Many people come to me and say ‘I don’t know why I feel like I do or how it started’ well I was pretty much in the dark myself as to why I seem to get worse and not better over the years and why had these feelings had come on in the first place. Well in most cases it is because of a period of worry and stress, there are other causes but in most cases this is the reason why. I receive emails from people bewildered to why they suddenly felt like this, I then ask ‘Have you been under a period of stress recently?’ they reply with, ‘Well my mother has been ill recently, my partner left me 6 months ago, my daughter has just left home and I lost my job a couple of months ago, not until I ask them do they realise the stress they have been under for the last few months, all this stress takes its toll on the body.

What I had was a nervous breakdown. This basically occurs because your body can only take so much.   When you are going through a prolonged period of stress and worry, your body cannot cope so it sort of shuts down.  It has reached breaking point and has said enough is enough. This may lead to feelings of anxiousness, feelings of panic, and the feeling of detachment. It does not matter what the symptoms are, it is your body saying “I can take no more”.  This is where the word breakdown comes in, because that is really all it is. Now all your body is asking for is a rest and time to rejuvenate itself. Do we give it that time? No!  Through no fault of our own, we then worry about these symptoms, worry we are going mad and wonder why we feel so tired and emotionless. This puts more worry and strain on our already tired body and we may begin to feel worse. We tell ourselves we must get a grip of this thing, so we fight it and worry even more. Well I think you can now see why these symptoms persist. This is exactly what I did for all those years while I suffered. In fact I was worrying because I had been ill so long and my days were filled with fighting and worry.

One day I just accepted that, OK, this is me now. I actually understand why I feel like this. I need to give my mind and body a rest. I need to stop trying to make myself feel better and stop worrying about how I feel. So I started to just accept it, not only that, but I also accepted it may take a long time for my body to repair itself. This is exactly what your body needs – ‘A Break’. It did take time for me to feel better and sort of came bit by bit. Sometimes I experienced the worst day I’d had for a long time, but I never let it bother me. I just accepted the good days and the bad ones. What I did notice over time was that my mind became a little clearer.  The odd emotion would return and my anxiety eased a little. This is when I finally realised I was doing things the right way and it all made sense to me. The feeling of strangeness was the hardest to accept, but I became a master at not letting it bother me. So, remember, it does not matter how long it takes to feel better, just start to give your body the well deserved break it so needs and it will take care of itself.

Since I was a kid, I have always been scared of meeting people, and I have been struggling for many years to solve this very uncomfortable condition.

So how to overcome social anxiety disorder?

The Internet helped me a lot. After much searching, I finally found something interesting that definitely made me take a step forward on my situation, hence improving my self-confidence.

Reading the nuggets on http://www.psychologylive.net/blog/finding-cloud9/201308/5-quick-tips-reduce-stress-and-stop-anxiety/

really taught me a lot and compelled me to take action almost immediately.

Also this helped me http://psychcentral.com/lib/9-ways-to-reduce-anxiety-right-here-right-now/00017762/

Last week I was able for the first time to talk in front of 65 persons at my daughter’s birthday party! (I know it may sound sillhappinessy, but for me it was a very important achievement)

I wanted to join a social anxiety disorder support group to share my own success story and to try to improve my results on how to overcome social anxiety and general depression, but because in my city there isn’t one of them, I felt that writing in a forum may be a valid alternative to share my story (that’s therapeutic for me) and I may have the rare opportunity of helping others suffering from the same problem.

Well, how did I achieve this?

It’s impossible to explain everything in this post, but I will write some hints that will help people get the same results as I had.

Relaxation and “living in the present” are the keys, but it’s not as easy as it sounds, at least it wasn’t for me, a good aid was the book, “The power of now” (I forget the name of the author, just google it and you will find it) it’s quite interesting.

Another practice that made miracles for me was “visualization”, I just visualized myself in those situations that frequently causes me to experience social anxiety, visualizing the situation’s ending with a very good outcome.

I am dedicating about 1 hour everyday to this visualization practice, and I can assure you that it really works if you practice it constantly!

I also read another very interesting book, about self improvement and on how to overcome social anxiety disorder.

What’s the story? Countless books promote mindfulness meditation. ‘Just be present’ sounds good, but exactly how do you do that? You try to follow the instructions for ‘relaxing in the moment’, but try too hard and you’re not relaxing at all. In this classic text I read, the writer, who helped introduce mindfulness to the secular West, approaches matters indirectly. Each of his short reflections, interspersed with exercises, is just a glimpse through one face of the multifaceted diamond of mindfulness. Yet, at the end, you get it.

The message: We’re constantly seeking techniques for self-improvement to ease anxiety and depression. But that improved self is always a future self; we’re forever working towards it, rather than getting there. It’s more beneficial to learn to stop. This is simple, but not easy, as we’re all deeply conditioned to do the opposite.

Key quote: ‘It often seems as though we are preoccupied with the past… or with a future that hasn’t arrived yet. We look for someplace else to stand… As a result, we may never quite be where we actually are, never quite touch the fullness of our possibilities.’

Practical lessons I learnt from it:

– Just stop. The simplest meditation technique is just to stop once in a while during the day. Simply sit and become aware of your breathing, without trying to control it. You’ve heard this a million times and always put it off. But what if you did it right now?

– Build in ‘mindfulness reminders’. Choose an activity you perform several times a day

– walking through a doorway or getting into your car – and resolve to bring your attention to the present every time you do it. This combats a paradox of mindfulness: in order to remember to do it, you have to be mindful already.

– Get up earlier. The writer is not recommending sleep-deprivation. But being awake during the hours before others around

Awakening can be magically conducive to mindfulness.

And gently holding yourself to regularly rising earlier is mindful in itself. ‘I don’t want to get up’ is just a thought – you don’t need to let your thoughts push you around.

The downside: All books on spirituality deal with things that are, ultimately, beyond words. The only way to grasp what meditation is really about is to meditate – no book can be a substitute for that.

Why it beats the competition: Mindfulness, in a sense, is boring. The whole point is to counteract the mind’s tendency to flirt around in search of stimulation.

But he meets you halfway. He offers enough intriguing angles and different techniques, to keep even the most distracted reader happy – yet all his paths lead back to mindfulness…

of course all of this MUST be supported by a psychologist to get the proper results.

I took some time to write this post, I hope you got inspired to take immediate action.
that is the key to success in anything. Just starting somewhere like I did.

Cheers

i am in love with little silver. i am really hoping to find her a sweet home, as she is really coming out of her shell.silver
baby hisses at me sometimes, either when i walk over to open the crate, or when i close it. i had tried to hold her the one time, and i think she decided after that, that i’m a big ogre.
i’m going to add a paypal button here. not sure it’ll do any good, but i hope someone has the heart to help. we spend roughly $75 a month on food and litter for these little guys, and we’ve had them since mid-august. (plus, until mid-september, we were also feeding mommy cat.) since we don’t have jobs, and we have three boodles of our own, this has added a definite dent on our monthly resources. since we don’t want to give any of these guys to just anybody, our resources for advertising are fairly limited.
mommy cat went up to Mass., and her adoptive parents haven’t given us any news, so we’re wary of letting these guys go far afield.
i am going to update their bios, and put a better explanation of all of this up here. we will also be updating the gallery in the next few days.

animal control turned up today.
seems a neighbor has complained about the lady next door feeding the cats.
so it’s crunch time.

if we had a house, we’d house them, no problem. we agree on that. let me start at the beginning.

animal control came. lady not home. we were on the doorstep as we’d heard them turn up. so i talked to the girl. as far as the town is concerned, people shouldn’t feed feral cats. they’re looking to take them away. if any of them have fiv or leukaemia, they’ll be put down. if not, they’ll go to a local animal shelter.

but i called a couple of adoption organizations who said all the local shelters are kill shelters right now. the first org. has 9 volunteer foster homes. there are 112 cats in those homes right now. and they have several colonies they maintain outdoors. so you see…our little kittens are standing a very low chance of survival as it stands right now.

we’re sitting here, racking our brains…but we know there’s little we can do. if the lady next door were interested in having them around, that’d be different, but she’s not. plus, the animal control gal told us they don’t like water and food being left around – some bullshit about west nile virus and pests.

i can’t tell you how much i want a house right this minute. i think both of us do. it would be so easy if we had one…so easy.

anyone close enough to me to help?
och – say some prayers for these little mites.

sal has written about the situation we’re dealing with right now.

after we got over being upset at animal control coming over…we were ready to resign ourselves to having to let these babies go…

then we tried to come up with ways of getting them foster care…but found out all the organizations are full – 9 foster-homes in one of them, with 112 cats to go around (and they’ve got dogs as well, of course)…

my sister can’t help…and she’s not in VA anymore – so doesn’t have access to the cat-lady on the farm with over 50 cats.

today, for the first time, we realized they really are still nursing. it’s now clear that there is the grey mother (white paws)….with her three kittens: an all-black, a grey (white paws), and a tabby.

what we have now discovered, is that the kittens like to sleep in the crook of sal’s dad’s outdoor canopy.

today, after i saw the tabby and the black one nursing, they all were up in the canopy (picture there being a cute lump on the side right where the long bars are). they get up there by climbing the fence and jumping over the fir trees.

i saw them out of willow’s window – right above the canopy. i thought these babies were much older than they obviously are. they’re smaller than i thought, (lying prone when nursing makes them look older), and are obviously only a month old or so.

so sal talked to her best friend, who has taken strays in before…

her sister knows some people with a farm who take in cats…and another sister knows of a place in NY state where for a nominal fee, they will house the cats for you.

our vet has already said she will give us a discount if we take them there. sal’s friend has said she’ll help financially – she is a good-hearted cat-lover.

we’ve thought about keeping one kitten – it would probably be the tabby, being as willow’s a semi-tabby herself. not logical, but there ya go.

being that the condo is empty right now, we could house them for the meantime. then they’d get used to people as we’ll be over there working on the place.

we still don’t know what to do with our housing situation. we keep making the “final decision”. i guess that’s for another post…it’s so difficult…drawn out…

i’ll know tomorrow what’s happening with the cats. either we’re going to trap them and sort this out…or we’re going to have to leave it up to animal control. that is something we’re determined not to do, but a lot is riding on the expected phone call.

pray/bless these babies…and hope for the best.

A lot of people who suffer from anxiety experience guilt at the person they feel they have become, like they have failed themselves in some way. This guilt is usually brought on by a feeling that they can no longer do the things they used to, they may find themselves making excuses to go places or to visit people. I myself went through this until I told myself I had nothing to feel guilty about and I was going to waste no more self pity on myself.

It never ceases to amaze me how many different people from different professions can suffer with anxiety and yes I have even had doctors contact me for help. The main thing is to accept that for now you are not the person you once were and feel no guilt about it. Having an understanding partner is also a great help, someone who will not just tell you to “Pull yourself together” I had this support, I told my partner, ‘ you may not understand, but just believe me ‘.

Through my own suffering I felt at times I was playing a role in a film, acting to try to appear normal, other times just trying to hide how I felt. The pressure to keep up this pretence day in day was huge and truly exhausting. So if you see yourself in this way, learn to put yourself first. You cannot keep trying to be the person you once were. You need to stop putting on an act, admit that you are no longer the person you once were and tell yourself that you don’t have to keep this pretence up any longer.

Just to let anyone who reads the blog on a regular basis that I will from time to time keep people updated on what is new on my website . Firstly I have recently added a friendship page where people can meet others, this can be for support or just to build a friendship. The page is pretty new and hopefully will fill up pretty quickly, so if you want to add your details then please feel free.

Something else that will hopefully be coming soon is a anxiety auction page. This will consist of me raising money for charity auctions by way of selling items on ebay and also maybe the odd fundraising day. Details will hopefully appear soon on my site so keep an eye out for that one.

Hopefully soon my website will be getting a facelift, there is just not enough space on there for what I need, so a few extra buttons and maybe a sharper design. The website will be changing on a regular basis, this comes from what people want and comment on, so keep it in your favourites and keep popping back in to see whats new

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