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WILLIE AND BAILEY
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FEAR, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION – STANDING AT THE EDGE AND LOOKING DOWN

FEAR, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION – STANDING AT THE EDGE AND LOOKING DOWN

FIGHTING FEAR
STANDING AT THE EDGE AND LOOKING DOWN

 

When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness there will come a time when Fear, Anxiety and Depression become part of your life.   

WHAT IS ANXIETY?

 

When it’s Anxiety that’s part of your every day you get anxious when you are dealing with a new situation but it doesn’t stop you in your tracks.   You might feel anxious before a test at school or starting a new job, or just trying a new experience, but you can still go on and do those things.

Let me give you a brief description of what Anxiety is.  Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life everybody gets it you feel anxious when faced with a problem at work or in an email or you are about to buy your first house and you’re worried about whether or not you can really do that. That’s normal anxiety.

For those with a Generalised Anxiety Disorder, fear does not fade away in time like it does with normal anxiety. There comes a point where you have to retreat or you will literally shut down or run screaming away from the cause of your anxiety.  

Panic attacks or Panic Disorder is another type of anxiety, you can absolutely feel like you are going to die, your breathing increases and you can get so dizzy and scared that you pass out or have to be taken to a hospital to have your anxiety level reduced with medical assistance.

Another of the anxiety family members is Social Anxiety Disorder.  You are scared of meeting new people or being around other people at all.  It can be so severe that again you have to be hospitalised to relieve the level of anxiety.

I know that each day I become a little less inclined to deal with the world outside my home, my fear and anxiety are that I know that if I am away from home too long that for the next few days my pain will be increased and doing anything at all becomes almost impossible.  I am forcing myself to be part of our community because I do not want to wind up being afraid to leave the house at all.

FEAR – NATURE’S FIGHT OR FLIGHT TOOL

 

Define fear:   a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Dictionary.com provided the above definition.  The part that seems to hit home with me is that whether the threat is real or imagined doesn’t matter, the fear is still real.

How many of us have not had some imagined fear or other, we fear failure, we fear losing, we fear winning, we fear going forward, we fear going back, we even fear God at times?  Fear is a natural part of life, it was ingrained in our ancestors.  Fear is the fight or flight response.

How we deal with fear of everyday things says a lot about our personalities and our upbringing.  If we are taught that fear is something to be overcome, then we most likely take chances in our lives.  If we are taught (and I don’t mean actually taught, but how we perceive our parents dealing with it when we were kids) that we should step back, hesitate, and be sure before making that step, then we are less likely to take chances.

Everybody has them, and everybody deals with fear in different ways, below is how I do it.

HOW I DEAL WITH FEARS

If I am at home and I get that feeling, I will make myself a cup of tea and head to my bedroom.  I have this wonderful picture of my kids when they were small that helps me get back into my more optimistic self.  I just stare at it and drink my tea and the feeling rolls back and away and I am able to get up and carry on.

If I am not at home, I head for the restroom or the outdoors, in either case, I find a place to sit and just draw in deep breaths letting them out very slowly and pictures of my imaginary happy place run through my mind until I have control.

If possible, I face my fears, whatever they may be at that time.  If it is fear of the people around me, I go and introduce myself to a stranger and just let them know that I was having a problem and that they are helping me and they are always kind.

If it was the situation, I force myself to really think about what could happen.  Will I have a Panic attack or a Heart attack, or am I going to DIE?  The more that I concentrate on what might happen, the less likely I am to focus on the fear.

I should mention here, that there are some fears of mine that I will not face, no way, no how.  I refuse to go and introduce myself to a spider, if they are inside they are my husband’s problem and if they are outside, I head in another direction.

Sorry, I just wanted to release some of the tension that I was feeling. LOL

Another way to fight back is to tell myself to stop trying to be perfect, no one else is, why should I be.  If they don’t like the clothes I am wearing or if they don’t like my hair it’s not my problem.  I like them, so stuff it.

The next strategy that I have, I mentioned before, I visualise my happy place, it is a lovely golden field beside a small lake, deer are wandering around and believe it or not Winnie the Pooh is sitting beside me.  I know, how ridiculous, but it makes me feel better.

I am not very good at talking about what scares me, so talking my fears out isn’t something that I am comfortable with, so although I have read lots of research on the fact that talking them out with your partner or a good friend is good for you, not happening. But, if you feel that expressing yourself to your mate or friend will help, by all means, go for it.

I do, however, talk to my psychiatrist, I have not talked particularly about my fears but somehow they have eased over the time that I have been seeing her.

I read the other day that you should reward yourself for making it through the situation that made you anxious.  I’m not sure that I agree with this one, my reward would always be either chocolate or wine, and I have enough weight to get rid of. Haha.

Please don’t think that I am making light of either anxiety or fear, I’m not, I am trying to get through something that is difficult for me to speak about, and my go to will always be humour.  It is what gets me through anything, if I can see a funny side then I will not be so scared.

I can deal with Anxiety, but I never again want to go back to the dark place that makes me feel like anything would be better than feeling.

HOW FEAR AND ANXIETY FEEL

When you feel frightened or seriously anxious, your body has some very scary responses, and your mind sends signals that make it worse.  The following are some of the symptoms you would feel whether you were fearful or suffering from anxiety:

  1. Your heart will beat very fast and maybe even feel as though it is missing beats
  2. Your breathing will increase until you feel yourself gasping
  3. You will feel weak and as if you were going to pass out
  4.  Your stomach feels very upset and your bowels will feel loose
  5.  You break out in the sweats
  6.  Your mind will not let you concentrate on anything
  7.  You can’t eat
  8.   Your muscles will get very tight
  9.   You may feel dizzy
  10.   Your mouth will probably feel very dry
  11.   You may feel like you cannot move
  12.  You probably will have trouble sleeping

One of the ways that can help with both fear and anxiety, is to keep a record of when you feel either of them and what caused it.  Then you can go over it and see if your fear had no foundation or if your anxiety was an overreaction to something.

 

DEPRESSION
WHEN DARKNESS IS ALL YOU SEE – Depression, fear, and anxiety

 

DEPRESSION – IT’S SO DARK AND YOU FEEL SO ALONE

 

Depression, on the other hand, is a serious mood disorder, it causes very severe symptoms that affect how you feel, how you think, sleep, eat, work, and just generally get along during the day.    

I have some experience with depression, mine is not even close to severe most of the time.   For me, it’s just like a grey cloud kind of hanging over my head. It gets very dark sometimes, I did have one episode where I was in a very dark place. What I can tell you is that the belief that you’re not worth anything or that you have no reason to be here is probably one of the worst feelings in the world.

Luckily for me, I found a way out, but the fear and anxiety I have over the possibility of going there again is very real. I managed to shake myself loose which is good for me, but when you are down to the point that you are questioning your existence you need professional help.

So many people who suffer from Depression have no intention of getting help, they think of it as weakness or embarrassing, most of the time it requires someone who is close to them to recommend they seek help.  If they don’t get help the darkness can spiral them down and down until things have gone beyond the point where they can handle anything.  They take matters into their own hands and hurt themselves, or we lose them.

 

 SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

The symptoms of depression are:

  • Finding it hard to make decisions, or remembering things, being unable to focus
  • Being Tired and Listless
  • Feeling hopeless, or worthless
  • Believing there is nothing good left in your life
  • Being awake earlier than usual, or excessive sleeping
  • Being cranky, or not able to settle down
  • Has lost any interest in things that used to be fun for them
  • Overeating, or not eating
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or tummy problems that don’t go away
  • Feeling sad and/or empty
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

WARNING SIGNS OF SUICIDE WITH DEPRESSION

These are signs to watch for:

  • Suddenly the person seems really calm or happy
  • Being fascinated with death
  • The depression seems to get worse even if they are receiving treatment
  • All of a sudden doing things that could potentially hurt them or kill them
  • Telling you how worthless and helpless they feel
  • A sudden bout of getting things in order, or changing their will
  • Hearing them talk about how it would be better if they weren’t here, or they are fed up and want out
  • Talking about killing themselves, or a lot about suicide
  • Suddenly wanting to reach out and talk to loved ones

If you know someone with one or more of these symptoms, please encourage them to go the hospital immediately.

In most cases, Depression can be helped with therapy and medication.  With constant care and attention they can find their way out of the darkness and back into the light, and I know that seems overly dramatic, but trust me, when you step back into the light, there are no words to tell you how that feels.  Believe me, it is a blessing beyond description.

WHAT I LOVE, USE OR MAKE 

I have begun work on the Fairy Garden, getting all the little bits and pieces ready is a pure joy.  It takes you away almost like meditation does.  You can completely relax and just work with your hands.  I managed to pick up two Fairies and a Gnome this week from Amazon, they are so cute.

I have begun putting the stones on the Fairy house and I have painted some of the little pots.  Have a look at what I’ve been up to.

applying the stones to the Fairy House
The beginning

 

The rocks are on
I am making a start on the Fairy House. The back now has stones Mod Podged onto it
One side Done
All the space in between will have sand or moss to give the right impression

I’ll keep bringing you a little bit about this each week until it is done.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

“YOU NEVER REALISE HOW STRONG YOU ARE

  UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY CHOICE YOU HAVE.”

 

This quote just seemed appropriate after falling down the stairs twice, up the stairs once, and with my balance issues, bumping and banging into walls and furniture, and I still managed to cook dinner every night.  I’m kind of proud of myself actually, the pain was really bad but I still came through when I had to.

 

FAMILY LIFE

 

We have had the wettest weather here in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.  The experts say we had the wettest March on record since 1951.  I know the old saying about April Showers bring May Flowers but does it have to shower so heavy.

It’s not just the wet, the winds have been bad too.  Making it much colder than usual here.  We are all hoping that the sun will show up in time for Easter on Sunday but if not, then I guess we’ll just have to chill inside.

The thing that I notice the most is that my tendency to fall increases with the bad weather.  This past week I fell twice down the stairs and once up the stairs.  There were a couple of days when my legs didn’t want to work at all, so as usual Hawkeye steps up and is taking care of the things I can’t.

The dogs are now the best of buddies and play continuously throughout the day.  The bad part is when they decide at quarter to 3 in the morning that it is time to play, waking both myself and Hawkeye up half an hour before the alarm goes off.  Can someone say, ANGRY HUBBY?  The funny thing is that as soon as he leaves for work they come back to bed and settle right down again and don’t wake up until my alarm goes off at 6.

Everyone in our household is fine finally.  I don’t know about your household but ours has been a round robin of who has the bug this week?  Since November, one or the other of us has had that stupid flu that just won’t go away, you think you’re over it, and BAM it comes back three days later and hits you again.  However, we seem to be past it finally.

Hawkeye and I will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary this month, sometimes I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown.  Luckily for us, we are still as much in love now as we were on the day we got married.  We are each other’s best friend and I know how corny it sounds, but my heart still skips a beat when I see him for the first time each day, and his face is still my favourite view in the world.

We had one of our laughing fights this past week, this is when one or the other of the four comes out with something so ridiculous that the rest of us have to call them on it.  When it’s me at the short end, it is usually because of the way I say something.

Having been brought up in a British household (my parents and I were born in Scotland, although I have been here since I was 5 months old,) I pronounce some words differently than they do, so the laughter and the fight are on.  We all wind up being doubled-over with laughter and unable to speak, so ends the fight.

This time the dogs decided to be part of it as well and we wound up laughing more at their antics than our own.  In the end, my son was flopped down in the couch, my daughter was flopped down in the love seat, Hawkeye was sitting on the stairs and I was in the big chair, all of us laughing like lunatics and dogs barking furiously at all of us.

I am very lucky, our family really enjoys being together.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

 

CHICKEN WITH POTATOES AND ASPARAGUS
SPRING MEALS

 

GRILLED SEASONED CHICKEN WITH DILL AND LEMON,

WITH BOILED POTATOES AND STEAMED ASPARAGUS

 

Click this link to get the recipe https://wp.me/p8bPwH-1RL

 

That’s it for this week, I hope your week and weekend are full of sunshine.  Happy Easter to Everyone.

Take care of yourselves and don’t forget to laugh, live and have fun.

By the way, take a moment and sign up for my list, and grab the free HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN CLEANING SCHEDULE pdf.

Talk to you next week.

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