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Hello❤️

Hiya!! 💓👋🏼

My name is Breanna. I am a 17 year old student from Western Australia and have been diagonised with generalised anxiety. I suffer from insomnia, depressive episodes and moments of panic.

I am not in any serious danger. But I am a sufferer, like so many of us. And I am not afraid to speak up about it. Like so many of us are.

So I’m going to speak up about it, for the ones who can’t, or won’t. Mental health has been shunned to the sidelines for too long.

And I am here to offer up my experiences, to share my struggles, and to give my words to help, for anyone who wants to read it.

Friends, this is a space to talk about mental health openly without limitations. Like the world should be.

So here we are.

I thank you for reading, and for showing interest in my journey.

We are sufferers together. We are strong and united.

You are amazing. You can do this. And you are never alone. ✌🏼💞

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Exhaustion

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetHey everyone. So I haven’t updated in a while.

If I’m honest with you all, the past four weeks have been especially draining on me, having started back at school for my final year of high school. A lot of expectations, a lot of pressures have been riding on my shoulders. Mainly from myself, being a perfectionist and over-achiever.

Funnily enough, my mental illnesses have been barring me from posting on here, my mental health blog. Lately I have felt a mental block in my mind. As in, an actual slab of concrete that just bars me from having some or even any motivation. That is the best way I can describe it. I have been experiencing depressive episodes far more frequently due to heightened stress and anxiety; my most recent one started on Friday, leaves temporarily for a few hours, then another freak-out kicks in and I’m back on my depressed path. It’s still here. Squeezing my chest, plaguing my mind. Most days of the week I get home and have a breakdown, and either have to keep carrying on with what I need to get done, or have no choice but to limit or cut down my work load because I am too depressed or anxious to continue.

Tonight I feel super depressed and low on confidence. It just affects all aspects of my life. My schoolwork, for starters. I struggle with self confidence and motivation, my productivity or performance in school decreases, I get lower grades than what I was hoping for or a talking to by my teacher, and then I feel even more doubtful of myself. It’s such a cruel cycle. I just wish it would end.

I know a lot of people who meet me, even a lot  who know me well, would say that I am an extremely motivated person. I guess, in some aspects, this is true. The way that I see myself, however, is not motivated. I am literally driven by fear of not succeeding or being less than what I expect of myself, despite EVERYONE in my life telling me that my best try is good enough, and so I run myself into the ground until I have a meltdown, whether that’s at school or at home. It’s happening so frequently. And no matter what people tell me – friends, family, teachers – no matter what they say or how many times they say it, no matter how much I want to start doing what they say, I CANNOT, for the life of me, slow down.

Genuinely, I am starting to believe it is something ingrained in me, this perfectionism. This need to run myself into the ground. To burden myself with exhaustion. I honestly feel as though if I am not exhausted, then I am not trying hard enough… even though I don’t WANT to be exhausted!

I am trying so hard to do everything they’re telling me to. Self care, regular exercise, drinking heaps of water, voicing my feelings, taking breaks. But for a person like me, taking breaks is not so simple as a click of a finger. I constantly feel the need to get absolutely everything done in one sitting, and so forcing myself to take a break requires immense strength. I don’t think people actually realise how much strength it actually takes me. That in itself is exhausting. And – even though I know this is a trick of my mind – I feel extremely guilty for taking breaks. I feel like I should be doing something. I feel like I need to run myself into the ground again. I NEED to feel my exhaustion. Otherwise, where am I heading to? At the same time, I am finding it extremely difficult to concentrate, both in class and at home, and I know this is because I am hardly ever taking breaks, and when I do I don’t allow them to be restful.

I am also constantly feeling like I am behind on ‘schedule’ all of the time. No matter how much work I’m putting in to everything. There is always a mountain of things left to complete… and every day that mountain gets bigger. Surely this cannot be true. Surely I am not as behind in things as my mind is telling me I am, because of the sheer amount of work I am doing, right from when I get up every morning at 6-7am up until 9-10pm at night at the earliest. One thin is for sure… The mind is a powerful tool… often used against me.

It’s currently 11:52pm on a Tuesday night. Not the best time to be up and contemplating thoughts. But when has my brain ever abided by that rule? Overthinking is my speciality. But I am so in desperate need of sleep… I wish I could just let go of all this self doubt, self loathing, self degredation and do what I’m coming to school for, do what I love doing… TO LEARN. Why does my brain have to bar me from that? There is so much I want to do. I just feel so physically restricted by my own head. Why is that? How is that?

Maybe one day we’ll be able to answer those questions… for now I just need to accept my mind is racing. I hope tomorrow I will wake up and feel differently to how I’ve been waking up these past 4 weeks… like I don’t want to wake up again. I will keep persisting. There is, however, a fine line between persisting and fighting against mental illness, and pushing myself until I break. I hope one day I can find balance on that fine line. Until then, I will keep on trying my best to cope…

Despite my insomnia, my anxiety, and my anxiety about my insomnia, writing this out has actually helped me feel less sick to my stomach. I’ve been neglecting my writing a lot lately, and not just on here. Fear of people judging me, of being offended or triggered by what I say, fear of being seen as inadequate in other’s eyes as well as my own, and my mental block as I said earlier have all been restricting me from being able to let my words flow as usual. As I’ve said… it’s been a difficult past few weeks.

Goodnight beautiful people. I send my love to you. Remember you are all full of worth, you all make this world brighter, and you are never alone. My instagram DMs on @breannas.blog and email inbox are always open ❤

Until next time… hopefully soon 🙂

Keep fighting xx<3

 

Detachment. (You’re never alone.)

Do you know how it feels, to not be able to work up the spirit or energy or motivation to do anything, anything at all?

Do you know how it feels, to lay in bed and genuinely never want to get back up again?

Do you know how it feels, to have a heavy blanket thrown over your happiness, pinning it down, so that you feel as though you’ll never feel it again?

Do you know how it feels, to have a thick dark cloud pass over you, whilst everyone else around you is seemingly bathing in sunlight?

Do you know how it feels, to want to go out into the world and accomplish all that you want to accomplish, but some unseen force is barring you from taking another step, despite all your best efforts to just push through this sludge?

Do you know how it feels, to be surrounded by so many people, but in your heart you feel so despairingly, agonisingly, painfully alone and detached from everyone else here?

Do you know how it feels, to try your absolute hardest to keep pushing, pushing, pushing through this mess, to have so many things riding on your shoulders that without you they would all come tumbling down, but it just becomes too much and you feel yourself begin to break?

Do you know how it feels, to have the hurt in your heart and voice in your head haunt you everywhere you go, that even if you’re able to run, for minutes, hours, days on end, no matter, you cannot escape from it?

Do you know how it feels, to have anxiety shouting at you from all angles to “keep going and never stop”, whilst depression sinks a heavy weight into your shoulders so that to move even one step forward would require immense strength and willpower?

Do you know how this feels?

This weight of the world?

Does anyone?

Sometimes, I feel like no one does. No one understands this pain that I go through. I know with every fibre in my being that this is not true. But it doesn’t stop the voices in my head. And I know, hearing this won’t stop yours, if you know how any of these things feel.

Tonight I am here to tell you, from one depressed person to all you beautiful people out there, that even if you feel alone? You most certainly are not.

I can tell you right now.

You. Are. Never. Alone.

It may feel like you will never get out of this slow-moving sludge, or this torturous hell-hole, or this heavy blanket isolating you from the rest of the world. It’s never easy. Especially when you are there for days, weeks on end.

I’m not here to tell you that it will get better. Because really, who knows. I’m here to tell you that you are, unequivocally, without a doubt, never alone. And that in itself is a reason to stay. ❤

So… stay.

What Depression Feels Like… A Unique Story to Everyone

…And this is my take, on the story of depression. Keep in mind that others experience depression differently. This is mine.

It’s back.

The blanket feeling.
The sinking emptiness.
The hollowness in my core.

It’s back and I don’t want to deal with it. I can’t stand it when I know there are people who are entitled to suffer, who have reason. Me? My reason is the sinking emptiness in my pit. It is no reason at all.

I feel guilty for being here. I feel like I am triggering others. But I don’t want to hurt anyone. I want so desperately to help others, to help myself…

Yeah, the emptiness is back. I feel it grasping outwards from the very core, the very centre of my being, reaching its tendrils out to link onto every fibre of my body and pin me down, pin me down into this nothingness, this horrible entity of nothingness. I am choking, choking in its grasp.

I want to cry. I force myself to cry. But the truth is that crying does nothing to take away my emptiness. I cannot feel anything, but the feeling of being a weight. Sinking further, further, into the abyss, like heavy rocks seeking the bottom of the ocean.

Time is immeasurable right now. I look at my phone screen after what seems to me like 5 minutes has passed, when in actuality I have been lying here encased in my blanket feeling for over an hour, shut away from my family and everyone I care about. But I can’t bring myself to see them. I can’t bring myself to talk, to anyone. I feel as though I’ve reverted back to my old ways, to the dark days where my depression was ever-present and clutched me daily, shutting me away from the world. It brings back horrible memories, where I felt completely and utterly alone in my terrible abyss of nothingness. This loneliness impends on me, like the increasing darkness of the sky outside my window. I missed the sunset tonight. Something I wanted to see. Now all colours are gone.

The truth is, I haven’t felt like this in weeks. It’s always been there, this dark empty nothingness, its tendrils tapping on my shoulder like an impatient lady’s freshly manicured nails on a desk. Waiting. Waiting for the moment I slip up, even just slightly, before it swallows me entirely. I’ve just been so busy, I have had so much relying on my functioning mind and body, that I pushed, pushed, pushed this blanket feeling away with all my strength and might. “No, I will not let this take over my body! I will not let this take over my life.”

All I can say now, however… is that I believe I fought brilliantly for those few weeks that I kept my depression monster at bay. But now it’s time for me to rest at the feet of this monster. It’s time to feel the gnawing pains that have been slowly dragging me further and further down. I must feel them, I need to feel them… because if I keep fighting it, I’m going to break. And I don’t want to break. So instead I succumb to my monster… I let the tendrils wash over me… the blanket muffle the world around me… until I rise out of it again. I know I will rise out of this again, because I always do. I just need to accept this is where I need to be at this moment… and remember, that every storm does pass.

I will feel the pain of numbness tonight. And tomorrow I will wake to the sunrise, and it will be a new day. Maybe the pain won’t go away, maybe I’ll still be muffled, maybe I’ll still have the despair clutching to my core. But I will see the sunrise, and know that I have power beyond words imaginable, because I. Will. Get. Through. This.

Yes, it’s back. But each time it comes back, I am stronger than I was when it last found me. Because I have lived through every single night it’s come back. I’m a survivor, and I’m not giving up now.

“It’s just another night,
and we’ve had many of them.”
❤ Bastille ❤

The Girl in the Photo (An Early 2019 New Year’s Resolution)

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Today I want to talk to you all about the girl in this photo.

This photo was taken around this time last year. Nearing Christmas, having just finished school term for the year and taking a long deserved break, this girl was on her way to Melbourne to visit her well-missed family, whom she hadn’t seen in a few years. This photo was taken by her father, who had driven her up to the airport in the early morning, sending her off with love and well wishes. This photo was taken right before she left to board her plane. Alone. Hunched over, embracing her pillow in a lung-crushing embrace, scared to let it go out of fear she would become imbalanced and topple over. Smiling awkwardly and shyly, painfully, to try and mask how absolutely terrified she was feeling in that moment.

Admittedly, this girl was petrified of heights. She had been on planes before, but not for a long time, and never without the comforting presence of her parents right beside her. She had also been watching a TV series called Lost around this time, whose story plot revolved around an airplane crash.

But I know, looking back on this photo, taken a little over a year ago, this wasn’t all that this girl was afraid of.

This girl was afraid of loss.
This girl was afraid of the inexplicable fear that gripped her daily.
This girl was afraid of the despairing emptiness that so clutched at her heart.
This girl was afraid of herself.

How many nights did she spend tucked away in a corner, weeping to be rid of her thoughts? I cannot say; there were so many, she must have lost track. How long did she let herself suffer, by sitting in her silence? For too long. So much to say, yet so much left unsaid. Why did she hate herself, despise every inch of her outer and inner self, when she still gave so freely to others? Why did she feel the need to conceal all that was sure to burst out of her sooner or later? Because it was going to happen. And it did.

I guess I will never know the answers to these questions. What I do know, however, is that I now need to put these questions behind me. I need to let this poor girl go. Because this girl was me. But she is not anymore.

A year ago today, I was so afraid of myself. So afraid that I was ashamed. I was ashamed to be who I was. I was ashamed to have such dark and horrible thoughts about myself, when everyone around me was telling me how great I was. “Why can’t I just believe them? Why can’t I just be great like they say I am?” I don’t know, beautiful. I really don’t. I don’t know what was barring me from accepting who I was. All I know is that something bad was eating away at me last year. It had been gnawing on me since an early age, and last year I finally started to feel its effects. I started to feel like I was becoming the monster that once fed off of me.

The year of 2017 was a dark place for me. Everything was numb. I felt hopeless, worthless, devoid of colour. I wanted so desperately to be rid of myself. To just get out. The year of 2018 brought me some of my most difficult obstacles to overcome yet. It also brought me some of the most breathtaking scenery, and life-lasting memories that I will never forget and will sustain me until I’m old. The year of 2018 brought me out of my dark hole, but it took me to such extreme highs that it in turn caused me to come barrelling down – not back into my hole, but to the ground, with such force that it often knocked the wind out of me and left me paralysed. Left me to pick up my shattered pieces again and again and again and again. It was an oscillating graph, a fluctuating rollercoaster that did not stop even when I begged and pleaded for it to.

The year of 2019, however, is like a light, drawing closer and closer to me. This present year saw me at my highest moments and my most extreme lows, and left me exhausted for most of it. But this year has also made me stronger. It’s made me hungry. Hungry to change. Not out of hate for myself; to change for the good. Hungry to make a difference. Hungry to make something of myself. Hungry to learn. Hungry to be hungry. The year of 2017 left me broken. The year of 2018 left me devastated. But the year of 2019, will be my year. I can feel it in my pulse.

The change in myself that I am most amazed at, however, is over the past 5 months. 5 months ago, I was still scared of myself. Still loathing to be in my own skin. Still living in fear. It is over these 5 months that I officially began my journey of self-recovery. It is over these 5 months that I discovered the true meaning and importance of self-compassion, and how to build it for myself. It is over these 5 months that I realised my worth as a human being and a young woman, that I realised just how freaking awesome that I am. And you know what? I truly believe that I kicked the year of 2018 in the ass. This year threw me to the ground so many times, and every single time I got right back up. Whether I got back up with a hardened stare and square shoulders, or I got back up crying and damaged for all to see, I don’t care. Because I STILL GOT BACK UP. (Take that, mental illness.)

I am still learning to love myself. There are some days where I am totally in love both with my body and who I am inside, but there are also some days where I feel like I sink back into my hole of self-loathing. And that’s okay. Recovery is not linear. Recovery is guaranteed to come with relapses. What I have learnt in the past 5 months, is that this is okay.

Looking back on this photo, and even looking back on the girl I was 5 months ago, I am blown away by how much I’ve changed, for the better. I have not changed the person I am inside, but I have become so much stronger, so much more resilient, and I am so proud of myself (though I am still terribly afraid of heights!). Dare I say it, but I am proud of this fragile girl who was once me. I owe all of this to her, after all, for she was the one who opted for my recovery. And I thank her for it.

So, this is my new year’s resolution: 2019 is going to be my year. What I mean by this, is that I am no longer going to hide in fear. I am going to start putting myself first. I am going to be more aware and conscious of myself in that I do not put too much on my plate even if I feel at the time like I can handle it, and to focus not just my studies but all aspects of my life in important areas instead of just trying to do everything like I did in 2018, which is what broke me a thousand times over. And I am going to more frequently devote set time for myself, really devote time for myself, where I can just appreciate sitting with my thoughts, and do what I like to call ‘checking in with myself’. But most importantly, I am going to accept me for who I am, anxiety and depression and flaws and all, no matter what. Because I am doing the best I can.

Yes. 2019 will be my year. Because I am the stronger Breanna, the Breanna with fire in her soul rather than an empty matchbox.

And you know what, my loves?

2019 is your year, too. Whatever you make out of it. ❤

Things that Help Me Sail Safely Across My Depressive Episodes <3

Hello lovely people!

Today I am sinking into yet another depressive episode. I woke up just not feeling too great in general, and by midday was crying in the bathtub after my shower for no reason.

To describe to you what I’m feeling right now would be a convoluted mess, but to sum it up in one word is this: heaviness. Everything feels heavy. I feel heavy. I feel like every movement I am making is dragged out and exhausting. My thoughts are going round in circles, they keep coming back to the same thing, over and over: “No one is actually interested in you as a person, and if anyone cares right now they won’t for long, everyone is going to leave, they’re all lying to you, you are alone, you are nothing.” Over and over and over again.

I know these thoughts aren’t true. I have so many people who care for me in my life. But depression is very good at tricking us into believing the lies it feeds us. So even though I know they’re lies, it’s still hard to hear them right now.

Anyway. I thought I’d give myself something worthwhile to do, and use this draggy day to channel some inspiration to help anyone else who suffers from depressive episodes, whether they are caused by a trigger or, often in my case, come up just out of the blue. Today I am going to list all of the things that help me troop through my depressive episodes and keep the bad thoughts at bay! Whilst of course none of these things stop these thoughts, and I still need to brace myself for the long haul, they HELP. Key word: help. H. E. L. P. They aren’t a cure, simply things that relieve at least a little bit of tension, keep me comfortable, and remind me that I will eventually be ok. 🙂

  1. Essential oils
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    These are only 2 of my mum’s essential oils, one that we share (White Angelica) and a blend made specifically for me (Triple P), and even though there are sooo many that I love and help me in different situations, these are my favourites! These 2 in particular help me when I’m sinking into a depressive episode. White Angelica is known for its ability to drive away negative energies, and helps with depression, anger, low blood pressure. Triple P acts as a hormonal balance that keeps my emotions in check and lessens the effects of depression on my outbursts, so it helps to stabilise me and keep me relatively calm. I rub the Triple P underneath my malleolus (the bony knob on the inside of my ankle) – you don’t actually have to smell it, it’s just an emotional release point – and White Angelica on my wrists and neck, so this one I CAN smell. If you’re interested on reading more about the different effects of essential oils (there are literally HUNDREDS!!) have a read on Young Living Essential Oils

 

2. Cuddling a Stuffed Animal Teddy
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This is Floppy. He is my stuffed animal dog, $9 from Kmart. I’ve only had Floppy for one week, but in this week he has been a great help. All I have to do is squeeze him tightly to my chest, and my anxiety honestly feels as if it is seeping away from me. He helps provide an anchor for me, too, and relieve stress caused by insomnia, especially in the moment that I am struggling to sleep. He is helping a great deal right now with my depression too, giving me something stable to grip onto. If I’m honest with you, you are NEVER too old to cuddle a teddy. I have a whole bunch on my bed, but so far Floppy has proved to help the greatest. If you’re struggling with anything at all, I recommend getting a soft teddy to squeeze. Preferably a relatively large one, very soft, easy to squish, to ensure you get the best support possible! 😀

 

3. Mind & soul food!!!
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Lately I have been feeling extremely guilty for the food that I am eating, and feeling low about my weight and body shape. So I have been making a conscious effort to be mindful of what my body craves, and allow myself to indulge (and at times, overindulge!) when I am feeling at my lowest (and even when I just feel like it!). That means: lots and LOTS of chocolate. Today I am really feeling the Dairy Milk & Black Forrest chocolate. And, of course, a cup of tea. This is my second one today. Along with actual food and drink, I allow myself to reconnect with food for my soul: ie. words. I love words. I love reading them, using them, whatever. So I make sure that when I am bed ridden in anxiety or depression or sickness, I have a good book by my side (today’s pick is Lord of the Rings) as well as some crossword puzzles or wordsearches to keep my mind active and detached from my own abusive thoughts. Both reading and word puzzles help to keep my mind afloat and from drifting into the sea of my downward spiral.

 

4. CATS!!!
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Ah, one of my biggest sources of support when I’m not doing too good. My cats ❤ Stuffed teddies are great, but if you wanna know what’s even better, is real animals that seek you out when you’re feeling down (mine are literally drawn to the very vibe of sadness from miles and miles away) and ride through the pain with you no matter what. I almost always wake up with a cat or even a dog on my bed, cuddling into my side or curling up at my feet. Just the very presence of them, their warmth softly saying “I’m here” does wonders to lift or even simply ease my heaviness.

 

5. Leave a light on.
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This is my favourite lamp. It sits on my desk right next to this mini poster that I made whilst I was stuck in another depressive episode (ah, that’s another thing that helps sometimes – art.) It provides the perfect soft, warm glow over my room especially at night and just settles a certain calmness inside of me whenever I see it lit up. Whenever I arrive home, I turn this lamp on straight away. It’s just part of my routine. I can see it from my bed, and it just reminds me that there are lights in my life, even if it doesn’t seem like it at times (cheesy I know).

 

6. Stay hydrated.
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I always keep a drink bottle beside my bed. I know it’s such a cliche thing to suggest, and is literally used as a ‘solution’ for almost everything, but that’s because it’s TRUE! Staying hydrated is so important. It’s part of the boring self care after all. (I’ll delve into just what boring self care actually is one day, but for now, I’ll simply define it as basic and occasionally menial tasks that are crucial and of incredibly high benefit to keeping you alive and sustaining, at the very least. It is the very core basis of self care and the foundation to looking after your mind, by looking after your body first.)

 

7. Music.
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Music is so, so incredibly important to me. It’s kept me sane on the darkest and bleakest of times. It’s just something constant that is always there for me. Some days, I get to the point where I don’t know what to listen to, there are so many different varieties, that the indecisiveness of THAT can overwhelm me. But overall, music has helped me so much. I chose to feature the cover of this band because Bastille has always just stuck with me. There are a lot of songs I’ve gone through phases of, but Bastille’s music is just constant for me, I can listen to it at any time, and this album Wild World in particular is one that I immediately turn to when I am sinking into a depressive episode. The words they use is just so beautiful and I find myself singing along in no time.

 

8. Make a ‘happy box’.
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Oh yes! My happy box ❤ This is something that I keep tucked away by my bed underneath by bedside table. It’s just full of seemingly random crap, but all of these things I have placed in here for a reason. Its contents include: bubble wrap, a mini accordion fold-out photo album containing photos of all my animals/friends/family, a stress squishie teddy, an old riding glove, my old kitten’s favourite toy, a feather from my little bird who sadly passed away a couple years ago, an Instax photo generator and some colourful markers and ribbons if I’m feeling creative, bubble wrap, ’emergency’ chocolate (for when I’m really in the shit), letters from my friends, a fake but pretty pink rose to remind me that there’s beauty in this world, a Harry Potter light up watch, and a heart ornament given to me by my Grandma whom I haven’t seen in a year. Yeah, maybe it is just junk. But it’s my junk, and when I open up this box in desperate times, there’s always bound to be at least just one thing that makes me smile.

 

So there you have it! My 8 tips for keeping afloat during a depressive episode… I understand that everyone is different, and so not all of these things may work for you. But that’s ok! Take your time! I do encourage you to find a few things that ease your depression even if it’s just a tiny bit. Because it really helps. Truly.

Another disclaimer that I MUST mention, too: These things do not ALWAYS help. They are NOT guaranteed, full-proof ways to rid me of my depression. I’ve been through countless episodes where I feel so hopeless that nothing seems to work. So when you get to that point, above all…

 

9. Remember that you are NOT alone.
People DO care about you.
You CAN do this.
I believe in you, and so should you.
This pain won’t last forever.
They are just thoughts. They cannot hurt you.
And you WILL get out of this, no matter what.

 

Love to you all ❤
Breanna xoxo

Another Blogger’s Note…

Hey everyone.

How are all of you doing?

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written on here. If I am honest with you, I have been struggling a lot lately. Both my anxiety and depression have been flaring up more than usual. I mean, it’s always constant, but lately I’ve been experiencing extreme highs and crashing lows that literally leave me devastated, often ending my days curling up in my bed and filling my nights with crying.

I guess the reason for it all, though there are probably many reasons (and in that sense, no reason at all except for the fact that mental illness is not picky over the times it presents itself), is the fact that my exam week was last week. I’ve been working so hard up until that point all year, and I filled that week with intense cramming, so it left me exhausted by the end of it. The next week, which was the week just gone, I got all my exam results back. And to me they weren’t pretty.

I know I should be extremely proud of myself for getting through that week. Even the fact that I SAT those exams is a massive achievement considering what I went through that week in my head. But I’m not proud. If I am honest again, I’m ashamed in my results. Call me a perfectionist, tell me that I’m too hard on myself, but I am so disappointed in myself. It is just so incredibly disheartening to work so hard for something, to give it your everything, and to fall short. I’ve been there loads of times. I’m sure you have too.

Even though I’m feeling really low about myself at the moment, I’m trying to not let it get in the way of looking after myself, though it can be really hard at times. I’m also trying to remind myself that it’s okay to feel like this. It’s okay to be disappointed. It’s also okay to be angry. You have the right to feel those things because you are human and that’s what humans do; we do things we’re not proud of and we feel like shit. But feeling all of this is so important. You can’t get to the other side, you can’t pick yourself up and prove that you are strong, without having gone through the battle field first. Take a few hits. Cry over them. Even if it takes weeks or even months to get over. But don’t wallow for too long… you need to pick yourself up off the ground at some point.

So yeah, I’m not going to let this defeat me. When have I ever let anything defeat me? The answer is: never, because I am still breathing. Some day soon, I am going to pick up my scattered pieces, look at them, and figure out where the best place is to stick them back together. In a few days, or weeks, (however long I need really), I’m going to pick those exams right back up and work through them so I can figure out where I went wrong and what I can do to improve. When I go back to school next year for my final year before uni, I am going to go to my teachers, having already gone through my exams on my own, and work with them to help me improve even more. I am going to use this anger and disappointment as my fire, I am going to turn it into motivation and drive, and that is what makes me strong and will get me through to the other side.

For now, though, yeah – I’m gonna let this all wash over me. Then I’m gonna forget about it for a while, and give myself permission to relax. I need to find myself again. I neglected so many of the things that I love by prioritizing my study, so over the next few days I’ll be reacquainting myself with things that make me happy – ie, reading mountains of books for hours on end whilst drinking tea, spending the entire day with friends and actually being a teenager by having fun, riding horses and cuddling animals, etc. Those things are important too. If you’re not doing things that make you happy, or at least give you reprieve from stress, then what’s the point of doing the hard stuff?

I think the other thing that has steered me away from writing on here is the feeling that my writing has been going stale. I haven’t even been writing poetry as of late because I just don’t feel my creative juices flowing, or my motivation to do anything at all, for that matter. You have no idea the amount of times I’ve tried to write a blog post and stopped immediately or halfway through, or deleted an Instagram post that I’ve written, because I feel like it’s not good enough. I don’t want my writing to become a chore. It’s something that I love to do, and if I feel like my passion for writing has gone stale, something must be seriously wrong. So I guess I’ve been trying to steer clear of that happening.

I can feel myself coming out on the other side of my writer’s block, however. Still, I’m going to take my time. I want to apologise for not writing as much as I promised. Or keeping up with regular updates on Instagram. But, I guess, at the very least, this can be a reminder to you all, to prioritize self care, and to put yourself first. It seems I need to do a lot of work to catch up on that aspect of my life.

I’ll get there though. And so will you 🙂

Anyway, I also wanted to thank all of you who have stuck by my side, to everyone who reads my posts, whether it’s on Instagram or WordPress. All of you are truly beautiful souls. And helping you through my words is a massive help to me, too. Even if sometimes my presence on here isn’t all that regular. Thank you for being patient with me, and understanding that I go through these episodes…

I think this has been my longest depressive/anxious episode for a while. It’s lasted for 2 weeks and I can’t see a way out of it right now. But I have lights in my life that I’m reaching out to right now. And even if my writing isn’t at its best right now, I will always have my love for it.

So… thank you. For everything. I will hopefully be back soon.

Until then… take care of yourselves. 🙂 ❤

Trigger

Hi lovely people.

I’d just like to say something quick before I need to start my study for the afternoon (I need to finally stop procrastinating!!)

On Thursday night of last week, my mind set completely switched. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know about it. I was having such an incredible week, there was literally no reason for me to break that night, but I did. It was so out of the blue and it gripped me so hard and so suddenly that I had to stop everything I was doing and just cried.

I did end up mustering the strength to look after myself very basically – feed myself, have a shower, wrap myself up in warmth, allowed myself to lay in bed. I was floating in and out of reality. All of a sudden, emotion would overcome me and I would lie there shaking and bawling my eyes out. That would last for a few seconds before the numbness overtook and I felt literally empty. I felt like I was losing my mind, losing all sense of who I was. This vicious cycle went on and on for God knows how long, until I finally sank into complete numbness, staring vacantly at nothing, feeling nothing in particular. The good thing about this complete absence of feeling meant my mind didn’t have the strength to conjure up any nasty thoughts, so I drifted off to sleep fairly quickly.

The next day, I woke up feeling a little better, though I could still feel the little monster wrapped around my leg, weighing me down. With 2 tests later that day, I chose to “push through” it. Got out of bed. Made myself smile. Hoping keeping active with both my mind and body would drive me out of this depressive episode. Sometimes, this is all you need – just a little boost and you’re good to go. And whilst I am proud of myself for getting out of bed… in the state I was in, this wasn’t the way to go. I needed to rest.

I found this out the hard way later on that morning. With each minute that passed, my mind set was rapidly deteriorating. Exhaustion gripped me – not from lack of sleep, from lack of motivation and feeling. My teacher in period 2 noticed and kept asking me if I was ok, after repeatedly pushing him away. Until I just snapped. I broke into tears.

My beautiful friends also noticed and did their best to comfort me. They encouraged me to go to the nurse, and one of them carted me away to go and see her, and – bless their souls – just in time too, because I was on the edge of a panic attack. I had pushed myself too far. I should have listened to my body and my mind’s warning signals. I ended up sitting on a bed in the nurse’s office, my face a mess as I started to cry uncontrollably. My whole body was trembling, I was hyperventilating, my head was spinning, my heart pounding. I was genuinely scared it would beat out of my chest.

My dad ended up having to come to pick me up. I felt so ashamed, sitting there in front of the nurse and my dad, unable to calm down. The nurse was so lovely though. She had witnessed one of my episodes before and stayed with me, helping me to gain my breath back. But, it didn’t stop the shame and guilt that swept me up. I think people tend to forget that although I am so open about my struggle, I am still ashamed of being so exposed and vulnerable to others.

As I said, I ended up having to go home. I missed my 2 tests, and a new wave of shame swept over me. It wasn’t that I wasn’t prepared for them; I was ready to sit them, knowledge-wise! It was my mental state that forced me to step down. I felt as though that maybe my anxiety was just an excuse for me to get out of things. I started to worry about what my teachers and peers thought of me. What if they thought I was just trying to have an unfair advantage over everyone else? Oh, poor Breanna, we should all pity her and exempt her from her classes whilst her peers have to do what she can’t.

And you know what the nurse told me? I hadn’t said any of these thoughts that overflowed from my mind. I was too distraught. But it was as if she read my mind. With my father’s hand on mine, I felt the warmth that traveled from her gaze on me, even though I couldn’t bring myself to meet her eyes. She said… “Breanna, we know you. We know that you would never suddenly just take time off if you didn’t absolutely need it. Because you’re a pusher. You push through things even when it’s detrimental to you. And even though that’s a beautiful trait to have, sometimes you need to just take your foot off the pedal a bit. It’s ok to rest. We all understand.”

This brings me to what I wanted to say today: sometimes, anxiety just has no reason. It can grip you so hard and suddenly, and there is just no explanation. There doesn’t always have to be a trigger.

But just know… it is never your fault. It is never an excuse. No, it’s not an excuse… it’s so much more than that. Anxiety is real and it’s valid. No one should ever feel guilty for this. No one should ever feel responsible. IT. IS. NOT. YOUR. FAULT.

For those on the receiving end, who witness someone who is in the same state that I was in on Friday, please direct any thoughts of them with compassion. We are so swept up in the stigma of mental health, the negative representation of mental illness, that some of us fail to understand anxiety just HAPPENS. It all happened so quickly for me on Friday. That morning I was smiling with my friends. Not even an hour later I had spiraled into a complete anxiety attack.

I apologise if this post is a little all over the place. My thoughts are a tad scattered. I am still a little stuck in the aftermath of my shaky experience from Friday. I just hope this brings across the message I wanted to deliver… that anxiety is not selective over when it presents itself.

I hope you are all well today. And if you aren’t, please reach out.

So much love to you all ❤

~Breanna xox