distracted or lacking motivation.

From now on, I plan to blog not just about my thoughts and feelings, but about things which inspire me, things I enjoy and show that I can live with having multiple diagnosis’. I would like to write recommendations, reviews and all sorts to hopefully inspire.

Please be kind, and welcome me back to the World of Blogging!

All the best,

 

 

Erica