Anxiety has become the normal in my life. For years I've tried to mask and hide it from myself, family, friends and the outside world. However over the last few years especially since I started this blog I have become much more open about it.
With May being mental health month I have been so encouraged from watching a few others talk about their own experiences with mental health to talk more in depth about my own. Ending the stigma around mental health will only come from people sharing their own experiences and I hope that sharing mine with you today that, you will be encouraged to share your own story or be encouraged to just ask a friend or family member how their doing?
Mental health is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about and I feel like theirs a very slow change here in Ireland of how people view and understand mental health and I think the key word in this sentence is understand! If everyone could be more understanding of someone else and how they might be feeling I can assure you the world we live in would be a different place.
You may have noticed how quite posts have been on the blog since the start of the new year and also how checked out I have been from social media over the past month and a half now. It has been a very conscious choice to take a step away from social media altogether as I found it becoming such a negative place for me. I was constantly comparing my life to other mommy bloggers and taring away at my own imperfections. How were they balancing the perfect house, the perfect family, the perfect blog and social media, the perfect social life and everything in between when in reality if Cailan made it to school on time and I didn't fall back asleep when Dylan napped was a winning day for me. That with the added pressure (which may I add was pressure I put on myself and not by anyone else) of having to keep up to date with blog posts and youtube videos and make sure I was talking about and reviewing the products that everyone else was talking about and stalking peoples instagrams to try and figure out what apps they we're using to create there perfectly perfect instagram layouts. I'm embarrassed to even say that but it was true. That was how my mind was running and all that just based around social media thats not to mention anything that is going on in my own personal life with work and family etc. I was surely going to crumble and I did.... HARD.
I will never forget the day I just felt the world begin to crumble at my feet. I was no longer able to hide how I was feeling anymore and the people that we're closet to me finally started to see the cracks that I have been struggling to hold together for a long time. I was having panic attacks in work, at home, I couldn't go on buses or travel anywhere on my own because my mind would go into overdrive and I would remind myself of a small child who has just been separated from there parents and being in a strange place. Thats the best way I can describe how instantly panicked I would become over nothing.
I can't stress enough how crippling anxiety can be. Without warning sometimes it will over ride your brain and your ability to rationalise a situation so in your mind it becomes almost impossible to know that what your thinking is probably ridiculous and never going to happen. Even hearing myself say out loud some of the things I'm thinking to Lee, I can tell there just not going to happen but yet my mind is so stuck on that fact and worrying about it that I can't even calm myself down.
It is very draining, because I could not sleep at night,my energy levels were so depleted I literally didn't have energy to do anything, I was grumpy all the time and I became quite snappy and I couldn't do any of the fun things I wanted to do with my kids so I felt like a boring mom. I was just lost at this stage and so surprised that I hadn't crashed sooner then I did.
Can you imagine what its like to fight with your own mind? Can you imagine whats its like to work yourself in to such a state that your heart is palpating, your stomach is turned into a thousand knots, the weight of the world is sitting on your chest and its actually physically becoming hard for you to catch a full breathe while beads of sweat run down your face all because your mind has created a scenario or a thought process for you that will most likely never happen?
Well I can because this was becoming a reality for me almost everyday and it was the smallest of things now that we're triggering me like Dylan throwing a tantrum in the supermarket. On a normal day I can handle that but all of a sudden I was questioning myself as a mom and worrying what everyone else was thinking!
Something had to change.
My own experience with anxiety is just like the Irish weather without warning I will be overcast with bad spells. It's just as unpredictable and just like the weather right now there have been more bad days then there have been good. However the weather has been looking up and with it so has my spirits.
Becoming unplugged from the world was exactly what I needed. By eliminating that I know longer was giving myself the option to go onto social media and compare myself or see what so and so was up to or watch snaps from an exciting pr event that I wasn't invited too. In the beginning of my social media cleanse I deleted all the apps off my phone completely. So I actually didn't have the option to go online at all. I stayed offline for about a week, I guess it was almost two weeks before I decided to download the apps back onto my phone which kind of brings me to now I guess as I still have not uploaded anything since coming offline.
The difference from before the cleanse to now is crazy. I can't begin to tell you how clear my mind is. How easy I can see through the fakeness now instead of getting caught up in it all and comparing myself. Since being away I've put my focus into other things that made me happy and really tried to concentrate on my own happiness and do you know what I realised since taking the time out? Apart from my family and friends I wasn't sure what else really truly made me happy anymore? I turned 26 since being away from social media the last month and a half and I guess I just started evalutating everything in my life and it was simple, if it wasn't making me happy anymore it needs to change and I guess thats where I am now. I will definitely do an updated post about all the things I've changed in my life and the other things I'm still evaluating.
My anxiety has not magically disappeared however it is now drastically better. I have got so much more control over my life again now and I finally feel like that weight has been lifted again. Something I try remember is that the sun always rises and that tomorrow is always a new day. So no matter how bad this day was there is no telling what tomorrow will bring so its important to always hold onto that positivity.
Life is always going to challenge us in different ways and its how we deal with those challenges and overcome them, that truly makes us who we are.
So I hope that this has given you a glimpse into what its been like for me and why I chose to take a step away from social media! I think its important to note that whether or not you suffer from a mental illness we can all get caught up in the unimportant things and the stuff that really doesn't matter. If its not something that effects you directly then don't let it effect you it should be as simple as that.
If you have stuck around and are still here just know my ears are always here to listen no one should ever feel like they don't have someone to talk to so if you are someone who is struggling at the moment talk to someone I can't stress enough how soothing it can be to share how your feeling with someone else.
Until next time :)