All posts filed under: Social anxiety

Five Self-Care Tips for Better Mental Health

Struggling with mental health can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation and low self-esteem, which can in turn exacerbate poor mental health – the most vicious of cycles. I’d like to add here: if you are feeling very low, please speak out: contact your doctor, talk to a friend or relative, locate a therapist or ring the Samaritans. I promise you, there is always someone who will listen. Self-care is a massive trend right now and you’ve probably heard of it but may just think of it as a buzz word, platitude or marketing ploy so, as someone who suffers with extreme social anxiety and depression, let me tell you the self-care strategies I regularly use that actually improve my state of mind: Switching off from social media Three months ago, I took the decision to take a break from Facebook and haven’t looked back. I realised (and it took me 12 years to make the connection!) that it really was not good for my mental health, I was spending way too much time on …

When you think I’m being rude, here’s what’s going on inside…

The following posts discusses mental health, namely anxiety, and it’s effects. If you are struggling with your own mental health, you can find help here. You might see me on the school run, head down, face set, eyes resolutely avoiding contact. You may notice that if we cross paths in town, I will take out my phone and busy myself rather than stopping for a chat. If you do happen to engage me in conversation, you will likely pick up on the fact that I will just about answer your questions but rarely ask how you are in return. Socially, you may note that I look unapproachable and like I would really rather be anywhere else than where I am, even if it happens to be your birthday/hen party/some other celebration. You will realise that sometimes I just won’t show up if you invite me out.  I won’t always even give you advanced warning. Quite quickly, you will get the sense that I am, simply, astonishingly rude. It’s fine; you won’t be the first person …

All the Things I Thought but Didn’t Say

In social anxiety Words remain thoughts More often than not. Sometimes they are exactly the right words; A well-timed anecdote  A witty retort An intelligent response  All stranded in a chasm of fear Unable to make themselves heard. Often As irony dictates My mind is actually racing Bursting with myriad thoughts Yet none of them fit  With what you just said. Did I use the right fork? Was it weird to look over there? Do I look bored?  Don’t look bored! What the fuck did I miss while I was lost inside my own head? Just laugh… just laugh! You may mistake The misplaced laughter Or unanswered question  As rudeness;  Others have! But don’t be fooled: If I am struggling to keep up with a conversation  Or fit in somewhere It is most likely because I want to impress. I’ve thought You look beautiful  And What a lovely dress; I know exactly what you mean Or sometimes just hear this… At times Even thank you Gets entirely stuck. Thank you for not hating me Mostly I …

You Were ’16, Going On ’17…

From March onward, 2016 seemed to fly and I suppose overall we had a fairly good year. Not a glowing report, you may notice, and I’m still undecided on whether it’s a year I will look back on fondly or not. There were many highlights, including holidays to Athens and Paros, a huge number of blog-related opportunities, both children thriving at school and in their chosen clubs, and a new career path for me. There were also a couple of notable low points, things that have affected me quite profoundly. Friendships disintegrated without reason, relationships were tested; the children suffered as a result, which I find most unforgivable. But, however difficult I have found the past few weeks and months, it all belongs firmly in 2016.  Today, we emptied our 2016 happy jar and sifted through its contents, remembering events and milestones. Seeing as though I often forget to add mementos to the jar, I was surprised at how full it actually was. Jasmine pulled out tickets and leaflets and wristbands, talking about each one …

All Of Me

I must have spent about 25 years being friends with people who do not like me. It sounds crazy. And I have always wondered. When, inevitably, the relationship evaporated. Where I went wrong. I know now that I made bad choices. Looked in the wrong places. Was so grateful that someone wanted to be friends with me. That I went out of my way to make it work. Bending, breaking. Trying to be someone I never was. I didn’t fill the exact space that was there. And so I shaved off aspects of my personality. A passion here. A dislike there. Whittled them away until the pieces fit. Yay, friendship! Except, for me, there was always something missing. Bits of myself on the cutting room floor. Neglected and ignored. And I thought that was how it had to be. That I couldn’t possibly expect to find friends who would accept me. Or, better still, who had similar interests. Things in common. People with whom conversation became a well that never ran dry. I thought that …