Confident Talker

Hello!

I’m sorry I haven’t posted sooner. I’ve been a bit all over the place recently. One minute I’m happy and confident with the way things are going and the next minute I’m sad and frustrated. I really don’t know how to describe it. It’s mad.

I’ve said all along, as my life has changed in recent years – to a more ‘normal’ way of living, I’ve had to try and adapt to all these changes and it’s been hard.

I’ve had a few set backs. Regarding work, dating, friends etc. All small things but to me… They’ve been quite a shock to the system I tell ya!

It’s nothing others have done by the way… Its just small things that most people will just shrug off and carry on. But I’m not used to having these sort of set backs… So i’m finding that I need longer to process what’s happened and then shrug it off.

I’m also struggling with the nice things that are happening. Which sounds odd I know.

For example, I recently went on a few dates with someone (yes.. I’m getting out there now!) and I spoke a bit but I couldn’t really say much as I just didn’t know what to say. I panicked and felt like the majority of the time I was with him my thoughts froze. I couldn’t form words. It was embarrassing. He was understanding about it though and tried so hard to ask me questions and encourage me to speak. But despite how much I tried, my mind kept going blank. He messaged me after the third date saying how he didn’t think we had much in common so there’s not really any point in meeting up again. The way I’ve worded that sounds like he was rude about it all – but he certainly wasn’t and was very nice about it. I understood and we’ve parted ways. Now maybe he was right. Maybe we didn’t have much in common. But there’s a part of me annoyed with myself because I feel that if I tried harder to talk and ask questions, and just be more confident in making conversation, then we may have found loads in common. He was really nice and made me laugh–which is a good sign in my eyes, and I really felt that we were similar in personalities.. Its just my anxiety and confidence affected me showing that.

My confidence when it comes to talking is similar in other situations with friends and family too. I just don’t know what to say or how to speak to them half the time. It’s ridiculous.

I really hope something eventually clicks and I start feeling comfortable and happy talking again soon. And I let my bubbly, silly personality shine through.

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Behind the scenes

I’ve said before…many times.. That I basically have an invisible illness. A lot of people would not know what I’ve been through if I never said anything.

I hide it well I suppose. There’s a few common, every day, symptoms that people may see me have. For example.. I might hold my back as I’m having a bit of back pain (although I don’t always like to admit it) or my unstoppable hiccups which appear out of the blue and are funny at first but can get pretty annoyingπŸ˜‚

But.. There’s also a few that people don’t see me suffer from. Because I hide it well from others.

There’s one particular symptom or cause of condition that I don’t talk about often. It’s because im not too sure how to explain it and plus… I’ve been a bit embarrassed about it I guess. But today I’m going to share with you what happens behind the scenes, when I’m at home (sometimes out and about but that is very very rare). The only people who really know about it and support me through it is my mum, dad and brother…. Because they live with me and so I can’t really hide it from them.

Okay… Now I’m going to stop rambling and get on with itπŸ˜‚ Basically… You’ve heard me talk about my ‘bad spells’ before, but I’ve mainly explained what I’ve been like on a bad day. I don’t talk about these “fits” that I have.

I’ve literally only just recovered from one of my regular ‘fits’ which is one of the reasons why I felt like I want to talk about it now… Whilst it’s all fresh in my mind.

I think the easiest way of explaining this to explain what has literally just happened.

So… I was sitting down on the sofa with my family eating our dinner. We’d finished and took our plates out. As i sat, letting my dinner get down I started to feel funny… I felt a bit faint, my chest was tightening and I started to feel sick. I knew what was coming…. And I’m sorry in advance if it gets a bit too.. Eurgh… πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

I had to retch. Not vomit… But retch. I can’t physically vomit anyway. (because of the surgery I’ve had). I then went into a state of repetition retching. I couldn’t stop. I also started shaking and my body was… Tensing and Pulsing (not sure if that’s the right word). I was also starting to feel hot. I know it would be over in a few minutes and I’ll be fine… I just had to persevere with it… In fact the more I retched… The better I felt over time.

Once the retching had stopped, my body had relaxed and I had started to cool down. I did some simple breathing exercises to calm down… And now I’m absolutely fine! Whilst this was happening my mum was around if I really needed her but she, like the rest of the family, know that all they need to do is let me get on with it. I’ve learnt to control it so it doesn’t last long. I know what to do.

This normally happens when I’m at home fortunately. If I’m out and about and I feel a bad fit/spell coming on I tend to try my hardest to conceal it. Although sometimes that’s not always possible..

But yeah… I just thought I’d share some behind-the-scenes. Its not something I bring up often and it’s not something I enjoy talking about as it reminds me that I have a weakness. But… Talking about it here… Has made me realise its not a weakness… Its just a challenge that I always overcome 😁

My appendix got stolen!

Well…. Thats the way me and my family see it anyway haha!

Let me explain..

Around this time 6 years ago I was in and out of Kings having surgery and different procedures. Obviously at the time we were just focusing on what was happening and making sure I recovered. I knew I was having my organs moved and I knew that I was having a stomach wrap to shrink my stomach. But I didn’t think any organs were going to be taken out.

Anway fast forward a few years, where I’m stable and starting to be able to live a normal life… I was living my life focusing on the recovery when… I found out that apparently I didn’t have my appendix anymore!

Obviously it’s nothing to worry about. Appendixes aren’t used anymore and it’s quite common to have them removed – especially with people who have to have surgery in that area.

So I’m not worried about it at all. It’s just funny that i wasn’t told that they were removing.. Or had removed my appendix. I found out a few years later.

Me and my family joke how it was ‘stolen’ haha! πŸ˜‚

So if you see my appendix anywhere… Give us a call! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚

It’s creeping up on me…

I’ve felt like I’ve been in a good place recently. I’ve enjoyed myself. I’ve been so relaxed. But there’s been a few occasions the last couple of weeks where I’ve just stopped in my tracks and just felt so sad..

I don’t know why. I don’t know how. I don’t know what triggers it… But it’s definetly there.

This has happened before. I get a few ‘outbursts’ of lowness. It’s like a switch that I can’t control. On and off. On and off. It happens gradually.. The out spurts are originally spaced out but eventually become more closer together and more often… And I feel like thats happening now.

I’m trying to actually fight this whilst it’s in its early stages. I’m dismaying the negative thoughts. I’m telling myself it will all be okay. I’m pushing away the bad thoughts and reminding myself of the nicer, positive thoughts. I’m taking control. It’s hard but I don’t want depression to win. I want to be in control. I want to stay feeling positive and happy.

As I’ve said before – I do think it’s harder battling a mental illness compared to a physical illness.

Learning

Recently, I’ve had a low moment. I was thinking why me. Why have I had to go through what I’ve had to go through, mainly because of how it affects me now. I feel lost sometimes. I feel like I’m not sure what to say or do in certain situations. I’m not sure how to react. Sometimes I might overreact without thinking. Sometimes I might not react at all.

What I’ve got to realise is that I’m still learning “the ways of life” I suppose. I’m a bit late at learning it but it’s better late than never ay?

I think a lot of people assume I know things that other people in their early twenties know… But that’s not necessarily the case. I struggle with even the simplest of things sometimes. I make a lot of mistakes.

But like many have said to me, mistakes are how we learn – and I for sure am learning a lot!

One thing I worry about is the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. And I feel like at my age, I should know what I’m doing. But like a friend reminded me – do any of us know what we’re doing half the time? We’re all humans. We all make mistakes. We all get puzzled from time to time. We are all constantly learning.

So am I really that different to someone who hasn’t had the same past as I have had? No! I’m not. And I really should start realising that now.

Toast is good

I used to have a fear of toast.

Yep. You read that right. I used to be scared of toast. In fact, I used to have a fear of everything food-related. I couldn’t look at any type of food. If I was watching TV and a scene came on where someone was eating, or an advert for McDonald’s (other food outlets are available) or something, I would have to turn the TV over, or off. Actually, for a while it made me fear watching TV as I wouldn’t know if and when food of some sort would pop up on the screen.

Let me explain..

Because of my health battles in the past, eating has always been a challenge. You see, when I was younger – everyone, including doctors, didn’t detect any serious problem when it came to me eating. Like, they knew I struggled but they thought it was just a case of me having to just keep trying. Every time I tried to eat something, it would either go down fine but affect me a couple of days later (later on in my teenage years, they discovered food that I was eating was sitting in my stomach for a couple of days instead of going through the whole system – I won’t go into detail haha – thus making my body think its being poisoned. Kinda like food poisoning I suppose) OR I would be sick straight away.

My portions of meals and that have always been on the small side too. Even now, they’re still not what most would consider “normal” size portions but its still bigger than what I have had in the past.

I remember in primary school. I’d only have a couple of bites of a sandwich before feeling “full” and then sick. And when I did eat a bit more and pretty well for me, a couple of days later I would suffer for it. It was horrible.

There was a time where my parents thought maybe my lack of eating was due to something psycological (don’t think I’ve spelt it rightπŸ˜…). But it wasn’t. I wasn’t being fussy. I wasn’t telling myself not to eat. I was suffering from a mental eating disorder. I was physically unwell. But it was hard to find out why. I remember once finishing a whole plate of sausage and chips. I was so proud of myself for finishing it, as were my parents. A few seconds later, it all came back up. It was something I couldn’t control. I felt like I had failed. I felt like I wasn’t actually trying. When in fact I was, I just had a physical condition that was taking over my body.

It wasn’t until I was 15, when the problem was discovered. My stomach had grown to a large size and had grown horizontally up the left side of my body. That’s why food was going off in my stomach because it had enough room to just sit there.

Eventually I had the surgery and I started to get sorted physically. But now, mentally, I had started to struggle. Physically I knew my body could take food. I knew it would take time but physically my body could cope. When I could eventually eat, after the surgery, I remember trying a piece of toast. Well, I say trying.. I just stared at it and just felt petrified. People would offer me food too but I now was scarred with what happened in the past. I was scared I’d feel pain and sickness again from eating. In my mind, subconsciously, food was bad. A psychologist got involved in my care. I remeber chatting to her and saying how it’s like a bully in my mind telling me that food is bad. Food will make you ill. Deep down I knew food was good. Food is something to enjoy not think of as part of a chore. But there was this ‘message’ in my head. Telling me that food will harm me. And that goes for any type of food.

When I came home from the hospital, I asked that my family don’t eat near me. I locked myself away in my room some days. Not even turning on the TV. All I could do is sit and listen to music. I was in a no-food zone in my mind. Going out with friends petrified me. Because, I wanted to see them and spend time with them, but I was scared that they’d suggest eating out somewhere.

Whenever someone near me had food, whatever it was, the sight and smell of it would make me have a panic attack.

Now though?

Well… Masterchef is now one of my favourite shows hahaπŸ˜‚.

After years of training my brain to realise that food is good. Food is something to enjoy. Food is amazing! I feel like I’ve jumped a massive hurdle! I can eat so many slices of toast now. I enjoy toast. Toast is good. I’m not a fussy eater, and I’m not allergic to anything so I can eat anything really.

I’ve also got into baking and cooking recently which I really enjoy. If you would have told me 5/6 years ago that I would be cooking a roast for dinner on mother’s day and then baking a cake for afters I would have laughed at you and said nah, that’s not me.

My fear of food hasn’t gone completely I’m not going to lie, I still get a tiny bit anxious around food when I’m feeling sick, and also if I feel pressured to eat – which happens very rarely now as the people around me now know not to pressure me to eat. I will eat when I feel up to eating. And at the moment….. That’s pretty much all the time!! πŸ˜‚

The last 3 weeks or so my appetite has been amazing! I’ve had short spells of good appetite in the past but they’ve only really lasted a couple of days at a time. This is the first time ever that I’ve had a good non-stop appetite for 3 weeks – almost 4! I’m craving loads of different foods and I’m enjoying the tastes and satisfaction it gives!

Younger me would be surprised I’m saying this but.. I love eating! πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

Learning to Dance in the rain

Its the quote we all know and love! Well I think so anyway….. πŸ˜‚

As you can probably tell by my previous post, I haven’t been in the best of moods recently.

I honestly can’t fully explain why I feel that way. I don’t know what triggers it. It just happens. Some days I wake up and I just feel horrible. I lose confidence in myself. I feel like giving up is the only option. It’s like there’s a black cloud over my head. Eventually I get over it though… and I found that as the day went on yesterday. I suddenly saw things in a brighter, positive way.

I hate having moments like that though. And I feel embarrassed about bringing it up. It’s been such a taboo subject for so long. It’s only recently that people have been opening up about mental health. I’m starting to open up about how I’m feeling to people I know now. I’m starting to realise that talking about how I’m feeling is a good thing. It does help having a cry and getting things off your chest!

And I think the big thing I’ve realised recently is that it is okay to have these low moments! I’m human! Emotions are normal!

The quote I’ve shared with you today is true! Life isn’t about sitting and waiting for the storm to pass…. it is about learning to embrace and dance in the rain!!