May 2019

It is what it is

I recently turned 26.

I feel like this next coming year for me will be an important one. I have a gut feeling, good will come but I have to take the bad also. I feel like I’m more prepared than ever. Honestly the past few weeks or so I’ve surprised myself in so many ways. It’s like I feel myself evolving and becoming the person that I was meant to be.

Work has been going ok. I’m learning more things every week and I’m enjoying it. Really trying to put myself out there and be more confident you know. My team consists of men and 2 women including myself so it’s very different but friendships are being established. My health has been very odd though. I have had Anaemia on and off for years now and when it decides to show up it always makes a show.

Now to be honest I’m actually very surprised that my anxiety has managed to stay so stable. Usually when I feel anything off with my body I start to tense up and panic but I’ve been really calm. Yes my anxiety at times does get triggered more easily but I think I’ve handled it in a way where I can cope. Even while I’m at work.

So my anaemia symptoms, the first 1 that I noticed was the fact that I can hear my own heartbeat and blood rushing in my veins. Which is really annoying and yes a weird symptom but it’s a symptom.. You can look it up haha. Next would be headaches where my head feels physically heavy like I have to lean on something to be able to bare it. Again annoying. Next is the tiredness and I didn’t clock this until the other day how I’ve been so tired lately but not so much a lack of energy. I just want to sleep all the time. Anyways, so these are my usual symptoms which sound like nothing but Anaemia can become very serious very quickly. Today I managed to sort some Iron tablets for myself which should sort me out in a couple of weeks. It usually does. If not then it’ll have to be a trip to the hospital but I don’t think it will come to that.

Other than that I’m sort of happy with life. There are things I want to do in 2019 and I don’t think I’ll be truely happy until I do them. They’re things I can achieve so I know I’ve got this. I just have to keep reminding myself why.

I’m really in the mood to get a new tattoo. I know what I want it to be I just don’t know where to put it. I think I’ll get it done sometime soon, a little gift for myself. You know how I’m not girly? Well yesterday I bought glue on nails just to try and I don’t know what to do with myself haha. It’s so weird. Never had nails this long in my life but it’s just a test so we’ll see if I actually keep them. I know, random but I think I want to just start telling you guys about my days and not just the depressing cycles and struggles that I have. Although I’ll still more than likely be venting on here.

I’ll try to get back into the habit of posting weekly but I’m not making promises. I hope you all are doing ok and are coping. Stay strong guys

Until the next one

Shanai xxx

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April 2019

Catch Up

It has been a while. I didn’t mean to disappear for so long but life happens right? Not in a bad way either. I’ve actually been very good and a lot of good changes and things have been made in the past month or so.

I managed to land a new job! I am now a Trainee CAD/BIM technician. Sounds more complicated than it is… Actually I take that back. Hah. It’s a more technical form of design, is probably how I should word it. I’m enjoying learning something new, it’s also nice to feel a part of something. Where I feel like I can put my knowledge to use whilst also learning. I think I’ll really enjoy it. The people I work with are all so nice and it’s a good change for me.

I’ve been here almost 3 weeks now. Honestly I thought it would have taken me longer to settle into the routine of going to bed, (at a reasonable time) waking up earlier & even getting the bus. We all know how I hate public transport. I’m doing it though and yes I have small bouts of anxiety but it’s nothing I can’t handle and I’m just loving life right now. I can not complain, it’s like things that I was trying to manifest this year are finally making an appearance. I’m noticing small changes to my confidence too, I’m doing things that I wouldn’t normally do and I just feel like I can conquer anything. I’m not even going to question myself either, just live in the moment right?

I have this gut feeling like the next few weeks will be really good. Like life is going to get better. Even though I’m really happy. Who know’s though! We’ll just have to wait and see! Anyways this post wasn’t just a catch up on how life is treating me right now. Over the next few weeks I’ll dive back into mental health and everything surrounding that. I hope you’re all well!

Until the next one

Shanai xxx

March 2019

Anger & Frustration

This post will have some profanity in it. Which I sort of apologise for.

You see yesterday and the day before I was so fucking mad. To the point where I wanted to punch or hurt something. I was fuming because I was mad at myself. For allowing my anxiety to build up to the point of exhaustion.

Being positive and upbeat is something that takes up a lot of my energy. I’m not forcing myself to be happy, I genuinely am. Inside. Portraying that on the outside takes some work for me though. I’m trying, so damn hard that sometimes I forget to just let things ride out. Like if I’m feeling shit, then I need to allow myself to feel that. Instead it’s like I’m still trying to put up a display on my face. Why why why do I still do this?

See for the past couple of weeks my sleep pattern has been all over the place. I’ve said before that in order to balance myself out, I need decent sleep and food. Lately though, I think I’ve been caught up in the moment of embracing all the positive things that I was selectively taking care of myself. So a couple of days I would have a great sleep and diet but then I would have a few days of just not eating or sleeping really late. I forgot that it’s an ongoing thing that I have to commit to. So of course this all caught up with me the past few days. Hence me being so angry and anxious all of a sudden.

Any little thing was triggering me. If my mom or brother spoke to me I snapped at them. Which I am sorry for. I ended up going to the gym with my cousin. I warned her beforehand that I was in a pissy mood so I probably wouldn’t have been so chatty. Which I wasn’t. The gym calmed me though, yeah I only did cardio work but I actually felt myself calm down a little. I listened to Magic for 40 mins, just on repeat. Then I got home and lay down for the rest of the day because to be honest I needed it. One thing about me is that I can’t nap, no matter how hard I try, so resting myself was as good as I was going to get. Then of course I ate dinner and went to bed, although I still didn’t sleep until after 3am.

I’ve learn’t my lesson…. For now. I know this is going to be my cycle to try and beat for the next however long. I just apologise if I take it out on the people I care about. Today I’m good though, I can still feel the anxiety through my body but its not as high as the previous days. I’ve managed to eat breakfast & lunch and workout today so I can give myself some credit.

Until the next one…

Shanai xxx

March 2019

Change in the air

Literally. When I say I feel a change in the air, I really do. I can’t explain the feeling or sensation, it’s just something that…. is. For the past year and a half I’ve been obviously working on myself and trying to become the best possible me. My brother introduced me to the Law of Attraction and everything surrounding that. It has honestly changed my outlook on life as a whole.

Life is what you make it. That’s what they say and what I truly believe. Here’s my thought process the majority of the time. Negative thoughts = negative outcomes, positive thoughts = positive outcomes. Ok yes, it’s not just a process of me thinking great things and then automatically something good is going to happen. You have to take the steps, make a move, believe in yourself to achieve what can be achieved. At the end of the day only you can help you and if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

I have to say though, living with depression and trying to think positively is such a challenge. Having that internal battle is exhausting to say the least. I’m tired of the constant doubt and dread though. I understand that I will have my moments (some longer than others) and I do, but I’m down for the challenge. What have I really got to lose? I’ve reached my all time low before and sure I don’t want to head back in that direction but I’m prepared (sort of).

I’m learning to live in the moment, instead of trying to control and plan everything. I’m taking more risks, doing things that I previously would never have done and overall just enjoying life. For now at least. Even just saying that, is me being a bit sceptical but I really just can’t help it. That’s part of my personality. I’m sarcastic, slightly morbid and very emotional.

Anyway, back on topic. Law of attraction, speak it to the universe and watch it manifest. I think this is a topic that I honestly can’t write about. How can I make someone else believe with just words? But words are such a powerful source of expression. Notice how things make you feel, if someone says something bad you feel bad. Something good, you feel good. I think research and a lot of looking within yourself is the way to go about the law of attraction. I can not explain to you the changes in myself since the beginning of last year.

2017 was horrible. I was tired of being, to be blunt, a sap. I wasn’t working, I’d put on a load of weight. I was crying, miserable and just really really depressed. My brother introduced this new way of thinking to me and I’m not going to lie, I kind of overlooked it and was like whatever. The beginning of 2018 something inside of me snapped. I was done with the hopelessness and knew that I needed to change something, anything that wasn’t working for me. I wanted to finally start putting my qualifications to use and start a career. I didn’t know what I needed to do, I just knew I needed to do something. So, I changed my diet and started working out. I began applying for jobs, internships and I began to believe in myself. This was when I started speaking a bit more openly about how I’d been struggling too. With people around me and family. A couple of weeks into 2018, I got a design internship. Now some people will probably think oh that’s just luck, but honestly I believe that if I didn’t make those changes to myself. I wouldn’t have gotten that internship. After said internship I got my first design job. So this began my change in my beliefs.

Now, not everything I manifested turned out to be overall positive. My internship was very unorganised and my “design” job was just…. Well let’s not get into that. However, what I gained from both experiences I think made 2018 a year of learning. I’m not over my agoraphobia or social anxiety but I’m learning to deal with it. The same with depression, anxiety and everything else. This is all because I pushed myself last year, I changed my mindset. I gave myself hope that things would change and they did. They still are, this year didn’t begin where I wanted it to and I almost slipped back into a depression cycle. Almost…. I didn’t and guess what? I’ve just received some really good news and I’m actually excited for once! If you knew me as a person you’d know I don’t get excited about a whole bunch of things. I’ve always been that way but I’m slowly changing.

I can feel this big change in the air. It’s already began and good things are happening for me. I’m so much happier lately, I’ve lost a bit of weight and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I hope people can take something away from this and know that when you’re low, things can only get better. Your time will come, it’s what I believe for everyone. Just believe in yourself.

Until the next one

Shanai xxx

February 2019

A bit of this & a bit of that

First of all I apologise that this post is a day late. I don’t want to bombard you with all the troublesome life stories I have but at the same time I kind of want to get things off my chest. I’ve been struggling with a topic for a few days now but I have a subject which I would like to discuss. It’s not going to be a heavy topic but still something worth talking about.

You are what you eat. Remember the lines your parents used to say when you were a child? To guilt trip you into eating all your veggies and fruits? Well in my case it’s true…. I’ve learnt a hard lesson over the years that you literally are what you eat. Food effects so much when you have depression and anxiety. As well as that, my metabolism is not the same and the foods I used to be able to eat I can no longer.

When I say no longer what I really mean is, i’ll dabble like once a year. Who can resist temptation like that? It’s honestly so hard. I can no longer eat cheese, I don’t have dairy  unless I eat chocolate which is hardly anymore. I’ve cut back a lot on carbs & junk food  and I can just about eat spicy food. All things (apart from dairy) I used to be able to eat a lot of before. In a way I’m kind of grateful though because I feel healthier, I’ve lost weight and kept some of it off.

However I don’t think people realise how food can effect your mental health. If I go more than 6 hours without it my body will go into fight or flight mode. Which means I will more than likely have an attack at some point. Don’t get me wrong there are some days where I can get away with eating just 1 meal, which I have done countless amounts of times. Usually, on those days i’ll feel exhausted and sluggish. Kind of like today. I’ve only had breakfast and its around the end of lunchtime when I’m writing this but I’m just not hungry. I only ate because I have to pop to the shops in a while and I want to avoid feeling anxious. I know, I’m not helping myself but I’m not perfect.

Have you noticed that typically when people are depressed they either put on weight or lose weight? I’ve done both. It’s not good for your body to go through so much change in a short amount of time but sometimes, honestly it can’t be helped. Please do your own research on it though. I’m just speaking from my experience.

There are the staple foods that you are supposed to completely stay away from if you have depression and anxiety. Typically it’s anything with a high sugar content. So white bread, cakes, coffee, alcohol. As well as dairy, fried and processed foods. Sounds like a lot huh? It is. I still drink alcohol if I go out though, I just don’t drink as often as I did before. In regards to my diet, I’ve put a lot of restrictions on myself over the past few weeks and honestly I’m seeing improvements with my mental health. My energy levels are higher, I’ve done a lot more exercise and my skin is clearing up. Ok today I feel like crap but that’s because of my insomnia which I’ll do another post on.

As I like to cook and bake, if there’s something that you can buy from the shop. So for example Granola. I make my own. I mix bananas, peanut butter and honey together then stir in the oats and cacao powder. Dry the mixture out in the oven and then add chocolate chips (if I can be bothered) for a little sweetness. I think it’s just little things like that, that make me more aware of the foods that I’m putting into my body. I’ve also been anaemic in the past and it comes back every so often so vegetables are a must. This is why I chose to cut back on my carb intake. I replaced things like pasta and rice with just stir fry’s and soups. All of which I make myself.

I’ve learnt to discipline myself, especially over the past year or so as I’ve been trying to get back out into the world. I have my pig out days and then regret them but I’m human so I can make a few mistakes. I’m not saying that this will work for everyone but try and do some of your own research and see what you find.

Until the next one

Shanai xxx

 

February 2019

Phobia

Agoraphobia. It’s something I don’t really mention when I speak about my mental struggles. I think because I don’t want people to think that I’m so messed up that I’m begging for attention. Another one of my struggles but I’m learning to let that go.

What is Agoraphobia? There are a lot of aspects to this, I don’t really think you can define it by 1 thing. It’s basically the fear and avoidance of certain situations or places that will cause you to panic. This is my life. A constant avoidance, no matter how much I’m moving forward there’s this obstacle that I can’t get over and I don’t know how.

Back in 2014 after I was diagnosed I think I spent about 5 months inside the house. I didn’t leave, not for anything. My mom, man I love my momma, she took 2 or 3 months off work to look after me. I would literally cry if I was left alone in the house. I was hysterical, I hyperventilated a lot and would have to stick my head out the window to let air back in. There were times that I used to phone my little brother while he was at work and beg him to come home because I couldn’t take it. I’d be on the phone to him, even as he was travelling home so I wouldn’t feel alone. The times that I was alone in the house I’d spend in bed. All day, I literally wouldn’t move until my mom got back, when I knew that I could breathe easy for a while. The thought of leaving the house at that time, even to just walk down the road made me sick. In my head it was, I’m going to have a panic attack and look like an idiot or I’m not safe outside I’m going to drop dead somewhere and no one will be there for me. Even to this very day these thoughts are with me. Going somewhere by myself scares the absolute crap out of me. Now that I’ve started to take a little control back over my life I’m able to go to places and do things. In no way is it easy though, it’s so damn hard. Your mind is such a powerful place, how 1 thought can multiply and consume your mind is so bizarre to me.

It was at this time that I stopped eating too, I lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time. During those 5 months my body went through hell, the amount of stress that ran through me. I’m so proud of myself because there were times when I wanted it all to be over. There’s an ache in my heart remembering all of this, keeping it locked away and now bringing it back up is making me really emotional. Its good for me to look back at this moment though because look how far I’ve come.

One of the things I can’t get over is my fear of public transport or just travel in general. Basically just being anywhere that’s not home. My very first panic attack was on the bus, as I was going to the gym so you know where this is going. I thinks its the small space or the feeling that I can’t escape that does me over. The fact that I feel like I have to act normal so I don’t look like an idiot in front of people. Especially as I don’t drive yet so public transport is it for now. I have this.. tell when I start to feel anxious. I can’t keep still, constantly moving and twitching, checking my pulse, deep breathing, taking sips of water. The worst is when my head starts to feel heavy, my legs feeling like jelly and I can hear my own heartbeat. I absolutely hate it. I try to avoid it as much as possible but every so often it gets to me. I guess the only change from back then to now is that I don’t let it stop me. Sure my mood will completely change and my energy levels drop but with sleep and good food I usually bounce back. It’s just sometimes going through all of this hurts. So so bad. I can’t put it into words. All of this effects me socialising with people and I miss that so much. I go out from time to time but not nearly as much as I used to. It’s lonely dealing with suppressing negative thoughts and trying to live your life too. Which is why my end goal in life is to just find my happy and live in that.

In case anyone was wondering, I don’t take any medication for my mental health. Never have. It was a choice that I went back and forth with for a while. The determination to better myself without relying on meds isn’t easy in the slightest. I was perscribed Citalopram which is an antidepressant but I’ve never used it. I know some people are probably thinking man you’re strange for refusing to help yourself. I don’t see it that way though. Everyone is different no? To me all I was thinking at the time was that I don’t want to rely on it. What happens when I want to stop taking them? Not to mention the (ok it has less than others) side effects. That would just give me more anxiety. I don’t want to be taking meds for the rest of my life. I’d rather live knowing that I at least tried the natural route and I’m a big fan of natural products and remedies. What helps my depression, anxiety and agoraphobia a lot is a balanced diet and exercise. Something that takes effort and a lot of planning. Yes ok, I’ve put on weight since I lost a lot of it but I’m heading in the right direction again. If that means in a few years time I eventually start taking meds then so be it but for now that’s not where I’m at.

What I’m trying to say is, if you’re going through what I do, do what’s right for you. Its a matter of trial and error. You’ll eventually figure it out.Most importantly…. You’ve got this.

Until the next one

Shanai xxx

February 2019

Escape

What’s your escape?

Hmm, I kind of like asking questions at the beginning of a post, I may make it a thing. Question of the week. Anyway back on topic, an escape. What do you do to relax?

Personally I game (A lot). Growing up with 2 brothers it was bound to happen. I’ve always been a tomboy, playing football or cricket (yes I played cricket) however I still had my barbie’s and dolls. I just like to mix it up a little you know. Gaming is a whole other world, yes it frustrates me from time to time but its a great escape from reality for a while. If i’m feeling anxious at any point during the day gaming usually helps calm me down.

What’s funny is that my brother bought an Xbox One and I bought the PS4, we swapped consoles as our friends were on the other platform. So Xbox it is for me (plus I like gameplay better on xbox). I do eventually want to build my own PC and when I get my own place it will more than likely have a games room (yes i’m serious). My game list is as follows Apex Legends, Black Ops 3&4, DragonBall Xenoverse 1&2, Fortnite, Overwatch & Rainbow 6 Siege. So I basically like shooting things. I think though its more the competitive side to gaming that keeps me interested. I’m a competitive person but know when to humble myself. If I suck at something, i’ll say that I suck at it but I always aim to improve and get better.

The gaming community is huge! I’ve made so many friends and met some wierdo’s but hey ho that’s the way of life. Guys reactions to a girl gaming is something else. The amount of sexist jokes is unreal “oh why don’t you get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich”. Huge eye roll whenever I hear that one, its the first that usually comes out. I’m not trying to put anyone off but if you’re a girl and you game and talk on mic’s like I do then you know what I mean.

Anyways other than gaming I love films. My dvd collection is over 100 but I love anything Marvel or comic related. Ok minus Venom because they murdered that film and cremated it. I don’t even want to get into that. Oh and DC films because Justice League was a shambles…. I should totally do film reviews on here. Let you guys know what i’m currently into etc. Like have you seen the trailer for the Aladdin live action film? Oh my gosh, i’m so hyped for that it’s unreal. I think the biggest film i’m waiting for is Avengers: Endgame because wow wow wow they have a lot of explaning to do!

So this post was really just a chat. I didn’t really have a topic in mind and my last 3 posts were kind of intense so I wanted to lighten the mood a little. P.S sorry this is a day late, I have the flu and yesterday I could just about breathe.

Until the next one.

Shanai xxx