Reality Vs Expectations

Reality vs expectations pose a big dilemma…. surely something to think about.

Do we love the world we live in? Or we’d rather escape in to the land of eternal madness. I must admit, I’d love the other option to be available because I don’t understand this world anymore. I’m not the first or the last person to admit the fact that the mental health ignorance, injustice, violence, and political games disgust me. It makes us put different masks on in order to thrive and survive among sharks in this world. I truly admire musicians who spread the message about the reality of the world through their music without carefully threading words.

Korn

System of Down

Sepultura

Controversial, full of feelings, anger and emotions lyrics are often questioned by others who wrongly interpret them because how wrong is to speak up the truth or criticise precisely sculpured modern society.

What makes me angry is that our loveable media PRETENDS to care and talk about mental health, bullying, suicide and other related issues. Our healthcare system is poorly designed to tailor the help to the needs of an affected person. A person is not looked at from the perspective of an individual but is categorised based on the completed assesment. While I understand that it might be efficient and money saving strategy it’s not helpful at all. As a tax payer who contributes to the healthcare system every single month I have every right to demand some significant improvement. For example, if someone suffers from anxiety for years, has had therapy, has read many self help books and is currently experiencing stress symptoms related to a life changing event sending them to a ‘ Stress Managing Workshop’ will not help them. It won’t be effective because the workshop covers the basics, it’s an introduction to the mental health management of which that person is blissfully aware from a long, long time. FAILURE.

Blaming social media for an increase in suicides among teenagers… Social media provides a platform for freedom of speech and self- expression. The accurate question here would be directed to the affected by tragedy family – Where had you all been when your relative was battling mental health issues? If the social media was censored do you really think that the suicide wouldn’t occur? It would! The social media is not the one here to blame…. but your pure ignorance, lack of understanding and living in the pure oblivion. Harsh but true.

My advice would be to pay attention to the behaviour of your loved ones and act on it if you spot any change. Don’t take the answer – ‘I’m fine’ or ‘I’m going to be ok’ for granted because it means nothing, it might be alright but it may also mean a deep layer of suffering and solitude which resides underneath this light topping.

PLEASE READ IT

What to do if you are worried about someone?

A Wandering Mind of a Pregnant Woman

My mind often wonders in the most peculiar way. I contemplate about things which have taken place and possibilities which may occur. Recently, what has surprised me the most is the fact that I don’t enjoy my mother being nice and supportive towards me or rather towards her unborn grandaughter. I should be happy about her current state of mind but I’m not. It makes me angry and furious. She hasn’t been there for me when I needed her so why would I need her now!? I’ve been left to deal with the abusive marriage and ex years ago on my own. She decided to step back and focus on my ever so adoring brother and his ex partner. She wasn’t nowhere to be found? She never really took an interest in me as in an individual. I haven’t seen her for over six years and the fact that she is coming to visit my small family fills me with mixed feelings. I’ve invited her and my father to meet their grandaughter and my fiancè. I just don’t need her word of advice and support- it’s worth nothing to me. In the end of the day, she is my mother and due to the fact that she’s always relied on my mental support I put up with her.

Another thing that has occupied my mind is bullying and mistreatment of your loved ones. It doesn’t only affect a person who is directly exposed to bad treatment. It also has an effect on their loved ones who are aware of the situation but are helpless. They are helpless because they can’t do anything to change or improve the issue. They can just offer them moral and mental support and hope for the best. It hurts when you see a person who you admire, who you love and who you are always proud of feeling down and upset. If it was up to the loved ones they would certainly do something about it but maltreatment is not always obvious to a person who’s been dealing directly with the bullies.

I often wonder what causes bullying and abusive behaviour and only two things have come into my mind. The first reason is fairly simple and consists of a bully who presents a narcissistic and sociopathic nature and takes pleasure in diminishing other people’s value. The second reason behind bullying is unhappiness combined with envy. When unhappiness meets envy mistreatment arises. The newly risen mistreatment aims to compensates for bully’s own misfortune by feeding them false sense power and self-validation. It’s a very destructive behaviour which targets good hearted people making them vulnerable. Simple as that.

Anxiety

If you have ever suffered from anxiety I’m sure you are familiar with a self- coping strategy which I call ‘safety net’.

What is it?

The safety net is an option or an alternative which you give yourself just in case you don’t feel like doing something or you experience anxiety symptoms.

It’s often criticised by proffesionals with fairly narrow minds who present a strict book approach. They claim that keeping an alternative and using it because you don’t want to take part in an activity feeds anxiety or depression and makes your state of mind worse. Your state of mind suppose to get worse because you AVOID the activity. I strongly disagree with the word- AVOIDANCE. You would start to avoid taking part in an activity if you purposefully and frequently cancelled your plans because of your inner and self- inflicted fear. You are the judge and you are a responsible person in this situation and it’s up to you to actually make a solid judgement of why you don’t want to take part in the activity.

Nothing can be seen as black or white in life therefore you can’t measure people’s ability or their frame of mind according to set measures or guidlines. If someone stricken by anxiety didn’t suffer from the fear of attending social gatherings and decided to cancel their plan that would be fully acceptable.

Why?

It would be fully acceptable because that person would use AN EXCUSE but when it comes to the anxiety sufferer they would be labeled ‘an excuse seeker’ propped up by the word AVOIDANCE straightaway. I consider it to be harmful because treating anxiety doesn’t mean putting yourself ‘out there’ at any cost. Treating anxiety means being able to MINDFULLY and SOBERLY making a decision while being FULLY AWARE of your emotions and thoughts in different life scenarios.

Existence

Do you look at other people who seem to fully enjoy their life? They appear to be articulate, they bloom with self- confidence and splatter their optimism everywhere they go. ‘It’s highly contagious- this optymistic attire’- you think to yourself. ‘I shall be more like them’- you contemplate. Accidentally, you get to know them better and surprisingly this bubble of joyful existence bursts. The magic has ended and the reality has kicked in… but why? How?

Life is made of different elements. Hence it would be simply impossible to stay high and ecstatic all the time (unless you relied on dope- which would be harmful anyway).

People who are naturally more outgoing and carry traits of an extrovert express themselves using social opportunities. These opportunities enable them to relax and unwind. They provide healthy balance for their mental wellbeing. Unsurprisingly, an introvert happily retrievs to their sanctuary doing whatever helps them to find peace within themselves again.

According to Thich Nhat Hanh (who has made my life brighter and better by assisting me in understanding the concept of it) your existence is comparable to a see-saw. In order to be able to live fully and without regrets you must be capable of welcoming positive and negative experiences in your life to create harmony. This harmony resembles a jigsaw puzzle, it’s very intricate but put together creates a unique story of your existence. The problem occurs when a person tries to erase or ignore problems. Then the jigsaw puzzle is incomplete, it inbalances you as a person and makes you feel lost and shattered. You become a snake trapped under a vase of burden with a flask by your side to numb the pain and reduce waves of oncoming fear.

Yes, I agree it’s not easy to deal with both- positivity and negativity at the same time. You can read a milion of self-help books, contemplate on the subject but you will never truly know if your see-saw is balanced until life throws at you both positive and negative experiences.

Eating Disorder Prior to Pregnancy

You suffered from an eating disorder in the past, you successfully conquered it and moved on with your life but fell pregnant. How would you feel about your body if it started rapidly changing, if you were loosing control over your appearance and panicking about how quickly digits on a weighing scale increase in numbers. It’s a complete, utter and heartbreaking time which suppose to be filled with happy memories.

Are you being irrational?

Yes !!!

Why?

Because everyone knows that the body of an pregnant individual goes through the hormonal storm and a physical transformation. It’s a miracle and a real test of endurance for a person who suffered from an eating disorder in the past.

You are no longer in control and the lack of it puts you down and makes you feel anxious. It’s a truly complicated and tricky situation which causes so much fear and anxiety in ones mind. You may even experience unhealthy and tempting thoughts of going back to old habits. You quickly brush them off your mind and explain yourself that it’s natural for your mind to wonder towards a maliciously tempting spiral of eating disorder due to your current situation- being pregnant.

What do you do to survive?

First of all, you are being kind to yourself by ALOWING the negative and toxic thoughts to be and float freely without dwelling on them, or worse, blaming yourself for having them. If a situation upsets you, for example, if you are weighed by your midwife talk about your feelings out loud. Express them verbally and don’t be afraid to cry and sulk in order to get all the negative emotions out of your system. You do it to prevent the accumulation of them which may lead to a relapse.

Another thing you can do is to look at the reflection of your naked body in the mirror and find five things which you like about it without comparing it to a prepregnancy perfection. For example, I have smooth skin, my breasts look gorgeous, I like the fact that my bum is firm and round, my hair looks strong and healthy, my bump has a lovely round shape etc.

By consciously enforcing positive thinking in your mind (which is filled with anxiety) you replace negative perception of your own BEAUTIFUL BODY with a positive picture of it. Your body is a strong and unique TEMPLE. Remember about it.

If you fancy you can write down little notes (self- affirmations) and stick them on the mirror or on the door of your wardrobe. Again, it works in the same way, you welcome the power of positive thinking by reading positive self affirmations.

Addictions or mental disorders don’t dissapear, they lurk in the corner of your mind waiting and hoping for you to trip over an obstacle and fall back into their stinging arms. Hence you need to be vigilant and use coping techniques to keep them at bay (at all times).

Body Image in Pregnancy

Body image is such a sensitive subject. You go through different stages in life and your body changes. I could compare it to a flower. When you are a baby you are like a bud then you pace through the mayhem of puberty and you begin to blossom. When you enter adulthood you are blooming with your uniqueness and personal beauty. You may bear scars and marks presented to you by the mighty existence but you are still exceptionally beautiful.

The individual perception of one’s appearance is another matter. You can be an astoundingly stunning lilly but in your own eyes you may look like a wilted and chewed by cats dandelion. You work on your body, you treat it as a temple by eating healthy and working out but….

What if you are physically restricted?

What if your body has been rapidly changing and you don’t have any control over it?

It’s frightening because all of the sudden you are not in control. A situation like this is comparable to being imprisoned in a box with peepholes in it. Yes, you are incarcerated in the box and carried around by the giant. You don’t have any influence on where you are going to be taken next. Is it going to be a good place or a pungent swamp? The only thing you can do is to hope for the best and enforce positive thinking about your body-image. That’s what happens during pregnancy.

During pregnancy you take part in this rapid not only physical but also mental transformation over the period of nine months. People keep telling you that you look beautiful, you are blossoming that the pregnancy suits you and you find it difficult to comprehend because in your mind it’s like telling a rotten egg that it’s a delicate rose. You are grateful for kindness and warmly hearted words but all you can see is a big fat blob and you are thinking- ‘ What on Earth has happened to my body?’. You are genuinly happy for being pregnant, you have positive feelings towards your unborn baby but you are terrified which is absolutely normal. You keep telling yourself that after pregnancy you will get your old body back and you will embrace any new stretchmark or loose skin because these are life scars which represents an important period in your life. You are a warrior. You’ve heard it from so many people around you but yet you need to give birth and experience it yourself to come to the final conclusion.

Three Steps to Low Mood Survival

When you wake up in the vile mood you can do three things:

1. Go back to sleep because it’s very likely that you are simply tired.

2. Take it easy but do not procrastinate, revisit your plan of the day and make it simpler.

3. Take a good care of your self, everyone is entitled to a bad day and self-care is crucial to get through it.

Pregnancy & Fear of the Future

Can’t you sleep?

Why do you wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety and worries looming over you.?

It’s so stresful to be pregnant and be awoken by the fear. Thinking about an upcoming labour doesn’t help. Being flooded by imaginative thoughts about your funeral based on childbirth are terrifying but absolutely normal.

What do you do to distract yourself and break the pattern of self-destructive thoughts?

Our brain never stops working and it processes thoughts 24/7. When the anxiety strikes it acts like a net which catches and traps a thought, we begin dwell on it, we realise that it’s unpleasant and we try to get rid of it as quickly as we can. The problem is that this newly captured thought could be compared to a tick who has already embedded itself in our skin. Pulling it out won’t solve the problem but it may bring a new layer of fear which will only add up to our exisiting anxiety stricken misery.

How to fix it?

The best thing to do in this situation is to let the anxiety be and the thoughts flow freely WHILE BEING OCCUPIED. It might be tricky at 2am in the morning but nothing stops you from getting up and grabbing a book or watching a movie. You will be relieved and amazed of the fear (which has caused you feeling low) slowly dissipating and loosing its worth as you proceed with keeping busy.