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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,726

    Re: Relapse! Coping, Symptoms and Tips.

    I decided to treat myself to lie-in this morning.

    I used to have duvet days; too many!
    Although I might have felt safe, they are not good for you mentally.
    My therapist's words were that, 'if you want have a lie-in, go to bed early or have an afternoon snooze, that is ok and is on your terms, but if anxiety keeps in you bed for days on end, then it is not good for overcoming anxiety'.
    So I only do this now when it is my choice and a treat.

    Cold today, but it didn't stop from doing a bit of gardening. Yes, you heard right.
    I was taking down a shrub that got smashed by a tree that had fallen in the last storm.
    I always find it strange how I can be outside in 3c temperature, working hard, bending, tugging, lifting, sawing and feel absolutely fine, but I have trouble walking in to the kitchen and bathroom thinking I am going to collapse!

    I'll tell you I was so bad only two months ago, I was sitting on the edge of the bath to brush my teeth, because I was frightened I was going to fall.
    And grabbing hold of every worktop in the kitchen with my legs shaking.
    Peeling potatoes was a nightmare and thought I may have to live on jacket potatoes for the rest of life!
    I'm pleased to say that I have improved since then and I want to keep it that way.
    Could it be that I am focussed and living in the present?
    Yes, I do.
    I think that is why the Mindfulness Course is helping.
    I'm in the meditation stage now, which I already do, but this is a bit different.
    It is all about grounding and keeping focussed.
    Time passing also helps. A great healer and as time goes on, the incident that may have brought you in to this relapse, gets more distant as the days pass.

    You do what you have to do to get through the day when like this and if it means sitting on the edge of the bath until you gain confidence and peeling your veggies in another room, prepping tomorrow's dinner while you feel more grounded, then that's what you have to do.
    But....
    You obviously don't want to be like this for the rest of your life, or even for long periods of time, so we look for cures, therapy, tips to help us.

    Therapists are supportive, but they won't live with you in your home and only give you limited time on a weekly basis.
    That's where this Forum come in to play.
    We google to find help, stumble across NMP and there you find it. Others just like me!
    Hooray, I am not going mad and all of this I am feeling IS Anxiety.

    I have to admit that even with the knowledge I gathered, I found my self doubting what was wrong with me.
    I took the bull by the horns and went to see a neurologist.
    My dad had Parkinsons and I was sure I was going the same way.
    My legs were heavy, shaky, and I seem to resemble my dad's stature in his walking.
    So there I was being put through the mill with standing on one leg, walking with my eyes closed and even backwards, standing on a wobbly mat against a wall with my arms folded. What have I let myself in for. 45 minutes of this and then came the verdict.
    Perfectly normal, nothing wrong with me, just confidence and that it was all Anxiety related. I highly recommend you do this if you are really struggling.
    I almost skipped down the steps of the practice room.

    Then what happens? I start thinking again. What if? And why do I not feel right?
    No, that wasn't enough for me. 3 days after I am struggling again. Not so bad, but my brain keeps confusing me.
    That's why I started the Mindfulness Course.
    I have to admit also, that I need constant reassurance.
    I was never like this years ago.
    I suffered a mini stroke 13 years ago and just got on with my life.
    I lost my baby 15 years ago and was in work the next day.
    So, I am fathomed why I lack confidence now and feel the need to cocoon and protect myself from any danger now.
    My life has certainly taking on a new direction and if I have to adapt to it, then that's what I will have to do.
    Anxiety will NOT win!!!!

    To be continued..........

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,726

    Re: Relapse! Coping, Symptoms and Tips.

    This morning started off bad for me. :(
    I know, it's not what you want to hear.
    The reason I am telling you this, shows exactly how anxiety can affect and react so quickly.
    I woke up with a taste of blood in my mouth.
    So, obviously I panicked, worry set in and I was extremely anxious.
    I go to the bathroom, think I am going to faint and then steady myself, look in the mirror and realise that the blood had come from a tooth that is loose.
    (Which has actually happened before.)
    But, in that time, my body and brain had worked itself in to a frenzy and as a result, Anxiety took over.

    That's how quick it can kick in and I am still calming down and grounding myself.
    If it was not from knowledge of understanding this, well, I would still be in bed now.

    Health Anxiety is just the worst!!!!
    Every little pain, mark, scratch and feeling is over analysed and our poor brain has to digest all this info, clogging it beyond belief and we wonder why we are tired?

    ---------- Post added at 12:54 ---------- Previous post was at 12:45 ----------

    Just cut myself off there before finishing my post.......

    Anyway, as I was saying.

    'Health Anxiety'.

    It's our way of protecting ourselves from harm, but actually we are so over obsessive that we cause Health Anxiety which in turn gives us more symptoms to worry about.
    If you can get this under control, then you are well on your way to recovery.

    How?

    Get checked out for anything you are worried about and believe the answer.
    Stop freaking out about every rash, mark, cut and pimple. They are part of everyday life.
    And stay rational and calm and not freak out about how you are going to die any minute.
    Yes, I know, I had my moment this morning, but as I type I feel more composed.
    As long as you can bring yourself back in to a calm and more rational state, then the anxiety will fade, as will the rash, pimple and mark that you were freaking out about.

    To be continued........

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,726

    Re: Relapse! Coping, Symptoms and Tips.

    Good Morning to Snow!!!

    After hours of the 'media' feeding the fear of the 'Beast from the East', I wake up to find a very pretty scene in my garden.

    Ok, it is an inconvenience with getting from A-B, but we knew it was coming and we have stocked up on bread, milk and potatoes; haven't we?

    It's part of nature and we might as well make the most of it and at least it has giving us some brilliant light which we have been missing in our lives for some time.
    I may even attempt to make a snowman.

    Which brings me to a topic that I felt helped me and also both of my therapists recommended to me to help in my recovery.

    Going back to childhood days and having fun!
    Fun and happiness is good for our brains, which in turn helps massively with anxiety. That's why therapists tell you to go home and draw in a colouring book.
    As we get older we have more and more responsibilities and trauma in our lives and we forget having a fun time.
    Yes, colouring books are fine, but they didn't hold my full attention.
    No, I am talking about doing those things that whole heartedly throws you in to fun and concentration on a massive scale. Like, building a Snowman.
    I don't care how old you are, you need to do stuff like this.
    I am not afraid to say I hug trees and talk to the plants. (Again, its' good enough for The Royals).
    The garden is abundant with so much through the year and at the same time, you are getting exercise and fresh air!
    Build a rockery, do some topiary, grow some veggies, make something out of junk you find in the garden, build a treehouse, ride a bike, turn your shed in to a den, have a picnic lunch; obviously when warmer.

    You can extend this 'play' indoors.
    The first month I was in relapse, I started a 1000 piece jigsaw; never done one before in my life. Why not make a collage out of all you favourite things, write a story, keep a diary, learn an instrument, learn a language, take up juggling.
    All these things will help the brain in more ways than one.

    Our brains get lazy and we end up working on auto pilot and most of everything we do is done from memory. We need to live in the present and feed our brains so we stay living in the present.

    That brings me to another subject...

    Because we are basically living on auto pilot, we need to change our routine slightly.
    Not too much, just little things.
    Maybe sit on a different chair occasionally, have your lunch in a different place, change the time of something we do, change things around in your room, watch something completely different in the TV, wear something we have not worn for ages, eat something we have not had for ages; you get my drift..
    Now, I know this is a problem for people with OCD and it would be like asking them to like climb The Mount Everest, but I am slightly OCD myself. So, for those of you that would struggle with this, you could maybe try things like listening to different music and reading something you wouldn't normally read.
    All of these are just suggestions.
    I am not a Doctor and I am just sharing some of things that have helped me.

    Right, I'm off to make a Snowman!
    To be continued...........

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    377

    Re: Relapse! Coping, Symptoms and Tips.

    Carnation, your posts are amazing! You sound like a different person to the one I remember a year or so ago and it's great to see. You sound so positive, even when you are talking about relapses.
    You have a lot of good advice to offer - I agree especially with trying to get on with your life and taking your anxiety with you. At the beginning it's hard to imagine ever being able to forget it, but every so often there's a moment when you realise you haven't thought about it.
    I, too, still have setbacks but I'm not as scared of them as I used to be, and they do pass. I hold on to that.
    It's also vital to do something for yourself. I go swimming and have taken up some patchwork that I started about 40 years ago (really!). I am determined to finish it and I feel better when I have to concentrate on something enjoyable. The one thing I need to work on now is sleep - menopause has caused havoc with mine and I'm not very good at going to bed early.
    I look forward to your future posts - keep them coming.
    Take care xx
    By the way, have you ever thought of writing a book?

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    1,688

    Re: Relapse! Coping, Symptoms and Tips.

    Good you hear you are finding your inner child , I'll be honest I never really grew up I still can't help winding my daughters up at every opportunity, couple of weeks ago I couldn't sleep one night ( well pretty much every night ) so I'm stood making a drink at 3 am and I see my daughters packed lunch for work , while I'm waiting for the kettle I pop a note in her bag , it read and please don't judge me on this I have issues " There is no easy way to tell you this you are adopted have a nice day " she got it out in front of her manager who read it and nearly burst into tears and said do you want to take the rest of the day off , she had to explain her mental dad was joking , she had hidden the tea bags from me , my hobbies are probably not for everyone
    No stopping you now your creative juices are flowing even the beast from the east can't dampen your spirits , this time next year who knows ?
    Take care

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,726

    Re: Relapse! Coping, Symptoms and Tips.

    23fish Great to hear from you.
    What kind words and how I remember how supportive you were with my mum. So pleased you are still around.
    I've had my struggles, stresses and setbacks since then.
    On a personal note, I had my menopause early. At the age of 40!!!!
    I will talk about tips for sleeping a little later.

    By the way, have you ever thought of writing a book?
    Ha ha, with my spelling errors.

    However, I am working on a children's picture book for fun.

    Buster
    You always have a great story to tell. How come so much happens to you?
    'Beast from the East?'
    My partner is waiting for the 'Breast from the West!'.
    Maybe he is referring to 'Storm Emma' on Friday.

    No snowman for me yesterday. Not enough snow.
    That all changed today. After snowing all through the night, we have a thick blanket of fluffy white snow. I will have to hurry, otherwise 'Bill'; that's the snowman I am about to make, will be blown from the East to somewhere in Canada.

    I had trouble with 'Grounding' myself yesterday and I know the reason why.
    I was wearing wedged boots with the snow and when I eventually took them off, I had trouble feeling the ground with my feet. It was panicking me, because the boots were heavy, I felt like I was floating when I took them off.
    So, sometimes 'Grounding' can be affected by your footwear or walking surface.
    My brain could not compute the change of feeling. So, after some meditation, I felt more normal.

    I am also bothered about a paunch that sits between my chest and legs.
    I've gained a little weight and not had the exercise I would normally have due to the bad weather. (Walking)
    The other reason being either excessive gas or too much mash potato.
    For weeks now I have wind coming out of both ends with a bloated tummy, which is very embarrassing at times. My partner is the same, so I will put it down to many spuds and cake and hope I get walked sooner rather than later.

    Sleep.........

    I was probably one of the World's worst sleepers.
    I would stay up late, then lie awake in bed for ages worrying about everything from work, my pounding heart and whether I was going to die in the night. To finish off the ordeal, I would wake up in a hot sweat and persistently go to the loo several times in the night as well. On average, I would get about 4 hours sleep during the night.
    This got even worse when I had my breakdown.

    I'm now averaging 6-8 hours, fall asleep straight away and with only one trip to the bathroom.

    Firstly I stopped staying up so late and go to bed when I am not at the point of squinty eyed and zombiefied. (Don't think that is a real word, but I like it).
    I have a drink of water and read something very light, like a glossy magazine.
    Then most importantly. Don't try to go to sleep. The more you worry about getting to sleep, the less likely you will be able to.
    Don't watch the News or a thriller before going to bed. Make the last thing you watch be something light or amusing. Whatever you last see will stick with and go to bed with you.
    As for the hot sweats. Well, my bedding wasn't helping me.
    Ditch the poly cotton. Go for 100% cotton.
    Did you know that cotton flannelette is more cooling to the body?
    This includes your nightwear.
    Turn off your heating in your bedroom at night. Set it on a timer or do it manually.
    Obviously not now with minus temperatures, but with more normal temperatures.
    To stop yourself from worrying, keep everything you might need in or on your bedside cabinet.
    Drink, tissues, phone, torch and maybe a sachet of lavender to calm you.
    When in bed and you feel your heart pounding. Place a hand over your heart. This is calming for the heart.
    Give yourself a hand or foot massage before you to bed, which you can find by googling. It totally calms you.
    And don't fret it you feel nothing is working, it will in time.

    to be continued...........

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    70

    Re: Relapse! Coping, Symptoms and Tips.

    Hello Carnation. I am enjoying your posts, they are very amusing and helpful at the same time. Hopefully when this Arctic blast is over, we will see signs of spring and are able to spend more time outdoors. Lets hope it doesn't last long. Take care, and keep up the posts please !!! x

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,726

    Re: Relapse! Coping, Symptoms and Tips.

    Senior Moment, I am pleased you are finding my posts helpful.
    The Spring is not far in sight and the garden will call.
    Keep warm and in the moment.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    740

    Re: Relapse! Coping, Symptoms and Tips.

    Very powerful posts, thanks for sharing. I read somewhere that our bodies are always trying to heal themselves so we should do the basics right to help that process.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,726

    Re: Relapse! Coping, Symptoms and Tips.

    That's absolutely right Hollow. Our bodies will heal. It just takes time and nurturing.

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