Sunday, January 28, 2018

When the anxiety won't leave you alone

All the what ifs are circling in my mind and I can't stop them. I want to let the tears falls but know that if I do my anxiety will win and I can't let it, not this early in the game. 
I want to pack a bag and run far away as far away as possible but it's not practical and after all these years I should know I don't have it in me. I'm in a much better place than I was when I last did Tafe, I've been diagnosed with severe panic attacks and received treatment for them, I see a psych every 3 weeks and know the signs but I can't help and wonder whether I will face panic attacks.
I've done things I never in a million years I thought I would do despite my anxiety and I know I can handle Tafe yet the anxiety is telling me I can't and I will fail at it. 
I have these dreams of being trapped in places, my old workplace and the first high school I attended and these have been returning lately. I'm told its due to anticipation anxiety something that is normal yet I long for a dreamless sleep one where I'm not trapped in these places. 
I've had these urges to do things that don't need to be done just yet but my mind said they had to be done or else. It's like my mind is preparing me for the worst, the anxiety that will rule me and take over my life so I need to be organised. I've gone through and repacked my bag for Tafe multiple times, checking the orientation room's location over and over again and looking at the map so I know where I need to be tomorrow morning. I know the time I need to leave by and the time I will most likely leave by because my anxiety will mean I can't stay in the house a minute longer tattooed in my mind. I have what I will wear tomorrow (down to the shoes and jewellery) planned out, how my hair and make up will be done and all these other small (unimportant) details sorted. 
I can pretend that everything is fine but deep down I am struggling to keep the anxiety at bay and wishing it would leave me alone. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

I know it is Thursday but tomorrow is a public holiday so it makes sense to have Friday Favourites today.
I officially enrolled in Tafe last Monday which was scary as it now feels real, my first day is this coming Monday and I have 4 really full on days with Wednesdays off (which is good as it means I get a chance to recharge). One of my concerns about the days is working out where to fit in my psych appointments as my psych only works Tuesdays and I really don't want to miss class but I can't miss psych appointments. I texted my concerns to my psych and we moved my appointment back a week so I won't miss the first Tuesday class (I had an appointment on the 30th) and she has written me a note to give to my lecturer explaining the situation. I am told my Tafe has really good student support services which is good to know if I ever need them (I can't say at this stage). I think my biggest issue will be building up my stamina and reminding myself its ok to feel overwhelmed.

I've been having a nice quietish week, as I know next week will be really draining. It's been nice to take it easy and apart from an employment agency meeting (to get me suspended from attending appointments as I am studying which counts as a job seeking activity) this week has been relatively stress free.

Moving onto Friday (well Thursday) Favourites:

Cat pencil case - I needed a new pencil case for TAFE despite having quite a few pencil cases of course but they were either too big or too small (or I was using them for storing other things other than pencils), I have had my eye on this one for quite a while and was able to grab it during the sales when it was 20% off. It's a great size and fits everything I need perfectly.

Fade to Us by Julia Day (out 6th of February) - This was a really enjoyable book and it was nice to see Asperger's representation in a female character instead of a male character which is what is often shown (males are more likely to be on the spectrum). Brooke was a likeable character and it was great to see her grow throughout the book and admit to herself what she really wanted.
Natalie was a really well thought out character and it was obvious that a lot of time researching Asperger's went into writing this novel. I liked how Natalie was aware that she was different but embraced it and knew her limits.
I had no idea where the book was going but was pleasantly surprised and liked how the theme of family really tied it together.
It was a great book and one that I hope people will take a chance on and enjoy as much as I did.
the blub reads:
Fade to Us is a story about found families, the bond of sisterhood, and the agony and awe of first love.      Brooke’s summer is going to be EPIC— having fun with her friends and a job that lets her buy a car. Then her new stepfather announces his daughter is moving in. Brooke has always longed for a sibling, so she’s excited about spending more time with her stepsister. But she worries, too. Natalie has Asperger’s–and Brooke’s not sure how to be the big sister that Natalie needs.                                                                                                                                     After Natalie joins a musical theater program, Brooke sacrifices her job to volunteer for the backstage crew. She’s mostly there for Natalie, but Brooke soon discovers how much she enjoys being part of the show. Especially sweet is the chance to work closely with charming and fascinating Micah–the production’s stage manager. If only he wasn’t Natalie’s mentor…                                                                                                                                                        When summer comes to an end, will Brooke finally have the family she so desperately wants–and the love she’s only dreamed about?
Butterfly Foundation Canvas bag (not the exact pattern I have but similar) - I have no idea if I will be needing text books for my course, but unlike last time where I had a bag that I used for everything (not just study) this time round I wanted a bag this time round that was just for study. As I will also be taking my handbag to class, I didn't want something really big (though still big enough for text books) but still sturdy and this one looks like a fun bag and being canvas it's also sturdy.

Jeanswest Sale - easily half my wardrobe is from Jeanswest and I love it when they have sales. The quality of their clothes is amazing and I have items from them that I have been wearing for 3 seasons now and they are still going strong! It's gotten to the point that I know my size in their clothes (well for jeans and tops, dresses are always trickier for me) and I'm a gold level member which means free shipping (even on sale items) so if I see something I like and I know it's my style I don't hesitate to order it online. I ended up ordering 2 new tops (this one and this one) in the sale which were both down to $20 (from $60 and $50) which I didn't really need but I figured with starting Tafe next week some new clothes wouldn't go astray.

Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel - I just finished book and really loved it, I loved it so much that after I read it on my Kobo I ended up ordering it online to put on my bookshelf! It was such a different topic and you could tell that Alyssa put a lot into researching face transplants to make it as accurate as possible. It was really cleverly written and I loved how the book was broken up into seasons which is represented what Maisie was going through. I can't recommend this book enough!
The blurb reads:
When Maisie Winters wakes up, she’s in the hospital. 
The last thing she remembers is running through the hills of her neighborhood one misty morning. Slowly, she puts the pieces together: Before she could make it home, a storm gathered. Lightning hit a power line and sparks rained down, the hot-burning electrical fire consuming her. Destroying her face. Where her nose, cheeks, and chin used to be, now there is . . . nothing.
Maisie’s lucky enough to qualify for a rare medical treatment: a face transplant. At least, everyone says she’s lucky. But with someone else’s features staring back at her in the mirror, Maisie looks—and feels—like a stranger. The doctors promised that the transplant was her chance to live a normal life again, but nothing feels normal anymore. Before, she knew who she was—a regular girl who ran track and got good grades, who loved her boyfriend and her best friend. Now, she can’t even recognize herself.

Acclaimed author Alyssa Sheinmel has created a gripping and gorgeously written tale of identity and love. This is a story of losing yourself, and the long, hard fight to find your way back

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

And the word of the year is Flexibility

On the 9th of January I had my first psychologist appointment of the year and my psych decided to
give me a challenge this year: to be more flexible. One of the big things with my anxiety is that I am a control freak and am in no way spontaneous, I like to plan things and know what is going on around me.
Being unemployed for so long has really taught me that I am not in control of my life, it's meant that I can't plan things in advance and things can change at a moments notice if I get a job interview. But despite being unemployed and having to be flexible I've still tried to control as many things as I can. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with liking control and sticking to a routine but when it limits you it's a bad thing.
From the get go anything out of routine would scare me, one of my anxiety triggers is new experiences which also means out of routine experiences. In school I would stay awake obsessing over the smallest of things; swimming lessons at school, a relief teacher, sports and swimming carnivals (though I blame that on Dyspraxia and my lack of coordination more than anything else!), new classes or learning activities and don't even get me started on school camps! I was able to memorise my high school class timetable within the first week of the school year (and then I would start to memorise my friends timetables once I saw the patterns) as it was a routine that I had to stick to. If I knew what was happening during the day I could prepare myself for it but when things came up and I wasn't prepared then I wouldn't cope.  That's still my mindset even now and looking back it's clear to me that not much as changed. I internally freak out when people ask me to do things last minute that I haven't planned for, if you give me 24 hours notice I am fine but anything less and I struggle (though at times 12 hours is fine).
So this year my aim is to be open for new things, take on new challenges and not be afraid to go with the flow. This means saying yes to new things, agreeing to do things last minute, not being afraid to put myself out there and not to stress or worry when things don't go my way, this is all easier said than done which is why I am focusing on it.
This year I am working on my (mental) flexibility and trying to target yet another of my life my anxiety rules.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Five Friday Favourites

I can't believe its 2018! I am already starting to get into the swing of things for 2018 but I did have a lovely staycation between Christmas and New Years. I made sure to do a lot of self care and relaxation before the craziness of the new year hits. I went to the movies and saw Wonder, hit the sales, caught up with friends and just did nothing which was perfect.
I officially enrol in TAFE on the 16th which is super scary but exciting. I go from feeling happy about it to anxious in a matter of minutes and I know the first couple of weeks will be intense so I will probably spend every spare moment hiding away. But as I have been telling people I am in a much better place anxiety wise and I have a great support network, plus the campus is 7 minutes from home so I'm not relying on public transport so unlike last time I won't have to take 2 buses there and back. I know its the right thing to do but sometimes the right things to do are challenging and this one is going to be a challenge to say the least!
I have been joking that all the Tuesdays for January are busy! On the 2nd I had a doctors appointment which was to get referrals and doctors notes so thankfully nothing bad, then next Tuesday I get to see my psych (who I love to see) and the following one is enrolling in TAFE (which is scary!).

On to Friday Favourites:

Magnificent Mentals Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow - my sister got me a tube of this for Christmas and I am in love. Once it goes on it does not budge at all and its so creamy and light weight that it doesn't feel like you are wearing glitter at all. Plus one swipe is all you need for the sparkliest eye's around.

Pitch Perfect 3 - Jocelyn and I saw this together on the 2 weeks ago and we laughed so hard. I have loved the Pitch Perfect movies from the very start (and I mean very start, I remember watching the trailer long before it was released in the US and there was a chance it wasn't going to be released in Aus) and the 3rd and final instalment didn't disappoint. Rebel Wilson shone in this film and her one liners were hilarious. I liked how it focused on the Bellas their friendship/sisterhood and I honestly couldn't fault the movie.

Beauty (Red)efined Tarteist PRO Amazonian Clay palette - I never splurge on make up but when Tarte had their cyber Monday sales this was too good a deal to pass up and I am glad I bought it. I couldn't believe the quality of the pigments and how smooth they go on and somehow the palette smells amazing. I tend not to use a lot of matte shades when I do my eye make up but it's been fun to do all matte looks and experiment with the palette. It includes 20 gorgeous shades including 4 shimmery shades (the rest are matte) and there's no need for a primer. A bonus is that 10% of the purchase price goes to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. I have a feeling that I will be purchasing more from Tarte in the future.

RIP Eliza Hart by Alyssa Sheinmel - a story about 2 girls each with their secrets and struggles and 2 very different outcomes. The blurb reads:
The past is closing in.
When Eliza Hart, the most popular girl at the Ventana Ranch boarding school, is found dead on the cliffs outside her dormitory, Ellie Sokoloff is determined to figure out what happened to her. After all, Eliza was Ellie’s childhood best friend.
Never mind that ever since Ellie arrived at school Eliza has spread terrible rumors about her,  calling her a liar and a stalker, when all Ellie wanted to do was rekindle their old friendship. Or that Ellie’s claustrophobia limits where she can go and what she can do. Or that Ellie’s suitemate, Sam, is the only one who will help her . . . because to everyone else, Ellie looks like the top suspect.
Can Ellie clear her name and solve the mystery behind Eliza’s death? Her hunt for the truth will uncover secrets she never imagined, sending her deep into her own memories of her childhood with Eliza Hart.
I really enjoyed this book and found the mental illness storyline really well written. If you are after a Summer read then I highly recommend this book.

Stirling Silver Linked Heart Bracelet - I have been wearing this bracelet for years, I never take it off. It was an impulse but when I put it on I was reminded of the bible verse John 3:16 so it's a reminder of God's love. I recently bought a smaller chunkier heart version during the sales which is to remind me to love myself and not be to hard on myself (which I can be when my anxiety is really bad!). This bracelet is a great gift for either yourself or a loved one.