Eye Lashes

I have this horrible habit of pulling out my eyelashes.

I’m quite sensitive about it, I’ve never had wonderful lashes to begin with. I feel uncommonly proud when my eyelashes look full and I can wear mascara and feel like it’s actually being applied to something rather than stubbly little lashes.

I know it must stem from stress, all the best things do, and sometimes I can pull out three at a time. However, I also pull them out because the root of the problem is that they hurt, literally. It can just be one eyelash that is giving me grief but it. must. come. out.

It doesn’t always stop there though.

I’m not saying that I have trichotillomania because I don’t think I do and I’m not trying to take anything away from people who suffer from it either. This is why I’ve referred to it as a bad habit, which it is, it’s also one I can’t stop doing.

I get stressed and overtired easily, I get sore and dry eyes easily, I have an oily skin type and as I’ve preciously mentioned I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I’m listing all of these things because I feel like they all contribute. I don’t get eye infections, I remove my makeup thoroughly every night, I use eyedrops regularly, I wash my face day and night and I change my pillowcases.

I don’t know why I decided to share this in a post today. It’s not something nice but it might be relatable and it’s a thing that flares up, which is I guess what prompted this. I used to do this when I was younger too and I don’t remember them hurting then, it was more of oh, I can pull these eyelashes out, weird satisfaction.

Destructive behaviour is one of my specialties.

Lizzie X

Blink

I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. Lately I haven’t had as many panic attacks, which has been really great (understatement of the year).

I was out on Sunday afternoon, with my mum, it was nearing the end of the day and we were headed home. She had driven all the way there so I offered to drive back.

I used to love driving at night time, it felt peaceful and with my music on and the window down, no matter the weather, looking out over all the lights. I felt free.

On this particular drive though all I felt was a panic attack a second before it hit.

It came out of nowhere. It happened so quickly. Blink.

It felt like an electric shock but it wasn’t electric. This shock wave passed through me, every inch of skin, every vein, every blood cell, in an instant. One minute I was driving the next I had my eyes tightly shut, my body was rigid and I could’t breathe. A wave of coldness washed through me and then my heart rate sped up.

I realised I was still driving.

I forced my eyes open and realised I was doing 20kms less than before. Cars were right near me and I don’t remember them being there before, everyone trying to get home, just like me. My hands were hurting from gripping the wheel so tightly. “Are you okay?” I couldn’t answer I just focused on breathing and keeping my eyes open.

In through the nose, out through the mouth, relax my hands, blink.

I picked up the conversation where it had ended abruptly before the panic attack and hit me and tried to continue as normal. Normal driving, normal talking, normal breathing.

It hadn’t passed, just subsided. Perhaps it was only five minutes later, maybe more, I’d gotten myself to breathe again, drive at the speed limit and I was feeling safer. Slightly. Cars were all around me, in front of me, beside me overtaking and breathing down my neck behind me. I was crouching in my seat to avoid the headlight reflections in my rear view mirror, I know I can flick it but I find that to be very disorientating because I can’t determine the distance of the cars behind me. Before I knew it I’d slowed right down. My hands were gripped so tightly around the steering wheel, my breathing was laboured and the second wave of cold anxiety and panic was washing through me.

I somehow managed to shake my shoulders, or maybe it was more of a shudder, sending movement through my body that was my own. I must have made some kind of strangled noise because I was asked if I was okay, again. Blink. I flexed my fingers and I focused on putting my foot down a little bit to get back to reasonable speed but I stayed slow so the cars would overtake me.

Thankfully not long after that my turn off came up and I slowed right down to a complete stop at the stop sign before turning onto a much quieter road and continuing into town. When I pulled over into a park I handed the keys over and got into the left-hand side of the car. Mum drove the rest of the way. Sitting in the passenger seat I was able to breathe again and try to get the feeling back in my extremities.

Blink. Blink. Blink.

Lizzie X

 

P.S I wrote most of this on Sunday night as soon as I got home, I didn’t know if I would post it but I’ve decided I would share it. I’m so sick and tired or being scared of my anxiety. So here it is in my somewhere and nowhere place for others to read and use.

Battling Anxiety

I think it’s such a funny turn of phrase to say battling anxiety or battling anything that isn’t physical. I automatically envision brandishing a sword to my own mind in an animated form, if only it were that simple. If only the mind didn’t have it’s own metaphorical sword.

It’s 11:37 pm on Easter Monday and I have really appreciated this long weekend. I haven’t gotten up to much, mainly sleeping, catching up on shows and drinking lots of tea. The sleeping is the best thing. I’ve appreciated being able to sleep in and sleep through most of the day when usually I would have be jumping out of bed.

I’m hoping that this will help me in the weeks to come. Help me deal with interactions, work and everyday stresses. I can’t be sure, I don’t think anyone can be when thinking about the future, but I hope it will.

A little while ago I came up with a little list of 5 things that help me when battling anxiety and I thought that I should share them.

  1. Music; sometimes loud and yelly music or good singing music, other times contemplative music, or music with lyrics that make you stop and listen, and sometimes a good classical piece by Bach or a jazz number by Curtis Fuller.
  2. Move; shake it out and shake it off, an impromptu dance party can really help to reset your body and your breathing. Jumping around, going for a run or just changing your scenery can also be a great reset technique.
  3. Breathe; whether you watch a calming gif for breathing, or you count to ten while breathing in and out. Closing my eyes and concentrating on my own breathing helps my heart rate to slow down and my stomach to unknot.
  4. Water; nice cold water, little sips, concentrate on how good it tastes. Sometimes rinsing it around my mouth, making sure my gums are hydrated and my tongue is coated before swallowing it can really help. Actually tasting the water instead of just drinking it because we’re told we need to.
  5.  Write; getting thoughts and feelings and words out into a physical place can help them from running around and around your own head. This can be a letter to no one, lyrics to a song, a poem, notes to yourself or whatever you need them to be. I guess this is why I wrote this list in the first place, to share it on some level.

I’m sure I could write a list of 10 things that I actually do when I get anxiety, or when I feel my anxiety creeping up and taking over, because what does “get anxiety” even mean? If I already have anxiety then I can’t get it because I already have it, right? It’s there, it’s always there, it just lies dormant sometimes making you think that everything’s okay and that you can keep doing what you doing, go about your day as normal and just see what happens.

If you suffer from anxiety what do you do in order to deal with your it? Have you found my tips useful for battling anxiety? Have you been in a situation where you can’t do anything to avoid it or battle it and you’ve just had to “deal” with it? I have and I might write about it another time but I’m leaving this here for tonight.

Lizzie X

Anxiety at Twenty Øne Pilots Concert

Disclaimer: this post deals with mental health, specifically my experience with anxiety at a concert, just so you’re aware before reading.

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“You don’t look very good, why did you even try?”

I rushed to get ready after work on Friday so that I could have some dinner and a drink out before heading to Rod Laver Arena. I caught a glimpse in the mirror at the restaurant and although my hair looked alright, I’d taken the time to straighten it the night before, it wasn’t very vibrant because it needs recolouring and it had dry shampoo in it.

“Yeah, but she’s thin and pretty.”

I wore my black ripped jeans, they’re pretty old now and pretty ripped but they’re comfortable. My black combat boots, they’re falling apart, literally. They barely have any sole left, they’re ripped at the seams and the material is wearing away. I didn’t ear my Twenty One Pilots shirt form last year’s concert because a) I couldn’t find it and b) it probably needed washing, I haven’t worn it in a while because it’s not the kind of shirt I can wear to work and I haven’t been doing much on the weekends. Instead I wore an oversized “boys” charcoal t-shirt that I feel comfortable in. There was a girl there who practically had my hair colour and a girl who almost had my outfit. Both gorgeous. They mightn’t think so but I did.

“People are looking at you and wondering why you’re here all alone.”

I  made it down to my seat, which was at the very front of the lower seating area and on the left of the stairs, meaning it was all by itself, right at the railing. I remember making sure I got a good seat, especially at such a big venue, I wouldn’t be able to handle being the general admission area on the ground, being jostled around by everyone, from all sides. I couldn’t afford taking a day off of work to line up all day to get access to the front. It’s just not plausible. I belong in the seated area.

“They can see right through you.”

There were people shouting across sections to friends that they’d spotted, others singing Happy Birthday in a huge chorus, people rushing around everywhere and laughing. It was that middle section between the supporting act and the main event. I didn’t want to take out my book and start reading, I thought that might be a bit too weird.

I started feeling like I was suffocating and I didn’t want anyone to know.
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Black Hole Sundays

Some people love them, some people hate them.

I think I’m conflicted because when I wake up on a Sunday I’m so grateful that it’s Sunday and how luxurious it sounds to be able to stretch out and cuddle back up in bed for a bit longer. Just the thought is blissful!

But then there’s this point during the day, which I can never quite pinpoint because maybe it changes, where Sunday is no longer luxurious and wonderful but instead it turns into this mad rush to do all of the things you wanted to do over the weekend, or perhaps needed to do. As well as preparing for the start of a new week! Ugh.

Hence, why I am sitting at my desk at 11:02 pm with a cup of tea on a Sunday night writing about what I’ve now come to call Black Hole Sundays because I have yet to figure out what I’m wearing tomorrow, my hair is still wet and I said I was going to bed early tonight. And I’ve just remembered that I need to hang out the rest of my washing to air dry, otherwise it’ll start to smell and I do not want to come home to that on a Monday afternoon.

I try to start the new week with a positive attitude but it’s bit hard when you press snooze one too many times because you didn’t get to sleep early enough the night before and then you’re rushed for time to get ready and get out the door etc. I’m coming to realise that maybe it’s not Monday’s fault after all but maybe it’s BHS, all of that extra stress and anxiety that gets piled on right at the end of the day has gotten carried over into the new week essentially dooming Monday before it’s even begun! What a revelation.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to get at least six hours of decent sleep tonight, try and make up for it tomorrow night with an early bedtime, right? I’ve just checked the weather forecast and it’s supposed to be 32ºC (89.6ºF) so I’ll have to sort out something appropriate, even so I’ll feel proper sticky and gross by the end of the day.

Q. Does anyone else feel this way about Sundays? Are they actually great? Do you have anxiety filled Sunday nights as well? Are Mondays really hateful or do they have a reputation? If you feel like sharing your thoughts, I’d love to read them.

I’ve finished my cup of tea so I’m off to bed… after I’ve done my final Sunday tasks.

Lizzie X