How Classical Music has Helped With My Anxiety and Life in General

 

classical

I was never one to fist bump the air with elation every time I was subjected to classical music. In fact I would throw myself a pity party every time my parents would force it upon me. I can remember the uncomfortable car rides when we were living in New York. It was classical music 24/7. I would plead for them to play the country music station but alas, my calls would go unanswered. Yes, you read that right… I was obsessed with country music. I had a cassette tape of  The Judds which I used to play over and over again. My dad would get flustered and eventually snap at me because of my overuse. If it wasn’t classical or Greek music, he didn’t want to know.

When I was old enough to keep concentration for a while my parents enrolled me into a piano class. And when it was time to pick up music at school, the flute became my companion. In between these lessons they would take me to see the New York Philharmonic orchestra, and violin quartets and pianists and let’s not forget the hours worth of opera, ballet and musicals. Throughout my earlier years I saw piano and my classically trained background (I even took music theory and completed grade 5) as simply another shrug of ‘things that looked good on your college application’.

I guess I was so against it when I was younger because it was forced upon me without me having a say-so in the matter. But as I grew up I started to appreciate the fact that I was shown all these different kinds of artistic expressions. And before long I would use my time with the piano as a tool to alleviate stress. I could sit down for hours and play Mozart’s Sonata No.16 in C major over and over again. Because it soothed me. And  of course the most important reason, my brain would cease to spew out chaotic thoughts of the miseries I endured as a teenager. But then my piano playing became few and far between after I went to University. Once I moved to London I only got to play every time I visited my parents back home in Cyprus. Then they moved to another town and my piano went into hibernation. I haven’t played the piano in about 6 years now and throughout this time I have seen myself go through mental, physical and emotional issues without having an outlet to pacify these burdens. I started to get panic attacks, my anxiety was going through the roof. I ended up having a kidney infection and had to stay 2 days in the hospital. Antibiotics were my friend at that time because my kidney issues weren’t getting resolved.Money was (and is) always a struggle. I was exceptionally unhappy with my jobs. The men that I let into my life would seem to be unattainable and left me feeling insecure, vulnerable and unwanted. One, for example, said that they wouldn’t date me because of my weight. A sentence such as that sticks with you. It embeds deep within your psyche, attaching itself to even the most minute particles, where disposing of it seems remote. And I had quite a few of those sentences floating around in my noggin. Then I got IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for which I’m still suffering 10 months later. The latter had deprived me of my simple unfulfilled life completely and my stress levels became fried. Almost as if the neurons short circuited after the amount of anxiety-volts coursed through me. I became depressed. I tried to reach out to people in my own way and they didn’t understand and in turn showed little support. I tried meditation, breathing techniques, therapy, and yoga. My music of Etta James, Little Willie John, Missy Elliot and FKA Twiggs (to name a few) wasn’t cutting it anymore in the relaxation department. And I’d like to add that the sheer thought of travel became unbearable. Which almost made me feel like I was starting to become agoraphobic, seeing as I couldn’t take the underground trains without experiencing panic attacks every single time I would descend the stairs to hell. I literally felt like I was imploding within myself. And then, amongst all this battered chaos, I thought of my piano…

I knew there was no way I could afford to buy one here in London, so I was stuck. Stuck in a place of knowing the cure that could tame the virus yet not having any syringe to dispense it. And then one day I thought, why not listen to my favourite Mozart piano piece and see how I go from there. I put my headphones in, turned the volume up and looked to hope that peace would come. Once the first notes daintily trickled out, I felt as if a gigantic orb of light engulfed me. My muscles relaxed and my brain ceased to churn out thoughts. For those 3 minutes a wave of tranquility washed over me and I knew that I had finally found my saving grace. Next I chose to play Chopin’s Nocturne No. 2 in E flat and that was when my stress melted away. I was smiling in a crammed sardine can without a care in the world. People didn’t bother me. My thoughts weren’t on my IBS. I just floated… on a cloud of calm.

Have you ever noticed, when you’re scurrying around trying to somehow not be associated with the metaphorical ant analogy, people’s faces and sound effects? Every day I would hear the huffing and puffing of wolves trying to blow down a path through the glazed commuter’s programmed route. And every day it would chip away at me. The facial expressions of hatred, annoyance and exasperation filled my view and I couldn’t shake it. Having to deal with that and all my other issues was a nightmare. Because their negativity would rub off on me. Until that is, that  one fateful day Classical music intervened.

I now listen to it everywhere I go, if you can believe that! From the girl whose threshold level for classical music was exceptionally low, this was a major achievement. It has also made me think that I am an old blob but hey, if it works then I will happily embrace becoming an old blob if it means I get to keep my sanity.

Classical music has somehow become my knight in shining armour. It has not only accompanied me on my journeys to and from work but has even caressed my ears while at work. Instead of watching countless hours of TV or waste my brain cells surfing the web, I put on a classical playlist and read a book or write in my journal. 

Before, I used to have a panic attack stepping out of my front door in fear that I would inevitably shit my pants in public due to this whole IBS thing. Because my mind was constantly thinking about all the horrid scenarios that could befall me. Before, my concentration was that of someone who was suffering from ADHD. That’s not a joke by the way. It’s how I was acting. While at work, I would flutter around from task to task, which in turn took longer than it actually should have. Because my brain would be in overdrive. While at home, simple chores became impossible to finish. While grocery shopping, I would hop around missing the essentials. But somehow all this has changed. Before, my brain would be on the go all the time; constantly inventing scenarios, conversation, over-analysing and over thinking. But now I listen to Chopin and Mozart and know that all will be ok. That I can calm myself without having to resort to medication or therapy. That I can concentrate without compromising my time. That I can live a life that’s less stressful. All I can say is….. It feels good! It feels really good.

❤ ❤ ❤

 

 

P.S.- I wanted to share this with all the pandas out there who feel like their anxiety, panic attacks and stress are getting the better of them. You are NOT alone. All I can say is to explore every possibility out there. Meditation might not have worked for me, but it might work for you. Or maybe you will find that walking more often might help. Or painting, or using one of those popular colouring books that are out there nowadays. Whatever it may be just do it often to de-stress. Because nothing is more important than the stability of your well-being! If you are unwell then you won’t be able to take care of anything else. So whatever it is, just do it!

❤ Love, Happiness and Laughter always ❤

Weekend Photo Journal: Everything Velvet

everything velvet

Let’s talk VELVET!!! It’s delicious isn’t it? It reminds me of decadence, regalness and opulence. It’s a sensual material that elevates any setting; whether it be your attire or home decor. It’s that of kings and queens and when done right brings out even the elegance in simplicity. I really do love velvet, as I’m sure you can already tell!

When I was little I had this emerald green velvet dress with black bows on either side of my short sleeves that I paired with black patent-leather mary janes. It was my church dress (Sunday best attire) and special occasions dress. Every time I wore it felt like a little princess emerged from a sleeping cocoon.  I would pretend that I was waiting for my royal family to come and get me. Sorry mom and dad for my elaborate imagination. I love you nonetheless. To be quite honest, it would seem that I loved Sleeping Beauty a little too much.

Anyway, velvet made me feel just a little more special. The softness would sooth me and the deep expansiveness of colour reeled me in to be a lover of velvet for life. Luckily for me, Velvet has finally made a comeback. Therefore, you will see velvet everywhere this fall/winter. I’m literally jumping for joy right now!

So without further ado….. may I present my favourite weekend photo journal to date…. VELVET!!!

❤ ❤ ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Monday Motivational Quotes Don’t Do The Trick… (battling with depression, anxiety and panic attacks)

al bundy giphy

So my little pandas, I’m going to try and talk about depression, panic/anxiety attacks in the lightest way possible. Key word being… try, because quite frankly I don’t want to get myself worked up again to the point where funny gifs won’t be able to do their job anymore.

Lately I have been suffering from a load of shit. Some of it literal and others being more metaphorical. Long story short I was having major tummy issues (see my previous post). It has been reoccurring since end of May. Right after my stomach went all Mt. Vesuvius I was also about to start a new job. Let me tell you, having to juggle the mental acrobatics of trying to coax yourself out of distress in fear of shitting your pants in public and learning the ropes of a new job really took a toll. I started to crumble. There were days where I would only eat like 2 bananas and some strawberries in fear that I would loose the battle with my bowel. I figured the less I had to eat the less times I would have to be in the bathroom. Throughout this time I lost my appetite completely. Now, I would like to inform you all that I’m a gal that loves food. So for that simple pleasure to be ripped away from me didn’t help me mentally. On top of all this I was also worried about money, the quality of my life here in London, being a hermit, not having any friends around, not having someone to come home to, not starting a family and my parents.  You see, because I was at such a low point I brought all these other things into my head. I started collecting all my failures one by one and lined them up solemnly.

I swear the brain is a blessing and a curse. Sometimes circuits get re-wired, re-programming takes effect and for a short while you turn into a person that is just not you. You are floating in the distance looking down at this destructive blob that has taken over your body and you can’t do anything about it. You just watch, saying ‘Hey, that’s not me! I don’t think things are so bad!’ But it can’t hear you, for the Pandora’s box of negativity has opened and it’s nothing but a downward spiral from here on out.  There are bouts of sanity however, that may filter through. Where thoughts pop into your head like “I know this is nothing. People are going through much worse things. What you’re going through will pass. Stop being so negative.” But then, your brain switches and you are back into the deepest abyss. It’s a sense that you will never get through this. A sense of despair. As if you were drowning. Or sinking into quicksand.

My stomach caused me to have more anxiety. I would be anxious to leave the house. I was in constant fear that I would have an accident in public. Anxiety turned into panic attacks where I would self-destruct. I hated everything that I was. Everything that I achieved was meaningless because I was convinced I was a failure at life. I called up my mom, who is from an era that never really talked about mental health, even though her sister was a social worker. The compassion, understanding gene of mental health must have skipped my mom. However, I don’t blame her really. She just never was around it. Therefore, everything that she was saying made me revert into an even worse place. So I was screwed with no outlet to vent. I thought of going to see a psychologist but then became even more depressed when I realised I couldn’t afford it.

It’s a very hard thing to explain to someone who doesn’t get panic/anxiety attacks or depression. You eventually end up sugar-coating it. You don’t want to say to people that you don’t see the point in living anymore. That maybe you should just throw in the towel and call it a day. Because sometimes dark thoughts manifest so much so that you can’t control it. Fortunately for me, mine are just thoughts. Because I know that with each battle won, I’m strong enough to face another episode if/when it happens. But at the time it’s all I would think of. That I am a failure and everything in my life has been a consistent pile of shit that magically increases in the amount of shit with every year that goes by.

Yet, somehow the storm passes and I continue to chug along. I continue to stay afloat. Sometimes in that moment you feel like you are the only one in that black hole and once you escape you can’t help but rejoice fighting off your arch-nemesis.

This wasn’t a post about me complaining about what I’m going through. The message of this post was to simply say… you are not alone. And besides, it’s better to get it out than to hold it in.

Here are somethings that can help: (I am no expert, but these are some things that have helped me) 

  1. Make sure to surround yourself with people who understand. In this instance, people who are prone to dishing out tough love are not the kind of people you should be around at the moment.
  2. Look at old photos (or any photos) that show some happier times. For me, my brain starts recalling those memories in detail and for a time it forgets what sadness you might be going through. It lessen the load.
  3. Write down everything you’re feeling in a journal. Here is where you can be the most candid. So let it all out.
  4. Go for walks and take in as much fresh air as possible.
  5. Get a lot of sleep. For me, when I stress my brain doesn’t turn off, even when I sleep. I even have extremely vivid dreams of me constantly battling something, getting killed, you know the usual! So it’s important to try and get as much sleep as possible. That way when your sleep becomes interrupted you can add in a couple more hours in there.
  6. Soak in a bath. Unfortunately my tiny studio doesn’t permit a normal bath (it’s just a shower) so the next best thing is for me to sit on my couch and soak my feet. Improvisation is key people!!
  7. Eat as healthy as possible. I know booooooo to this! But sugars don’t help panic/anxiety. I know they say it’s part of comfort food but it does more damage in the long run.
  8. Ok this one is something that I do…. I put on some music and dance and sing until I get tired. I feel sorry for my neighbours.
  9. When things get really bad, it’s ok to curl up in bed and do nothing. You are allowed!
  10. Watch youtube videos of fluffy baby pandas. This one never does me wrong! It always makes me smile!

❤ ❤ ❤

Wishing you all the happiness, health love and laughter in the world…

PS- I know, this wasn’t such a light post… Sorry! ❤ D

Why Mom Was Right About Not Writing Things Down…


My mom wasn’t the most open about many a things when I was growing up. Most things were learnt from friends and my grandma (maternal side who I called Baba). Baba would teach me invaluable things like ‘Washing dishes makes your hands and nails beautiful’ and ‘Don’t sit with your legs up and spread apart while wearing a skirt so everyone can see your underwear’. Of course I can’t forget the one about ‘I must learn to cook because how else will I become a good housewife’. Afterall the key to a man’s heart is through his stomach right? Well, I later found out that washing dishes by hand ruins your nails, and if I wore shorts under my skirt I avoided people seeing my underwear, and I learnt to cook for myself and not because I was going to get married. Anyway, besides all that, being an only child didn’t help my situation either. So growing up wasn’t an easy task to conquer. With my mom’s limited hands-on, in depth talks and my friends telling me wrong things I was a hopeless case. However with that being said my momma did instill one tidbit of information that has stuck with me throughout my  life…And that is to never write anything down that you don’t want others to see. Because if it happened to fall into the wrong hands, it would ruin you.

At the time my momma instilled these words of wisdom to me, I was in the 7th grade and still living in New York. One day I came home from school and my Ma was waiting for me in the living room. I always knew when she was in crouching tiger mode ready to pounce into a lecture with how she said my full name…. “Alexandra….” Which was also said in a stern tone. Oh lord, here we go. “What Ma?!” I was an annoying, impatient kid to her. Now that I’m older I do appreciate the patience she must have had. “I found this note in your room” (she went snooping). “Maaaaaa, why are you going through my STUFF!!!!” Her face showed that she wasn’t having my attitude that day. “I wasn’t snooping, I found it on the floor.” She unfolded the wrinkled note. “I’m going to tell you something Alexandra and do with it what you may. What if this note fell into the wrong hands?” I just looked at her. Inside my brain was working out the damage that it would have actually caused had it really fallen into the wrong hands. And the outcome? Was not a favourable one. “Alexandra, what if your friend kept this and decided after to share it with people?” She starred into my face to see if she was getting through. “What I’m trying to say is, never write anything down that could compromise you as a person. You never want people to not respect you  or to take your words and use them against you.” This made sense to me. I mean it really made sense. But all I said was “Gaaaaaaaaawwwdddd, maaaaaaaaaa, FINE!” And I stormed out the room.

Ever since that day, I never wrote anything that could put me in jeopardy. Nowadays I internally become so thankful that I did not follow those unfortunate folks who had not gotten this piece of advice. The one’s who’s naked photos fall into the hands of jealous ex’s. The one’s that decide to become amateur porn stars and then their significant other leaks the video. The one’s that write mean text messages about others only to have the receiver take a screen shot and post it around. I’m glad I’m not in this group. And I might have been, had my momma never actually said anything.

Now, I’m not trying to preach or act like I’ve never done anything that could compromise me as a person, because I have!  I’ll have you know that I have done a couple of sex videos and taken photos in my underwear. But my boyfriends at the time, were never allowed to keep the videos. I was the only one who had access to them. And as a double precaution, they were kept in password protected files on my computer, or locked away in a drawer. The photos that I would send were never of my face or things that could identify me, like my tattoos for example. They were snippets of skin,lace, straps. I would also never send a full body image of myself. When it came to notes or texts, I wouldn’t write anything important in them. In actuality, the only time to be vigilant about writing everything down is when it comes to business.  That’s when you make sure you get agreements down on paper. A good old hand shaking while verbally agreeing to something does not make for a good idea.

Anyway, the reason I decided to actually listen to my momma was because I found out that people can be mean, vindictive and down right nasty, even in the 7th grade and even despite how nice you were to them. So if they don’t have anything on you, you’re smooth sailing from here on out.

Despite my Ma not being the best at communicating when it came to boys, sex, girl things (like periods) and other vital pieces of information, she was at least forthcoming on one thing. So kudos to you momma for sharing that with me. I have appreciated it every since!

💜💜💜

I’d Rather be Too Much…

 

What’s being ‘too much’ of something and why is it a hindrance to most people? Is caring too much a problem? To some, yes. Is laughing too much an annoyance? Again to some, yes. And why do people cut you down with the phrase ‘You’re just too much’?

If I had to choose between being too much and too little, I’d rather be too much of something. I’d rather live too much of life. Or smile too much because I’m happy. Or laugh too much because silliness is intoxicating. Or care too much in order to be a selfless human being. Why would anyone want to be ‘too little’ of something? Who in their right mind would want to laugh, smile, care, talk less?

Some may come at you with the phrase, ‘can you [insert whatever ] less’. And do you know what your response should be?  ‘Go fuck yourself’! Yes! And then go be ‘too much’ with others who get it. Because with the right people, you won’t be too much. You will always be just right. Just enough, or more than enough.

Complexity in a human being is intriguing.  I want there to be layers so deep that it will take me decades to burrow to the core. Being complex is to be more. To be too much. And I want the humans around me to be able to offer more. Finding out how they  fear, hope, dream, love, think and so on is to be MORE!

So don’t let anyone tell you, you’re too much of something. Because in truth, the more you are the better. After all, it’s intrigue that fans the flames of wanting to dig deeper in another human being’s soul. And what could be more interesting then challenging yourself to get to know the ‘too much’s’ of someone? Nothing that’s what.

Keep building upon yourself. Keep sharing. Someone will take the time to appreciate you just the way you are. You are a universe of intricately woven mystique. You my dear panda will never be ‘too much’ of anything.

❤ ❤ ❤

Easily Distracted By Niceties…


One evening as I was preparing to board a bus back home I did some mental exercises and a few ‘woooosaahhh’s’ to help me deal with the city. And by city I mean the unemotional assholes of this world. The ones where the city has hardened them to an unmalleable substance. Where the soot, grease and oil intertwine throughout their DNA making them the terminator from the first of the franchise. The one who did not befriend you through cheesy one-line zingers such as ‘Hasta la vista baby’ and ‘I’ll be back’.  Either way, one has to be mentally prepared for these kill-joys. Luckily, I was one of the first ones by the door along with a much older gentleman who happened to be my stepping partner. We kept shuffling to pair ourselves with the doors while the bus slowed to its designated spot, almost like a sideways conga line. All we needed was some Latin flare in our upper bodies and we would have nailed it. As the doors finally opened the older gentleman said really loudly, ‘the lady goes first’. I was like well which fucking lady is this and why does she get an announcement?! And besides, I thought me and, let’s call him grandpa Herbie, had a mutual thing going on with our cha-cha-ing. Did I mention he was in a cute little suit! Awww little Herbie! Anyway I looked around trying to catch a glimpse of this Whorebag who got the privilege of getting on the bus before me despite shuffling so well. However, there was no jostling amongst us commoners, so, I looked at my suited and booted grandpa for guidance. His sincere eyes accompanied by his bowing hand gesture indicated that he was implying… Me! I was the Whorebag!! At that exact moment I felt as though someone had placed a beautiful glistening crown upon my head. As I glided onto the bus, my head was held a little higher. If I could have done that Miss America wave accompanied by some ugly joyous sobs as I walked through the bus I would have. Therefore I guess you could say me and grandpa Herbie had a moment. A moment that happened almost a year ago now and I still reminisce about it. Sadly I wish I was over exaggerating, but I’m not. And thus, like the title of this blog and the photo quotes say, I get distracted by niceties. Simply because they’re few and far between.

You know I miss the yesteryear generation. The one where kids said, oh geez, and warm apple pies sat on the window sills of picketed white fenced houses throughout the land. Okay so I’m probably over romanticising it a bit but I don’t care. As much as I love the internet, I miss the old simpler ways more. Nowadays we have become desensitised drones who get distracted way too easily. Somewhere along the line we stopped noticing other. We stopped standing still to be present in a moment because along that ‘somewhere path’ we all picked up some form of ADHD. For example, I don’t even remember the last time I fully paid attention to a 40 minute TV episode. And I’ll have you know I’m in love with the TV/Film world. But I have noticed that I pick up my phone, or cook some food,  and pick up my phone again, watch some snapchat feeds, and then talk to someone, and then read an article that some blogger just posted, all in one show-span. But if you want to get the ultimate robotic paused glitch from someone then do something nice for a stranger. The effect would be as if a repetitive ‘non-compute’ electronic sign scrolled across their forehead. Hence when Grampy Herbie made that gesture it felt as if the old world matrix was cheekily interfering with the new world one. A glitch in the system that buffers and then resolves without the player dwelling on it for more than 5 seconds or so. Man I could totally watch the Matrix trilogy right about now.

Unfortunately this lack of contact refers to every aspect of our lives. When someone pays you a compliment your first thought is “he wants to distract me in order to put some date rape pills in my drink” and the second thought is ” maybe he’s escaped from a mental institution”. That is just one example by the way. What about when someone picks up something you’ve dropped. Or helps carry your bags up the stairs. Or someone goes out of their way to return your lost wallet and so on. Therefore when someone actually is trying to be sincere, all systems crash within our cranial cavity resulting in confused distraction. In all honesty I probably think about nice things that have happened to me from like 20 years ago. It’s like I hold on to them in a metaphorical golden box stroking it lovingly from time to time. A bit like Dr. Evil in Austin Powers as he strokes his cat.

giphy Dr. Evil - Austin Powers
So what do we do nowadays with these magical rarities of necities? I suppose we should pay it forward. I think when someone goes out of their way, you should return the favour to someone else.  Even though I will probably still fall head over heels for those mystical unicorns, I know that I will continue to be appreciative of those nice gestures. Because let’s face it… At the end of the day, they really do make you smile. And what’s wrong with that?!

❤️❤️❤️

 

Psychological Mind-games of the Insanely Lame….

Brain says no...

That title is all about me… Me, myself and I. It popped into my head one day after a psychological warfare was underway in the deepest recesses of my cranial cavity. What was the internal conflict? Me panicking about going out. Yup… as simple as that. And because of all the different synapses firing off inside my skull, I worked myself up so much that I started shitting every hour. Sadly, I’m dead serious. That’s how messed up my tummy was! Thus my whole ordeal started from 9am that Saturday morning and ended when the first sip of gin & tonic hit my lips. Well actually if I’m being completely honest, it started when the event was booked. But all the shitting, fortunately for me, was the day of. How thoughtful of my stomach and brain. With that being said, I have no idea how my brain has turned into such a mess. It has somehow suffered a short circuit (possibly several) where once the internal workings were such a smooth process, but now,  convulsions take place internally instead. Isn’t that nice…

My psychological tug-of-war can be a tad debilitating. All thoughts are focused on the dilemma at hand, yet my body forces all senses to work together to bring me the fuck down. Now that I’m thinking back at the times of my insanity I laugh. Because I not only am convinced I should be in a looney bin somewhere, they should also give me the comfort of hugging myself with one of those delightful looking straight-jackets.

Going out has turned into this long drawn out process that I hate. However I don’t think I help matters seeing as how I’m always a hermit. But then again the cause of that situation is me not having any money. Cause and effect as they say. Maybe the cause of my insanity is the effect of many years in the making. And there I go blabbing again.

I freak out on certain occasions. If I’m going somewhere by myself and meeting new people, my brain has an aneurism. If I stay late and have to get a bus and walk home at night, my brain has a stroke. If I can’t map out my journey to the closest millimetre, my brain has a convulsion. Sometimes I get a breakdown at work, in the bathroom, at the grocery store, trying on clothes. Fuck, TRYING ON CLOTHES! That one stings. However, all these occurrences happen behind the comfort of my skull. No one, who would look at me, would be none the wiser. Externally, I  assume the concrete form. Internally, my mushy organs are combusting at a glacial pace just so I can feel every sweat droplet emerging from my clammy hands and every knot that churns around in my nervous stomach. 

That day when I woke up I was already coaxing my brain to chill the fuck out. All day I had to repeat to myself… “You are fine. This is just anxiety. You just haven’t been out in a really long time and are nervous. Once you start getting ready you will feel the ‘going-out’ vibes.” Yet as the hours progressed my symptoms became worse. Trips to the bathroom began to increase. Sweat started dripping like a leaky faucet. I couldn’t focus on anything, as if I had suddenly developed a severe case of ADHD. Breathing became staccato and eating was out of the question. I was a blubbering blob floating around not knowing who I was or what I was doing. I mean if you really think about it, it’s down right ridiculous. But there I was, getting ready to drop everything and go to the hospital.

Despite all these set backs I still pushed through. I was not letting my body beat me. Firstly, I popped an Imodium in my mouth praying that it would clog me up so bad that I wouldn’t have to poop for 3 days! Next I had a drink and concentrated on my make-up which calmed me down. There’s something about distracting your mind, it really does work! Once I was ready my final decision was opting out of public transport and getting an Uber. The sheer stress of walking up and down and around and sideways in heels on the underground was insurmountable. Comfort and ease are always key in these situations. And of course, right before I left out the door, I popped another Imodium in my mouth. Yeah I know, and guess what, I didn’t care.

Once I sat down in the Uber  however, all my symptoms blasted at me simultaneously like the thrust of a spaceship lifting off. Breathing was the most difficult thing to do at that very moment. And throughout the 20-30 minute journey I was mentally talking myself out of not exiting the back seat while the car was still in motion. My internal repetition did not cease until I stepped my wobbly foot onto the pavement outside the bar. And finally, all unbearable feelings had vanished as soon as I had a gin & tonic.

I know many of you out there suffer from some form of anxiety, panic, nerves, stress etc. I just wanted to tell this story to let you guys know that if you fight it, you can beat it. Your mind is an unbelievable instrument. I had taken it for granted 7 years ago before I started suffering from panic attacks and nervous outbreaks that would cause my body to produce constant ever-changing physical symptoms. I thought I was untouchable and one tough bitch before. But your body has a funny way of responding to things such as stress. It goes on defence mode. Now I have stopped drinking caffeine which has helped me out a lot. I push myself through these “episodes” until I overcome it. I don’t rush to the hospital every time complaining I’m having a heart attack. I know a bit dramatic. But if you’ve experienced anything like it then you know what I’m talking about. I try and eat better and exercise helps funnily enough. I know the experts say it all the time but I’m an idiot and don’t listen to anyone until something happens of course… Either way, with these tiny changes I’ve noticed myself changing back into the carefree silly moron I once was of yesteryear. So trek through it and find what works for you.

Anyway, despite all this, I still think I’m one tough bitch! It ain’t easy, and I’m certainly not ashamed of any of it. (insert winky smiley face here)

Pandas, you aren’t alone!

❤ ❤ ❤