Social anxiety

For as long as I can remember, I have found that I struggle in social situations. A lot of people would find this hard to believe; I come across as chatty, outgoing and confident. But the majority of the time this is a mask. 

As you are aware, I have anxiety and depression. But until today, it never really occurred to me how anxious social situations make me. In other words, I suffer with social anxiety. Before today, I hadn’t really thought about my anxiety in this way. 

It was only during my CBT session this morning that I realised how high my anxiety is in regards to social situations. I brought up the issues I discussed in my last post about friends. I always worry before any social situation. Given the choice, I would actively avoid socialising altogether. The anxiety surrounding social situations has such a negative impact on my emotional wellbeing. My anxiety will tell me that I will make a fool of myself, that people don’t like me and will make fun of me/talk about me. I also get anxious in shops or talking on the phone. In my head, I am constantly telling myself what to say in these situations. I will then tell myself off if I feel that something has gone ‘wrong’ in a social situation.

I was shown a similar quote to this during my CBT session this morning:

  
I think this is true about me. I endeavour to make sure everyone else is happy and well. As a result, I end up feeling lonely. The mask I wear makes me appear guarded to my family and friends. It is so ingrained for me to appear on the outside that all is well with me. So is it any wonder that others don’t always check how I am or assume that I am doing ok? 

My mood has still been low. I would go as far as to say that it is probably even lower now. I worry that I am coming across as overly happy to compensate for my low mood. It’s just one worry after another…

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Friends

Does anyone else feel that they don’t really have good friends? I was just looking through my instagram feed and it got me thinking. I couldn’t name a single friend who I could call my ‘best friend’. It has made me feel down. I see loads of people that have a close group of friends or at least a best friend that they can talk to about anything. 

I am even struggling to think of many good friends. It has got me thinking that this is all my own fault. I push people away, I don’t deserve to have friends, my anxiety and depression make me unlikeable. 

Another factor that seems to play a part is that I am teetotal. I made the conscious decision to stop drinking alcohol last April when I was in Australia. I didn’t like what it did to me. It heightened all the negativity in my head and made me feel out of control. 

Call me old, but I never imagined that when I was 30, people would see alcohol as such an important factor when socialising. I have been made to feel boring or not worth inviting out because I am teetotal.

It’s probably just me that feels like this. At least, I hope no one else experiences the isolation and loneliness I regularly feel. I consistently make the effort with people and yet I continue to feel second best with most people. 

I will try and do a proper update soon. It’s been a few weeks since I posted. I’m just feeling quite low at the moment. 

Awards

As I am still ill, I am taking the opportunity to catch up on the awards I have been nominated for over the past few months. 

The Spirit Animal Award

  

Thank you to Tadhg for nominating me for this award. 

Here are the rules:

  • Post the award picture on your blog.
  • Write a short paragraph about yourself and what your blog means to you. 
  • If you could be any animal, what would you be?
  • Pick ten nominees.

A Little About Myself and What My Blog Means to Me

My name is Gemma and I am 30 years old. I live in Wigan which is in the north west of England with my husband Dave and dachshund Walter. I am a carer/support worker for two 13 year olds with special needs and I absolutely love it. When I am not working I enjoy spending time with family and friends, taking Walter for walks, going the gym, reading, watching films and tv series, eating out and listening to rock and metal music. 

My blog means a great deal to me. I started it not long after being diagnosed with anxiety and depresion. At this time, I struggled to accept my mental health issues. My blog lets me express myself and has helped me to see that I am not alone. I never would have thought that because of this blog that I would make friends with some fantastic people. 

If I Were A Spirit Animal, I would Be A…

Dog. They are so loving, caring and playful. They love being around their favourite people and love the simple things in life. 

My Nominations:

Getting Through Anxiety

First Time Valley Mam

The Sound of Ed’s Voice

Musings By Kate

Automated Autism

Vicky Louise

Adopting Jana

Lusuna

The Rabbit Hole

Walking With Anxiety

Siblinghood of the World Bloggers

Thanks again to Tadhg for this award

  
The Rules:

1.) Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog in your post.
2.) Answer the questions that the blogger who nominated you has provided.
3.) Nominate ten other bloggers (or up to 10).
4.) Create ten questions for your nominees, and notify them of their nominations.

My answers:

If you could visit any other historical era and location for one day, where would you pick and why? I always wish that I could have been around when my favourite bands like AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Queen were big in the 70s. 

What is your favourite film? I have far too many favourite films to pick just one. 

What is your favourite inspirational quote? Don’t really have one

Where was the most amazing place you’ve ever been? Definitely Australia!

What has changed in your writing since you began blogging? I think that my writing has become more honest since I began writing. I have noticed I get so much random inspiration for blog posts now as well. 

What was the worst film you’ve seen recently? Ant man. We ended up turning it off!

What inspired you to start blogging? My struggle with anxiety and depression when I was first diagnosed. 

Do you have a song you listen to when you feel down? I have a gym playlist with a lot of angry songs on it. 

Do you think the education system is fine as it is or do you think major changes are needed? I think that children and young people need more practical skills to be taught to them in schools such as budgeting, home management etc. 

What was your favourite movie as a kid? Labyrinth

My Questions:

Do you prefer ebooks or physical books?

Which band/singer do you think are overrated?

What is your favourite biscuit?

Which is your favourite time of the year (e.g.your birthday, Christmas, Halloween etc)?

What film, tv series and book would you recommend for me? 

Who is someone you really admire and why?

What is your ideal type of holiday?

Do you have an accent? If so, what accent and is it strong?

If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose and why?

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be and why?

My Nominations:

Today’s Dose of Sanity

Tirnanogender: A Journey To Androgyny

Vicky Louise

Lusuna

Our Fairytale Adventure

The Bag of Nerves Lady

Chloe Metzger

In Silence We Suffer

We Called Him Lucky

a2eternity
The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to Bag of Nerves Lady and Getting Through Anxiety for nominating me for this award. 

 

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award and include a link to his or her blog.
  • Nominate 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered and/or follow regularly.
  • Nominate and notify those fifteen bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  • List 7 facts about yourself

My Nominations:

In Silence We Suffer

Lusuna

The Rabbit Hole

Mental Illness Talk

Faith Mummy

Extra-Ordinary

All Mouth, No Spoons

Aspie Daddy

23weeksocks

Awesome Audrey Emily

Finding Cooper’s Voice

Vicky Louise

Chloe Metzger

We Called Him Lucky

Tirnanogender: A Journey to Androgyny
7 Facts About Me:

  1. I drive a 2011 grey Vauxhall Astra called Alfie (I let Dom name my car)
  2. I own far too many pyjamas, hoodies and pairs of trainers/converse. I am all about being comfy!
  3. I met one of my good friends at a Lacuna Coil concert. 
  4. I am godmother to her nearly 3 year old son. His name is Flynn 🙂
  5. Our dachshund Walter is named after Walter White from Breaking Bad which is one of our favourite TV series. Originally, Dave and I had always said that if we got a dog we would call him Dexter after the TV series. But, we were so disappointed with how it ended that we completely went off the name. When we went to see Walter and his litter,they were all microchipped and named after different colours. Without knowing until Walter picked us, Walter was the ‘white’ puppy in the litter. It was like it was meant to be. 
  6. I am ridiculously clumsy. I always have bruises on my arms and legs from accidentally walking into something. When I got married, I had genuine concerns I was going to fall when walking down the aisle. 
  7. When I have finished watching a film or tv series I instantly go on IMDB to check out the trivia about it. I also have to go on IMDB if I recognise an actor/actress so that I can know what I recognise them from.




Snow in Spring

Today we woke up to heavy snowfall. It has stuck and continues to fall. So it’s another lazy day in. This gives me another day to try and get better. I’m still not 100% better. I really wanted to keep working but on Tuesday night I was so unwell. I was exhausted and had managed to sleep for only a few hours. I haven’t worked since Tuesday night. I feel so bad on Dom and Faith. But just getting a shower leaves me so drained My cough is still just as annoying but my voice is coming back. My entire face and head constantly hurt. I am full of cold and it is so painful when I blow my nose. I am not getting enough sleep. My cough wakes me up at about 7.30am and then I end up getting up. 

I am the worst when I am ill. But Dave has been looking after me. He has been doing jobs around the house and refusing to let me help as he wants me to rest. Walter has been super cuddly too and comes over when I have a coughing fit. 

I was notified earlier that I now have 500 followers to this blog. This is incredible. Thank you so much to each and every one of you. I appreciate you all reading, liking and commenting on my posts. I am fortunate enough to have made friends as a result of this blog too 🙂

  

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Thanks to the lovely Vicky and Matt for nominating me for this award months ago. 

  
The rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award are simple:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post. 
  • Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you. 
  • Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions to answer. 

My Questions from Vicky:

  1. Favourite song? This can change frequently as I listen to music a lot. 
  2. Favourite film? Again, too many to pick!
  3. Favourite TV series? Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, Orange is the new Black, Battlestar Galactica to name but a few!
  4. Favourite food? Pizza, Chinese, Mexican, Chocolate
  5. Happiest Memory? My wedding day
  6. Cookies or cake? Cake
  7. Favourite Place? Australia
  8. Any bad habits? Pick my nails and I can’t leave spots alone if I get them
  9. What do you miss the most about school? Absolutely nothing. Hated school!
  10. If you could go back and do it (school) all again would you and why? No way! I was bullied throughout school
  11. Favourite book? Harry Potter series, Game of Thrones series

Matt’s questions:

1. Why did you start writing? To help cope with my anxiety and depression

2. Do you have a favourite quote? Not one I can think of

3. What was the last book you read? I am currently reading Terry Pratchett’s discworld series. 

4. If you could go back in time what, if anything, would you do differently?

I don’t think I would change anything. I believe everything happens for a reason. 

5. Where is the first place you would go if you went travelling?

New Zealand

6. Who inspires you?

Dom and Faith

7. If you could have any superpower what would you have?

Flying

8. Which animal would you say you are most like?

I am loyal and caring like a dog. 

9. What is your happiest memory?

My wedding day

10. How would you spend your perfect weekend?

With Dave and Walter out in the sunshine on a nice walk. Going out for food

11. One bit of advice for your younger self? Be kinder to yourself

My Nominations:

Indisposed and Undiagnosed

Getting Through Anxiety

The Sound of Ed’s Voice

Lusuna

Emma Plus Three

Fox in Multicoloured Socks

Automated Autism

The Joy of Five

Nicky’s Day with Autism

Stefan Alex Lay

The Rabbit Hole
My Questions for My Nominations:

  1. Were you named after anyone?
  2. What is your favourite cereal?
  3. Furthest place from home you have been?
  4. What is your favourite board game?
  5. If a film were to be made about your life, which actor/actress would you like to play you?
  6. Who is your favourite chat show host?
  7. Singer/group that are your guilty pleasure?
  8. How do you wake up and start the day?
  9. What is something you have  accomplished that you are most proud of?
  10. If you could speak any other language fluently which one would you pick and why?
  11. Longest relationship you have been in?

Still Going

So I ended up getting an appointment with my GP this morning. I felt awful last night; I was struggling to breathe, my chest and back were hurting and I was bringing up a lot of crap off my chest. 

I have an upper respiratory tract infection. As it is a virus, I can’t take antibiotics for it. All I can do is take paracetamol and a really strong cough syrup type of thing. I have practically no voice and a horrible, painful dry cough. 

As awful as I feel, I am still working. Faith has been a superstar. Her mum has significant health issues. She had a migraine for most of yesterday evening. So if I hadn’t worked yesterday, it would have meant she wouldn’t have been able to sleep. Faith and I had a great evening. She helped me out with little jobs when I was sorting her tea out and we enjoyed playing a number of games of frustration. 

As much as it would be easier to sit on the couch all evening, Faith is really looking forward to going to Guides tonight. Dave is off work from tomorrow until Monday which I am so happy about. Plus, he will be able to help me out around the house with jobs.