Another Happy 13th Birthday!!!

Happy 13th Birthday to Faith!!! 

Although I have only been working with Faith for four months, she has made huge progress with me. When I first met her, Faith would instantly say, “I can’t do it” when faced with something she found difficult. Now, Faith’s confidence is growing. She wants to do things herself and is incredibly proud when she masters a new skill. 

Because Faith has Down’s Syndrome (and suspected autism) her muscle tone is low and she struggles with coordination. This makes tasks that you and I may take for granted a challenge. Faith is now able to put socks on without any help. She is able to use a knife and fork much more effectively when eating too. 

So a huge Happy Birthday to Faith; a cheeky, funny and loving young lady who continues to help me with my anxiety and depression as much as I strive to help her reach her full potential x


As much as CBT is helping, it is also bringing things to the surface that I am finding hard to deal with. 

During yesterday’s session, we looked at how I can cope with my extreme lows and suicidal thoughts. My therapist asked who I would get in touch with. This was a struggle to answer because I wouldn’t reach out to anyone in particular. Dave is the only one who knows about my suicidal thoughts. That’s a lot of pressure to put on someone. 

It then got me thinking. My friendships seem to consist of me being the shoulder to cry on during times of difficulty. When I meet up with friends it has usually been instigated as a result of a problem my friend is dealing with. I am more than happy to be there for my friends through ny difficult times. But it just seems that when things are going well for them, they don’t make much of an effort. It’s as if my only purpose is to be a listening, sympathetic ear. 

An example of this is a friend who has recently been having a tough time at work. She knows about my anxiety and depression so I understand why she has been opening up to me. We met up for coffee on Friday. She spent the entire time talking about herself and her situation. 

I know how difficult life can be. But even when things have been truly awful for me, I would always make sure to show my friends that I still cared about them. 

I know my friends don’t probably want to make me feel like this. But I feel like they use me. I don’t feel like I have many friends as it is. Surely a friend would want to spend time with me whenever, not just when things aren’t going so well? 

I wish I wasn’t so sensitive…

Random and unexplained

Does anyone else get random, unexplained episodes of anxiety? All of a sudden I am feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. There is no reason I should be feeling anxious. I am currently sat with Dave and Walter watching ‘How I Met Your Mother’ on Netflix. 

I find these bouts of anxiety worse to handle compared to say, feeling anxious about going to a particular place or event. I have strategies that I can try to use to reduce my anxiety when there is a particular trigger. But I feel hopeless right now. I have told Dave that I am feeling really anxious. He got me some chocolate from our treat cupboard in the kitchen 🙂 He’s a good ‘un. 

I have a list on my phone of things that I want to work through with my therapist. I have just added these random episodes of extreme anxiety to my list. 

Anyway, there’s nothing else to add about my anxiety. I would just be going round in circles and it doesn’t help. 

It has snowed here today. We had planned on taking Walter for a big walk. As he has never seen or experienced snow before, we took him for a short walk near our house. He was ok. I expected him to want to go straight back into the house. 

I am going to try my best to relax. I now have a really bad headache and I just want to curl up in bed. 

Walter, work and working out

Walter was fine at the vets on Saturday. He was going up to lots of dogs and people to say human. The vet was pleased with him. His weight is fine and he had his ears cleaned. Walter continues to come to work with me when I am working with Faith (the girl I work with). He loves getting to see Bella and it is lovely seeing them play together. Dave and I took full advantage of a rain free day on Sunday and took Walter to a nearby country park. He had a great time sniffing out all the different smells and meeting some dogs including a 3 year old miniature dachshund called Bella!!!

I am now working more hours with Faith. Her other carer has decided to quit as a result of Faith’s behaviour with her. There have been countless times that Faith has gone into what her Mum and I call ‘shutdown’ with the other carer. This is when Faith ignores and doesn’t respond when spoken to. I now work each morning before school and all the evenings after school except Wednesday. She continues to respond well with me. So much so that she completed two pieces of school work with me last night that she refused to do in school. 

Yesterday I had my first CBT with my new therapist. It went so much better than I anticipated. My therapist is lovely and I feel completely comfortable talking to her. It was an emotional experience as she acknowledged that I had experienced some difficult situations over the last few years. But it was good to feel emotional as I know I am in the right place to deal with the difficulties I experience. 

I am really enjoying the gym at the moment. Currently, I go to the gym five days a week and have the weekend off. It is perfect for me. I am already up early for work anyway and the gym helps me wake up properly. 

Defying Shadows

Things have picked up for me as the week has gone on. It feels as if this week has gone really quickly, which has helped me get back into my usual routine. 

I have managed to go the gym again since Monday night. I did an abs class on Tuesday, Body Sculpt on Thursday and Boxing on Friday. As I was the only person booked on to the Fight Club class, I did a 1:1 boxing session for half an hour. It was thoroughly enjoyable! I did some punching on a punch bag for the first time. I’m tempted to invest in some boxing gloves now for the days when I want to exercise but don’t want to go to a class at the gym. 

I had an appointment with my GP on Thursday morning. It went well. My GP said that I looked a lot better compared to my last few appointments. I have the option of increasing my dosage if I feel it necessary. At the moment, I feel that my medication is helping to keep me on an even level the majority of the time. I don’t need to change it or increase the dosage. 

We took Walter to the vets this morning. His behaviour has changed over Christmas. Normally, he loves seeing other dogs when out on walks. Lately, he has been reluctant to do so and at times actively trying to get away from other dogs. Walter went over to the dogs he saw at the vets and seemed his usual self. The vet was happy with him. She cleaned his ears and checked his weight. It could have been the lack of his usual routine over Christmas that caused the change in his behaviour. Dave and I are going to take him for a big walk tomorrow. We haven’t been able to take him out today. It’s rained virtually all day. 

I am pleased to announce that I am now part of the team that blogs at Defying Shadows. I am looking forward to the opportunity to share my experiences, thoughts and ideas as a member of the Defying Shadows team. 

Happy 1st (blog) Birthday

So I came on here tonight to this lovely notification. I needed this after the past few days. As cliche as it sounds, it’s hard to believe I have been blogging for a year. 

On Sunday night my mood came crashing down. I cried so much my face hurt. My anxiety was in overdrive. I kept jumping to worst case scenarios about everything that was going through my head. 

I managed to get to the gym on Monday night. I thought Bodycombat would help. Unfortunately, as I had been ill between Christmas and New Year, I found the class really difficult. I was having to stop loads as I was struggling to breathe. This didn’t help my mood at all. It was really frustrating. 

I had Little Miss early this morning. My mood wasn’t great as I struggled to get to sleep last night. So I went and did an extreme abs class at 10.30am. It went well and I felt better for doing it. 

I have my first CBT appointment on Monday. This is my referral appointment after having my CBT stopped when I was under the crisis team. I think it has come at the right team given the difficulties I am experiencing. 


Since yesterday I’ve been trying to shake off this uneasiness I am experiencing. It’s really strange. I’m feeling really spaced out and everything is an effort. I feel like I am struggling to catch my breath even though I haven’t done anything strenuous. Today feels worse than yesterday. 

I was hoping to go for a walk with Walter and Dave. But it has rained constantly today. Walter hates being out in the rain. He even hates going the toilet in the rain. I have been ill for a good few days. I’d planned to go the gym a few times imbetween Christmas and New Year. But I was so full of cold, tired, achy and just generally unwell that couldn’t have possibly have gone. Even working with Dom for a few hours on Wednesday wore me out. Dave has had to take Walter for his walks on his own. Today I have finally started to feel better physically. It’s just a shame that my mental health isn’t so great now. 

Dave is back at work tomorrow. I think this is playing a big part in my current emotional state. Dave works long hours Monday to Friday. He has two jobs. Because of this, he doesn’t finish work until 10pm. With me working early mornings three times a week, it means that I don’t really get to see him until the weekend. It has been so nice that Dave has been off work. I guess I got used to it. 

I probably sound weak and pathetic. Lots of people are in similar if not worse situations. But it can be quite lonely for me so I don’t know how Dave does it. He works so hard for us. We are saving towards getting our own house so I know it will be worth it in the end. 

I am back at the gym from tomorrow evening. I am really hoping that it helps me get rid of this uneasiness. 

End of Year Musings

The end of the year normally results in people making resolutions for the year ahead. I’ve never been one to do this. If you want to achieve something, I don’t think you need to resolve to do it at the beginning of the year. 

I do think the end of the year is a good opportunity to reflect on the previous year. As much as I experienced some pretty extreme lows, I want to focus on things I have achieved and the good experiences from 2015.  

So in no particular order:

  • Honeymoon in Australia – being able to spend time in a place I have always wanted to visit was incredible. It was made even more special by Dave’s auntie, uncle and cousins. From taking us to Steve Irwin’s zoo, treating us to a 3 day trip to Sydney and the countless meals out we have some unforgettable memories. 
  • Getting Walter – our amazing little dachshund!!! He has brought so much to my life. My little therapy dog has been a constant companion at  my side since we got him in May. Nothing beats cuddles, walks and playing with Walter. 
  • My 30th birthday/surprise visitor – turning 30 was made extra special by a surprise three week visit from Dave’s cousin from Brisbane. It made me realise that I have some truly amazing people in my life. 
  • Work – Dom has made loads of progress this year. Getting work with Little Miss helped to rebuild my confidence as well as being incredibly rewarding. 
  • Family/Friends – 2015 helped reaffirm to me how I have an amazing family. Dave, my parents and siblings have been so supportive. I have also had quite a few days/evenings filled with laughter with them. I am also lucky to have some fantastic friends who have been understanding and caring when I have told them about my anxiety and depression. 
  • This blog – I started this blog as a way with dealing with my anxiety and depression. I never thought I would be part of such a wonderful and supportive community that has over 400 followers. So thank you to all those who have read, liked and commented on my blog. I appreciate each and every one of you. I talk with some people from here on a regular basis who I consider friends (Vicky and Matt). I’m hoping that this year that Dave, Walter and I get to meet up with Vicky and her partner John. 

Happy New Year!!! I hope 2016 is a great year for you all. I have some potentially exciting blogging news to share with you soon. 

Gemma x