Anxiety and me

I write this because I’ve just written a really honest letter to my doctor explaining how I don’t feel able to attend my appointment next week because of my anxiety.

It’s an appointment that I’ve avoided for 2 years and I’ve found every excuse in the book to do so, instead of just telling the truth.

But why? he’s a doctor, surly he’s going to understand.

Yet I’m terrified he just won’t get it, that he won’t understand that everything in my body is saying no, even though I want to say yes, or he won’t see it as a valid enough “excuse.”

And it’s not just him, I lie to everyone about my anxiety. I lie about why I can’t go, I lie about how excited I am and I lie about being okay. I just hate the thought of people thinking I’m a flake, that I just can’t be bothered, or that that I’m miserable.

I mean, It’s taken me so long to understand my anxiety myself, how can anyone else?

………………..

I think I first started experiencing anxiety about 6 years ago, and I’m still not really sure how or why it started.

I just remember starting to feel incredibly vulnerable.

I felt like I had no control over anything in my life, I was having to trust others to help me in everything, but that was something I was loosing too.

The less I felt I had a grasp on things the bigger and scarier everything around me felt.

And if my general anxiety wasn’t bad enough a almost incident whilst in the car gave me travel anxiety. Something that unlike my everyday anxiety is proving a lot harder to get a handle on.

Because in having a structure, and a plan, or a knowing, I can feel better.

But not always.

And I can go days, weeks, feeling fine.

To then wake up with this feeling, this pit, deep in the middle of my stomach that feels suffocating; and I fight it, with every part of my being I fight it.

And sometimes I win.

Sometimes I make it, but I’m still fighting, and as much as I try I can’t be present.

Then sometimes I fail.

It’s to much, it’s to hard, to exhausting to battle and to pretend, yet I still am when I lie and say it’s because I’m tired or not feeling well.

So from here on out I’m going to be honest.

If anxiety is fucking with me I’m just going to say that, and if people aren’t open to understanding, or try understand, then that’s on them.

Because I’m not ashamed of my anxiety, and I can share if it’s just a bad day for me, so why not with the people I love and that love me.

And hopefully it’ll take away some of those feelings that come with anxiety. Feelings that you’ll be rejected, of guilt or shame.

Loneliness, because it can do that to you, but maybe inviting others in, I’ll realise it’s not a battle I have to fight alone.

Love, C x

365 day clothes buying ban, a update

Before I was set to start my clothing ban I thought I’d have a mad buying spree in the Christmas and Boxing Day sales, this wasn’t the case. In fact as I was scrolling through I just kept thinking, buying this is me just buying for the sake of buying. I bought 2 jumpers and a rugby jersey type thing, but that was it.

I must have already been in the none buying mind set.

I expected January to be pretty easy because it’s only 4 weeks in, and who needs clothes in January? No one does anything, and it’s to cold to wear anything but jumpers. And for the most part it was easy, except for this one day.

About half way through the month I tried on the rugby jersey I had bought for the first time because I honestly thought it’d fit fine.

It didn’t.

It fit, just not how I expected and how I wanted it to.

This instantly put me in a bad mood because its something that’s wrapped up in a whole bunch of other thoughts and feelings I have, and that day it just really got to me.

Although I’m not necessarily overly expressive with my fashion choices, and I don’t follow trends and such, clothes help me feel a little bit more “normal” bare with me.

Having such a life changing accident at 16 and trying to jump back into life at 17, I just wanted to grab onto any kind of my normality. I wanted to feel like me still, feel like an average 17 year old, like all my friends, and the one way I thought I could do that was with my clothes.

But things where different now, it wasn’t as easy as just putting on a top, it fit different, it looked different.

It took me a long time to wrestle with all the different feelings of insecurities and frustrations, and through that time of finding the clothes that felt right, I worked through my insecurities and I worked through accepting my disability, and finding the new me.

I’m now comfortable and happy enough that if something doesn’t fit or look right I just take it off and send it back.

But because I was the top was something I had no second thought about, because it should of been fine, it took me right back to that place where my favourite top from before the accident looked ridiculous when I tried it after.

It really had me down for most of the day, all I wanted to do was get rid of the top, along with everything in my wardrobe and buy new stuff. Start afresh, throw away those feelings and new things will make me feel better.

Then I thought no. Yeah, momentarily you might feel better, but you have no problem with your entire wardrobe, just get rid of the one top, feel those feelings for a moment, then remember how far you have come.

By the next day I felt much better, and in a way I’m grateful for this shopping ban, because it allowed me a moment to think through everything instead of looking for a quick fix of gratification.

Still, only 313 days to go!

Love, C x

Let’s chat

Who’d have thought that in 2019 I’d be sat here writing a post about the right way to talk to someone.

I mean I know it’s so much easier to converse via our fingers and phones, I have to admit I’d much rather email someone than phone them, but I think I can confidently say I know how to speak to people, a stranger politely without causing offence.

I mean I might feel a little nervous or anxious about it, depending on the situation. But it’s nerves and anxiety that come from worrying that they won’t like me, think I’m weird or awkward.

I don’t think, this person is tall I might say the wrong thing.

I don’t think, this person is Jewish I may offend them.

I don’t think, this person is Asian I’m going to say something to anger them.

I think here’s a person and I have this to say.

Yet according to a survey I saw pop up on twitter, two thirds of people are to scared or nervous to talk to someone with a disability. Many saying they wouldn’t want to offend or say the wrong thing.

And if you do a quick google search you’ll find articles 5, 3 years old that say the same thing.

I mean surly by now we’ve got this covered.

Because really, it’s not that deep.

All you really have to do is stick to the polite conversation you use with any stranger until you get to know them, and you can’t really go that wrong.

Because yes, my disability is a difference I have to you, but your eye colour, your height and what town you’re from is a difference you have to me.

We all have a wealth of differences that if approached in some kinda way could cause offence, so why are we still so scared of disability?

And yes, you can get it wrong, so wrong, just like you could with anyone. Yet we seem to have learnt those no no’s, we instinctively know the wrong things to say in accordance to many different things. So why is it we’ve learnt the do’s and don’ts when it comes to everything else but not with disability?

I’m sure there are many, very clever answers to these questions, but honestly isn’t it just common sense?

Just be nice.

Talk to me like the adult that I am, because I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t talk to any other 27 year old like a 7 year old, well except maybe that one friend that thinks Brexit means we’re going to lose all the trees 😉

Don’t ask personal or intrusive questions, because I’m not asking how you go to the bathroom within 5 minutes of meeting you so why are you asking me. You don’t have the right to know my full life story or medical history just because I’m disabled, it’s information that’ll be offered to you when I’m happy to share, or will come as a natural progression.

Lastly I’d say, don’t get blindsided by disability, because yes my disability is a part of me, but there is literally so, so, so much more. Let’s talk film, music, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and how amazing Chrissy Teigan is.

So, come talk to me people, I don’t bite 🙂

Love, C x

P.S I know we aren’t all perfect in saying the right thing, i know people can often jump to stereotypes or over used anecdotes when it comes to race, religion, sexuality, height, hair colour, weight or even accents. I also know people can be intentionally hurtful and offensive when it comes to all of the above and more, but that’s not what I’m addressing. I’m looking at people that mean well and do want to be nice.

It just strikes me that 5 years ago there was a campaign run by a disability charity that was teaching people how to talk to disabled people, there’s official training explaining how to talk to disabled people, when we are all just people, but still I go to a doctors appointment and have the doctor spend the whole appointment talking to my mum instead of me.

A Clothes Buying Ban

In May I told myself I was going to clear out my wardrobe, in November I actually did.

The clear out was well over due. I’d hoarded so many things that didn’t fit just right so I’d never wear them. I had far to many of those old super cozy jumpers that were now ten years old and so tatty you’d never leave the house with it on, but you just couldn’t possibly throw it away. As well as a pile of stuff that had needed to go for a good year I just couldn’t be bothered let go.

It was hard, but I was ruthless. I still miss my red jumper. I managed to get two big bags for charity and another that needed to be thrown.

I have to say, as hard as it was I felt almost cleansed afterwards. It was really satisfactory having enough room to hang everything that needed hanging, and enough space to properly organise the piles of tshirst and many, many jumpers I had.

Yet even after such a big clear out I still had a full wardrobe of clothes and it made me think. Here I am with all these clothes and 1. I still wear the same thing over and over, and 2. I still probably spend a good £400 on clothes a year, without much thought. But why? Why am I doing this. It’s such a waste, both in money and in terms of the actual clothes. And honestly I have no real excuse. I’m not hugely into fashion, I’m mostly into warmth, which is why half of my clothes are jumpers. If anything I have a slight love hate relationship with clothes. It can be difficult to dress with the chair. I like things to be a certain way so I feel comfortable, which can often mean things just look off or don’t fit right. I had one incident where I bought a top that had ruffles at the bottom, I looked like a twelve year old wearing their princess fancy dress outfit, not my intend look for afternoon drinks with friends.

So, I thought, that’s it, I’m not going to buy clothes for a whole year. Once decided I told a couple of people, but as packages would arrive every other week still in the run up to Christmas not many people had much faith in me.

I set my goal for 2019, for the whole year I’m not going to buy any clothes, except for a couple of exceptions.

Underwear doesn’t count, I mean that’s a given right?

Because I’m ragged about a lot with my jeans they’re prone to being ripped and over stretched, so I’m allowed to buy new jeans but only to replace a pair if it’s needed.

I don’t have great temperature control and I really feel the cold, so although I have a lot of jumpers, I always wear a long sleeve top or vest, these to can get well worn so I can replace them.

Lastly, if I get a voucher for my birthday, which is in March, I can use that because I don’t want it to go to waste, but realistically it’s only going to be enough for a top.

I quite looking forward to this little challenge, because I feel like no one thinks I can do it, and I do kinda enjoy an I told you so. I’m also doing it to make me properly utilise my wardrobe, mix things up a bit, layer differently, have a little more fun and experimentation with all the stuff I already own. And lastly to save money, spend it on fun things or even just be sensible and pay of my credit card, and hey, maybe even try and cut down on my carbon footprint.

What do you think? Think I can do it? I’ll keep you updated.

Love, C x