Do dogs really help with anxiety?

Nearly 4 years ago when I was at my worst my parents came across an article about a girl who happened to have a dog. An article explaining how much her dog had helped her in bad situations and how it continued to help her with her mental health.

Now my dad was against pets, always has been to be honest. He’s not the animal loving type. However this article swayed him a little, I say a little because he was still not for getting a pet but he was interested in just how much difference they can make. So me and my mum naturally searched out a dog and brought her home without him knowing until we showed up at the doorstep.

I remember the first few days where I felt horrendous because she didn’t come near me at all, if anything she ran the other way. I immediately thought it was because she could sense what i felt and it scared her, i felt horrible, scaring a dog off for something i myself couldn’t even control. Eventually however she settled in and to this day won’t leave me alone. The main question i always get asked when i tell people the part reason behind getting Bow is does she help?

It seems strange, a four-legged fur animal could make such a difference to someones mood and chemically I havent got a clue how it works, i don’t know if there’s something about how our bodies react to dogs that means it calms our inner self down or if it’s the dog itself that has some effect but i can honestly say that my dog is definitely a main part of how well i am today.

Now my dog is definitely not one to have cuddles, if anything when you go to cuddle her she walks away and just stares at you until you move from her spot but when im sad she senses it and just lets me cuddle, for as long as I need. Or if im having an anxious morning she just pops up with kisses and just lies near me and it works. It’s crazy how calm i feel in my dogs presence and honestly getting her was the best decision ever. Not only did we give her a better life as her past wasnt exactly pretty but she gave me a better life too.

I’m aware that you get those dogs that have been specially trained to help people with disabilities and mental health issues and they have a more in dept way of understanding it and that’s amazing, I applaud that. My dog didn’t, if anything she came to us as an overly skinny, beaten and out of control little 3-year-old. If anything she understood from a more personal level, she spent the first week or so just sat in a corner refusing to come near anyone but my dad. However shes as happy as she can be now, just like me.

So the answer is yes, yes dogs really can help you mentally and physically in all aspects of life.

Have a good day

Sky x

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Effects of small but life changing events…

Earlier on when I was just being my general nosy self i happened to come across that it had actually been roughly a year since i wrote a blog post on how damaging i found the fact that i couldn’t travel on a train. Its scary really because i can remember exactly how i felt at that time and how i felt as a person, which wasn’t very important that’s for sure. I had this unusual fear of the unknown and how it could affect me especially in travelling. If anything i had a fear or a sudden illness rearing its ugly head in my parents whilst i was gone for the day. This meaning i missed out on a lot of potentially exciting life events, and a lot of money. It also meant i lost a lot of friends due to people just really not understanding the true severity of it. Sad but true reality.

Somehow and if I’m 100% honest with you I’m still not sure on how i really got the guts to even give it a try, maybe i felt forced or maybe something just suddenly clicked in my mind and i was able to travel. I mean don’t get me wrong its taken me nearly an extra year to be able to travel in a comfortable way and don’t ask me to travel to any other places because that’s just too soon for me but at this current moment in time i’m really happy with the progress i have made.

In a way its made me happier, sounds silly but its given me a tiny bit of freedom that in a way i needed. I felt so trapped and constricted in my life that to finally have some sort of freedom and time to myself makes such a big difference to my life and the fact I’m finally able to create memories that mean something means a tonne more.

Obviously there are other things in life that I’m still pretty much afraid of that could really help in making some life changes but if i get too into that then that’ll be a side of me exposed and at this moment in time i’m not ok with that nor do i have anyone around me in which i trust enough to confide in. Another sad truth.

If I’m honest I just wanted to write this post because when my life really was at rock bottom i was convinced that in no way it could get better and every time someone said to me it will eventually get better i just laughed it off. I mean granted my life isn’t better in every aspect but the small improvement in that one aspect makes a tonne of difference. A tonne of happiness. So even to some people it may seem like the tiniest thing, for me it’s the best thing that could’ve happened. After all they do say that its the small things that make the biggest of differences.

Have a good day 

Sky x

Did i make the right decision?

A little less than a year ago I made a blog post telling everyone about my decision to stop counselling, Final counselling decision.

For people who weren’t reading my blog then I’ll give a little recap. Roughly a year ago I was going through my second lot of counselling since leaving school. After the first lot of counselling not going well and making me feel worse in myself mentally then i had ever felt i decided i would go back one final time in the hopes that this time i will be in a better head space and able to somehow better myself. I had it in my head that after a year something might have changed and i would be at least able to talk more openly and freely to the counselors at my local doctors office. Sadly that wasn’t the case and i personally felt for the better of my mental health that after just a few counselling sessions that i would not continue. At the time it was a tricky decision, on one half i wanted the best help possible for myself to get better and more mentally stable whereas the other half of me just felt like this wasn’t the case whilst counselling was involved. I felt like i wasn’t being listened to fully nor was i being taken very seriously.

A year later and to say looking back and thinking it was my best decision would be an overstatement. Granted this past year I’ve come a long way to who I used to be, something i have managed to achieve myself. However with every plus there is a huge downfall. There are times when i feel like counselling could have been beneficial to not me being able to overcome fears but just my mood in general. For example, things affect me a lot more than what they should. Recently something happened which has been causing me to lose sleep and quite frankly not feeling very mentally well in myself. That isn’t me however accusing people of making me act or feel that way, it’s just i haven’t fully worked out how to cope with things properly yet without hiding myself away for a while. This being the downside to my decision.

I think the main issue was not the counselling itself but the attitude that was given from both sides of the situation. I wasn’t treated very well but then again I wasn’t treating myself and my mental health well either this in turn made the mood horrible and a not very nice place to be which isn’t nice for anyone to be around.

But did i make the right decision?

100%. For me personally I feel like the realisation that counselling wasn’t for me was something that needed to happen. Yes it took me a further 10 months and many failed attempts to finally achieve a big milestone and something i can finally say that i did myself. I can’t say for certain whether that would have been achieved sooner or not with counselling but i can say that it was achieved in a less forced and controlled way. I felt as calm as i could have felt and i felt ready in myself to finally push myself further.

My advice for anyone struggling on the decision of carrying on with counselling or not is definitely to trust yourself. You know more than anyone else what is best for you and whether it’s the right time for you or not. Your mind is yours alone and no one can possibly know every inch of what is happening in there. If you feel like you need to leave then try it and if it’s not the best then you have the option to come back but if you feel like counselling is benefiting you then definitely stay. There is nothing wrong with getting help nor is there anything wrong with wanting to help yourself.

Have a good day

Sky x

 

Traveling again for the first time in 4 years!!

I remember the first day after Wireless was booked and how nervous and consumed with different thoughts i was. I was worried that i would chicken out days before or even last minute and there was no way at all that i would get in the train station where i live let alone on a train on the way to London.

If im completely honest it was alot calmer then i thought. Im unsure whether that was because i was around friends and didn’t particularly want to embarrass myself as internally i felt anything but calm. I felt worse. My body being overtaken with the worst feelings from the middle of Saturday meaning the dinner that was so nicely cooked for me by one of my best friends i didn’t eat because i just felt too sick at the thought of travelling. Our Saturday consisted of trying to get ready for the Sunday as we had to wake up early and just relaxing. If im honest we did alot more relaxing then we should have. Aiming to go to sleep at 9 and still being awake at gone 1 in the morning when we had a 4am alarm. I regret however that with all the laughing we did there was only an hour of sleep before we woke up at 3:30am to begin our journey.

Getting ready Sunday morning was all a rush so the thought of actually travelling completely vanished from my mind until we left. See we had made plans to go to mcdonalds to have breakfast before we left and just the thought that we were so clearly going somewhere not local meant i felt sick to my stomach but i knew i needed to eat else i’d be feeling even more sick then i did. The taxi journey to the train station however, i felt everything in my body completely overreact and the level of tears i was already holding back seemed to higher in level but the last thing i really wanted to do was cry.

I cant really explain the feeling of walking into the train station and instantly seeing the tracks, it was like i was having some out of body experience. Part of me was petrified beyond belief but then part of me was over the moon because i had actually done it and was standing there waiting on going to a place that i hadn’t been able to go to in 4 years! I mean granted i wish it stayed that way for the whole of the wait but as soon as we collected our tickets it felt more real and again i was back at that place of holding back the tears and close to chickening out. When i say i was close to chickening out i dont think many people are aware just how close i was, i was so tempted to just walk out of the train station and forget about the whole thing especially when the train became delayed but thanks to the confidence boosts from my best friends i was able to get on the train and on my way to London before i knew it.

To say getting on the train made me feel 10X better would be a lie. The moment i stepped onto the train i had this rush feeling like i was going to pass out and that pretty much stayed with every knock and wobble the train carriage had. The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach making itself known every now and again just to make sure i was aware it was still there. The journey felt like it went on forever yet somehow we were there in just over an hour.

When we got to London i felt a sense of relief, after 4 years of absolute horror to get here i was finally walking down those escalators in St Pancras station. I felt like i had achieved something and almost as though i knew this certain event was going to change my life. Yes i still felt extremely anxious over the fact i still had tubes to catch and there was huge crowds gathering everywhere but if im honest with you it didn’t matter. I was finally in London.

The day was amazing and although i had a few wobbles thoughout it and the crowds where sometimes too much to handle i made the most of it and i wouldnt ever rule out doing again, soon maybe. Who knows.

Feel free to Check out my video of the journey there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkKxZA5DIyw

Have a good day 

Sky x

The build up to the trip..

As you all know this coming weekend me and some friends are going London. Getting on a train and going somewhere that isn’t only 15 minutes from my house. If im completely honest last week i didn’t really think about it, the thought of it being 2 weeks away made me push it to the back of my mind and focus on other things. Of course the weekend just gone made me realise that it is in fact very close to when i have to face both my fears. However Monday i was fine. I personally feel as though it had something to do with the fact that i was so busy what with my eldest niece having her induction day into big school and then having to rush her to get to Nursery and have her parents evening, i didn’t really have the time to think about it.

Then Tuesday came and quite frankly it was all i did think about, so much so that i ended up having a huge panic attack about it late Tuesday night and working myself up far more then needed just by the mere thought. My phones stopped cooperating and wont charge properly so im panicking about maybe not having a suitable phone to go away with. I panicking about the times and being ready, im panicking about looking ok and if im having a really bad 5 minutes i’ll panic over the idea people might see my horribly stretch marked legs if my skirt blows up. Im panicking about something potentially happening, panicking about getting split up from the group or lost. Im pretty much panicking about everything.

I think the main issue is that because its such a big deal for me and its causing me to panic so much i keep mentioning it in the hopes it would somehow sink into my mind and the day wouldn’t be so petrifying, then i realise i dont shut up. I probably mention how scared i am every time its spoken about. Which means im becoming panicky over the fact people may think im trying to make this whole trip about me, which im 100% not.

Yes its going to be a big thing but its also a fun weekend with my girls so im hoping that i can somehow reroute my brain into channeling the exciting parts of the trip, apart from those bloody escalators i know we have to go down, death trap them i tell ya!!!

I thought writing this blog post would help give an insight of all the things we may go through when we have anxiety and have a trip coming up but lately I’ve realised you can only get so much across by a post. Your personal feelings and emotions that are linked to such a event may only be able to be felt by you because your situation is unique which means so are your feelings. I do hope people read this and know they are not alone, there are other people out there struggle with mental health and making simple trips to places.

My next blog post will be after the trip to London so i’ll let you all know how it goes. Pray for me.

Have a good day 

Sky x

 

Anxiety over a piercing?

If you know me personally you would know I’ve always been one to talk about piercings and tattoos but I’ve never been one to do so. Every since i was 7 i can remember wanting my ears pierced, even going for it one day then being too scared to go through with it. That never changed, right up until the other week i wanted too but i was just too petrified of the idea.

Part of me thinks it was down to the other reactions i had seen, the reactions of little children where they would scream and that instantly put me off. I thought there was no way i could ever have anything pierced because i would 100% make a fool of myself. In honesty i think i was more scared of making a prat of myself then having the actual piercing done.

So last weekend whilst i was out with my friends we all made a spontaneous decision to get a piercing, me being more on the fence about it all as i would indeed be getting 2 piercings, one in each ear, and for the fact of my past and how anxious the thought made me i was apprehensive. I dont know what happened but for some reason i went for it, i paid and i waited to get it done. I cant say i was completely chilled because that in itself would be a complete lie. I was COMPLETELY freaking out, i felt like i was going to lose it at any moment and cry, but i didn’t. Instead i just stood and waited, i was last by the way which didn’t help with my anxiety AT ALL.

I did it. I officially after 13 years of letting my anxiety over the situation rule my decision, i got my ears pierced.

 

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Im aware to some people this may not be a big deal at all and in fact it probably isn’t but to me personally being able to do this was a big huge step. I never step out of my comfort zone or purposely do things i know would cause my anxiety to go here, there and everywhere but lately i am and i feel much more comfortable mentally then I’ve ever been. If anything i have my best friends to thank for it, without them pushing me and giving me the nudge to do something i never would. When i say nudge i dont mean in a bad way or a way thats forceful, what i mean is they push the idea a little passed the boundaries that were there and then make it clear they are there for me and its that which makes me want to do it.

Im even thinking of getting another piercing soon. I will probably wait until these two have healed up so i wouldn’t have to fuss over all three piercings at the same time but more ear piercings are appealing to me more then ever. However i think i need a little more balls for anything else at the moment.

Never say never though.

Have a good day

Sky x

Travelling is a pretty touchy subject with me i mean for the past 3/4 years I’ve put it on the back burner not really bothering to attempt to travel after my failures in the past. Every time i think of travelling somewhere i think of embarrassing myself in front of everyone when i went to tumble or panicking the whole 5 hours to Bath and making myself poorly. My anxiety just doesn’t do well travelling.

So it will probably come as a complete shock that after all those years im planning to travel yet again. To say im nervous would be an understatement, granted this time i wont be travelling to said place on my own ill be with 3 of my best friends but its no less horrendous for my mind. If im being completely honest with myself i do feel different, more confident about it this time but then i do have those moments where i cant even think about it without feeling sick and my body getting this overwhelming feeling of anxiousness. I cant help but picture all those other failed attempts and embarrassments to myself and assume thats whats going to happen this time but they’ll be people there to experience it aswell. No doubt i’ll be completely quiet and probably even spend the middle of the night crying to myself in the bathroom like i usually do before a big plan but i really am determined to go through with it this time and i couldn’t have a better support network with me in doing so.

I think personally my biggest fear is ruining everyone’s day, i dont want the day to revolve around whether i can do it or everyone’s eyes being firmly fixed on me because of my mental illness nor do i want it to seem like im wanting all the attention from it. Yes its a big deal for me to not only get on the train but be at a train station and yes i do want some sort of recognition for finally being able to do something but i dont want it to overshadow the most amazing day we are going to have. I say amazing because i know it will be even if right now my mind is tricking me into thinking about everything that could potentially go wrong whether it be with me as a person or at home when im not here. Im only going for a day, there in the morning back at night but thats a huge step.

I dont want to crack under the pressure of this when the other day i felt perfectly fine about going but i feel as it gets closer i become more anxious and closed into myself, i overthink it. To stop overthinking for me is near impossible, its something my mind does naturally. If you do it yourself you’ll understand how hard it is to stop once your mind gets going.

I even brought a new portable charger for the trip but my mind is convinced that even with it my battery will go dead and something will happen at home and the first i would know about it would be when i would get back or something happening at home and me having to wait a whole hour trip back on my own with my anxiety and potentially miss something within that hour. The thoughts just keep on coming.

But ill be fine. As much as my mind tries to convince me i wont be i know i’ll be fine.

Have a good day

Sky x