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! 😞 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.

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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! 😄

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, I’ve had so much time to think – about my life, dreams and ambitions.

This includes a full career change, which is terrifying – and one which I’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. You’re my digital fam – who else am I going to tell? 😉

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

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

I’ve been interested in Science since I was very young. Biology has always been my best – and favourite subject. When I first went into college after GCSE’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. Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting my daily life, beauty and reviews. But this will likely now be interspersed with fitness foals, progress and dreams. I’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

Sunday Antics and Book Recommendations

Sunday Antics and Book Recommendations

Do you ever get that feeling, when you have SO much to do, and you have guests coming round in just a couple of hours, and you still have to start cooking, and preparing, and cleaning. But instead, you run a bath, with half a bottle of Radox bubbles, your last Lush bath bomb and take time for yourself. You pick up that book, the one you’re just getting into, and sink down into the bubbles, adrift with stories of other lives…. And then you’re three chapters in, look up from your bubbles and think “Oh shit!”. No? Just me? Well that’s awkward then… 😉

Anyway, today, I wanted to speak to you all about a couple of my most recent reads, that I have really enjoyed (or am currently enjoying!). There’s only two in this blog, as I am terrible at remembering titles! And am really struggling to find books I enjoy at the moment. But here goes…

 

Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver

“They say to live every day as though it’s your last – but you never actually think it’s going to be. You always think you’ll have more time.

That’s what I thought. But I was wrong.

The thing is, you don’t get to know when it happens.

You don’t remember to tell your family that you love them or – in my case – remember to say goodbye to them at all.

What if, like me, you could live your last day over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have any regrets? Are there things you’d want to change?”

This book initially appealed to me because of the concept – reliving your life, second chances at your mistakes, and the instant inability to predict the ending. It was a mystery, without so much of the darkness that so many current books possess. Plus, I love Lauren Olivers Delirium series! Whilst reading this, I could barely put it down, and although it was difficult to get into at the beginning (move past it. It’s worth it, I promise), it became something in which I both loved and hated the characters, and took away some important life lessons.

Life Lessons:

  1. Treat people with kindness, always. Even if they don’t reciprocate.
  2. Just because you’re different, doesn’t mean you’re worthless.
  3. Everyone is fighting a battle, even if they don’t show it.
  4. Be thankful.

I feel as though these are really basic life lessons, but ones I constantly forget and need reminding of. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep being kind, to stick to the path you know you should be on and to seek motivation in world that seems like it’s against you. But you have to stick to it.

 

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Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver. An absolutely amazing and inspirational read.

After You – Jojo Moyes

“Lou Clark has lots of questions.

Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, watching other people jet off to new places.

Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home.

Whether her family can ever forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.

And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change/

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for – or just more questions?

Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, sale.

Open it and she risks everything. But Lou once made a promise to life. And if she’s going to keep it, she has to invite them in.”

Now, this book has a very sales-y cover I think. But, I first heard about the prequel to this, through a trailer in the cinema for ‘Me Before You’. And having watched the movie, I felt I really needed to read the books. However, I accidentally forgot I hadn’t read the first book when I picked this one up, and now I’m too hooked to put it down! If you haven’t heard anything about Me Before You, I’ll try not to give too much away. But essentially, Louisa Clark meets Will – a man bound to a wheelchair from an accident, and he changes her perspective on life, love and everything in-between. But not in a superficial cheesy way – in a way that even the reader can take lessons and note from.

I think you’re starting to see a pattern in the kinds of books I like now? If you like this style of book too, I would LOVE to know some recommendations you might have? And what you thought of these two? I really want to sit here and rave about them some more, but it would be cruel to deprive you of some amazing page-turning surprises if you ever pick them up yourself! So, if you would like to know more, leave a comment asking anything and I’ll try my best to answer.

– Megan Grace, xo

Introducing my Weekly Tips Blogs!

Introducing my Weekly Tips Blogs!

Hey! I hope you’re all having an amazing Summer and am SO happy to share that mine has officially began! 😄☀️

Now, whilst I am missing my work wife a fair bit, I’m am so happy to have more time to myself, to focus upon both me and spending more time with Jamie and our little kitten family. Plus, as you may have noticed, I’m currently in the process of re-vamping my entire website. (Celebratory note: pixiifox.wordpress.com has now turned into http://www.pixiifox.com!! 🌟). But, before I did leave work, Hannah (previously mentioned work-wife) gave me a great idea for a new blog series to come back with.

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@pixiifoxblog on Instagram: Summer essentials ☀️ I bought this amazing @benefitcosmetics moisturizing spray a couple of summers ago from @Sephora when I was visiting Athens and got REALLY sunburnt, and now it’s my go-to whenever the slightest burn or redness hits 😁 its perfect for summer as its soothing and quick-healing! Plus, you just can’t beat a powder to set your face and a dash of colour for your lips 💖💄 what’s your summer go-to? Xo

So, during my internship, I’ve been talking to Hannah and talking about a lot of things, which I’ve always assumed everyone knew as second knowledge. I’m talking hair products, what they’re for and what they actually do, hair care, make-up brushes, creating a smoky-eye, where you can save and where you should splash, brands and lots more topics. And it really surprised me that she didn’t know a lot about these things, but I did and it was really fun trying to share some of that knowledge! And teaching her how to do a smoky-eye was an amazing feeling!

The point of this? I thought it would be amazing to share some of these tips with you all! So, once a week, on a Monday morning, I’ll be posting up a new tips blog. This will range from anything to everything beauty related and i’d love to hear some suggestions of what you all would like to see. Alongside this, I’ll still be posting some of the blogs I’ve been busy preparing and mentioned before – but at least this way, there’ll be one blog that’s guaranteed every week!

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below, or send me an e-mail!

– Megan Grace, xo

A big thank you!

A big thank you!

My followers have kind of exploded recently, both on here and Instagram. And I am so, so grateful and excited for each and every one of you. And thank you for following me! My numbers may not be anywhere near so many bloggers, but to think that over 60 people have subscribed here, and around 1’000 on my Instagram is amazing and a really big deal for me. I know there’s not as much new content as I would like at the moment, but I just wanted to take the time to let you know why, and that there is more on the way!

Last month, I ended my placement for my course, and was SO excited to be able to have more time to blog and connect with all you amazing people. However, an amazing internship came up, at this great little start up company, which has been taking up all of my time. But, please know, even though it may take me a little longer to reply to all your comments, both on here and Instagram. And I may not be posting as much, I am reading, loving and feeling so inspired by you all ☺️ I finish my internship around mid-July, and can promise more regular posts then, so please bear with me until and I hope you enjoy the few posts I can do at the moment! I do have a long-haircare routine blog I am currently working on at the moment, and hoping to get up for you all tomorrow 💖💖

A little hope for a lot of happiness.

A little hope for a lot of happiness.

This weekend, I’ve had to do so much housework and I’m actually exhausted. I feel like I need a weekend away from my weekend! But, this morning, I woke up and struck by a little inspiration – decided to do some more unpacking I’d been putting off rather than relaxing in bed (trust me, this was a difficult choice!).

Jamie and I moved in together officially a few months ago. It was a big, trusting step for me and for reasons I’ve always put down to stress, I never completely finished unpacking. But life with him seems so perfect recently, I decided to stop putting it off and get it done. And it was so much fun!

Of course, three months is a long time to go without unpacking. And I’d actually completely forgotten what was inside the bags! I mean, three months is a long time to go without using these things, so they obviously weren’t essential. But, they were amazing and gave me that little sparkly feeling – similar to retail therapy! You know that feeling of getting new, sparkly things to play with – I had three bags worth.

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The stunning scarf I found today – tags still on!

So, what did I find?

Amongst the normal rubbish-y things I got rid off, there were some amazing jewels within these bags. I actually found about 6 tops, a pair of jeans, a scarf and more that all still had tags on. And they are SO cute! I really wish I had a photo of these right now, but they do all need a good wash and iron to tidy them up. I will post a photo of my new clothes haul soon though – promises!

I also found a few cute accessories I’d forgotten I owned, my favourite coat I’d been looking everywhere for and some fun beauty essentials amongst kept memories with Jamie. But, my favourite thing I found? A diary. I’d started this diary on the 29th September of last year, the day before I met Jamie. And there was only one entry (and a quote I’d noted down from Izzy about how brilliant life is). And when I read this entry I felt so proud of myself, and so happy and I actually felt a little teary.

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The diary that made me so, so proud to have stayed positive and not let cruel people influence me!

Now, normally I wouldn’t date think of posting an excerpt from my diary online – but the coincidence here and the timing was just too amazing not to share.

This is what it said:

“Dear Diary,

Is it strange to call you diary? It sounds so… teenage. Then again, is teenage really a bad thing? Less responsibility, more fun and more… magic <3!

So, why am I writing? Loneliness, I guess? I recently got out a bad relationship. It was horrible. You don’t realise just how badly you’ve been manipulated and mentally abused until it’s over.

But I won’t let that ruin my hope and my belief in love; in kindness. I won’t believe in a cold and cruel world. It’s not naivety, it’s a choice. If peacefulness, warmth and kindness aren’t protected, they’ll cease to exist.

x

I wrote this on the 29th September 2016, and the very next day I met Jamie. The kindest, most thoughtful and strengthening man I’ve ever met. And I’ve never felt so strong in myself since I did. I’d like to think this was the universe’s way of confirming what I wrote in a way. In what I was desperately trying to believe and to keep my hope of a happier life after the abuse I’d received within my previous relationship.

I guess I’m posting this here too, not only as a reminder to myself for the next time I’m feeling a little low. But in the hope that maybe, someone might read this and remember that positive thoughts can lead to a happy life.

What inspires you? If you have a similar moment where your positivity has really made an impact in your life, I’d love to hear about it!

– Megan Grace, xo

A little Inspiration

A little Inspiration

WWBWD

Thank god it’s Saturday, right?

I have so many things I want to do this weekend. From the things I need to do, like studying and working, through to the things I want to do, like baking, pampering and sleeping! But, alas, today I’ve woken up a little under the weather (it’s always the way, but not worth dwelling on!).

So I had Gossip Girl on the tv (guilty pleasure!) and, feeling bad about all I had to do, I started wondering:

What would Blair Waldorf do?

And the answer was simple! Give yourself a little pampering and a sweet treat or two with an inspiring movie, Then, pick yourself up and get going on what you need to do.

So now, I’m off to run a bath, read a book and have a little relaxation. Before watching a few woman kick arse on the tv, and picking up my books and assignments. But… maybe the baking will have to wait until tomorrow.

What inspires you when you’re feeling down?

Megan Grace, xoxo