Question of the day.

What kind of drunk are you?

My answer:

I thought this question was fun, but before I answer it, first of all, I have a bit of a trouble with the word drunk. I guess I don’t know what it exactly means for sure, like whether it is that you’re just under an influence of alcohol strong enough that it changes your behaviour somehow, or that you’ve drunk too much for your body’s criteria and it significantly impairs your cognitive functions and consciousness. I even looked it up in a dictionary but it looks like it could be both… So, well, if it’s the latter, I’ve never been drunk. I’m too much of a control freak, emetophobic, and I don’t know what else, to do that. If it’s more like the first, it depends really, how much, with whom, where etc. I really like the comfort of being in control of myself and whatever I’m doing, so even if I’m drinking I’m not letting it go too easily. Another thing is also that alcohol tends to make me anxious. It can help me relax for a while so I used to have a drink or two as an anti-anxiety remedy but after a while I’m often more anxious than I was before that. That doesn’t help in social situations. But if I’m not anxious, or not yet anxious, I tend to be more chatty and expressive than I normally am, especially if in a favourable environment. Sometimes I get a bit hyperactive both physically and mentally. My thinking gets completely messed up in terms of the language and gets completely multilingual like I have all my language thrown into one sentence and sometimes I don’t even realise that I think in all of them. Multilinguality of thoughts is not a novelty for me anymore, especially since I’ve been blogging in English etc. but when I’m tipsy there’s a real chaos and it had happened a few times that I talked like that too before I realised it. πŸ˜€ It also happens wen I’m very tired that I think in all languages at once and if I were thinking more coherently then, it would be real fun to observe it more closely, but I rarely think about it when it happens. I laugh very easily and at everything, however although I’m a depressive person overall I do tend to laugh a lot when I’m my normal sober self as well. At the beginning after I drink, I often feel like I’m actually more witty and very bright and perceptive, but that’s of course short-lasting. As many of you may know, I have balance and coordination problems and they get worse quickly after I drink even a bit of alcohol, so even when I’m doing fairly well cognitively I might be already barely able to stand/walk straight and am really clumsy and disoriented and dizzy and hating it and regretful that I was drinking at all. On a more negative note, besides the anxiety which can be real real yuck after I’ve drunk something with alcohol, I feel messed up emotionally overall, feeling a lot of stuff at once and like I’m close to one of those emotional overloads that I sometimes have, it can trigger it from what I’ve noticed and a couple times I ended up cutting myself after drinking, I also often feel very panicky, both straight after drinking and the next day as well. I normally don’t have a tendency to have full blown panic attacks even though I’m an anxious person with lots of kinds of anxiety, but after a drink I feel very close to it. I often feel some sensor oversensitivity and like everything is so intense – stimuli, feelings, people’s reactions – which if you’re in a social situation is incredibly uncomfortable. I’ve noticed that even my synaesthesia sometimes becomes more intense and my perception related to it kind of clearer, but not quite as much as when I was using Doses (sound drugs) as a teen, that was really intense, and this is actually a very cool thing as my synaesthesia is a cool thing. Sometimes I feel a bit foggy which I always hate. And OMG sleep! I always have some sort of a problem with sleep afterwards. I often feel very sleepy at some point and sometimes I get a couple hours of nice heavy sleep, but then I wake up and can’t fall asleep at all and am very anxious. Or I have sleep paralysis.

So, as you can see, a lot of quite bad stuff. And that’s why, although theoretically I do like a drink once in a while, a few months ago I decided that I’m not going to drink alcohol, even if it tastes good, like my favourite Jack Daniels, it’s not really enjoyable with all that mess. I suppose I might have some sort of alcohol hypersensitivity or something actually which my Mum also seems to have. We both tend to have very very bad hangover even after just a little of it, we both often feel nauseous after drinking and have sleep problems.

A bit off topic, but what’s worse in my opinion than the thing with alcohol, is that recently I also figured out a sad truth that my big life-saver – coffee – doesn’t seem to help my mental health either. I love the taste of coffee, but the thing is also that I have low blood pressure most of the time so often feel like without energy especially in mornings, so coffee helps at least a bit with that. I usually drink one cup of very strong black coffee in the morning, but recently I had a break from that for a couple of days and realised after some time that I’m actually much less anxious in the mornings than I usually am at this time of day, and my mind isn’t as racing and I’m less jittery. And when I started drinking coffee again, it all came back, but I didn’t make the connection until I saw a YouTube video of a Polish mental health and wellness vlogger where she was talking about how coffee impacts how she feels especially anxiety wise, it was then that something clicked in my mind and I had a break from coffee again, then came back to it and saw it clearly that I’m more anxious after coffee. Weird that I didn’t see it earlier, but maybe I just didn’t want to, that’s very possible, I really love my coffee and even now as I know that she doesn’t like me as much as I like her, I still drink coffee once in a while, but try to do it rarely. I must admit I’m a bit disappointed with that and haven’t yet found anything as effective as coffee to help boost my energy, even though coffee was just a half-measure too, but other things I’ve tried don’t work for me at all, while real strong Coffee with a capital C does something at least.

So, what kind of drunk are you? If you have mental health difficulties, does it interfere with them in any way? πŸ™‚

Advertisements

Question of the day (17th April).

Hi hi hi people. πŸ™‚

I hope you’re having a wonderful Easter. πŸ™‚ Let’s start with our overdue questions of the day, shall we? I might not manage to catch up on them all today as I’ve been up for ages and it’s late now so I’ll be soon going to sleep but maybe we can do the few of them. πŸ™‚

A bit of a philosophical one now, which I find very difficult, especially at the moment, even thought about changing it but decided that it can be interesting anyway so here goes.

Who do you think you are?

My answer:

That’s very difficult one for me. I think for all of us it can be difficult to figure it out, more or less. Recently, I guess I’ve been having a bit of an identity crisis, not a rare thing at my age I guess or any age when some things are changing for you. Although my identity was always a complex topic for me. First, because I am a complicated person and don’t even really fully get myself, I often feel very confused about things regarding myself even though I am a fairly introspective person and theoretically have a lot of knowledge about myself and other people around me, or so I guess. I know well what I like, what I dislike, I know what I feel most of the time unless I’m overloaded, yet most of the time I don’t feel like I truly know who I am. Other people don’t get me either because well how can they if I can’t figure out things myself, and most of those that I’m relatively close with seem to agree with me that I am pretty weird and complex, be it positive or negative, depends really, or as my Mum once put it very interestingly: “I guess God was trying out some new type of clay when He was making your brain”. πŸ˜€ In a way that sounds brutal, and explains why I feel inadequate a lot of the time or some other alien syndrome stuff, even though Mum meant it as something positive because she thinks I’m “remarkable” and somehow very outstanding etc. but in a way I indeed do like my different brain and, although I generally don’t like myself, I guess I wouldn’t change my quirkiness andcomplexity if I had a choice, or not much of it, perhaps just the more troublesome stuff. That’s also why, even though I am not autistic or anything like that that I’d know of, in some way I relate to that whole neurodiversity thing even though I’m not sure if I even can hahaha but that really speaks to me and explains the way I feel about myself, because I seem to think in a different way than most people do, and perceive things differently (in which also my blindness plays a huge role obviously so that changes a lot of things too and I wonder whether blindness itself, plus that other stuff like synaesthesia for example that I have, doesn’t make you neurodivergent in a way). As those of you who have stuck around here for some time probably already know, one of the mental illnesses I have is AVPD which stands for avoidant personality disorder, which also adds to the mess regarding my identity, as it makes me feel inadequate as well as having low self-esteem, bordering on self-loathing a lot of the time especially if I’m very depressed or something like that, even though I feel like with a change of environment and help of other people I’m already in a much better place than I was say 3-4 years ago or earlier. That prevents me, I suppose, from having a clearly objective and rational idea about who I am, even though I like to be objective about things as much as I can so I do try to be. There are things that I do like about myself more or less, and my self-esteem shifts slightly, as I guess it does for everyone, depending on what is going on and my mood and anxiety levels and some other things, but from what I can observe in other people, I have an impression that even what for me is feeling good/neutral with and about myself is different from how it is for others, ’cause I always have that Maggie the Inner Critic (you know I call her Maggie don’t you? I guess I wrote about it one day but can’t remember for sure, so, in any case, my inner critic’s English name is Maggie πŸ˜€ ) very active in the background. So if I’m feeling neutral/good about myself, for me it means that I’m not hating myself or am able to be more kind for myself in a more genuine way, or at least can pretend to be self-caring a bit more than it’s necessary to survive and appear normal and not too scary for other people to be around. πŸ˜€ If I do something real great I can be proud of myself, like recently I was all ecstatic because I finished my Welsh course, and since I can develop my languages I am feeling much better with myself, but Maggie is still there and even when I’m all happy with myself she won’t let me forget about herself, or will jump at me after a while. I hope it all makes some sense for you, I don’t really know how to explain my brain to someone else so that they can get it. I know I’m sort of walking around this topic all the time now and not really answering the question but I want you to see how it is for me. I guess that there are so many things that I think I am, some even quite contrary, and a lot of them shitty, and I’m still figuring it out and am not sure if I ever will, I guess lots of people don’t ever come to that point in their lives where they know who they are and have some clear idea about it even if they are less of a mess than me hahaha, I’m not even sure if it’s really so necessary to know that, anyway it’s a difficult topic. Also, if I was to tell you who I think I am, it wouldn’t look too appealing at the moment. I’ve had some yucky depressive mood lurking somewhere in the back of my brain for a couple of days and have been feeling it coming, guess without any specific external factor, and today, although I’ve had a very nice day, I’m feeling rather low and not getting along with my brain, so I don’t think you’d like to hear what I’m thinking at the moment. πŸ™ƒ I guess when you’re depressed you can’t be too happy with yourself anyway, AVPD or no AVPD. I’ll tell you what I think after I finish my advanced Welsh course that I’m doing right now, and will move on to Cornish, OK? πŸ˜‰ I actually rarely talk about such stuff with people because, well, that’s a very sensitive and a rather vulnerable topic, and I never talk about it in details because honestly I feel like many people could perceive it as not only overwhelming, but also attention-seeking, you know, like I want them to deny it and say that it’s not true what I think, some people are like that, that they self-deprecate in front of others just to hear how great they are. I don’t want to be like that because that would make me feel even more shitty. I just wanted to show you a little bit about what it’s like for me, as me and as a person with mental illnesses, and if you have a mental illness yourself I’m curious whether it has also impacted your self-image.

So, who do you think you are? Is it easy/possible for you to define it and if you have a mental illness how does it affect your self-image? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (1st April).

What’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for you?

My answer:

Hm, there were lots of very nice things that people have done for me… I don’t know whether nice is an appropriate word for that, it sounds a bit like an understatement, but one particular thing comes to my mind right now. When I left the school for the blind at the age of 17 which was quite a sudden thing, I was sure that I’m not going there again, but since I was still a minor I had to go to school somewhere, which was hard not only because of my blindness and lack of preparation of mainstream teachers for teaching blind students here, but also because of my additional difficulties, at that time especially emotional which were quite significant, so, honestly, there weren’t many other options, if any, and it looked like I’d have to either come back there anyway or take a risk and just wait until I’ll be 18 when I won’t have to go to school anymore. Because of my awful depression at that time and my brain being a mess, as well as that would be just practically easier for everyone, I got an opinion from the psychiatrist that I need individual education at least for the time being until I’ll be doing some higher education. But yeah my Mum and me had a real trouble finding an actual school that would be willing to accept me and that would be doable for me. After weeks of fruitless looking around and research my Mum went to some meeting for parents in my brother’s school, and after that, completely out of the blue, my brother’s class teacher asked Mum how is her eldest daughter doing. Maybe it wouldn’t be that strange but actually Mum could have sworn that she had never told him anything about me or even my existence, quite unlikely that Olek would do it, so it felt a bit like paranormal. πŸ˜€ So Mum told him everything about my situation, and he was the sort of guy who was full of enthusiasm, to the point that he was slightly naive, and when Mum told him everything he dragged her to the headmaster’s office and told her that he’ll certainly agree for me to go to their school as well, especially that, if not my blindness, that would be my sort of default school because it’s nearest in the area so would I choose them they’d have a duty to approve me. And, indeed, with a lot of help from Olek’s teacher (who ended up being my teacher too because although I’mtwo years older than him, I was two years behind with school stuff) and willingness from the headmaster, who unfortunately got fired before I even started going there because of some nasty drama or intrigue or whatever that was going on there and in which he got unfortunately involved in, I started going to Olek’s school. I was in the same class as him although I had individual education just twice a week so only interacted with his class occasionally. I was lucky because despite a rather low educational level and complete lack of knowledge about people with disabilities in that school, my previous school’s educational level was high, and the year when I changed schools was the year when I had exams before choosing further education, so it was a lot of rush, but I had a lot of knowledge from previous years so it went very smoothly, especially that I was doing much better in individual education than I earlier did in class and finished the year with great results, better than ever before. And despite those exams being ahead of me I completely didn’t feel any pressure or even much stress, I was just very laid back and didn’t have to care too much. Because of individual education, I had a more sort of personal contact with teachers, they knew me well and I knew them, one teacher was fascinated by my fascination with Vreeswijk so in the last months of school when we had practically all the syllabus done I read my translations of his poems to her. As I said, people didn’t have the slightest idea about blindness and possibilities that blind people might have, so I experienced some rather condescending attitudes from them and I could see that they were absolutely gobsmacked that I could even write, and the same teacher who would a few months later be delighted with my Vreeswijk’s translations, was close to passing out at my first day of school when she learnt that she’ll be teaching a blind student, while the art teacher gave me an A just because I knew who Leonardo DaVinci was (while my brother who did a whole presentation as it was required of the rest only got an equivalent of a C), but because other than that they were nice to me, and because I was and still am incredibly grateful to them, I could distance myself from it and not take it personally or something. I think in my whole education it was the happiest year for me in many regards, and I regretted that I didn’t know it could be like that some two years before I changed schools, so I could go there earlier. Though I’m glad I didn’t go only there, because if I did, I would probably not learn much of neither academical knowledge (Olek’s classmates didn’t know in which country Finnish is spoken 😱 ), nor any other skills, so I guess all experiences we have are for a reason. I really don’t know though where I could be now if not that Olek’s teacher, I’m not sure I would even like to know as that certainly wouldn’t be the nicest place unless some other miracle would happen. He was an utterly weird guy, the kind that people always make fun of, and they did, like all the time, but at the same time he really cared about people. So yeah, that would be probably the nicest thing.

How about you? πŸ™‚

My inner phobias…

When I started this blog over a year ago, and wondered what it should be like, also what I should be like in relation to my readers, one of the things I thought should be particularly important to me was responsiveness. And it still is very important to me. I appreciate it a lot in others too and I think it’s an important part of communication, and also if you want to have a natural-looking blog that will appeal to people, I think it’s good to be in touch with them. Take an interest in them, who they are, what they are like, what is interesting to them, etc. and be possibly approachable. One of the purposes of my blogging is that I want to express myself – I have a diary for this, because I feel I can express myself so much better in writing than speaking, and I can be far more open in my diary, but I felt the need to connect with people as well. – So another big reason for my blogging was to find some people that I could relate to, or who could relate to me, with whom we’d think similarly or like similar things, just be like-minded in any way. So I thought that although my blog would be primarily for me, my readers’ opinions and suggestions should also be important to me. And I stick to it, or think so anyway. I try to engage with people and also help when and if I can in any way.

Last month I was going through my stats, including the often very quirky phrases that people search for and come across my blog as a result. While as most of you probably know most of those search terms are unknown, sometimes you can make interesting conclusions out of them and see what people are looking for on your blog, and some time ago I’ve got an idea that to be more accomodating for my visitors, I can look at those things they look for, and if I think they weren’t able to find the answer on my blog, but I could help with it, I could write a post about it, so that in case they search for it again and stumble upon my blog, they can find something relevant. So far I haven’t checked that very regularly , but from what I’ve seen so far I think in most cases people could find on my blog what they were looking for. Last month though, one of the searches that led someone to my blog was “my inner phobia”. Very interesting, don’t you think?

At first it got me rather amused and thinking what other kind of phobia you can have, other than inner. Are there any outer/external phobias? ANd if so, what could be the difference between them? Or is an inner phobia something you simply don’t share with others, don’t expres verbally? Or something that doesn’t manifest outside of a person’s brain and no one can see it? Well I guess my Mum must be right that I philosophise too much. πŸ˜€

I don’t know what that person meant, other than that probably they’ve been struggling with some kind of a phobia themselves, but it inspired me to write a post about my (inner or not) phobias. Don’t know what kind of help it can be to anyone but maybe at least you can realise that you’re not alone if you’re going through something similar. And I’ve been thinking about it earlier too, to write the list of all my anxieties, fears and phobias, or anything that triggers anxiety of any kind for me. Anxiety of different kinds has been a very present part of my life as long as I can remember, and has many forms, as you’ll be able to see. This post was quite challenging for me to write, because I had to open up if I wanted you to understand it a bit, I wanted to be honest but also not too negative and overwhelming, as much as you can be not negative talking about anxiety. πŸ˜€ and hopefully it might be of some help for someone, or you can just see how freaky I am. πŸ˜€

The list is extensive, but written spontaneously, mostly in no specific order, so probably not fully complete. It’s not just a plain list but I want to also clarify it somehow for you what it’s like for me so you can have an idea. I included both the more general and specific ones, more and less intense, some are very bothering, some just more like quirks or something.

  • Β Β  People. By fear of people I mean mostly social anxiety. Socialising, small talking, all the social dynamics, crowds, interacting with a large group of people, initiating contacts with people, strangers. My social anxiety is very weird and sometimes it can even show up when I’m with people I know well, while on other times I may not be too anxious with a person I barely know. It’s usually humming somewhere in the background whenever I’m interacting with anyone though, just with very variable intensity.
  • Vomit. Anything to do with vomiting. Emetophobia is my most crippling specific phobia even though I’ve made huge progress with it over the last couple of years. I remember always being very sensitive and fearful about that but it got particularly bad very suddenly some 8-9 years ago, where just eating anything was dreadful and scary for me, or seeing people eating. I was quite good at hiding it but one of the staff at the boarding school was actually very suspicious that I had an eating disorder like anorexia or something, though I’ve never had problems of that nature with food, it just probably looked very much like that. Now food is not so much of a problem for me anymore, but is still to some degree, and there are things that i won’t ever eat, even if I like them in theory, because something bad happened either to me or someone in my surroundings after eating it. I am afraid of vomiting, feeling like it, other people doing it or feeling like it, people being sick, doesn’t matter contagiously or not, poisonous/expired food, graphic descriptions of people throwing up, the sounds, even similar sounds like choking, substances that are of a similar consistence, travelling, medicines, alcohol, migraines (even though it has NEVER happened to me that I’d vomit during a migraine), other conditions that might involve vomiting, even having things other than food in my mouth, like when I was going to the orthodontist on a regular basis as a kid it used to be very triggering, and I can’t stand even the simple medical throat examination with a spatula, I have to have it without it, otherwise it’s no go. It was even hard for me as a kid with brushing my teeth and while now it’s not as dreadful I still really dislike it. It’s not really because I am afraid that I can vomit while I have something in my mouth, or that it happens to me so easily, but it just makes me feel sick and anxious and I hate the sensation of having something in my mouth. Hell! even the words describing vomit sound scary! English vomit is probably the lightest, I don’t know why they have to sound so graphic or is it just me perceiving them this way. I particularly hate Swedish krΓ€kas, so disgusting. Lots of things can trigger it. It really depends on how I am feeling overall I guess what and when will trigger this fear for me, sometimes it can be just a brief not graphic mention of it and sometimes I can cope with it much better and even read a book with someone vomiting in it if it’s not too detailed. As I mentioned in some of my previous posts, whether it is because of my extreme cautiousness, sheer luck or that my anxiety is so extreme, it actually happens to me extremely rarely that I vomit.
  • Feeling dizzy. A closely related one, it’s a sort of fear that makes a vicious cycle for me. I have balance issues so it happens to me that I’m dizzy probably more often than to an average person, usually have low blood pressure and other such, and I believe in some circumstances blindness can also make you feel dizzy more easily than when you can see. It always makes me feel very insecure and out of control because my spatial orientation gets even worse than normally which makes me feel disoriented, as dizziness always does, also I’m afraid of falling or something dangerous happening as a result of my dizziness. Then also dizziness brings a risk of vomiting too. And the vicious circle is that dizziness is actually one of my physical symptom of anxiety, like when it gets very intense I’m usually feeling dizzy. And the more dizzy I am, the more anxious I am, and vice versa, which makes me freak out. Also heights and very big, open spaces make me feel dizzy so I’m afraid of them. I can be very anxious of travelling because of that, especially if the roads are bumpy or someone is driving very fast, amusement parks and such make me freak out, even seeing people swinging, on carousels, even just sliding, or rather hearing them doing it, especially if they’re talking at the same time so I know that their location is changing all the time, it also makes me dizzy.
  • Future. A less tangible thing. I’m anxious and worried about my own future, as well as more generally, just what will happen to the world, particular people… It’s not something that I think about like all the time but I have times when I really can’t stop overthinking on it and it’s crazy. I guess I take it after my grandma. πŸ˜€
  • Old age. I’m simply anxious about becoming old and what it will be like, I think it must be scary. Ideally I wouldn’t like to live longer than 45-50 years. Usually people freak out when they hear me say this and suppose that I am suicidal and going to kill myself by then, no, I’m not, and I doubt I will, that’s just how I feel, I simply don’t share the enthusiasm/desperation for longevity that is so common now. Maybe my way of seeing this will change with time though, who knows.
  • My brain not functioning properly. That’s a bit of my obsession. I’ve heard even from my last therapist that my intellect is my strongest weapon and defensivee mechanism which I use to protect myself and my vulnerability. And yes I think it’s very true. My intelligence is one of few good things that I don’t doubt I have and that I usually do like about myself somewhat, I guess I might be a little bit vain about it sometimes despite that overall my self-esteem is low. And my intelligence has helped me to cope with lots of different things and survive different circumstances, well it’s always more useful to be intelligent than not to be right? Also most of my passions are of more or less intellectual nature and often require at least some learning, so I really really want my brain to be as fit as possible. And I can do a lot to ensure that will never change. I think I can say I have a sort of phobia for all those neurodegenerative diseases, they scare the shit out of me, even though rationally I don’t think I need to worry a lot about that, if not because of my languages and all the food that is good for the brain that I eat then because there haven’t been anyone in my family that we’d know of so far struggling with stuff like that. I tend to be very scatterbrained in some circumstances though, and my memory seems to work a bit differently from most people I know because I tend to remember things they usually don’t or easily forget things that they do remember, sometimes such that are actually quite important, which sometimes make me seriously wonder what’s wrong with my brain, though I suppose I just have to have different ways of doing things, apparently I have some minor difficulties with some of the executive functions or so said some of the people more or less knowledgeable in psychology/educationΒ  that I’ve met. And there are also my almost non existent math skills hahaha, though I don’t really care about those now as I don’t have to care.
  • Being vulnerable and showing it to others, talking about feelings. Sooo awkward.
  • Being a burden for others. There is one side of me that is very dependent on other people, mainly because I have to and need to because of my disability and various other difficulties however they should be called, which simply make me need a lot of help or at least support from other people with a lot of things. THe other side of me though is very individualistic and doesn’t like to ask people for help or needing it, and generally needing anything from others and making them focused on myself. That can cause quite a lot of chaos, for me, but also in a way to my family too.
  • Anything that reminds me of the time when I was recovering from my Achilles tendons surgery as a kid. It was a very sudden and unexpected experience for me, despite I knew it would happen, but when it did I wasn’t at all prepared to what it would be like, and it was generally incredibly hard for me and I still haven’t fully recovered from how scary that experience was for me, or processed it well. My legs were all in plasters for six weeks then and I was bed-bound and mostly alone, and then had to learn to walk all over again and such, which together with other circumstances was rather devastating on my mental wellbeing. Our Zofijka has very fragile bones and she had broken a few of them, and that was always very unsettling for me, I couldn’t even touch her plaster without feeling dread.
  • Institutions like schools or hospitals and such, that are aimed to help people and often do, but can make things worse for people as well. Can’t say that I have a full blown phobia around that, but I’ve been through a fair bit with different institutions, not always good things, and it has surely impacted my brain and the way I look at them, so I avoid them now if only I can.
  • Authoritarian, overly self-assured, egocentrical, obstinate and meddlesome kind of people who know best what’s best for everyone and always tell them what they should do, and have an aggressive way of being, sometimes unintentionally I guess. Well I doubt anyone could like such individuals, but I know a couple of such people and they are all terrifying!
  • Clinginess. I mean, I hate it when people cling to me like want constant attention, constantly being with them, helping them or doing something for them, invading my privacy, you know, I don’t know how to deal with it and feel disoriented, and because of this, I avoid being clingy myself and I often feel like I am in some way that might be annoying for someone. So I’d rather prefer to seem detached or uninterested than clingy, as it’s one of the traits in people that I dislike the most. I can’t judge it objectively if I am clingy or not, but I know that sometimes I can strongly attach to people, like them a lot, think about them a lot, want to be a lot with them, and if that happens, to me with someone, it can be a dilemma.
  • Rejection. Well I have the diagnosis of AVPD so that would be easy to deduce. I think my fear of being clingy is related to it. It’s not like I really desperately want everyone to accept me like for all means, like that I would be afraid to for example say my opinion on something in fear that someone might think differently and thus they will dislike me, or I don’t go frantically in search for people who will like me and then do everything to keep them, and I think I can hide well my AVPD issues in everyday life, to some extent of course. It’s more like that I often don’t let myself to be close enough to them so that they can’t reject me, or I don’t let them close enough to me even though I would like to, but am too scared. When I am close with someone, friends or something, and they are important to me, I tend to test people subtly, so that they wouldn’t be aware of it, or so I hope, well OK even I wasn’t fully aware of it before I started to explore that whole AVPD thing and the way my close relationships look like, I must say I feel very weird with this since I know it, testing people sounds scary, doesn’t it? πŸ˜€ I guess sometimes I do it almost involuntarily, though I don’t know if it justifies me. I just feel I have to do it though, to find out if they are able to accept me, what’s their opinion about me and relation to me really like, even if it means that I’ll make them reject me sooner because of that than if it happened later on, as it makes me feel more in control of things. Otherwise I’m afraid that they will reject me suddenly before I either manage to escape or make them do it myself. Ugh it’s hard to describe and sounds freaky, I don’t really know how to talk about it.
  • Criticism. I think I generally have distance to myself, often use autoirony and self-deprecating humour. I can take constructive criticism now, or so I think, I often een ask people for it to see some things from someone else’s point of view, especially if something is important to me, and I value honest opinions, and I at least try to appreciate it, but even constructive criticism can be very very hard for me to deal with. I actually hate to admit it.
  • Losing Misha or anything bad happening to Misha. Sometimes even small things can set me off, like when he gets badly stuck somewhere or closed somewhere for hours. I guess sometimes I care about it more than he does hahaha. And about losing Misha, well I guess I don’t have to say more.
  • Losing my Mum. My Mum is a very important person to me emotionally, but also helps me a lot with lots of things which otherwise would be impossible/very difficult for me to do.
  • Tech issues. My devices help me with things that other people can do without technology, everyday stuff like reading, shopping, learning etc. They also help me with communication with other people and expressing myself, and being less dependent on other people. It usually upsets me then to some extent when something’s not working as it should. Although I have an impression that those things started to worry me much more since last year when I had that long monthly hiatus from blogging in September, when my computer crashed so badly. I’d suppose it would make me deal better with it, but guess it worked the opposite way.
  • Change. Usually negative of course, but even positive but major changes can set me off for a while.
  • Silence, and speciffic sounds, or as I call it collectively my “sensory anxiety”. I don’t really know how to explain this, because it’s very complicated and hard to describe. I’m also not sure I want and should, I haven’t talked to anyone about this in detail and usually people just can’t get it, I don’t either. But basically, just about the silence and the sounds, it’s that when I’m in silence, on my own, it doesn’t even always have to be complete silence, my brain feels sort of understimulated or so I explain it to myself, since hearing is the sense that provides me the most information, so it would be probably some form of sensory deprivation, and when there are not many auditory stimuli, my brainΒ  tries to fill it in with something, and that’s when weird things can start. That’s how I’ve been told it apparently might work, though I don’t know anyone else with this type of thing other than a few blind people who had something slightly similar as little children and then grew out of it. Why it has to cause me so much anxiety, I don’t know. Maybe my brain is an adrenaline junkie. Well I am certainly not.I guess it could be compared a bit to how sighted people are afraid of darkness, and imagination starts working at night especially for kids. With sounds, it’s that some sounds, harmonies, just auditory stuff is scary for me. Not only the things most people would find scary, so loud noises or other intrusive, objectively aggressive sounds that we associate with something bad, not necessarily them, just things that I subjectively find frightening to some degree. Some could be just slightly disturbing, some very unsettling and feel like they’re seething with aggression towards me.
  • Sleep paralysis. Especially my sleep paralysis “friends”. I mean those people or creatures or whatever they are that regularly appear in my dreams. Therefore I’m generally anxious about sleep a lot of the time because I never know when it will happen for sure, and I have no way of freeing myself from them.
  • Releasing strong feelings, especially around other people, especially anger, or not being in control of my feelings.
  • Horse riding. yes, you read it right! I’m afraid of horse riding. I guess I’ve shared my story with horse riding somewhere on my blog before, and that there was a time in my life when I was deadly scared of it. Now I’m not deadly scared of it and I don’t hate it, quite the opposite, I love horse riding, as my loyal readers know. But at the same time I still do have some anxiety around it. I’m always anxious and tense before horse riding and it takes me a while to relax. I know it’s going to be great in the end, yet I can’t shake off the anxiety. Sometimes it’s stronger than normal and I once had a bad panic attack when riding. I hate it because it makes horse riding so much harder for me. I don’t even know what’s the source of it, I guess it could be my balance problems in part, sometimes I feel dizzy and out of control while riding, but I guess that’s just a part of it. My previous horse, Czardasz a.k.a. ŁoΕ›, was very good at detecting my anxiety, he was generally good at adjusting to the way the rider was feeling at any moment apparently, and I always felt like we had almost telepathic relationship haha. He was also so calm and phlegmatic and always making me feel safe that it helped me a lot with the anxiety to just be around him and feel him. But unfortunately ŁoΕ› died last year, so I no longer have him. I now ride another horse, when I have chance, whose name is Tarzan, aka. Rudy, and I love him to pieces as well, but we don’t have the connection like that, actually I feel that when I’m anxious, he becomes too, so it’s not helping.
  • That when people say something to me, they actually make allusions and mean something different, or when they say good things to me I’m afraid they say it ironically or sarcastically. Paranoid I know. πŸ˜€ Happens to me very regularly, but I try not to let it affect my relationships with people as much as I can, and pretend that I ignore it, until I’m alone and can think through their motives and my brain explodes with thousands of “what if’s”.
  • Eating around other people. First because of emetophobia, that someone or me might feel suddenly sick, but I managed to deal quite well with this now as my emetophobia is milder and I know it’s unlikely for people to get sick suddenly like that, Second social anxiety and that when I’m anxious I don’t feel like eating, while I feel that I should, when there is for example a family gathering it looks weird that I’m not eating, so I try to eat but it can be a nightmare when I’m really stressed. And third is that I am so self-conscious and just afraid I’ll do something wrong or inappropriate, for example because I can’t see what others are doing. Or that I might do something accidentally like knock over or spill something, not a frequent occurence, as even though I’m rather clumsy I try to be careful in such circumstances, but you never know. As a little kid I once had a situation at my gran’s that I was eating something that was hard to eat for me and I ended up being a bit messy, not very badly but my Dad saw it, and was very concerned and sort of told me off rather loudly, so that had to turn all the others’ attention. Now I don’t even remember the episode very clearly and I don’t think it was that important, but my Mum says I took it very badly at that time and as ifΒ  he offended me in front of others. So I guess that might be why I’m so self-conscious with eating.
  • People staring at me. Yes if someone is staring at me long and persistently enough I can feel it. I hate it. I guess I more hate it than am anxious of it, but am anxious too. I also really dislike the consciousness of a lot of people looking at me at once. I am afraid of people looking me in the eyes and seeing something I don’t want them to see (though rationally it’s highly unlikely), so when I don’t feel confident I like to use that luxury that I can keep my eyes closed whenever I want. πŸ˜€ I am a characteristic person overall, don’t like to turn to much attention to myself but on the other hand I like being different, I also wouldn’t have much choice even if I wouldn’t like it because I am disabled and it’s usually visible in this or that way, so it happens that people are staring at me when I’m out somewhere and if there is some bigger distance between them and me I can’t always feel it. But I have Zofijka on whom I can rely with this as she often informs me that someone is staring at me. And, quite to the contrast with my social anxiety and all, sometimes I like to let them know that I see them – stick my tongue at them, show them my middle finger or wave at them, depending on the severity of their stare, my mood and additional circumstances.
  • Singing. I used to love singing as a little child, or maybe I just believed I did, don’t know really, but I guess I was quite a good singer, some people were moved, said I sing very well and liked it. When I was in the nursery and early school years I was singing publicly on different occasions. But something just changed with time. One thing was that I started to see, or maybe it was just my perception, that people only see me through my singing, some people were very kind to me and showing me lots of their attention but as it seemed only because they liked my singing. I didn’t want to be perceived like that. At the same time my anxiety which was always a part of my life started going higher, things in my life were changing making it gradually worse and finally I realised I hated singing for other people and making music. i then had two years break while being in the integration school, from where I had to go back to the boarding school, but never came back to singing. I’ve heard lots of people complaining about that and asking me why I don’t sing anymore, what a pity and such, one teacher even said that she wanted to be my class teacher because she loved my singing. Maybe I was hypersensitive but I felt relief that she wasn’t, if she liked my singing more than me. And I still feel this way. Maybe I was hypersensitive because when people made comments about that and what a pity it was I felt like if they can’t get over it so much they probably didn’t like anything else about me or didn’t think that I can do anything else well. I was forcing myself to stay in the music school for a couple years and play piano, and sang together with others in a sort of church choir, I also once sang solo which was incredibly difficult for me, and in the meantime I tried a bit guitar at home, but finally I realised creating music probably just isn’t for me, even if I have a talent. I was relieved to free myself of it all finally, and concentrate on listening to music more. I am terribly blocked from singing in front of other people, after I stopped doing it at school and left the school, I did it only once, singing with my friend Jacek from Helsinki, who loved music and always wanted to hear me singing, and, well, he could persuade the moon to shine in the middle of the day if he wanted, I suppose. πŸ˜€ Other than that, I never sing in front of others, unless fooling around or something, although I do like to sing when I’m on my own or for Misha to sleep hahaha or in the shower. I’ve heard it from someone that it’s very bad, a sin, to neglect a talent that you’ve been given and that you know of. But honestly I don’t care. And I suppose in a way I use it with my languages, as languages are also a form of music. A bit surprisingly, I could deal reasonably well when I had to read something publicly, or even say if I knew exactly what, or act in a play though I was horribly stiff with the last. No I didn’t like it and it was challenging, but manageable if necessary and I think still would be if I had to speak in public, although I’m happy that I hadn’t have to be on the stage for years now and have no desire for it anymore.
  • Travelling, getting out of the house. In a way I like it, in a way I hate it. I hate travelling because it correlates with my other anxieties a lot, and getting out of the house because it often involves being around people and sometimes just feels unsafe. But on the other hand I do like travelling, and appreciate it very much that sometimes going out of the house and being out in nature, or even with other human beings, can actually alleviate your anxiety. Just depends I guess.
  • Being touched. Sometimes it can be comforting and I actually want it, but at the same time it’s scary. Same as any other kind of closeness.
  • Wasps. I had three bad encounters with them and I hate them. I’m not so scared of bees though, i’ve never had to do with them personally, maybe that’s why. And they are useful hahahaha maybe that makes a difference.
  • Some tastes. It’s not that I just dislike them but they are somewhat disturbing for me. can’t say I’m anxious because of them, but just very uneasy. Guess it’s more of a sensory sensitivity stuff than anxiety though in fact.
  • That people will use things I say against me. Just have happened to me quite a few times in my life in important situations.
  • Public transport. It’s simply scary and overwhelming. How can you not see it? Well OK trains are bearable, but the rest is real scary.
  • Parties, especially proms, balls, discos, dancings. No, I’m not really scared of dancing. I dislike it and don’t feel it like some people do that it’s so cool and fun, but am not afraid of it. I don’t know why I hate dancing parties so much and dread them so much. It was always the case. Apparently when I was a little girl my parents took me for a ball organised for children and I felt sick and threw up there but I don’t even remember it. Maybe it was that. I just know that whenever there was some disco or prom or ball at school when I was a child I would do everything to avoid going there. i feel very lost at such places. Crowds and loud music are overwhelming, and so is socialising, but it’s something else that must be so dreadful for me. I do a bit better at such parties and can even have some fun if I am with someone safe to whom I can stick to and always know where they are and have them close to me, so maybe it’s just disorienting.
  • Flying on the plane or travelling on the sea. That’s ridiculous in a way because I’ve never been on a plane. But considering all my travelling issues, it must be scary, and I always dread it. Travelling on the sea is very challenging for my balance though I haven’t had much to do with it either, only to and from Sweden.
  • Splinters. Seeing someone removing it, having it removed, having it removed myself. I’m normally not very afraid of pain but for some reason it’s different here and it really scares me.
  • Children, other than Zofijka. Not always am I afraid of children, though I usually don’t know how to get on with them, which often results in feeling anxious if I have to or feel I should.

OK, that’s enough hahaha. All that I can think of at the moment. Do you struggle with anything similar? What are your “inner phobias”? πŸ˜€

Question of the day.

Since I haven’t posted any questions of the day for a long while, the question for today is just a simple one:

How have you been? Any exciting news that you’d like to share?

My answer:

Well how I’ve been… very anxious lately. It sometimes just happens to me like it is in case of many people I guess that sometimes anxiety is just worse, even without any particular cause. And add to that that some of my phobias were triggered around the same time, and also that I’d had some a bit creepy tech issues that were worrying me a lot, and overall low mood, so it all contributed to me feeling even more anxious. I’d been also feeling emotionally overloaded and having some sensory hypersensitivity or however I should call it more than usual and it made me feel quite exhausted and my brain was a real mess. The good news is that my tech issue has been fixed, and I just hope it won’t ever happen again. I am also feeling much better compared to the beginning of this week or last week.

In more or less exciting news, as you may know I’ve been looking for something that could help me to deal with my messy brain, especially after quitting therapy with my last therapist. And both me and my Mum have made some research, a lot of it actually, and recently I’ve started supplementing CBD oil as well as niacin. I’ve been on a benzo medication for my anxiety for years and taking it as needed,but I’d been wondering about some more natural ways that I could manage it as well as my other mental health symptoms. I try not to be too carried away with what people say especially about niacin, as before doing all that research I knew virtually nothing about it, and I wouldn’t like to just put too much hope in it, I’m also not sure what kind of improvement exactly i can expect especially that I’ve had most of my mental health difficulties pretty much since forever, as long as I can remember, and they just seem a part of me in a way. I’m not like desperate or anything like that, mostly because of what I’ve said above, that although my brain is a jerk and really difficult to get along with, I’ve simply had lots of time to get used to it and it’s hard to imagine it being very different. It’s more of an experiment for me, who knows maybe it can help me. But people say it can work very spectacularly, and that it is something that haven’t been researched by scientists or medical professionals too well, I guess perhaps because it wouldn’t be too profitable for the pharmaceutical marketing, and it’s weird to think that just some vitamin could help you with, or cure from, as some people say, a mental illness. So last week I’ve got to test both niacin and CBD oil, I’m taking the so called niacin flush. There is a substance called niacinamide, if I spell it right, which many people feel tempted to use because it doesn’t have this flush effect but it’s actually bad for your liver from what I’ve read. The flush while taking niacin can be quite a weird experience, especially if you don’t know what to expect and don’t know what it is, it looks like an allergic reaction, very much so, your face gets all red as if you ate lots of chilli, you might feel burning sensations on your face, be itchy and feel all warm and fuzzy. Can be horrifying in public places hahaha wouldn’t wish anyone. πŸ˜€ But it’s not dangerous, and it doesn’t mean an allergic reaction, it’s just a weird side effect that many people find pleasant with time, I somehow grew to like it too, and apparently as your teatment progresses you don’t get it as often and as intense. Personally I’ve had this flush so far only 3 or 4 times, and I’m now on 125 mg, but will keep this dose for a while yet I think. There is much more about niacin and taking it but I guess it’s not the place to talk about it very in depth, but if you too are curious, there’s plenty of books, online resources, and people you can ask, I’m just learning and still don’t get it all right for sure. CBD I’m taking twice a day but I guess that would need more time to take any effect, I’m also eating roasted cannabis grains, mostly because they are simply a good snack, and have a lot of minerals, I don’t expect anything from them, just for fun.

It might be just a coincidence, but what I’ve already noticed is that despite my levels of anxiety have been high recently, I’ve been sleeping surprisingly well. I mean, my sleep is always messed up. It usually takes me ages to fall asleep and then I often get nightmares, or just vivid, yucky dreams, or sleep paralysis, or I wake up horrified at night for no apparent reason. It still takes me a while to fall asleep and I did have a few a bit unsettling dreams recently as I usually do when very anxious, but for me they felt fairly mild.I mean they were just normal nightmares that an average person could have, even a bit funny at some moments, not my usual creepy stuff that I feel off all day afterwards. But where I’m going to, is that when I sleep, I sleep very deeply, and it is really refreshing sleep which is not something I’d been getting very regularly. Even when I had those few bad dreams, I woke up feeling like despite the weird content of my dreams, I slept well. And I noticed that I’m looking forward to go to sleep, which wasn’t always the case or if it was it was more because I just wanted to escape from the reality or felt low or not like doing anything else. While now I simply look forward to go to sleep because it feels nice, even though I still know that my sleep paralysis friends are lurking around the corner, but recently I’ve been fairly successful to avoid them, not because of niacin, just because of sheer luck, some self discipline with sleep routines which is always a huge difficulty for me, and some desperation. And I don’t wake up at nights or wake up groggy in the mornings. So I suppose it could be the effect of the niacin that I sleep so deeply, though I’ll have to observe it more.

Other very exciting news is that recently I’ve got my favourite bathsballs from Mum. They are small balls with different essential oils in them. And I used to use them a lot being at the boarding school, I loved them so much. I’d searched for them a lot some time ago but couldn’t find anywhere. And Mum got them for me. The winter will be over soon, and my skin is now getting slowly better again, so I can have baths, and the oils in the balls actually help me, which I found surprising because well it’s just a mainstream product and just for relaxation, nothing specifically for skin care though they do say that they moisturise skin, but so far the only thing that really really helps me with that is coconut oil, I really wouldn’t expect simple bathsballs to be able to make it better, but perhaps it’s just the seasons changing and my skin getting better on its own. I’m glad I can have baths, even if not too extensive and it really brightened my very gloomy week to get those balls from Mum.

So, I guess that would be all from me.

How about you? How are things going? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

When was the last time you did something you were afraid to do?

My answer:

Hm, I’m afraid of quite a few things, and also such things that are quite common to do so you sometimes just have to do them and it’s hard to avoid doing them. Don’t remember when exactly was the last such situation but what first came to my mind when I think about it happened about a week or so ago. As you may recall, despite all my desperate trials of avoiding it earlier this season, I finally got struck with a stomach flu, out of the blue. Now if you don’t know it yet, I’m emetophobic (fear of vomiting and pretty much everything to do with vomit), so it’s a drama in itself, even though the chance of me vomiting was rationally probably really slim considering how extremely rarely it happens to me, these days. I’ve once read an article on a website about emetophobia and I’m not perfectly sure if I understood it right, but the way I understood it, it said that many people with emetophobia are actually so anxious of vomiting that they are sort of blocked and often just can’t do it. If so then it’s possible I’m one of such individuals, though as you may imagine when emetophobia really strikes me, it’s only a little help to know it. So usually if despite all my efforts I do get some tummy bug or anything like that, it seems to be milder for me, like less violent, with no throwing up, but often lingers for a bit longer than for normal people. ANyway, the first day I got that flippin bug, was of course the scariest for me and I felt completely out of control and just overwhelmed by anxiety as much as I rarely am these days, I almost couldn’t think properly, and add all the physical symptoms to it like nausea and fatigue and stomach cramps, it was a nightmare I tell you. And finally Mum told me that whatever is the case of my sickness, I should drink apple cider vinegar – she believes it’s an almost perfect cure for almost all kinds of gastric problems. – And yes practically I do agree with her, apple cider vinegar is my good friend and helped me through many threatening situations where I had to be around sick people or feeling like I might be sick. But this time it was a bit different. A week before I got sick, my brother came home one evening and it turned out he ate something that was poisonous. He also drank apple cider vinegar and straight after that, he threw up. Never mind that it of course helped him to speedily get better, what’s important for me is that he threw up. I’d rather feel sick for days than throw up once. So I was sitting for what felt like eternity with that glass of apple cider vinegar, with my rational mind and anxiety having an incredibly dynamic battle while my brain felt like it’s going to go crazy any minute of all that. Finally, my logical mind won, because I was feeling really bad and because it had Mum on its side , so I drank it but man was it scary. I didn’t throw up, I didn’t feel much better either, until much later the next day after drinking a few more glasses of apple cider vinegar, but hey I do now, and I didn’t throw up yaaaay! That’s what counts. πŸ˜€ Some people are adrenalin junkies and overcome their fears of bungee jumping or skydiving, while I get over a stomach bug and feel like a superhero. πŸ™ƒ

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

How do you comfort yourself when you have anxiety?

My answer:

First of all, in the recent few years my main comfort in everyday situations when I feel mild to moderate anxiety and the most effective one is Misha. When my anxiety gets higher, Misha is of course of significant help as well, though might not always be enough on his own. Nevertheless, Misha provides me with such an excellent support that it’s a bit unbelievable to me, that such a little being can help you so much just being close to you. Other than that, it often depends on a kind of anxiety, and its intensity. Music usually helps me a lot, and distraction, so usually books or doing stuff online or going for walks with Mum or playing with Zofijka, the last only when anxiety is rather mild. Sometimes food comforts me, but when nxiety is really bad it usually doesn’t and food is the last thing I want to think about. I often feel shaky and chilly while anxious so warmth helps too, whether it is laying in bed with Misha and a hotwater bottle or drinking something hot or wrapping up warm or a hot bath or sometimes hot food, hot like spicy or hot like warm. If I am able to at the moment I try to reach out to my friends. And of course there are medications as well, though since my anxiety medication is quite strong and I take it as needed rather than continuously and preventively, I most often try as much as possible for it to be the ultimatum to which I turn to when all else fails rather than something I seek comfort in immediately when anxiety strikes. Other than that it really depends on the kind of anxiety, whether it’s social anxiety, any of my fabulously freaky phobias, the very strange and hard to describe, and even harder to overcome “sensory” anxiety, as I tend to call it, or freaking out about anything and everything. But Misha is the best for everything and always helps! πŸ˜‚

What are your comforting strategies? πŸ™‚