It Might Not Be A Good Day, But Have A Day

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When suffering with depression getting through the day feels like running a marathon, it’s draining. You feel physically exhausted, let alone the mental battle you go through, the guilt of feeling like you’re just lazy, the feelings of wanting to totally give up, I could go on. If you’ve  made it through another day suffering with depression, OCD, anxiety or any mental illness, give yourself a pat on the back. Stop being so hard on yourself for not having the most productive day that you feel you SHOULD have had or everyone else is having or asking of you . Even if you’re not suffering with depression and you’re simply having an awful day,, where events have happened so you feel upset and unable to take on the day, this still applies to you.

You might have days where you feel better  and that’s amazing treasure those, but don’t let the bad days take those away from you. I love this quote so much at the start of my mental health journey the good days were few, and I was always being told by people ‘do this and do that, it will help you get better, it will be a positive thing’. When you have depression the simplest thing to a healthy happy person seem like such massive task. So as the quote says I won’t tell you to have a good day but please look after yourself as best as you can.

The first thing I’d say is,  if you think you or someone else is suffering with depression then get them or yourself help, that’s the biggest step to getting better. You need to find someone to speak to and someone who can advise you on the best ways to help yourself get better whether that’s medication, therapy,  or both. If you don’t think you have depression and you’re just feeling down because of a negative event, or your just not feeling yourself, make sure you find someone to talk to aswell, venting and getting advice of a loved ones is always a good idea.

Now you’ve done that the next most important thing is to feed and water yourself as obvious as that sounds. As I said above the simplest of things can become a huge effort when your suffering with a mental illness and some people neglect themselves of the most basic things. Your body needs food and plenty of water, so if there’s one thing I insist you do it’s that. I’m not asking you to be a chef and cook up amazing nutritious meals (although nutritious food is known to help a blue mood)  but you need to eat and drink whether you feel like it or not.

So you’ve gotten help, you know there’s a problem and you’ve acknowledge that, that’s a big step. You’re feeding yourself because that’s a basic human need whether you’re suffering or not, that’s another step, even if these are your first achievements you feel able to do currently then that’s great. No matter how small the steps or achievements they are still positive and thats all that matters. If you’ve done those above things the next thing to try to do is clean yourself,  I’d recommend running a hot bubble bath that you can just lay in and get clean then put some clean comfy clothes on, you’ll feel so much better for it once it’s done. It’s another positive basic human need to achieve when having ‘your day’. The final thing on your list of goals for the day is to survive and not give up. Keep fighting through those awful days like I did, it can get better.

“It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop – Confucius”

If you have a day where you get up shower, eat, go to therapy, go to work and get something productive done then amazing be really proud. If the next day all you do is feed yourself  because you’re having a bad day and your mental health is bad then that’s fine to, your mental health comes first, never beat yourself up for this. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or taken a step back it means your surviving you’re doing what you have to, to get through the days. Recovery and getting better is not plain sailing, for a long time It felt as if I would never get better, and then just when I thought things seemed to be looking positive the next day it would all come crumbling down. Please don’t see this as failing everyday is a building block to recovery good or bad. I’m not saying settle for a life of doing the bare minimum always, I’m saying be proud of the little things you achieve when your suffering, that its ok and you don’t need to beat yourself up, but of course always strive to get better and don’t give up.  For some people with mild depression they may be able to function almost normally, for others it will feel almost impossible, everyone is different and it’s important not to make yourself feel bad for how you’re coping.

Please check out my other mental health blog posts for more self-help and information.

Need someone to talk to? Look in the contact me section, I’m all ears.

Hang in there,

Anna-Marie

Hope For OCD, Anxiety And Depression Sufferers

Calling all OCD, Anxiety and Depression sufferers, or anyone suffering with a mental illness, who feels as if they are at the end of their tether and there is no hope in them ever getting better. (Insert dramatic music) I am here to let you know why this is not true and I have bought PROOF…(myself).

So, I have some pretty big news, I have just got a job!

I haven’t held down a job since I left school and my last job was in 2011. I’d go into a job or college course and end up quitting because I couldn’t seem to hack it, my brain and body just didn’t seem to cope with normal life, that also goes for going out and having fun to. During school and since leaving school I have suffered with severe debilitating OCD, Anxiety and Depression, check out my OCD Story and Depression Story for a more indepth insight. OCD took over my life, I was suffering with terrifying intrusive thoughts and had lost all independence due to compulsions. I was at rock bottom. I remember thinking I would never get better, this was my life now, I didn’t see how I’d possibly become OCD free or even manage it to the point life was bearable.

I had various CBT therapy sessions during this time and also started medication (Sertraline) an antidepressant which I am still on now. It wasn’t until I found a therapy that worked for me in 2014 that I started to see hope for myself. You can also read about my therapy story to find out more on that. I started to fight OCD and my depression seemed to no longer be a constant black cloud over me. Since having therapy, I have started my blog and started to recover, but a job has been the biggest thing for me and my family, I still needed to achieve. Sometimes I thought I was ready and even had interviews, other times my OCD seemed to be creeping back in so I was focused on that. Since leaving school I haven’t had much of a social life which means my confidence is pretty low. Suffering with mental health problems can also send your self esteem to its lowest point, this also played a part in my fear of getting a job. I will admit I did get comfortable, I was in my comfort zone and I had got lazy. On top of that I was just terrified of working again and putting myself back out there, after the stress and hurt I went through of quitting and feeling like a failure after every job.

I can finally say I have a job after 4 years. I am terrified I won’t lie. I have thought about ringing up and saying that I change my mind about accepting the job, but I’m not going to. I will do it this time. I will be successful, it might not be easy and I’m sure there will be days where I struggle but I feel positive and happy, that this is the start of something for me. Which leads me back to there being hope for suffers like myself. I didn’t think I would get to this point whether it be getting a job, living with OCD but managing it or not being completely depressed and never wanting to do anything ever. I had such severe OCD It didn’t seem possible but it is. Am I completely anxiety and OCD free? No definitely not, but I’m not imprisoned by thoughts and compulsions like I was.  Which means you reading this or your friend or family member can also get to this point with the right help, support and patience. Please never give up because you can fight this to. I was in your position, I know how it feels. I know you feel like giving up but you can’t. There is hope and there can be freedom.

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I can’t tell you when you will recover and I won’t tell you it won’t be hard. You might relapse but that’s okay, because once you’ve got there, it will be worth it and you will see how strong you are.

Keep on fighting,

Anna

Update: Where Have I Been?

Why hello there my lovely readers, long time no blog post, its been far too long!

This blog post is simply going to be a little update of whats gone on since I last wrote and also explaining a little bit about whats going on with me and why I haven’t been around! Since my last blog post I turned 21, so its official  I am a legal adult in every country. I had a lovely Birthday where I felt extremely spoilt, loved and grateful to have such amazing family around me. I received so many amazing gifts and went for my first ever wagamama’s which I can confirm lived up to its hype. The famous katsu curry was delicious and the katsu banana with salted caramel ice-cream pudding was perfection to say the least. Not only that I then got taken out again, this time for afternoon tea for the first time, with my mum.

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So why haven’t I written a blog post in so long? I think that’s due to a number of things, let me try to explain the best I can without giving away too many personal details. I hadn’t realized until recently how disconnected I had become to everything around me and it’s hit me hard realizing what I’ve become like. I’ve become self-destructive, lazy, depressive and someone I don’t like very much, a tired, negative and depressed girl who stopped taking care of herself. I’ve been in my own little world and not a positive one. I became uninterested in blogging and most other things around me. Blogging has been one extremely positive thing I’ve kept going until recently and I miss it. I miss channeling my creative thoughts, communicating within the blogging community and doing something I enjoy, but temporarily forgot I did. I want to better myself now and return to reality as I feel like I’ve been running away from my problems, saying I’m trying, saying tomorrow or next week or next month I will try to sort my self out, when in reality for the last 5 years I’ve been saying the exact same thing.

Instead of my OCD being the problem or my anxiety, I had just become self-destructive in many areas of my life that I hadn’t noticed until recently when it’s all hit me and I’ve had some home truths from people around me. Even writing this post I can feel my eyes filling with tears because I feel like I’ve been so lost and still am but finally realizing this and taking steps to better myself. Its upsetting me realizing how vacant I’ve been, living a life that is mainly on my computer and slowly self-destructing and losing my self-worth on a downward spiral. Its like I stopped caring about looking after myself.

I suppose we all lose ourselves sometimes and until we realize we have, we can’t change. If you are feeling lost in life like me, please know that you are not alone and you can and will find yourself just like I will soon. No more negativity, I can and will find myself this time, as can you, you just have to believe. I’ve stopped brushing everything that’s wrong with my life under the carpet now, and if you know you’re struggling you have to as well. Just know that it may hurt and be hard to deal with thinking about, accepting and acknowledging these problems you’re facing and changes you need to make but once you’ve done that you can finally start to heal and take steps to change just as I am. If anyone is struggling and feeling lost always feel free to contact me via my Tumblr ask box – anonymous or not, my Facebook Page or my twitter, all links will be below. Your not alone, I am here for you and will support you.

I’m ready to start making changes now, are you?

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I’m back ready to blog, I don’t know if anyone actually noticed I was gone but I want to thank any of my followers and new followers who have stuck around even though I have failed to write recently.

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Stay strong,

Anna

A Letter To Yourself For When You’re Struggling

A while ago now I wrote a blog post on if I could write a letter to my younger self what I would tell young me from what I’ve experienced so far, you can read that HERE. It lead me to this similar idea that may be helpful for when you struggling. You can write a letter when you’re happy for when you are next down in the dumps e.g depressions getting you down, anxiety bad or OCD is being a pain, whatever the reason as a reminder that these feelings can pass and it’s not as bad as it feels right now, to give you hope when you’re lacking it. Little tips of things you’ve learnt/ know how to deal with but in that moment find hard to remember and turn to.

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Dear Me,

I take it you’re having a tough time as you’re reading this letter. As you are writing this you are feeling quite positive, you’re OCD isn’t that bad and you have been dealing with it really well. You’ve been succeeding in not seeking reassurance so much and that’s a really big step for you. I know you’re probably feeling like crap but what you’re feeling will pass. I mean those feelings aren’t that bad for you right now as you type this which means they can pass again. Remember everything you learnt at therapy and remember no matter how scary OCD is being, it’s just the disorder and you know how to beat it.

♥ Remember anxiety and panic can’t hurt you, it feels awful but it’s just a chemical reaction in your body. Try to stay calm and If you can’t it will pass, you’re not losing control, your panicking.

♥ Remember Anna ‘the more you think, the deeper you sink’ – Sharon Davies from The OCD Treatment Centre. You can ruminate about that scary, uncomfortable OCD thought you just had but you’re only going to make yourself feel worse, feed OCD and never come to an answer on whether that’s your true self speaking or if it was just a random OCD thought. You cannot think yourself into inner peace, inner peace comes through living in the moment.

♥Remember to practice Mindfulness, to calm you down when the anxiety is too much.

♥Remember there is no such thing as the thought police, there is nothing wrong with the thoughts themselves, it’s the belief you have attached to the thoughts. E.g certain thoughts mean you’re a bad person, if you don’t do such and such something bad will happen.

♥ Any compulsion you feel compelled to do relating to your OCD’s topic, ignore, it WILL be OCD. No what if’s, buts or maybe’s it will be. Any thought that makes you feel anxious relating to your OCD topic, will also be OCD, no ‘what if this time it isn’t OCD’ that is OCD speaking. A thought, followed by anxiety, followed by feeling the need to do something a certain way, seek reassurance or ruminate WILL be OCD.

Remember everything you’ve been taught and try to teach everyone else,  you can get through this.

Love from,

Positive and  currently at peace, You.

Feel Good Friday: You’re Exactly Where You’re Mean’t To Be

I want to start this blog post by apologizing for not writing a Feel Good Friday blog post for a while now. My OCD has been getting in the way of my blogging but I am back, not that anyone probably noticed there had been a shortage of blog posts (haha).

Today’s blog post is going to be about something I read on Tumblr a while ago, that really made me think. You know when you’re stuck in traffic, behind a slow car, in a que, late for something, missed your bus these are just examples of annoying and frustrating things that happen from day-to-day, the list could go on. I am here to tell you why these frustrating things are ok and why they could end up being positive, because you were exactly where you were supposed to be at that moment in time.

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Here is the eye-opening quote I found on Tumblr..

The head of a company survived 9/11 because
His son started kindergarten.

Another fellow was alive because it was
His turn to bring donuts.

One woman was late because her
Alarm clock didn’t go off in time.

One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike
Because of an auto accident.

One of them
Missed his bus.

One spilled food on her clothes and had to take
Time to change.

One’s
Car wouldn’t start.

One couldn’t
Get a taxi.

The one that struck me was the man
Who put on a new pair of shoes that morning,
Took the various means to get to work but before.
He got there, he developed a blister on his foot.
He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid.
That is why he is alive today..

Now when I am
Stuck in traffic,
Miss an elevator,
Turn back to answer a ringing telephone…
All the little things that annoy me,
I think to myself,

This is exactly where
I’m meant to be
At this very moment.

Try to remember this when little things happen and you can feel that frustration bubbling up inside you and let it go.

Happy Friday beautiful people,

Anna

Feel Good Friday: Radiate Positive Vibes

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 “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out your face like sun beams and you will always look lovely”

This weeks Feel Good Friday blog post is all about being the kind of person you would want to be around. Its easy when we feel self-conscious, unhappy or angry to give off a negative aura, our facial expressions and body language changes. How we feel radiates from the inside out and can change the way people view us and feel around us. We’ve all been around someone who’s grumpy and negative all the time, its draining and its like having a black cloud floating around you. You and I can’t change how other people are, but we can change how we are, we can try our hardest to radiate good vibes from ourselves. Making others want to be around us, not only that but to make ourselves feel good and look happier there for making us look lovely like the quote above suggests. The more self-conscious you feel in a situation the more you draw attention to it and the more negative you are in a situation, the more negative and stressful it will become. Be that person people remember for being polite, happy and lovely, people will be to busy noticing those things rather than those flaws you worry about. Be the kind of person that inspires you to be a happier and better person, so you can be that person that inspires someone else.

Happy Friday,

Anna

Feel Good Friday: What If You Fly?

Today’s feel good Friday post is going to be about a quote I found on tumblr…

“What If I fall?

Oh but darling,

What If you fly?”

The reason I like this quote is not only for the positive message it gives but also because it relates to me personally. As you probably know I suffer with OCD and  the majority of OCD sufferers are plagued by the phrase ‘what if’ and it’s always about negative scary things. Why do you we always say ‘what if something bad happens?’ or ‘What if I embarrass myself during my work presentation?’ all examples of the sort of what if thoughts we all suffer with sometimes, It’s always negative isn’t it?

Next time I have a ‘what if’ thoughts I’m going to try to think of it in the opposite way. Take thoughts like the examples above and change them to ‘what if something good happens?’ or ‘what if my work presentation really impresses my boss and goes perfectly?’. The problem is we are quick to worry and look for the bad things in situations but struggle to see the good. Next time you think or someone else says ‘what if’ followed by a negative thought tell yourself or the other person ‘what if’ followed by something positive. Don’t let those ‘what if’ thoughts stop you from achieving things, don’t let them scare you into missing out on opportunity because until we try we can’t judge a situation.

Happy Friday,

Anna