Question of the day (15th August).

Do you think anything good will come from the pandemic?

My answer:

I strongly believe so, but a lot of it may be on an individual level rather than more generalised, and the good vs bad outcomes may vary a lot for different people. We can already hear people who see a lot of upsides in it regarding their personal life, or their internal life, development etc. and a lot of people who are seriously struggling with all this and barely managing to stay sane, and I think there are loads of factors involved into it, from whether someone and their family has actually had been personally affected by Covid and how severely, to how people deal with being alone, to how people’s financial situation might have changed over this period, to how their overall health is doing and whether they’re at a very high risk or perhaps have a lot of health anxiety… So whatever I’ll be saying here is definitely not meant to regard all people, just some good outcomes that either I have experienced directly, or that I frequently see happening for people around me.

I like how you can do a lot more stuff online ever since the pandemic has started. In a way I’m surprised though that it seriously needed as much as a pandemic for people to figure out that, for example, you can work online, even in a field where there’s no such tradition really, that you can do school from home (of course there are a lot of cons to it as well but I think a large portion of them is also due to how people have had to adjust to this remote learning in so much rush, without more far-sighted thinking really, at least it’s definitely the case here, and some aspects of it are slightly irrational), that you can do concerts online and lots of other things. I guess once the pandemic is truly over, whenever that may be, a lot of it will come to an end, but I hope that still there will be more things that we will be able to do online if we so choose, than it was before the pandemic. Some people do better working from home, and in larger cities it certainly must help with the traffic. My Dad, who is a tanker driver and delivers fuel across the country, has been saying that one aspect of Covid he really likes is more low-key traffic.

I think it has helped a lot of families to connect more with each other. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that they have discovered some new hobby that they like spending their time doing, that they’d never have time for discovering, let alone learning, otherwise. A lot of people around me say they have benefited from having more free time, either because they’ve got to do things they’d never had time for before, or because they could simply spend some time with themselves and tune into themselves better. Interestingly a lot of people seem to have been reading more books. Some people have learned to cope with aloneness a bit better. For example our Sofi. Being alone is still very far from her preferred state, and she’ll always much prefer when a lot is going on around her, with a lot of people, but I think it’s good when you’re able to accept and manage somehow when things aren’t like this.

It’s also cool that we now get to appreciate our own countries more when it comes to travelling and vacationing. Rather than going to some distant country, locking themselves in a hotel with tourists from your own country and sitting by the pool with a drink, people seem to explore their own countries more here in Europe.

I think for many people, due to the hardships that they have experienced during this time, the pandemic might have also contributed to increased resilience.

As for myself, I haven’t really been affected by Covid very much on a personal level. So far, I feel extremely lucky that it hasn’t affected a lot of my family members, and those who have been affected had mostly mild cases. My gran was an exception, as prior to Covid, which she got shortly before last Christmas, she also had pneumonia, and then before the pneumonia she had bronchitis, so she had already been sick for a long time before she caught Covid, and we were all prepared that, given her very recent infections and her age (she’s over 80) she would most likely die. Thanks to all the dedication of my cousin, who is a doctor, and my gran’s own fierce will to live, she made it through and is perfectly healthy now, so people say she’s indestructible. She really wasn’t sickly or anything before that bronchitis, so I guess her immune system must be very strong given her age. We also haven’t been affected financially, and, except Sofi, no one in my immediate family felt particularly deprived of human contact, probably because we’re already five people living here plus Misha & Jocky, and my Dad and Olek were still working so they got to hang out with people there. I, as you know, have been happy being able to reduce the outside peopling to almost non-existent, and I work at home regardless. Not having to deal with people as much means my social anxiety has reduced quite a noticeable bit, which is nice. And, like I already mentioned, it’s so cool having access to more things from home. For example, last year, when most of the world was in lockdown, I was able to take part in a few concerts of my favourite artists online, in which I certainly wouldn’t be able to take part otherwise, because here people don’t even know they exist so I’d have to travel to other countries, which is tricky even without Covid involved, and even if it wasn’t, being a hermit I would still definitely not be able to relish them quite as much as I could from the comfort of my lil hermitage, with Misha laying next to me, not being distracted by anything from immersing myself in music.

What good things do you see, if any? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What’s your biggest fear?

My answer:

I have such an abundance of fears that it’s hard to say which one is biggest. Social anxiety’s definitely huge, but it depends on a lot of things and sometimes it’s less scary than others, or more manageable anyway, for no apparent reason. Then there’s this thing I call sensory anxiety, which I’ve generally gotten used to live with and it can also vary immensely in intensity, but it can be absolutely creepifying at times. My sensory anxiety is kind of connected with sleep paralysis, so that counts in here too. What’s particularly scary is this sleep paralysis/sensory anxiety “friend” of mine, known as “Ian” on this blog, about whom I wrote a short story on here, but I don’t tell his real name to anyone. He’s extremely scary and I always have a sick conviction at the back of my brain that he’s actually real and that some day I’ll get to experience his realness properly. As for actually recognised specific phobias, out of those that I’ve had emetophobia (fear of vomit) has always been the worst, though it’s not nearly as scary as it used to be for me in the past, most of the time anyway. Another thing that I have a fair bit of fear around is all things neurodegenerative, the possibility that I could end up having a neurodegenerative disease at some point, like Alzheimer’s (well, it doesn’t have to necessarily be a neurodegenerative disease, a TBI would be scary too but neurodegenerative diseases sound like something that’s particularly difficult to have any control over), and lose my brains as a result. My brains are like my fortress or something, so it would be a hopeless situation for me. And while usually it feels like vomit is scarier because it happens to more people and is more likely to happen, plus I’m also scared of it happening to anyone else, not just me, brain damage, of whatever nature, isn’t something that happens to everyone and it doesn’t seem like I’m at a particularly high risk in any way, as there hasn’t been anyone in my family as far as I know with this sort of thing. Yet on the other hand the brain damage stuff has way longer and nastier consequences. So I can’t say which one is scarier.

How about your fear? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

An extremely interesting question I have for you guys today…

What’s the longest time you have gone without pooping?

My answer:

Can’t say how long exactly, I guess it could be about a week or so. Generally I don’t have a lot of poo problems in normal life circumstances, which I’m extremely grateful for ’cause only when I do sometimes I see how uncomfortable they must be for people who deal with some major issues of this nature chronically or regularly. But what definitely sets them off for me is a lot of stress and change. I mean mostly change of location for some significant amount of time, more than just a couple of hours, especially if it’s just a temporary change but involves sleeping there etc. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with this, I guess in a way it makes sense because pooping is obviously a very private thing and it feels normal that you may not feel comfortable doing it everywhere even if it’s only on the subconscious level. My Mum is the same if not worse, but the reason why it’s worse for her is probably that she does actually have digestive issues and hates public toilets more than I do. Once I get used to that new place, I can poop normally again, but more often I just either have to help myself with something that works for constipation or wait until I can go home and then the problem solves itself. I have the same thing with social gatherings that are long and involve eating, and I guess that’s less common and definitely to do with my social anxiety. I generally am not a fan of eating out or eating with a lot of people like huge family meals, there are many reasons for that. I totally don’t get why people always need to eat during such gatherings, and if they really have to, why so much and almost all the time, and particularly as it seems when it’s mostly middle-aged people. πŸ˜€ Let’s say it’s someone’s birthday and they decided on such a stiff family party with sitting at the table, talking about nothing and LOTS of food, mostly cakes and the like. Or, more realistically, their family decided for them because they came uninvited but luckily the person in question was prepared for such a possibility. πŸ˜€ So, you’re sitting on your butt for two hours at least, continuously eating all those carbs, and, if you’re like me, feeling anxious/stressed/uncomfortable, or a bit tense at least. Perfect recipe for a shit problem. If it’s a bit more dynamic you can perhaps go out for a while or something, you can go to the loo but if you’re like me it won’t change anything ’cause it’s someone else’s loo. πŸ˜€ So this is one of many reasons why I generally eat very little in social situations, especially lengthy ones.

So yeah, I think on average the longest for me must have been around a week, when going somewhere for holidays or school trips or the like. After about a week I’m usually adjusted enough that things get better, or physiology takes the upper hand over my brain. πŸ˜€ Now I can also take the advantage of the fact that these days I always travel with my Mum and that she has been more aware of her own various digestive problems including constipation over the last couple years, which means she always takes a whole bag of things that help her when travelling or staying away from home, so we always have something helpful at hand.

How about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day (15th June).

What makes you nervous no matter how many times you do it?

My answer:

There are loads of such things, but one that comes to my mind is definitely peopling in general. That is, sometimes I’m less nervous than other times, and there are times when I’m almost not anxious at all, but if we assume that the longer/more often you do something, the less nervous you become over time when doing it, here it just doesn’t apply. As for how much I’m nervous during a social interaction, I feel like a lot of the time it’s pretty random, which baffled me for a long time because I’d hear people with “normal” social anxiety always say how they’re always anxious or nervous with strangers, or in some specific kinds of situations, while for me there are times when I feel nervous talking to my own Mum, even though we generally have a very good relationship, or I can have trouble writing to someone online whom I like and know well, and there can be times when I can hold a fairly normal conversation with someone I barely know or even a total stranger, and even enjoy it, and the person mmight even end up commenting how very outgoing I am. πŸ˜€ I used to explain to them that I don’t, or even when I was a child my Mum would explain that it’s not like that, but now I no longer do as it’s not their business really, and they usually wouldn’t believe me anyway when I’d say that actually I’m normally very anxious around people and they’d say things like that everyone is a bit anxious sometimes, like my last therapist, for example, haha. The next day, my anxiety may work completely inversely, or I’ll be scared of all people equally. It used to really confuse me, well, still does in a way, but I used to think that because it’s not really like I have very clear social anxiety triggers beyond a few, I can’t have valid social anxiety and either it’s something else or I’m somehow making it up or whatever. I still haven’t fully figured out what may be the reasons behind such a weird, changing pattern, although I have some theories and think there may be multiple factors involved, but a lot has been cleared up for me when I learned that in fact I don’t have the classic social anxiety, but instead I have AVPD, in which the anxiety doesn’t have to necessarily be triggered by any specific situation, it’s just some general people phobia with some other, additional gimmicks to make things more interesting.

Another such thing for me is definitely horse riding. I haven’t done that in quite some time now, but I used to for many years, and despite that, I would always be more or less anxious beforehand, and as much as I absolutely love it, the anxiety could seriously get in the way or even spoil things completely sometimes. I’ve written here many times before how my fear started out mostly due to my balance problems and having obligatory hippotherapy at nursery, but then later on, after a few years’ break, my Mum got me back into it at our local stud where I grew to love it and also really bonded not just with my horse but also my instructor. I still experienced all the same issues that I did before, but since I learned that horse riding can be enjoyable and started doing it not just in a therapeutic but also more properly sporty way, I was able to overcome my fears enough that my love of riding and for my horse was stronger than the anxiety and most of the time I was able to motivate myself to do it, even if it took me some 15 minutes on horseback to relax and feel it properly. After those fifteen minutes I would usually start feeling way better, euphoric even. I always found it really annoying that it took me so long to get into it and that I was so shaky beforehand and for the first few minutes while riding, which also affected the way I rode since all my muscles were tense and of course my horse picked up on it too. My main horse was really phlegmatic and hardly moved by anything, which I found very reassuring, so he didn’t catch the anxiety from me like some horses do, but it was definitely an obstacle in our communication. So when I was put on the anti-anxiety medication I always took half of the pill before the riding to calm me down a bit. Sometimes it worked, sometimes I didn’t feel it at all. Then I guess at some point my brain started protesting louder and my anxiety became almost as strong as my love for riding and it was harder and harder to motivate myself to actually do it and I didn’t see much point if I was feeling horrid hours in advance. So that was one of the reasons why I stopped doing it, although I still don’t know yet if it’ll be permanently or not.

And yet another thing which very often makes me nervous is change. We all deal with changes in our lives a lot, but some of us I guess just never get used to it. Not all changes freak me out, but major or sudden ones or such that involve leaving behind something that I was emotionally connected to tend to be difficult. New things I have to get used to are also difficult, they may not always scare me but the stress related to getting used to the new thing can be rather exhausting, even if it’s sometimes exciting at the same time.

What is such a thing(s) for you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What was the last thing that made you feel misunderstood?

My answer:

Since I have that thing called AVPD, I feel misunderstood a lot of the time. I don’t really even like admitting that because to me it sounds kind of as if I were so entitled in a way and expecting people to understand me and/or considering myself so exceptional that no one can even begin to get me if they try and how I’m oh so devastated because no one understands me. It’s not really like that, because on the other hand, like I wrote in a post about being understood by people perhaps a month or so ago, I don’t think I even want everyone to understand me because it would be creepy. Still, when you have more of a relationship with someone and you feel like they don’t understand you on a lot of, often quite crucial to you, things, it’s quite an alienating experience. I felt quite strongly disconnected from my family during the Easter holidays, but what currently happens to be bothering me the most in the misunderstanding department is my earlier exchange with someone, and I just keep ruminating about how I surely must have said something that wasn’t what I meant exactly and how, because of that, our friendship is already ruined beyond repair before it even had a chance to start developing.

You? πŸ™‚

Leah Nobel – “Talking To The Dog At The Party”.

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Perhaps you remember when, a little while before Christmas, I shared with you a song called

Coffee Sunday NYT by Leah Nobel,

and wrote how I really liked her project “Running in Borrowed Shoes” which it was a part of. It made me instantly like her a lot, just that she came up with something like this. And yesterday, this song of hers that I’m going to share with you today, came up in my Release Radar on Spotify and I just had to share it because, well, it could as well have been the anthem of introverts or something like this, I believe. It’s just so true and relatable and to the point, I think many people could feel a connection to what she sings about here and I’m glad someone put it into words and into a song so well. I definitely can relate to it a whole lot, except I much prefer talking to the cat if it’s possible and if people have a cat. That makes it a lot easier. With dogs, while they are very nice and all, they somehow seem to always like me excessively and are all over me when they see me and that doesn’t really make the whole situation any less awkward, but a dog is certainly better than anything. It’s only a pity that few people in my family or who we associate with actually do have cats, and when they do, they’re typically the kind who can go in and out as they please, so you never know whenn they’ll be home. But yeah, an animal can always make a party a lot easier to go through. I also can so totally relate to the bit that I’d rather be a loner than lonely with all these people around. I feel loneliness much more intensely around people than when I’m actually alone.

If you’re an introvert, do you also find animals’ presence helpful at all sorts of parties and other things like that? πŸ™‚

Some fun stuff instead of question of the day.

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

I’ve found something today that I thought I could post on here so we can have some fun. Below are sentences that we can complete. I’ll do it here in this post, and you can do it in the comments, or in your own posts (don’t forget to pingback or leave the link in the comments so I can read it). Keep them as long or as short as you only wish. For your convenience, I’ll write the unfinished sentences alone first so that you can copy paste them without having to edit them and delete what I wrote. Here goes:

I am confident about…

I am insecure about…

I need to…

I want to…

I like to…

I recently bought…

I am thinking about…

I am anticipating…

I am procrastinating…

I am watching/listening to/cooking…

Mine:

I am confident about… nearly nothing, I guess. I’ve been thinking on this for a while now and I just can’t come up with one thing I would be like absolutely and unquestionably confident about. πŸ˜€

I am insecure about… almost everything, which I guess is pretty logical from what I wrote above.

I need to… find myself another faza. It’s really getting imperative! I haven’t written much about that lately but I’m still searching intensely. My latest finding has been Jack Hughes who is cool but too normal, not versatile enough, and has a bit peculiar way of singing which would be annoying for me long-term. Why do I have to find a faza for myself in the first place, rather than it just happening without my conscious effort, like always before? My brain is getting way too lazy. And it’s a vicious circle because lack of a faza and thus beneficial stimuli in the right amount only makes it more lazy. πŸ˜€ What do you do with a lazy brain?

I want to… stop cutting myself. I did last week again, and a couple of times, so this time I only managed to go without it a month or so I believe. And on the other hand I don’t want to stop cutting. Well but what I do want is I don’t want to do it in such an impulsive way. Or at least be able to not do it for longer periods of time, like once I managed not to cut for about half a year. In case you’re wondering why I did it, I was just feeling depressed and overloaded, also had a lot of anxiety for no obvious reason, it was my friend Jacek from Helsinki’s another death anniversary on July 29, and then later in the week it was my cousin’s 18th birthday party and I reeeally couldn’t deal with the socialising and all that comes with it. Quite ironically, I have some special memories with Jacek from Helsinki and my own 18th birthday party, which didn’t help. But it’s better now.

I like to… sleep with Misha.

I recently bought… my new Bang & Olufsen headphones, yaaaaaay!!! Seriously, this was a very spontaneous purchase, totally on the spur of a moment, completely unlike me, just because it was my Mum who found these headphones online on sale and she told me about them, I only briefly looked them up online to see if it could be something for me and it seemed like it could perhaps be but might just as well not be, but it was on Zalando Lounge so they were way cheaper than they would be otherwise and I could return them if I decided they’re not for me. I really needed some good headphones for my iPhone, I also need a good speaker(s), so I figured I might just as well try these with an opportunity like this. I had to wait ages for these headphones, about a month, and also I was rather sceptical whether it could really be something for me ’cause I’m sort of picky and have some very specific requirements. But they came on Monday – just before my parents went out on their camper van trip so Mum could pick them up for me – but they had to go and Sofi wasn’t home when they were leaving so I had to set them up and pair by myself. Which was not difficult but I had no accessible manual or anything and I didn’t really know how to do it. I figured how to turn them on and turn Bluetooth on after a while but they still weren’t visible for my iPhone because it turned out I had to get an app to set them up, so I was very apprehensive and wondered how accessible it’ll be with VoiceOver – the iPhone screenreader – and moreover how usable for me as a still more or less beginning iPhone user. It would probably be badly inaccessible if not the fact that VoiceOver can now guess what different buttons in an application do from how they look if they’re not labelled properly, and as far as I remember none or very few were labelled originally in that app and VoiceOver did a very good job at the guessing game. Then I didn’t remember what exactly model I had and I had to select the one I had from the list in the app to set it up, and some only differ between each other with one number so not very Bibiel-friendly. So I ended up having to call Mum and she had to check up what my model was. Then still iPhone couldn’t connect to the headphones for ages and I was getting really frustrated, but then finally I did something random and they did connect to each other. And once I had them paired, a very Bibiel-friendly manual showed up – both with audio and text, not some weird, hardly descriptive video like a lot of tutorials are – so I could figure out hhow to actually use the headphones without anyone’s help very easily. And once I learned it it was very rewarding because I’ve already grown to like the headphones a lot. I would never buy them for their original price, I seriously don’t think the sound is worth as much, but it’s definitely good for me and good for the price I paid for them. When I read reviews people complained that the active noise cancelling feature is meh because it doesn’t work as well as in other similar headphones but for me it’s just right. They’re my first noise cancelling headphones and, I don’t know, I have a terribly, horribly, freakishly loud desktop computer and when I turn the noise cancellation on and sit at the desk I can barely hear the hum nor anything else outside. Granted, I don’t need some really extreme noise cancellation, I am obviously blind and a control freak, I want to know what’s going on around me most of the time so that I don’t need to worry that someone is lurking behind me and I have no idea because I’m listening to music. On the other hand I do like the noise cancelling for situations when I don’t need to hear the world around me so that I have a good and immersive environment for daydreaming haha, and these headphones are just right for this purpose. Even yesterday I had a situation when Sofi was in my room, watching a video on her phone, and there was some really weird music that was setting my brain off a little bit, so I just quickly put my headphones on and turned my own music on with the noise cancelling, and I could no longer hear Sofi’s evil shit. They also have transparency mode which is good sometimes for such people like me (Sofi once said that they should invent cheekphones for me because with my computer headphones often when someone was in my room or something I would have the headphones more on my cheeks than ears so that I could hear my surroundings clearly without having to constantly put on and take off the headphones, yes, cheekphones could be a cool idea for some specific situations πŸ˜€ ), and integration with Siri which is useful at times, and the earpads are really comfy, though I haven’t used them for a longer stretch of time yet. They have gesture control which seems to work very poorly, or perhaps it’s me not doing the gestures the right way exactly, but thankfully you can also control them within the app or just simply from the phone. They also have a cable so I can plug them into my PlexTalk which does not have Bluetooth which is cool because my previous PlexTalk/computer headphones are falling apart. Oh wow, what a mini review I just wrote lol.

I am thinking about… Jocky, whom Sofi has just let inside and he’s devastating the house and barking his lungs out, and about Misha, who is thankfully cosily tucked inside my wardrobe – this is his recent hideout for when he’s a bit stressed as it seems, and he certainly is stressed now because Mum is away and he’s very attached to her.

I am anticipating… huh, nothing really. Can’t think of anything I’d be anticipating at the moment.

I am procrastinating… way more than I realise on a daily basis. I’ve only recently thought more about it. I really procrastinate a whole lot and it’s usually because of anxiety as it seems. But it’s not like impairing or anything so I can’t say I care very much, just a little alarming when you suddenly realise such things.

I am watching/listening to/cooking… listening to BBC Radio Cymru at the moment.

So, who wants to play along with me? πŸ™‚

Orla Gartland – “Why Am I Like This?”

Hiya people! πŸ™‚

Do you ever ask yourself this question, “Why am I like this?” Some people dn’t, but some people do, and if you are one of the latter, this song is likely going to be very relatable for you.

I really like Orla Gartland. She’s Irish. That alone could be a good enough reason for me to like her. πŸ˜€ Even though she doesn’t do Celtic music and is quite popular. But I also like her because she’s very talented and very natural (very rare thing with “normal” artists these days), and a bit crazy, plus has a lot of distance to herself. Her lyrics are also very genuine and distanced, and I think also easily relatable for people.

This song is definitely very relatable for me. ‘Cause, being an overthinker, socially anxious and having AVPD, I quite frequently ask myself this question. Not like I expect to ever get the answer or like it matters that much, it’s just rhetorical and mostly a way to express my frustration. Now since I’ve first heard this song, whenever I wonder about “why am I like this?” the song immediately pops up in my brain. πŸ˜€ I can also very strongly relate to the broader topics of the song – overthinking one’s mistakes and anxiety in general. – The overthinking and overintrospecting bit is one of the most frustrating pieces of my AVPD. But I also believe it’s quite a universal experience that people struggle with too much introspection, self-criticism and some shyness on top of that, so I guess it could be very relatable to a lot of people. This is definitely my favourite song by Orla.

I don’t mind songs about love, I do love many of them, but since I myself have never experienced romantic love, and the vast majority of song lyrics are about this, it’s quite rare for me to find a truly relatable song, and therefore I appreciate pieces like this even more.

I couldn’t decide which version I want to share with you – the original or the fully produced – so I’m sharing both, ‘cuz why not.

 

Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

Would you rather have a very talkative guest that won’t let you get a word in, or a very quiet guest who doesn’t say much at all?

My answer:

It depends on a few things. How well I know that person and how I feel around them. Whether I’m with them alone or are there other people, like my family members, also present there, so they could keep the conversation going. Whether we have a lot of topics to chat about. How interesting they are to me. My first instinct though would rather be to choose a very talkative guest, because if anything, I’m better at listening than keeping a conversation, and I would feel awkward with someone who doesn’t have much to say, and they would probably feel so even more. With a talkative person, I wouldn’t have to worry about having to talk much, and just listen, or with some people simply pretending that you listen is enough because they don’t seem to care if you actually are listening or not, they’ll be chatting away regardless. One of my favourite quotes, from The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery says: “If you can sit in silence with a person for half an hour and yet be entirely comfortable, you and that person can be friends. If you cannot, friends you’ll never be and you need not waste time in trying”. I have very few people like that in my life, even among those I feel generally relatively comfortable around, but one of those with whom I really do like sitting in silence for long stretches of time and we understand each other without words is my grandad. So, I’d be happy to have a quiet guest who wouldn’t say a word for their whole visit, but only such with whom we would both feel comfortable this way, or one whom I would know really well so I could talk to them freely and also make them talk about things they like to talk about.

What would you choose? πŸ™‚

Answering another of Carol Anne’s questions.

So I decided I’ll answer another of the questions that Carol Anne of

Therapy Bits

asks her readers in her series called Carol Anne Asks. The question she asked us yesterday was:

Are you open with others about your struggles?

So, for me, it really depends what kind of struggles. It’s definitely very difficult for me to express my feelings especially those that I don’t really feel comfortable with, and it’s also always been hard for me to reach out for support, plus my social anxiety oftentimes makes things difficult when interacting with people, also AVPD comes into play for sure here, and makes me feel either like it’s not really fair to burden people, or like it’s not safe to be vulnerable and possibly coming across as pathetic which is something I always want to avoid, or like no one will be able to help or even get it anyway because AVPD makes you feel like an alien of course, but at least my ability to express the uncomfortable feelings and reach out for support have improved somewhat over the years, and it all impacts how open I am with people, so it’s better than it used to be. I also have a wider support network these days which also helps tremendously with any kind of struggles I might have and being open about them. It also really depends on how close I am with the people that I’m around and what environment I’m in because obvioously we’re all more open with some people and less with others for all sorts of reasons. Generally the person with whom I’m most open about my struggles is my Mum, who helps me a lot and I know I can always rely on her for some good advice or more practical help or just some insight. I haven’t been as open with her lately as I normally am or as I used to be because she’s having some yucky problems of her own so it’s more the other way around right now haha, which I don’t mind because I’m happy to help her if I can as well, and I wouldn’t like to make her worry about too much these days. I could never be fully open about my mental health struggles with Mum though. She’s great with practical help, and, as I’ve said many times I don’t know what I would do without her, but when it comes to my brain or generally things like anxiety or depression or whatever like that she doesn’t really get it. It’s not that she’s narrow-minded and struggles with empathy like my Dad kind of does, but I guess it just feels a bit too abstractive to her because she’s never really experienced such things, and I don’t blame her for that she can’t get it. Trying to talk about those things had led to some misunderstandings between us which weren’t pleasant for either side so it’s best to avoid it if possible. Also, we often share our small, daily life struggles with Sofi very openly, although of course Sofi is much younger than me so I have to be rather selective of what and how I tell her. I’m most open about most of my struggles online, because I struggle less with talking about them online, whether they’re really small or bigger, short or long term. Not all of them, especially if they involve other people closely who perhaps wouldn’t like me writing about that, or if I find something kind of difficult to put into words, or if I just think it’s better not to talk about something overly, but I do share a lot of them and I find this very helpful to get it out of my brain and not only in my personal diary but also for example on my blog or in conversation with someone.

How is it for you? Let me know here, or respond to Carol Anne’s post if you wish. πŸ™‚

 

Working On Us – rejection.

I haven’t participated in Working On Us by Beckie of

Beckie’s Mental Mess

for a while, so I thought I would this week. THe topic of this week’s mental health prompt is rejection.

1. Have you ever been rejected by family/friends because of your mental illness/disorder?

No. I think it’s mostly simply because I usually do not tell people about my mental illness or such things, or if I do it’s very briefly if necessary. I have experienced some negative or invalidating reactions, in particular from my Dad, which often felt very hurtful to me, but I wouldn’t call that rejection. Rather a lack of understanding and flexibility in thinking. My Mum is very supportive in all sorts of practical ways and I wouldn’t do without her, she is also more open-minded than my Dad, she tries to understand it but it’s often not easy for her as she’s never experienced things that I have, and often says hurtful things more or less unintentionally. I used to struggle much more with that but I’ve never thought that it could be their way of rejecting me. Other people are far more likely to reject me because of my blindness than mental illness.

2. Has anyone mistreated you to the point you felt like you were nothing?

Don’t know if it made me exactly feel “as if I were nothing” but I had experienced some emotional abuse at school, particularly from one of the boarding school staff, who was humiliating me in a veiled way and diminishing me and all I did, which caused me a lot of confusion and feelings of inadequacy, and made my self-esteem drop quite a bit, and it never was particularly high. It took me a lot of time, only as an adult, to figure all that out and make some sense of that situation, because for a long time I felt like it kind of wasn’t real and that I perhaps misunderstood her words or actions or something like that. There were also many other situations there where I felt like people were making me feel very shitty about myself but it wasn’t as bad and I think wouldn’t even affect me as much as it did if not my overall life situation – that I was miles away from my family and could never fully adapt there. – When I got older I frequently experienced quite spectacular reactions of people to my disability, like, I assume some people must be terribly afraid of catching optic nerve hypoplasia from me or something, I’ve had people treating me like I was a mass of air. That felt very unpleasant for sure and as if I was nothing to them, but I can’t say I cared very much or felt significantly hurt, it was frustrating and annoying, but more funny than seriously hurtful, it’s funny when people are so silly that they’re so scared of you that they can’t talk coherently when they see you. πŸ˜€ It’s paradoxical when people are scared of you and you’re a sociophobic.
3. Have you ever confronted the person/persons that have made you feel this way?

No. When it comes to that staff person, I was a child then, I didn’t really feel safe talking to her at all, let alone confronting her, also, I’m sure you guys know how it is with toxic people, emotional abuse and all that. I actually had no clear idea what was going on. I wouldn’t think it was abuse or that she was treating me wrong in any way. First because I was a child, even if fairly intelligent and enjoying observing and analysing people’s behaviours, and second because it’s all always so veiled and subtle, I wouldn’t know how to talk about it to her and not sound irrational or something. I think I would still have trouble in such a situation if it happened to me now, it’s just tricky. I tried talking to another staff member who was a really competent person and whom I quite liked, but she didn’t really get it, I honestly don’t think she believed it because that other woman was always so positive and everyone saw it, so how could she do such things? I only talked to her because my Mum told me to do so.

4. If the answer to #3 is β€œYes”, was anything resolved?

When talking to that staff member didn’t help my Mum talked to her – that other staff member, not the one who was nasty to me – and things have changed a little for good, but not significantly.

5. Has rejection changed you in any way? ie… Self-Esteem, Depression, and/or changed your opinion the way you feel towards the human race as a whole?
Wellyes it did. I have avoidant personality disorder in which fear of being rejected is one of the features, and it often develops in people who have experienced it early in life. I had never thought about it this way, but some time ago my Mum wanted to talk about it and her theory is that when I went to that school (I was 5) I might have felt rejected by my family and confused about what was happening. I just never saw it this way, I always thought it was normal I must be there and that the problem is rather that I can’t adjust there and accept the situation. But perhaps when I was 5 I didn’t understand what it was all about, why I had to be away from home, and why people were coming and going, or taking me home for a few days and then leaving me there again. This theory makes sense to me now. But obviously I don’t blame my parents now or anything like that because I know they didn’t feel like they had a choice and their motive wasn’t that they wanted to get rid of me. But I think such an experience could successfully make me more sensitive to rejection. I wouldn’t say this is the strongest AVPD symptom in me, like that the primary reason why I avoid people, why I struggle with social situations, why I don’t do socialising is because I’m afraid of rejection. I don’t think that’s most important here, though at the same time it’s hard to say what is that core thing, I just think it’s a mixture of loads of things. I’ve heard about many people with this disorder struggling with this particular thing the most of all. For me, I’m not desperate for acceptance from everyone, I won’t typically tell you that I like something just so we would agree and be friends and would like me or I won’t tell you my opinion on something because yours may be different. I don’t go around in search of people who will accept me and if some relationship doesn’t go well or if I see that someone doesn’t really feel the connection I won’t desperately try to keep them. I do value my individuality even if at the same time I hate it because it makes me feel like such a flippin’ alien. I guess when I interact with people, they may see I’m anxious or depressed or such things, but I think I’m pretty good with hiding my AVPD related difficulties in daily life or in casual interactions with people, but perhaps that’s just what I think. I have no problem with, for example, people I know online for a little while when they suddenly stop writing back to me or something, unless there are some other things involved, but when it’s people I feel attached to that reject me or I feel that they reject me it’s crushing. For me, the fear of rejection manifests more in the way that I hate being clingy, for example, I just hate clinginess, both in myself and in other people. I don’t want to feel like a burden for people or someone needy, either emotionally or in any other way, yet I often strongly feel like I am. I often don’t let myself close enough to people I would like to be close with, and keep at least a bit of a distance, ’cause then they can’t reject me. Or if I have a possibility, first I do an in-depth observation and analysis of a person before I start talking to them. With people with whom I am more close with I always sort of have a radar on, which is in a way very yucky and a bit paranoid, I think I have this particular tendency from my Dad, but then again, I’ll do everything for them not to realise that. Often I’m just simply scared of closeness with people. I’ve realised some time ago that I often test people that I meet and that I feel we could be friends, or when I just feel very insecure, I do it often almost unconsciously, kind of automatically. I virtually only realised I’m doing it when I got diagnosed and was reading about it a lot, I had no clearer idea before that. It feels quite yucky too but you do have to protect your brain don’t you? You’ve got only one and when it’s already screwed up to begin with you have to be careful. I suppose they’re not aware of that testing thing, or maybe it’s just my wishful thinking. It feels rather gross when you think about yourself that you’re “testing people”, but that’s true, even if not always fully voluntary. If the test is negative, I have the possibility to retreat before they reject me, it makes me feel more in control of my own life and feelings. I’m often afraid though that I would become attached to someone so much that I won’t be able to notice it in case they would no longer accept me for whatever reason or never truly did, and then they would suddenly reject me without me even being able to prepare for it emotionally in advance and accept it.

6. Or, has rejection done the opposite and made your stronger and more resilient?
I don’t think so, but I do think my tolerance for it has increased over time.

Question of the day (10th September).

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

Here’s another family related question I have for you.

Do you stay in touch with your extended family? If so, how?

My answer:

Not all of them, but my grandparents, most aunts and uncles and some cousins. Our family on both my parents’ sides likes to get together so we see each other at different occasions, like birthdays, name days or such. My social anxiety and other things often make it difficult for me to be around a lot of people for a long time, it’s overwhelming, and, I have to say it, it’s frequently also boring because I don’t really have the close connection between me and my close family, so there’s not much common ground between me and most of them, and sitting at the table for hours and listening to/trying to engage in conversations I don’t really feel a part of or don’t have any real interest in certainly is boring. Eating around many people makes me feel anxious too, and anxiety makes me not hungry at all so it’s stressful if you don’t want to offend someone and eat at least something. And talking to more than like 3 people at once is hard for me, let alone when there are groups of people scattered around the room and each of them talking about their own thing, so I usually feel way more alienated and lonely in such situations than I do when being on my own, and I hate hate hate feeling lonely while being around others, and usually I end up just listening to people and forcing myself to smile all the time. And that’s largely why I often avoid those family gatherings if it’s not necessary for me to be there and if I can avoid them. Also most of us live quite close to each other so we sometimes bump into each other on the street or on similar occasions.

How about you? πŸ™‚

If We Were Having Coffee… or whatever else you fancy. #WeekendCoffeeShare

#WeekendCoffeeShare at Eclectic Alli’s.

Welcome to another coffee share, quite an early one, especially as for me, but I haven’t been too regular with posting lately and I might not be for a few more days so I thought we’d have another coffee share as some longer, catch-up post.

I’ve had my green tea already in the morning as I woke up early and needed it badly so I’m now having sparkling water with lemon, and very yummy Polish biscuits called Delicje – they are round sponge biscuits covered in chocolate with a jelly filling, mine are with orange jelly and as much as I love Delicje, the orange-flavoured ones are the only ones I find acceptable, OK, raspberry ones are OK, but just OK. – Help yourselves! I’ve also made a cake earlier today – a sponge cake with jelly and raspberries – (wow I’m kinda monotematic today with sponge, fruit and jelly, perhaps someone has an idea why? :D). It’s my name day on Sunday, hence I made it. And Mum made yummilicious croquettes (I don’t even know if that’s exactly the same thing in English, but oh well) with rice and mushrooms. I love them, and so does Olek, so if you’d like to sample, you need to hurry as he’ll soon be back from work and there will be nothing left. πŸ˜€ And I guess that’s all really yummy food (in my opinion) we have today, and you can bring something you have to our coffee share to make it more diverse than just sponge with jelly. πŸ˜€ Get yourself a comfortable place to chill and let’s start our chat, shall we? πŸ™‚

If we were having coffee, or not coffee, I’d ask you how things have been going for you and what has happened in your life this week…?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m feeling like rubbish today. Not the most optimistic note to start a coffee share and a weekend in general but what can I do. I don’t even know why. I woke up feeling OK, like near the baseline, but things have started spiraling down since early afternoon. I can’t get to why that is really. I feel depressed, and even a bit anhedonic, which is not my usual definitely, even if I am badly depressed I can often still feel the pleasure from things I love to some degree but I just feel kind of apathetic and sort of disconnected and don’t care about things too much, I also feel lonely because I feel disconnected, and don’t know what’s going on with my brain. Not like it would change a lot if I knew, and like it matters to me at the moment very much, but it’s always nice to be able to have a clue at least about your brain. I’ve also been having extremely sad and emotional dreams for a couple days which I don’t get either. I mean, scary dreams – yes, – intense, in whatever way – definitely, – strange – all the time, – but I don’t normally have plain sad dreams in which I’d feel all emotional and vulnerable, and yesterday I actually woke up crying. Today I had a sad dream too but it wasn’t quite as unsettling and I mostly remember the emotions of it, not the plot, so I didn’t think much about it, but the phenomenon of such an abundance of sad dreams is interesting. I get emotional dreams like this sometimes around the periods of time that used to be difficult for me in the past but now it’s not the case. Sometimes I wish my brain could speak, or write, or something. I’m so used to bottling up stuff that now I often don’t understand what it’s trying to tell me, ’cause I suppose it must want something from me if there’s no straightforward explanation.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you we’ve had another hot week here, but thankfully today it’s very nicely fresh and chilly, apparently only for a while, Dad says we’ll have another hot day on Sunday. But it’s a relief for all the people I think that at least now it’s cooler.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that at the beginning of this week, my router died. I had to get a new one and installing it and configuring was quite a pain, and I had a whole long boring day and a half with no Internet and not much to do, but now things are back to normal.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Misha has a new hiding place, and this time, it’s a really good one, ’cause we still can’t figure out where it is, after over a week. He just disappears every day for a good few hours and then suddenly comes back out of nowhere. It’s amazing how after 3 years of living here, he still hasn’t ran out of ideas! πŸ˜€

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’m going to another meeting – like the one I went to earlier this month, in that sort of foundation or association that Zofijka’s friend’s mum works in – this time with a woman who used to live in Ireland, she’s Polish. That’s going to be very interesting for me for sure, since I love Ireland! I’m quite anxious again, even though I’ve already been there and it went well. It’s going to be on Monday.

If we were having coffee I’d also tell you that Zofijka’s friend’s mum was supposed to visit us yesterday, and then today, or on Sunday, but it seems like nothing will come out of it. While I’m happy for her to come over, I’m also secretly relieved that she won’t be coming today, as I’m definitely not in the mood for socialising whatsoever and wouldn’t be able to do it right the way I’m feeling now, just normal smalltalk feels so depressing and exhausting at the moment. As if I ever was good at smalltalk hahaha.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we’re most likely going to the beach on Sunday, which I’m quite glad about, the sea usually makes me feel very good and I feel a strong connection with it, and I love being by the sea. We have our very special beach that is quite far away from us, it’s situated in a village in SΕ‚owiΕ„ski National Park, and it’s really clean and tranquil there, there are few beaches that are that quiet and clean. And we had a plan of going there, but because it’s apparently going to be rather hot, and the ride is long there, and then you have to walk 2 km through a nature reserve back and forth it would be quite tiring and time consuming compared to how much time we’d actually spend on the beach, so we probably won’t be going there and somewhere much closer and filled with people. πŸ˜€ In any case, I hope it’ll be cool and I’ll feel less depressed by then. Also as I said it’s my name day on Sunday so that’s going to be a nice way of spending it I hope.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee? πŸ™‚

 

Working On Us – Mental Health Prompt.

Beckie over at

Beckie’s Mental Mess

has a weekly series on her blog called Working On Us – Mental Health Prompt, and now is week #3 of it, and I thought I’d join in! Here’s the prompt for this week and my answers. If you haven’t participated yet, I encourage you to check out her blog and to do so. πŸ™‚

 

Here are a few coping statements, do you agree or disagree?Β  Even if your answer is yes or no, please explain:

  1. This situation of sitting on a fully packed train either makes you feel uncomfortable or unpleasant, but I can accept it? – Yes, I can accept it if it’s just the crowd. It will make me feel a bit uncomfortable and anxious and I simply don’t like crowds too but as long as I don’t feel overwhelmed by other stimuli, am generally doing well and don’t have to interact with those people I will deal with it.
  2. Can I ride out the wave of anxiety, or do I feel like I need professional help now? -I suppose I could benefit from the right professional help, as some things can be very difficult for me to deal with and figure out on my own, I’d been in therapy for many years but had to change therapists a year ago and stopped working with a therapist with whom I worked for many years and whom I really trusted. Since then I had two therapists and didn’t have the best experience with either, I’ve also had some experience before I started to work with that therapist whom I trusted so much and it also wasn’t particularly positive. So I feel a bit conflicted here. Part of me wants to reach out and figure out things and get professional help, but part of me is scared of trying once again and feels very sceptical, and there are other things that complicate it slightly. So I’m trying my best to deal with it on my own, with the help of my family, friends and some medication which I take on an as needed basis most of the time.
        1. Do you practice coping skills? If so, what works best for you? – I do. The coping skill that is most important for me is being around my Russian blue cat Misha, cuddling with him and spending time with him, he really helps me. Listening to music always works for me. Distracting myself with a good book. Good quality sleep if I can get it. Comfort food. Writing is the easiest way for me to express myself, so it helps too. Talking to my Mum or reaching out to friends, I think I’m gradually getting better at it, reaching out for support used to be incredibly difficult for me and still oftentimes is, I’ve always felt pretty uncomfortable reaching out to people or telling them about my problems because everyone already has plenty ofthings going on for themselves so I didn’t want to bother them, and I used to strongly disagree that talking about your problems makes things better and easier as many people say and thought that it can actually make things worse, now I can see it does help sometimes although it’s still a challenge for me to talk to people. Doing something funny that makes me laugh helps too, or listening to sounds that soothe me.

If we were having coffee… or maybe not coffee… #WeekendCoffeeShare

#WeekendCoffeeShare at Eclectic Ali’s.

Hi people! πŸ™‚ Welcome to a rather late “Weekend” Coffee (or whatever else you want) Share! I would like to be inclusive of all possible drink preferences, especially since I’ve had to stop drinking coffee myself. So grab your favourite drink, and/or a snack, or a full meal if you want, or I can get something for you, and let’s have a little chat. I have lots of teas, herbal teas and green teas, and Yerba Mate, and other such, since I’ve been doing a lot of drink testing since I had to stop drinking coffee to see what would work for me now, for my low blood pressure I mean, and I’ve been trying lots of green teas. We have coffees too, and even Cappuccino. Or I can pour you some Pepsi, or water. Mum’s made very yummy split pea soup, and spaghetti, the spaghetti is good although all of us didn’t like the pasta this time because it was one of those very healthy ones but not quite as good as it was apparently healthy. πŸ˜€ I have some very good German chocolate, and Mum’s gonna bake a cake, but I don’t think it’ll be ready until we finish our coffee share so I’m afraid you’ll miss on it. πŸ˜€ In any case, I’m sure we can have plenty of yummy food and drinks. I’m not going to have anything big this time ’cause I’m full after eating the split pea soup so I’m just going to have some water with ice.Make yourself cosy and comfortable and let’s start our coffee/not coffee chat.

If we were having “coffee”, I’d ask all of you how you’re doing…?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that we hadn’t had coffee together in ages, I guess my last coffee share was around Christmas plus was very exclusive as it was passworded. So I’m glad we’re having one now.

If we were having coffee, of course I would update you on my coffee alternatives hunting progress. πŸ˜€ I guess I’m already getting used to not having coffee every morning very well, OK I’m not overly neurotic about that and I did have two or three cups of coffee in all the time since I stopped drinking it regularly, and it was while I was at other people’s, and I was more anxious after it again, but it was manageable. I tried some green tea earlier already, if it could give me the same positive effect as coffee – get me going in the morning and lift my blood pressure and energise me – but without the side effect – more anxiety and jitteriness – but it didn’t work too well, I just didn’t feel it worked at all for me, in any way, good or bad. Plus I’m not a very big fan of green tea. I also tried Yerba Mate more recently but while I can tolerate green tea and drink it if I have to, I didn’t like Yerba Mate at all. So a couple days ago my Mum got hold of some other green tea, I don’t really get what’s the difference between them, which also doesn’t taste quite as good as coffee, but (I hope I won’t jinx it πŸ˜€ ) it seems to be working. Which is really good, because it’s summer, and the heat doesn’t give me much more energy and I’m even more dizzy than normally. So it’s too short to say anything specific, but it seems to be working so far. Let’s be hopeful it’ll continue.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that recently we’d had some pretty hot temps. Now it’s much cooler and nicer, but it was roasting for the whole last week except for the weekend, and neither me nor my brain liked it. It was generally a hard week for me, because I was having a period, and was very depressed, and had a migraine and a lot of anxiety and crazy overthinking, like really crazy, I’m always overthinking but that was really intense and hard to control. I also had a failed attempt at intermittent fasting, that my Mum’s doing all the time since about a month, and which as I wrote in one of my recent posts I thought would be a good idea for me for a while as a bit of a detox plus spiritually. But I guess the timing was completely wrong, because as I was already feeing crappy, IF made me feel even worse, in that because I wasn’t eating for a good part of the day and starting to eat late in the morning I was having even less energy. I may though, and probably will, come back to it at some other time when it’ll be more doable for me.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that there is someone in my surroundings who’s making me feel pretty uneasy. I won’t go into very many details right now, I might do another post on that that will be protected, didn’t want to protect this one just because of mentioning her, but I am only 99% sure I can write about it publicly with details and I don’t want to risk, even if the risk is very very small. She, or them, but it’s mainly her I’m getting sick of, lives close to us, and I may be overinterpreting, and that’s the subtle message I get from my Mum that I am overinterpreting and overreacting being so wary of her, but I feel very much like I’ve got a new clingy type(s) to my lifelong collection of clingies, despite I was so happy I’m finally free from all of them and only closely associating with people I really like, and I don’t even seem to have much choice here so far. That feels distressing and trapping for me and I currently don’t really know what I should do about it and it’s confusing.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that tomorrow I’m going to a meeting. I don’t even know exactly what it will be about, but it’s Zofijka’s friend’s mum who organises it as far as I am aware, it’s going to be at her work, and she invited my Mum, because our Mum and Zofijka’s friend’s mum are kinda friends or acquaintances at least, but the thing is there will be a woman from Canada, and they’ll be speaking English there, and I gues she didn’t know my Mum doesn’t speak English. But my Mum is crazy about the fact that I speak English and when she meets anyone who claims that they can speak English well, she wants us to talk to each other in English, which of course always fails since the mere fact that we both can speak English doesn’t really make for much in common. πŸ˜€ If it was Swedish, or Welsh, then I would understand, but English? duh, most of the world speaks English. It’s a bit funny. So of course although Mum didn’t want and couldn’t really go there on her own, she immediately said that to me, because I can speak English. πŸ˜€ I didn’t like the idea of mingling with random people I didn’t know anything about just because they can speak English, plus when I go on meetings or such, I’m usually very inactive, I feel rather disoriented when many people talk all at once and I generally feel easily disoriented at social gatherings, and didn’t even know what this one was about. But then I started thinking more rationally and thought that actually, there can’t be very many people there, I doubted there would be many people in my town who’d feel confident with their English enough to talk in it just because, so A smaller meeting wouldn’t be a bad thing, so I told Mum I could try it and she texted her that she’ll be going with me because she doesn’t speak English but I do. And then it turned out that Zofijka’s friend’s mum is really very nice, and I don’t even know her yet, but I think we’ll like each other. And then she wrote to my Mum that the meeting’s only going to be for women (so that narrows down the potential group of people coming even more haha), and that the starter topic is probably going to be education, so both my Mum and me have tons of very diverse experience in that matter. πŸ˜€ It actually looks to me like it’s going to be a very very small meeting, and I’m now looking forward to it very much because actually I haven’t talked much in English to anyone else than Misha or myself in about a year, when I had my English tutor for final exams, he didn’t actually teach me anything new which I felt a bit frustrated at the time but boy was he chatty! Because we chatted in English, and I think he was even more happy about it than I was (that he has someone to chat in English to), I guess that actually in the end that helped me quite a bit with my oral English exam, as I felt even more confident with it and had a lot of experience. I’m curious what it’s going to be like, although a bit anxious too, but not in an overwhelming way, so I guess my anti-anxiety medication will deal with that and as I often say, my linguophilia is usually stronger than anxiety.

Talking of linguophilias, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that just before I’ve started to write this post, I did some more Welsh again. It wasn’t as much as usual in my weekly Welsh marathons, but it was very interesting, and the results are fairly positive again, so I’m still hopeful there is some development, even if it often doesn’t seem so for me at all. So my inner Cymrophile is very happy. πŸ˜€

If we were having coffee, I would also tell you that next Sunday is my cousin’s Communion. I’m happy for her, but not at all for my own sake. I hate First Communions, they’re always so horribly long and boring and you don’t know what to do there, well, I don’t know for sure. The only upside to that is that at least it’s going to be in my grandparents’ house, not in some restaurant, which makes a tiny little bit of difference to me. This cousin is a daughter of my Godmother, with whom I haven’t been having the best relationship lately and seeing her almost always makes me feel like shit. I might be able to go only to the mass and skip the party if I’ll find someone understanding and able to give me a liftback home but am not too hopeful on that as it’s not very likely. My Mum is helping out with the food there, so if I was to leave with her I’d have to stay to the very end and longer. But I also wouldn’t like to not go there at all as that wouldn’t be cool.

OK, that’s all from me. Now, what would you tell me if we were having coffee? πŸ™‚

 

Question of the day.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

I have a sort of linguistic question for you today.

If you have trouble understanding a person with a very thick accent, do you feel bad about it, and you apologise if you have to ask them to repeat things?

My answer:

First of all, in Polish we definitely don’t have such a variety of accents as you guys have in English. There are accents, dialects and stuff but the language is fairly universal and most peopleactually don’t even know the features of most of them unless they’re just into observing how different people speak. So, if someone speaks in Polish with an accent that I have some trouble understanding, and this person is Polish, I don’t really feel bad, I feel surprised and like “How come they talk like this their whole life?” or something. I listen to English every day, write in English and read English, but I’ve never been to an English-speaking country and I haven’t really had many conversations with English natives, so I don’t have much experience here. But yeah, I think I would feel bad. I’m normally not really a perfectionist, but I definitely am when it comes to languages, or some aspects of language learning, and I’d just feel bad about myself in a way I guess if I couldn’t figure out what someone’s saying to me. I also love accents, I love how rich English is with all the accents and dialects and everything, so I’d be frustrated if that were a significant barrier in communication for me and the person I’m talking with, even though I do know that there are still a fair bit of English accents that I don’t always understand even though I’m normally pretty good at figuring out accents or even mimicking them as for someone in whose language they almost don’t occur, Ithink. I’d also feel a bit bad for that person, I wouldn’t like them to feel that I am discriminating them in any way or something. And my social anxiety and generally anxiety in regard to communication would come up stronger probably. But I also love a language challenge so I would also appreciate a chance to learn something new and have a new experience as a result of such a communication barrier. When I was in Stockholm, I already knew earlier that people are pretty laid back in Sweden about accents and everyone talks with their own accent, it’s like there’s no actual standard version of Swedish unless you perhaps consider the Stockholm variant as such. But I was surprised how many different varieties of the same language I could hear. I also had a long conversation with a gem stones shop owner who was from Scania, I always have a bit of a trouble understanding people with a strong Scanian accent. It was difficult, and because of my anxiety a bit exhausting, but also very rewarding. The whole Stockholm trip was like that for me. And it was so interesting to hear all those different dialects, even though I think in English they are even richer and more diverse. SO how about you? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What are you not looking forward to?

My answer:

I’m not looking forward to my cousin’s 18th birthday. She’ll be having a very big party with dancing and lots of people, many of whom I’ve never even seen before, and I’m scared of that. I have arranged an escape plan for myself with the help of my very understanding grandad, from the other side of the family, not related to that cousin, and he said he’ll be able to help me most likely, but I’ll have to stay there for some time. Ugh scary. And boring.

You?

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.

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™‚

Question of the day.

Hi people. πŸ™‚

Since February is definitely a birthdays month in my family, I have another birthday related question for you.

How do you like to celebrate your birthday? Do you actually like celebrating it at all or is it just a normal day for you?

My answer:

I definitely dislike the conventional way of celebrating special days – all people crowding around the table, having to absorb huge amounts of food at once, smalltalking, feeling bored and either you being in the centre of attention all the time or people not caring at all about the reason of the celebrations but just being happy to have some place to go and stuff themselves with food – depending what kind of a family you have. πŸ˜€ My extended are a blend of both haha. No that’s not for me. I try to have possibly decent relationships with my extended family, at least my Mum’s family, even though I don’t feel much of a connection with them for a variety of reasons, so I’ll adjust to such a way of celebrating if I have to, but that’s normally not my thing. I much prefer spending my birthday with just the people I genuinely love or like and care about and with whom I feel well like my immediate family and my online friends. For years I would rather avoid celebrating my birthdays at the boarding school so now I’m not that crazy about them either. It’s nice to do some things you really like on your birthday, to make it more special, be them something very unusual or just every day things you like, though my birthday this year, although really nice, wasn’t something I celebrated a lot. I know my Mum wanted us to go to the Italian restaurant that is quite close to us, because we both love Italian food, but unfortunately in the end it wasn’t possible as it would collide with my Dad’s job and Mum usually has to pick him up. Anyway, luckily I could avoid my extended family coming over, and my Mum just made my favourite toffi cake and my favourite salad and then chips for us for supper, which were all very yummy, we also went to church because of my birthday and I got a picture of a cat that looks almost like Misha, from my Mum, and it was all very nice. But other than that it was just a normal day, and if I had to choose whether I prefer having a rather normal, maybe even a bit uneventful birthday or a family gathering, I would definitely prefer the first. Other than that, here in Poland as in many other European countries we also have name days, which are originally a Christian tradition, and maybe because I’m Christian, or maybe for some other reason, celebrating your patron saint’s day seems just more worth celebrating than the fact you’re getting older. Especially now as I could change my legal name a few years ago and like the name Emilia, it feels like just a much better opportunity to celebrate. My name day is on 30th June so it’s always summer holidays then here, so even the atmosphere is more favourable and you can do more fun things, and my extended family still can’t get used to me having nam te day in June so I don’t have to worry about socialising too much. πŸ˜€

How about you? πŸ™‚