The Truth about Living With Anxiety

The Truth about Living With Anxiety

Hi all!

Firstly, how are your Summers going? School is coming back around SO quickly. It feels like I’ve blinked and the Summer is just GONE! ๐Ÿ˜ž But we still have all the memories of the Great British Sun.. right? (By this, I mean the non-existent or completely not ‘sunny’ British Sun we experience!).

Anyway, back to todays blog topic. This is a very difficult one to write for me, and I’m still not 100% I’ll go ahead with posting it, but here goes… I’m writing this because if one other person with anxiety reads this, and knows that what they’re experiencing is the same and they’re not the only one, or if one person recognises anxiety as more than just some throwaway comment, it’s worth it.

So… I suffer from anxiety. I have since I can remember. When I was a teenager, I found it difficult to make friends because I was so shy and nervous. Don’t get me wrong, I did make some amazing friends during my teenage years, and can recall some amazing times. But it wasn’t easy to get there. I would cancel going out because I was too nervous I’d say (or do) the wrong thing. And I would avoid going outside if I could on bad days, because I just couldn’t deal with other people – imagining what they might think if they saw me. Too fat? Wears too much dark clothing? Hair isn’t pretty enough? Face isn’t pretty enough? The list is endless…

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17-year old me. This was taken just after my fitness had been at its peak, and my anxiety was just starting to return again after a cycling accident. You can’t see it, but I was recieving chiropractic treatment for a twisted pelvis, disaligned shoulders and an out-of-place vertabrae around this time.

This was made a lot worse when I was 15. My ‘dad’ had left the country when I was 6/7, but when I was 15, he cut off all contact. I was very close to my ‘dad’, and when this happened, the panic attacks began. I completely withdrew. When I was around people I would be able to keep it just under check, but whenever I was alone, it was as though as the emotions just came to the surface. And one thought kept reverberating in my head “If a parent can’t love me, how could anyone else?” and “Am I broken?”. Sometimes, I still get those thoughts. But then Jamie is there to reassure me that I am lovable, and what happened is not my fault. I think that’s the main thing to remember, if you suffer from anxiety, that the things that happen, are not your fault. You can’t change anything that happens, and you can’t always prevent things.

This actually got better after an assault incident (I won’t get into this now) made me re-evaluate a lot, and I began my fitness journey when I was 16. Until, at 17, a cycling accident occured and I was unable to continue with my fitness whilst receiving treatment, and have struggled since after obtaining another injury through a hiking accident.

Now, with university work, an ankle condition and difficult placements requiring me to work between 6-7 days a week alongside unrealistic targets (never enter the world of marketing. I am just so happy to be out of it!), my anxiety has gotten to the stage where it actually presents itself in physical symptoms, if left unchecked.

Dayinthelifeofanxiety

I found this out when I was at my last internship. I was looking at a computer screen and my vision just went blurry. I couldn’t read anything on the screen and it didn’t go away. My head felt confused, I couldn’t remember things or even recall basic facts about myself. I felt dizzy, and disorientated and it was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. So, I went outside, made a doctors appointment and Jamie came to pick me up from work. (Side note, the doctors asked me my address. Cue a couple of minutes and I still couldn’t make the thoughts form!).

Now, this is the scariest thing to experience. Where you actually believe your body is failing you somehow and it turns out to be all related to your anxiety – which you had thought was getting better! Now, I refuse to take medication for this. I rarely have good experiences with medication. But I am looking to start counselling, to fully treat my anxiety, and hopefully just start to feel better about myself. And to do some things that my anxiety will not allow me to do.

Things my anxiety will not let me do:

  1. Post a full-body photo of myself online. I have posted one, in a changing room where it’s all about angles in a tight space and you can’t see my face. I don’t really count this as letting someone take a full-body photo of myself in my favourite outfits to share it. Which I really want to do!
  2. Go outside. Right now, I’m sat here writing this, instead of going to campus to print something for Jamie. I will do this, I’m just trying to get over the initial ‘I can’t do this’ feeling.
  3. ‘Go with the flow’. I plan things, to a T. The worst case scenario can’t happen if you plan everything that could go wrong. Sometimes I will pretend to ‘go with the flow’, and then pre-plan everything in my head…
  4. Post this… maybe. I’m still not 100% I will actually post this. On the one hand, it would be amazing if it helped someone to understand anxiety just that little bit more, or to help someone who has it to know they’re not alone in it. But, at the same time, this is extremely personal and talking about this is difficult for me to do.
  5. Make videos. I’ve actually filmed about 2 videos for you all, and planned a third. But I cannot bring myself to post them. Either the lighting is bad, or I look too ‘fat’ (yes, anxiety makes these fears worse too!), or I just feel as though I won’t be ‘likeable’ enough within these videos. I mean, when I write, or post pictures on my Instagram, I am literally just being myself. But it’s easier to be yourself in writing and photos without getting too anxious, than it is a video. (I’m working on this.)
  6. Trust. It is so difficult. Almost everyday I get those feelings that my friends don’t really like me, or Jamie will wake up one day and realise that I’m not the right person, or that even my family might not really like me. These are all unfounded fears, which I remind myself of, or speak to Jamie about and he reminds me of. But it doesn’t stop me thinking them.

Now, this list is endless. So I’m not going to continue, but those are just a few of the things that happen to me because of my anxiety, a few of the things that my anxiety will not let me do. Now, best case scenario with this blog is that I find some other people suffering from anxiety, and we can help each other with the journey. And the worst case, is that everyone unsubscribes from my blog (trying not to think of this!). So, in a brutally honest post, on an already brutal Tuesday morning, I just want to give a shoutout to every person suffering from anxiety, or any other mental illness.

You are not alone. You are not broken, and you are amazing. The fact that you live with this, means that you are such a strong and beautiful person already.

Now, I need to try and get dressed to leave this flat. Wish me luck!

– Megan Grace, xo

 

*Note. I decided to post this, after listening to some of Keshas new songs. True strength inspiration.

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Reasons why I want to be a paramedic #1

Reasons why I want to be a paramedic #1

Hola everyone! I am back from holiday with Jamie and feeling completely refreshed! ๐Ÿ˜„

Now, I will be posting lots of holiday bits soon, but first, I really wanted to share something. Well, a series of things really. Being away, gave me a lot of time to relax, de-stress and get back to my core. Without all my normal distractions, Iโ€™ve had so much time to think โ€“ about my life, dreams and ambitions.

This includes a full career change, which is terrifying โ€“ and one which Iโ€™ll be preparing for whilst I finish my current degree (a girl needs to have options, amirite!?), and a lot of emphasis on my health.

Why am I telling you all this?

Mainly for two reasons.

  1. My blog and my Instagram will probably be changing a bit over the next few months. I hope you will all continue to support me as you already do, and feel that I have to share with you the reasons why!
  2. Youโ€™re my digital fam โ€“ who else am I going to tell? ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, I have decided I will start the journey into becoming a paramedic.

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it” – Zig Ziglar

Iโ€™ve been interested in Science since I was very young. Biology has always been my best โ€“ and favourite subject. When I first went into college after GCSEโ€™s I was actually studying with the intent to become a doctor. But love, and life got in the way.

In order to now become a paramedic, I need to improve my physical health, overcome my anxiety and finish my current degree. Donโ€™t worry, Iโ€™ll still be posting my daily life, beauty and reviews. But this will likely now be interspersed with fitness foals, progress and dreams. Iโ€™ll also be sharing some of the things that helped me to make this decision, and things that hindered me along the way.

Much love to each and every one of you, and let the journey begin!

– Megan Grace, xo

The WORST excuse for a diet!

The WORST excuse for a diet!

Hi! It is finally SATURDAY, and it is swelteringly hot. And all I’m dreaming of is trips to the beach and cocktails in the sun… but alas, it’s one of those days that everyone is either working or away. HOWEVER, that does mean I have time to write a blog (and I may have done a sliiight happy dance at the thought ๐Ÿ˜‰). And today’s blog is going to be food/health related, just because of what’s been going on this week.

If you read my last blog, you’ll know I’ve had a few bad health problems recently. I keep getting super dizzy, getting lots of migraines and always feel really bloated and nauseous. Which isn’t the best feeling in normal times, let alone when you’re really busy! Now, I’ve been to the doctors SO many times about this, and this week – they may have actually hit the nail on the head as I’m feeling a lot better now.

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Healthy breakfasts for wonderful days ๐Ÿ’–

The Diagnosis

Apparantly, it’s the constant dieting. Always trying to limit meals, or skip meals, or focus on ‘healthy’ foods. I already try to limit as much processed food as I can, which would usually be great! But it means, my go-to’s are easy to grab things, and I eat a lot more dairy than I used to.

Now, I’ve always had a slight dairy intolerance, but it’s only ever affected my skin. Dairy has always caused me to have massive break-outs, mainly affecting my chin and around my shoulders. But, as I found out this week, it can actually make me feel really ill too! Which means less milk, iced chai lattes and mexican food. BUT my doctor told me that different types of dairy can affect you differently, and I found out I can still eat yoghurt so that’s good at least โ˜บ๏ธ.

The strangest part I found about this appointment, was when I was told I had to eat more. Which is really bad – I usually try not to snack and stick to eating three times a day. And snacking for me terrifies me as I don’t want to just pick up a bag of crisps, or random junk food on a regular basis.

Eating Healthy

After being told all of this, I went on a bit of a mad one, and stocked up on SO MUCH fruit, veg, nuts and seeds and started to focus on more ‘lean’ meat. But somehow, I have still gained 1.5kg in a week! So, I’ve started looking at the diet clubs. Mainly Slimming World, as they say you can eat as much as you want. But, have any of you actually tried it? I mean, I’m pretty sure everyone knows about Slimming World, but it’s just so difficult to know if these things actually work!

I won’t bore you too much with all the foodie details – but you might see some more health-inspired blogs coming your way soon. Please, if you’ve ever tried any of these food clubs, let me know either by e-mail or in the comments below as I’d love to hear some reviews of things that work! And, if by any chance whatsoever, you’ve been feeling how I was before, make sure to check your diet as it’s the last place I would have thought to look!

– Megan Grace, xo

Four weeks to go!

Four weeks to go!

So, I am currently lying in bed, with a headache and still completely exhausted. BUT, it’s just been so long since I’ve been able to write anything and I’ve really missed you all so much, so I thought I’d do a quick blog to let you all know what’s been happening! ๐ŸŒŸ

This week,

I handed in both of my last assignments for my third year of university. This is my placement year, in which I bit off far more than I could chew and really struggled to complete everything! On top of my degree work alongside my placement, I undertook a Level Four Diploma, Microsoft Office Exams, two online courses and my personal hobbies – blogging, instagram and make-up! I do not regret a single part of this year, my placement taught me a lot about the business world, and mainly – what I didn’t want my life to turn into!

In June, I was working full-time at my summer internship. Plus, I had my placement portfolio due and my level-4 diploma coursework due. This combined to over 100 hours work, outside of my normal job, in a month

! ๐Ÿ˜ด On top of this, I re-sprained my ankle quite badly, and have been in and out of the doctors because I keep getting dizzy spells. All in all – it’s quite a hectic summer.

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My favourite selfie, favourite lipstick and on the best weekend ever ๐Ÿ’–

But it’s only four weeks,

Until I’m completely free to focus on the things that really make me happy, on experimenting with my make-up looks, my beauty boxes, learning the piano and speaking to you all about my experiences ๐Ÿ’– As lovely as my internship is, and as much as I do love the company, I genuinely cannot wait to get back to this.

Plus, as much as I’ve not been able to post, please know I’ve actually been saving up SO many blog ideas for you all once I’m back! These include:

  • Potentially the absolute best weekend of my life
  • Tips for maintaining productivity when all you want is to give up and sleep
  • My first ever MAC purchase and review
  • My last ever Birchbox
  • My last ever Roccabox
  • What I’ve learnt about all new beauty boxes – and which look the best!
  • The start of a new diet
  • The best cold-recipes for Summer weather
  • The stationary edit
  • Rose-Gold Make-up

Plus, my absolute favourite, and one I am so, so excited to write – my Mystery Blogger Nomination from Smarts and Sparkles. I actually received this notification when I was up late working on my portfolio, and it actually made me cry – it was that amazing to see! I’ve just looked at it all properly, and I am so, so excited to get to work on this for you all ๐Ÿ’–.

So, please, keep bearing with me – I’ll be back as soon as I can and in four weeks max! Although, without the university work I do hope it’ll be before ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope you’re all having an amazing summer, and I’ll keep trying to catch up with all the amazing and inspirational blogs you’re posting!

– Megan Grace, xo

A little treat with lots of health…

A little treat with lots of health…

Phew! What a busy day. Sundays are bake days like no other!

Last weekend, I was quite lazy and didn’t do my meal prep. Boy, was that a mistake. Every day, I popped across the road and bought a meal deal of a tuna pasta salad, cocktail sausages and a bottle of coke. At the time, this seemed balanced. In hindsight, not so much. This may also explain why this week I’ve felt more sluggish, bloated and tired. So today, I decided to make a new rule again. No more buying fizzy drinks, with the exception of lemonade (only because I never seem to overdrink on lemonade!). No more cocktail sausages, back to my meal prep and no popping to the shops at lunch! Oh, but I am allowed naughty treats… If I make them myself.

So fast forward to today, I baked some delicious Toffee Mocha Muffins as a treat, before cracking down and prepping some delicious lunches for the week. Now, I’m one of the most amateur bakers you’ll come across, and have never used a piping bag, until today. I can honestly say, I currently have the utmost respect for bakers nationwide. Not only did it take some extreme arm strength to mix the frosting, but a fair bit of practising just to do a basic swirl! However, I am proud of the results…

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Anyone that knows me, knows I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what I eat recently. I’ve stopped buying ready meals for dinner, opting to make recipes from Kayla Itsines new book instead. Her Nasi Goreng is amazing! Therefore, having a couple of cheeky muffins today, even if homemade, is a treat. And not to be confused for a healthy lifestyle. So, in order to balance things out a little more, it was time for the dreaded meal prep. Except, this week, it wasn’t so bad! Rather than cooking up elaborate lunches, I deigned to make my own version of the Tuna Pasta Salad!

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Now this looked and smelled so good I just had to have it for dinner tonight too. And it didn’t disappoint! And was actually one of the nicest dinners I’ve had this week. I’ve been having a bad skin week (largely due to overindulging on coca-cola), so really need to boost my intake of skin-friendly foods too. Plus, you really can’t beat the amazing feeling you get from all those friendly nutrients and vitamins, and this meal is packed full of them! But now, I think it’s time for a workout…

Taking healthy living one day at a time,

Megan Grace, xoxo