Dealing With Anxiety in Relationships

A year later, and I’m in a pretty similar position as I was this time in 2017. I get upset a lot over nothing in particular, I over-think virtually everything, and I feel very low very often. It’s frustrating because I tried so hard to turn things around, and I attempted to stick to fluoxetine but, like the wally I am, I stopped taking them. 12 months on and not a lot has changed in the mental health department

It’s a shame because so much has changed otherwise. I’m all adult-y and independent now. But it’s just a bit overwhelming at the moment. I’ve got a doctors appointment booked for next month so we’ll see what happens this time around

I would say that one of my biggest obstacles at the moment, and one of the biggest changes in my life, is the relationship situation. I’m in a super happy relationship and I honestly couldn’t ask for a better chap, but I swear my brain likes to work against me. When we’re together, it’s fine and my anxiety tends to keep relatively low. When we’re not together, it goes haywire

I end up over-thinking absolutely anything, and reading into things that really don’t need to be read into. I know things like that are pretty common in relationships and even people without anxiety can get a little paranoid sometimes. But it just feels silly because I know he’s with me, and I know things are okay. It’s just in my head I don’t deserve to be loved in that way. I don’t feel good enough at all

I get anxious when I’m at work or when I’m with friends etcetera, but I’m at my most anxious when I’m on my own, because it’s as if I’ve forgotten how to entertain myself. I don’t want to be one of those individuals that can’t be alone for two minutes, not that there’s anything particularly wrong with that but I’ve always valued time on my own and doing my own thing. It’s so nice that I’ve got someone to share my time with, and I definitely prefer spending the bulk of my time with him, but at the same time we’re both people who appreciate a bit of space. And I don’t want to spend my me-time feeling anxious

Regardless of how many times I tell myself that it’s just the anxiety playing up, it doesn’t really make a difference. God, anxiety is an absolute ball-ache

Having said that though, I’m determined not to let it intervene. I’ve just got to try and ignore the negative voices in my head. It’s just hard to do that, and I need to figure out some coping mechanisms. If anyone has any advice on that or any handy tips, I’d be very appreciative

Thanks for reading, Hils

 

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January Rambles

This is a new set of blog posts I’m going to entitle Monthly Rambles, basically just a series of short little diary-esque entries that I pop into a memo note on my mobile phone and then compile at the end of the month. It was actually one of my work colleagues ideas so credit goes to him. Some of them are deeper than others, some of them are just total brain farts, hence rambles

5/1   It’s really windy out. It’s 3.00am and I’m still laying in bed wide awake. My boyfriend’s fast asleep, but I’m a bit restless tonight and I’m quite enjoying listening to the wind. It keeps making whistling sounds like a kettle brewing. He’s making little whistling sounds too, so I’m playing a game of Boyfriend or Wind?

9/1   I didn’t see any robins this winter. I normally see at least one or two, but I’ve not seen any at all. I’m a little disappointed about that. There’s still time I suppose but something tells me I’m going to have to wait until next year. Robins are my favourite birds, just like snowdrops are my favourite flower. I definitely should’ve been a winter baby

12/1   This month has been the month of croissants. They remind me of European hotel breakfasts and I’m trying everything in my power to dampen my immense wanderlust by incorporating things that remind me of travelling. There’s a mountain-shaped hole in my heart at the moment. The breakfast we had when we stayed in a ski lodge at the base of the Uri Alps was sublime. We had these tiny heart-shaped biscuits. The breakfast in Venice was not sublime however. There was mould in the bread and someone got their suitcase nicked from the lobby

16/1   Sometimes I feel like my boyfriend’s going to turn around and say “I don’t actually exist, you were so nervous about being alone that you dreamt me up,” and then he’s going to evaporate like a ghost, and that frightens me. I’m pretty sure he’s real because I have an annoying habit of squishing his face all the time, and it feels real enough. But then again, minds play tricks. I didn’t want a boyfriend really. I’m a bit of a lone wolf and I did like it that way, still do sometimes. But I’m falling more and more, and I’m finding it harder to spend time on my own because I want to be with him all the time. Past me would probably drop-kick present me, but present me tells past me to go swivel

18/1   I’ve listened to Computer Love by Kraftwerk a lot over the past couple of days. Coldplay sampled it for their song Talk and it bugs me that people don’t know that. Still a banging tune though

20/1   My nails are quite brittle at the moment. I’m a bit under the weather anyway so my lips are sort of chapped too. My skin looks dewy though which I’m fine with. I had my hair and skin attended to a few days ago and I felt much more human afterwards

22/1   I had one of my back teeth taken out on Friday. I was quite petrified beforehand, more about the anaesthetic injection, and the aftermath post-removal than the actual removal itself. I needn’t have worried so much. The injection was a bit painful, and the extraction was odd but didn’t hurt whatsoever. The aftermath wasn’t the most pleasant and I was in pain for a few days, but with salt washes, paracetamol and a bit of petting, I managed

24/1   Having a rough ride at the moment. I keep crying a lot. I feel like people don’t care about me, that I’m very expendable. I just want want to vanish into thin air

27/1   I feel better. Not on top of the world or anything, but like things are going to be okay. Things just need to get sorted out, and come springtime, things will be alright. Mum sent me a message out of the blue. It said “just to let you know, we love you so much. I’m proud of what you’ve achieved and I know you will get to where you want to be in life”

Thanks for reading, Hils

Midnight Musings

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It’s a bit hard to explain how I’ve been feeling over the past few weeks but spaced out is as close as I’m probably going to get. Kind of like I’ve been functioning on autopilot, just floating by

I feel like I should be enjoying things more. Not that I don’t when I’m in the moment, but I just feel like everything’s slightly overshadowed, primarily by sad thoughts. I thought I was mostly past all of that but evidently not. I had my graduation two months ago and I was terrified beforehand, but the day was lovely. My mum was there, my boyfriend, my friends too. I didn’t trip up on stage, and the majority of the photos weren’t too bad. We had a nice dinner after the ceremony. It couldn’t really have gone any better. And yet the whole day was jarred by anxiety

Since then I’ve been had days out, day trips, nights out, nights in. Lots of memories have been made. It’s nearly Christmas, and I want to enjoy it properly, and make more memories. I want to enjoy my first Christmas in my first flat

Talking of Christmas, how can it already be three days away? That’s just nuts! Don’t get me wrong, December’s probably my favourite month of the year, but this year it seems to have come around abnormally quickly. Normally by this point I’ve finished all my Christmas shopping, done most of my wrapping, have been to one or two festive fayres and so on. This time last year I went to Winter Wonderland, consumed my body weight in churros, and nearly threw up on a rollercoaster

But this year it’s totally crept up on me. This is the first year I’ve been paying rent and bills so Christmas shopping hasn’t been as easy breezy as previous years, but I’ve still managed, I’ve just had to be a little bit more savvy with my spending. I’ve got some sweet presents for people though

We’re a week or so shy of a brand new year and that’s pretty scary. I always find December is kind of split into two. You’ve got pre-Christmas where everything’s a total glitzy whirlwind of parties, shopping and trying to balance time between work, family, friends and all that jazz. Then you’ve got post-Christmas which is mostly super calm and quiet. I tend to get a bit reflective during this time, thinking about the year I’ve had and start thinking about the year ahead. It can feel a bit daunting

This year has been a total overhaul. Although there have been some bleak moments, for the most part it’s been a good year. I feel like I’ve had to grow up a lot, even though I’m still a bit immature from time to time, I’ve sort of got my shit together. I have a job, I have a flat, I make time for the people in my life. Come next year, I want to focus on myself a bit more. I want to spend more time on the things that interest me, and then hopefully I’ll be able to get on some sort of career ladder rather than just hopping from dead-end job to dead-end job

I don’t want to be naive and say “all I want is to be happy,” but I do aspire to be happier. I feel like I’m coasting sometimes, just kind of doing things because they need to be done. I want to be more awake, get out a bit more. In the past few weeks, I’ve gotten to explore my surroundings and I’ve absolutely loved it. It’s made me realise that I want to do more of that

I won’t lie, it’s midnight right now. I’m feeling pretty down. There are some dark thoughts whirling around in my brain space and I feel a bit like I’m on the edge of a cliff. I have a heavy heart as though I need to have a gut-wrenching cry. But I know it’s fleeting, and generally that’s what gets me by

I’m listening to Japan, Joy Division, and OMD. This time tomorrow night, I’ll be wrapped in the arms of the man I love. This time Saturday night, I’ll have set up the flat with my flatmate ready for Christmas day. This time Sunday night, I’ll be popping milk and biccies out for father Christmas with my sister. That’s as far ahead as I need to picture for now

Thanks for reading, Hils

Rupi Kaur

I was in Waterstones the other day and I spotted Rupi Kaur’s new book was out. I didn’t even think, I just picked it up. There was no way I was leaving without it

I bought her first book, Milk and Honey, when I was heartbroken. It was one of three things that lifted me out of that intense time, the other things being the Smiths on repeat and far too many chocolate rice cakes. It’s almost as if it walked through the heartbreak with me, acted as my sidekick when I felt defeated

On days when it hurt to breathe, there were words that mirrored my pain. On days when things seemed a bit less shit, there were words for that too

Now I’m in a relationship, a content one, with someone I fall in love with more and more all the time. And it’s as if the Sun and Her Flowers is my new sidekick, giving me words to help me understand this new adventure I’m on

There’s a poem about healthy love, about how hard it is to accept sweetness and passion, when all you’re used to is pain. There’s one about wanting the kind of love that energises you, not drains you

“They should feel like home. A place that grounds your life. Where you go to take the day off.” I like that one

It’s not just about that sort of love though, it’s about all kinds of things, good and bad. Self-loathing to self-love, resentment to contentment, frustration to forgiveness

This wasn’t supposed to be a review as such but I suppose it sort of is. I like snappy, punchy writing. I like short musings and stuff that’s to the point. That’s what I like about Kaur’s work. It takes seconds to read, but it stays in your head, or at least it does mine

Thanks for reading, Hils

Sudden Sads 

There’s a lot to depression. For the majority of people, it’s not simply feeling a bit crappy, rather it tends to be a merge of emotions, the primary one being sadness. When it strikes out of nowhere and for no obvious reason, that’s when it’s the worst, for me at least

I call it the “sudden sads” because, well, I suddenly feel sad. It’s so abrupt and there’s very little warning. Sometimes I can feel it slowly creeping up on me, but it’s worse when it’s totally abrupt

If anything, it’s more frustrating. More often than not, I don’t particularly have anything to feel sad about. Things are fine and I know they’re fine. But then I overthink something, and then something else, and before I know what I’ve done, my whole world is a shitemare just because I’ve convinced myself it is

Right now, I’ve got the sudden sads. I’ve been absolutely kushty all day, but I’m staying at my mums’ house for the weekend while I’m working and I suddenly feel incredibly low. The room feels empty and strange, and every-time someone talks to me or messages me, I hear or read their words in the harshest possible way

I’ve convinced myself so much that even as I write this, I can’t shake that who I’m messaging at this moment in time suddenly doesn’t like me anymore, which is making me feel even more awful. They’ve done nothing to suggest anything, but my self-sabotaging brain is going to town right now

The real shitter is that I don’t know how to stop this ridiculous way of thinking. I presume it all boils down to anxiety and lack of self-worth which is clearly something that needs work, but it’s essentially a vicious cycle. I have no self-worth so I think I’m unlikeable and because I think I’m unlikeable I have no self-worth

I’m just not quite sure how to crack it

Thanks for reading, Hils

Hello, I’m Still Kicking

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The past five-nearly-six months have gone by so fast and so much has changed in that time. It was the end of August when I realised I hadn’t posted on here for ages, “that odd uneven time” as Plath once described it. The time in which “the best of summer is gone and the new fall not yet born.” It was springtime when I last posted, and I talked about getting settled into the new flat. I’m virtually fully settled now, and have definitely started to consider Leicester as my home. Having said that, I haven’t explored it as much as I intended to when I first got here so that’s something I want to start doing more. I’ve started to frequent the library which I like going to when I need to get out of the flat but be in familiar surroundings, and also the nearby fountain which I sometimes sit near when the weather’s decent

I’ve visited a few places but there’s so much around me, so many museums, theatres, bars, parks and so on. Now that I have a bit more time on my hands and things are starting to fall into place, I feel like I can finally start to do more. Previously my time was taken up by work and studying, and although my work situation has yet to change and I’m still having to commute, now that I’ve finished studying I can put more energy into job searching and other things

I only went and passed my history degree, didn’t I. Got a 2.2, which apparently means I’m part of the Desmond club? I had to Google it too, don’t worry. To be honest, I’m pretty chuffed with that. I barely even expected to pass so you can imagine I was over the moon

Graduation day is at the end of October and I’m petrified. I’ll be graduating in Birmingham, and although I’ll have some of my favourite people there to support me, I’m still a bit nervous. I’m just picturing that bit from the start of the Lizzie McGuire film, when she completely wrecks the ceremony by getting tangled up in that curtain. That’s going to be me. I am looking forward to it too though. I’ve got my cap ready to go, and my gown ordered, I just need to do the all-important dress shop

I’m determined to shift a few pounds before graduation, so I’m going to join a nearby gym in the next week or so. I walked past one today and saw some people on treadmills and was so tempted to get in there and work up a sweat. I’ve definitely been more active lately, but something inside me is crying out to get back to the gym. I miss doing a severe workout and then having a post-gym shower, so I’m aiming to get back into it

Talking of getting back into things, my head feels the clearest it has done all year which is why I feel like I can start writing on here again. Ever-so slowly I feel like I’m getting my creative spark back. There are days where I’m not great and my anxiety is high, but at the moment I feel like there are more good days than bad, which isn’t something I was expecting at all

I stopped taking fluoxetine a month or so ago. I kept forgetting to take them and then I just stopped altogether. I stopped taking them before I went to Berlin in June, and the week I re-started them was absolute hell. I physically couldn’t get out of bed and I felt so depressed it basically hurt to breathe. I am tempted to get back on them again but I kind of like how I’m feeling at the moment. I’m not brilliant, but I’m manageable and I don’t want to mess with that. If I start to go properly down again, then I’ll re-re-start them and see what happens I guess. I don’t know whether it’s because of the time of year, or because there are good things and good people in my life at the moment, but either way, I’m doing okay right now

It’s September, and the nights are dark. I can feel the excitement of late autumn and early winter building, those days where you have to wrap up so tight that you may as well be walking around wearing a duvet, but it’s nice because the air smells of bonfires. It’s that sort of time where you can’t decide whether you want to go running through brown-leaf scattered fields or cuddle up in your cosiest jammies. I’m a dreamer at the best of times, but this time of year always makes me feel sentimental, and it couldn’t be better timed really. Like I said, there are good people in my life right now, one in particular but I won’t go into that right now. Essentially, things are fine and dandy

I’m aiming to keep on top of this blog now, so I’ll be back soon

Thanks for reading, Hils

Moving Out

It’s been two weeks since I moved to Leicester. It’s also been roughly a month since I started taking fluoxetine, so I think it’s safe to say that April has been a pretty hectic month

I think the fluoxetine has startled to settle down. For the first week I did notice sudden drops in mood which, though quite normal for me, kept happening out of absolutely nowhere and was quite consuming. The main changes I noticed however were lack of sex drive and intense jumpiness. Without being too graphic, I found it quite hard to climax in the first month, however I’ve noticed that that’s started coming back now. Perhaps that wasn’t really to do with the medication and rather just my own state of mind. The jumpiness though is still quite intense, a source of amusement for several of my work colleagues who think it’s completely hilarious to jump out at me from behind doors. I think that that’s probably just me though, I’ve always been quite melodramatic

That flat myself and my friend decided to go and view? Well, we decided to take a running jump and dive into adulthood head first having talked about moving out and moving away for such a long time. We viewed it and just went for it. A fortnight later, and I’m sat here in my bedroom filled with my all of my possessions. I still feel a little bit uptight, and I don’t feel completely settled yet but it’s still early. I only live under an hour away from my home-town too which is nice

I’m also now having to commute to work which is quite cool actually, or so I tell myself because actually it’s a bit of a ball-ache, but it also makes me feel like one of those swanky London types. I sometimes go via bus, sometimes via train, and sometimes when I’m working early shifts I just crash in my old bedroom at my parents. I’ve applied for a few jobs in Leicester though, so I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll hear back from some of them

The flat’s top-notch. It’s a pretty spacious flat with two double bedrooms, a kitchen-cum-lounge space, a swish bathroom, and so on. The only thing that’s a bit bothersome is the location. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a super ideal location because it’s slap-bang in the heart of the city, literally everything is on our doorstep. But we just happen to be living right next door to a music venue. It’s not that bad to be honest, during the week it’s totally unnoticeable but on nights like tonight, a Friday night in the city, the humming of guitars and crashing of drums reverberating through my bedroom wall isn’t the most ideal

Having said that though, it’s so different from where I used to live it’s bound to take some time to get used to

Thanks for reading, Hils