Anxiety, Low mood,Winter and Me. By Eleanor

fairylightwinter1

(image: Istock)

I have sat down many times in the past few weeks to try and compose this blog and I havn’t felt able, the weight of it felt too much to put down on ‘paper’. The past month has been a lot more challenging for me, I have had an increase in my anxiety, particularly the social anxiety, fear of judgement and the world in general.

This has meant I have had to cancel media appearances and my book launch for friends and family and I sadly missed an old friend’s beautiful wedding and another old friend’s hen weekend 😦  (as well as missing going to the theatre to see Waitress with a wonderful friend). I have been having panic attacks again about socialising when feeling so vulnerable. This has been really, really hard because I hate letting anyone down, I have just been feeling ill at times and having to cope with the heightened anxiety and its ‘fun’  accompaniment (insomnia, racing thoughts, negative thoughts and chest pain).

My book got published and while that was amazing and a lifelong dream, it also felt exposing as I revealed a lot about my life that many wouldn’t know. So I felt like hiding away because it felt scary (social anxiety again).

Additionally, I started therapy 7 weeks ago to give me tools to a) understand but b) deal with the underlying anxiety about life and while it is helping (I am doing a type of trauma therapy called EMDR), I think it might be bringing issues I have buried to the surface from past trauma. This could be why I am getting triggered in social situations at present. I have a fear of negative judgement and also of crowds. I am working on this in therapy as I have been through a lot so far in my 31 years on this planet!

This time of year is also not helping me at all- the nights drawing in and the gloomy mornings. I struggle with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and I start feeling lower this time of year. I am well medicated so my depression is mild in comparison to what it gets like when my medication doesn’t work but it is the anxiety I need to work on and expose myself to feared situations slowly.

To my friends, thank you for your kindness and for trying to support me (and coax me out) through this difficult patch again- you know who you are. If anyone wants to come round for a Disney night with chocolate- please do! 

Despite the negatives, there have been some successes in the past few weeks- seeing family, going to the cinema with Rob to see Last Christmas, going to the garden centre with my sister and bro in law, attending my therapy sessions, promoting the book online, job applying (exhausting but I’ve been doing it), speaking to friends regularly and trying to socialise even if I don’t always make it. I am working on that.

Oh and I have been volunteering for Christmas4CAMHS charity- that provide presents for ill children on mental health wards. I have been helping them gain awareness and raise funds via social media. This has been one of the most rewarding things I have managed to do in the past 2 weeks. Thank you Ro for letting me be involved and giving me some purpose to help others.

Social anxiety and depression are hard things to live with, but I know it will pass again in time and to reach for support if I need it. I am already on anti depressants and anti anxiety meds (as well as the therapy), so will have to wait and see what helps. I have an SAD lamp so need to use it when I wake in the mornings. Perhaps I should push myself to go for walks, although I am currently enjoying being a doormouse. If anyone else is struggling, please reach out- we are stronger together.

 

26 thoughts on “Anxiety, Low mood,Winter and Me. By Eleanor

  1. I found my depression gets worse when the days get shorter. For the last month or so, things have been really hard for me. I’m currently unemployed, so I lack structure. I’m trying to job hunt and work on my writing, as well as exercising, but I just want to curl up and sleep so much of the time.

    I was going to try using a SAD lamp, thanks for reminding me to get one!

    Good luck with therapy and coping with anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My strong and beautiful friend. Thank you for sharing this. You are a constant inspiration to me. If you ever need anything I’m just around the corner. Also yes to Disney and chocolates. I can’t think of a better combo (ps I also have Disney trivial pursuit)!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Step by step we can come out of the dark times. I have depression and anxiety as a result of living with chronic illness. When chronic illness flares up, I just want to stay home. But if I do, it makes depression worse. Thank you for being willing to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am struggling Eleanor and feel your pain. The clocks turning back didn’t help and then the anxiety of the HOLIDAYS began. Should I go to the Christmas party?? My head is a maelstrom of negative or sensitive thoughts. I spent a morning in bed trying to counsel myself and I think it worked. I am just retreating back to my cave with occasional outings when I feel up to it. The last few months must have been so exciting and therefore stressful for you. Perhaps now is the time to recuperate with Disney and cozy nights in. K x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. people never see the every day effects there views/judgements are very Snotty Nosed ,i have panic attacts . i am effected by Vomiting ..i have m.e .migraines long list health issues .i take part in a lot lot research
    my blog.http;//mark-kent.webs.com

    twitter,supersnopper

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I recognise much of what you say. I have Bipolar Disorder and the inevitable downs are often seasonal as I’m experiencing at the moment. But also agitation. And fear of going out. I’ve missed so much over the years including my sisters funeral, my nephews funeral and that of an Aunt who lived to be 100. The guilt associated with that is immense. But at the time the fear is all consuming and the feeling of imminent doom is present.

    Well done on becoming published despite your illness. What are your next ‘to dos’?? Mine are pretty dependent on a recent meds change. Keep up the good work

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I identified strongly with your fear and anxiety about going out at this time of year. I had my meds review yesterday (I’m Bipolar) as I usually struggle at this time of year. In my darkest days I’ve missed my sisters funeral and that of an aunt that reached 100.

    Congratulations on becoming published. What do you have remaining on your ‘to do’ list??

    I’m hoping to continue attending support groups as it’s people like us that keep people like us going.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. you are NOT too blame .i have long list health issues i can not do things like i have BOTH bladder
    and bowel problems .you should not feel doom . HOW WOULD OTHER PEOPLE COPE
    any time you would like a chat .i am here
    are you on Linkedin
    my NEXT TO DO . talk be your friend
    mark

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Glad to hear you have supportive friends. I find people who don’t understand can make life quite miserable. That is my experience in dealing with brain injury symptoms. Fortunately the ones who give me grief are few and far between.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. morning .it is here .do you have any of the following …IBS ..migraines .Asthma .

    i have all these list goes on .effect me daily .have Hayfever 12 months year

    the meds i take depend on change LIKE YOURS DO

    mark

    Liked by 1 person

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