Being Kind to Myself: Social Anxiety, Mental Health and Life in Recovery.

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I really wanted to write today because the sun is shining, apple blossom is on the trees and Spring is finally here! I always feel more hopeful and happy once Spring is here but living with bipolar disorder and an anxiety disorder can mean that some days are harder than others.

This week, I have really struggled with low mood and social anxiety. I’m an optimistic person and sometimes I pack too much into my days and end up having a panic attack because I can’t cope. This is what happened to me yesterday when I decided it would be a great idea to pack in too much, including going across London and delivering many Body Shop orders to my customers and friends. My social anxiety was so high (I think largely due to being in lockdown) , I just wanted to hide and I ended up sleeping to escape my feelings and feeling super low. I am lucky that I understand what to do when this happens and I have a husband and family who support me too. I am still in therapy for my panic disorder and it has improved a lot but there are times when it gets triggered like this week.

I have also found that I am worrying more about what people think of me- if I have said the right or wrong thing or upset anyone. Its so silly but due to past rejection I get scared and those fears bubble to the surface.

On Friday, I had a really productive therapy session. There are a lot of worries about the future that I still hold and being able to unpack them in therapy is really useful for me. I am doing EMDR trauma therapy but a lot of it is talking out and facing those triggers one by one. I have a very good relationship with my therapist and having a session often calms my mind.

In positive news, last week I became an aunt to a beautiful baby girl, Cara Harriet who is the sweetest little baby. She is a joy and light in all our lives and I feel so lucky to have a little niece! My sister and brother in law are amazing 🙂

And in other good news, in April, my essay in the Book of Hope by Jonny Benjamin MBE and Britt Pfluger will be published alongside many others I look up to (Dame Kelly Holmes and my friend Hope Virgo). So there are good things as well as bad!

I am doing a lot better- I dont rapid cycle, I havn’t had an episode of mania or hypomania since 2014. My brain seems to like Lithium and Quetaipine (a mood stabiliser and anti psychotic). I have to learn to be kind to myself and practise self care, because my social anxiety is a fear response from the past.

Being kind to myself is of utmost importance. Heres a list of what I do when I am having a bad day: take a nap, have a bubble bath, read a book, hug the guineapigs and Rob, talk to Rob, a friend or family member, put on a face mask, cry, breathe and listen to calming music, watch a good TV show (I have been watching First Dates Teens), book in a therapy session, eat something nice, put some make up on, wash my hair, wear an uplifting perfume.

How are you kind to yourself on your bad days?

Love,

Eleanor x

8 thoughts on “Being Kind to Myself: Social Anxiety, Mental Health and Life in Recovery.

  1. I can completely relate to worrying what people think of me! I often find myself drawing away from everyone when I get like that. They always notice and worry when I do but it doesn’t stop me thinking they secretly hate me!!

    On bad days I tend to let myself wallow in self pity in the morning, and then by lunchtime I feel ready to to get myself up and pampered. I find going for walks really therapeutic, either by myself or with a loved one.

    Pleased to hear you had a good therapy session.

    Sammy x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your list of things you do when having a bad day (esp hugging guineapigs!). I’m glad to hear you’re in a better place now too. Sounds like you’ve learnt a great deal. Self compassion is critical. Not giving yourself too much to do is a tricky one. I struggle with this. I started writing out Get todo lists in the morning – it helps to cultivate gratitude for what I feel I should be doing but also reminds me that it doesn’t matter if I don’t manage to do all of it (which I never do). Wishing you well Eleanor 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i have m.e .migraines .Panic attacts ware i am Vomiting all over.people never see the every day effects .there views/judgements very Snotty Nosed .my blog.http;//mark-kent.webs.com twitter.supersnopper MARK

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Disability is treated like this.how does Noise ANY effect you a lot or great great deal ..i take part in a lot lot Research.Mark

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed reading your post. I’m glad you have a support network to help you as that’s so important. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 last week and will be starting on Lithium as soon as I’m off my antidepressants. I also take quetiapine. I find yoga and going for a long walk in nature really helps me on bad days. I also read fiction a lot as immersing myself in a good book distracts me from anxious feelings and pessimistic thoughts.

    Like

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