Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Antipatory anxiety

Hi everyone, I hope you’re ok?
I wanted to blog about something which can affect me quite a bit and isn’t the easiest to talk about. Anticipatory anxiety is the feelings, thoughts and sometimes pure dread before something is going to happen. This could be; a social situation, a holiday, a day at work or uni or an appointment the list is very much endless. Anticipatory anxiety is your mind racing with all of the “what if’s” and the brain can conjure up an endless list of possibilities or scenarios of what might happen and more often than not think of the worse possible scenario or catastrophize it. This can lead to the physical symptoms being triggered and even lead to panic attacks.

What I’ve found with anticipatory anxiety is that it’s not just something which might happen the night or day before something but can happen days or even weeks before something. Although, from personal experience,  the night/morning before can be really hard. Given how challenging it can be it’s understandable why many people who have anxiety may want to avoid or pull out at the last minute of doing something as those feelings can get so strong it can lead to panic/anxiety attacks which can leave people feeling guilty. I know how easy it is to get into that vicious circle myself and the frustration of when it can feel anxiety has got to you or affected your plans.

This is something I’m hoping to work on, but I’ve been told understandably confidence and believing in yourself can have a lot to do with it too, something I’ve always struggled with. Everyone is different and different things help different people, it’s finding what works or helps for you.

This is something which can be quite difficult to talk about and affects people in different ways and under different circumstances. I’ve been told it can be quite common in people with dyspraxia etc who may also struggle with anxiety, this research is ongoing, although I do think organisation and planning difficulties can add another layer to the anxiety.

I’ve personally found anticipatory anxiety can be worse if something is new and unknown to you or has a new element to it or unpredictability.

From the outside looking in, people may make assumptions that someone is being lazy, or being silly. It’s easy for others to say, “there’s nothing to worry about.” or “stop panicking.” Whilst I think nobody can fully understand unless you have personal experiences, empathy and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can mean a lot to them. I appreciate that it may be difficult if a friend has to cancel plans or leave early but understand that they aren’t doing it to be flaky. On the other hand, if you see a friend has managed to push through their anxiety to be able to find the courage to do something, try and empathise how much courage it might have taken them to be able to something even if it’s something small you take for granted. Celebrate their achievements, no matter how little they may be.

Check in with your friends, although talking can be difficult for many a listening ear and knowing you have people in your corner may not take away the struggles but can help someone not feel alone.

Personally, I know too well how anxiety can make you feel socially isolated, like an outcast or like an outsider. It’s horrible and this can make you feel quite low and depressed.  But by writing this blog  I hope it can help people feel less alone slightly. Always be kind, you never know what fully is going on someone’s life.

Keep going, you’re stronger than you think!
Until next time..


Saturday, 28 July 2018

Inclusion & participation

Hello everyone, long time no speak, I hope you’re all well?

After a slight break from blogging, I wanted to write about something really close to my heart:
the value of inclusion. Before I begin, I think it’s important to remember that this is my personal experiences, and interests- other people may experience things differently.

Just because a person finds something difficult or more challenging doesn’t mean they don’t want to feel included or that they belong. Being inclusive is giving someone a bit of your time, patience and empathy. Being inclusive isn’t about fitting people into boxes, it’s about letting them find their feet in their own way - at their own speed. Not putting pressure on someone can give have positive results.

When people think of issues such as anxiety, mental health, confidence and/or neurodiversity there is often a focus on their impact on school/university or work. For this blog, I wanted to touch on the impact of more everyday issues such as; travelling, social situations and leisure activities.

From a young age, I’ve always struggled to find the confidence to go and to participate in activities and everyday things many people take for granted - these situations can be anxiety or even panic-inducing. Personally, these can include; stepping out of my comfort zone, trying new things, travelling, anything involving crowds or social situations. Due to my anxiety, mild depression and self-esteem issues and dyspraxia I find these difficult, also situations in everyday life such as; going shopping, days out, going on holiday or having meals with family can be challenging. Anxiety can make you want to avoid doing things like this and it can be a vicious circle and can get you down.

A month ago, I attended Dyspraxia Foundation conference in London where there was a keynote speech from Anxiety UK, I also attended the youth group workshops. The thought of being in a group of people and people I didn’t know, was quite anxiety-inducing. My friend Alice, who is a youth worker was running the icebreaker sessions. She is an inclusive person and uses her own experiences of mental health and dyspraxia in a positive way. Straight away we were met with no pressure to join in or participate and to do what we felt comfortable with and people wouldn’t think any less of us for that. Due to that many people took part. Thank you to both charities for all being understanding and for an inclusive conference.

As an avid pop music fan  growing up listening to (in my opinion) feel good, uplifting music, helps to lift my mood when I’m feeling low or down. I’ve been lucky to have some lovely handwritten messages and hugs from Mollie, her words of kindness and empathetic nature really do make a huge difference to me. Travel, crowds, the concerts themselves and finding the confidence to let go, and enjoy myself due to anxiety and panic attacks can be difficult to explain. I would love to find the confidence to join in with things I love more and whose music has helped me.

I value friendship a lot and as someone who has struggled to make them, I appreciate it a lot.  But again anxiety and social anxiety can make it hard to meet up with friends, keep up with what’s happening or participate and in group situations especially if it involves travel or meeting new people. I’ve always been quite shy and quiet and it can take quite a while to get to know me and feel comfortable with people. I worry about how I come across or if I might say the wrong thing.

I’ve recently started therapy and hopefully, I can learn to be calmer, happier and face my fears but it’s going to take time. As someone who finds it quite difficult to ask for help, it’s important that there’s understanding how difficult it is to speak up and ask for help when you’re struggling especially with mental health. But it's something I wanted to raise awareness of in this blog.

I like to hope my experiences have made me open-minded, non-judgmental and someone who will always have a listening ear.

One of the best things you can do listen, help someone to believe in themselves and give someone a chance.

Until next time....




Thursday, 12 July 2018

Inclusion and participation

Hello everyone, long time no speak, I hope you’re all well?

After a slight break from blogging, I wanted to write about something really close to my heart:
the value of inclusion. Before I begin, I think it’s important to remember that this is my personal experiences, and interests- other people may experience things differently.

Just because a person finds something difficult or more challenging doesn’t mean they don’t want to feel included or that they belong. Being inclusive is giving someone a bit of your time, patience and empathy. Being inclusive isn’t about fitting people into boxes, it’s about letting them find their feet in their own way - at their own speed. Not putting pressure on someone can give have positive results.

When people think of issues such as anxiety, mental health, confidence and/or neurodiversity there is often a focus on their impact on school/university or work. For this blog, I wanted to touch on the impact of more everyday issues such as; travelling, social situations and leisure activities.

From a young age, I’ve always struggled to find the confidence to participate in activities and everyday things many people take for granted - these situations can be anxiety or even panic-inducing. Personally, these can include; stepping out of my comfort zone, trying new things, travelling, anything involving crowds or social situations. Due to my anxiety, mild depression and self-esteem issues I find these difficult, also situations in everyday life such as; going shopping, days out, going on holiday or having meals with family can be challenging.

A month ago, I attended Dyspraxia Foundation conference in London where there was a keynote speech from Anxiety UK, I also attended the youth group workshops. The thought of being in a group of people and people I didn’t know, was quite anxiety-inducing. My friend Alice, who is a youth worker was running the icebreaker sessions. She is an inclusive person and uses her own experiences of mental health and dyspraxia in a positive way. Straight away we were met with no pressure to join in or participate and to do what we felt comfortable with and people wouldn’t think any less of us for that. Due to that many people took part. Thank you to both charities for all being understanding and for an inclusive conference.

As an avid pop music fan  growing up listening to (in my opinion) feel good, uplifting music, helps to lift my mood when I’m feeling low or down. I’ve been lucky to have some lovely handwritten messages and hugs from Mollie, her words of kindness and empathetic nature really do make a huge difference to me. Travel, crowds, the concerts themselves and finding the confidence to let go, and enjoy myself due to anxiety and panic attacks can be difficult to explain. I would love to find the confidence to join in with things I love more and whose music has helped me.

I value friendship a lot and as someone who has struggled to make them, I appreciate it a lot.  But again anxiety and social anxiety can make it hard to meet up with friends, keep up with what’s happening or participate and in group situations especially if it involves travel or meeting new people. I’ve always been quite shy and quiet and it can take quite a while to get to know me and feel comfortable with people. I worry about how I come across or if I might say the wrong thing.

I’ve recently started therapy and hopefully, I can learn to be calmer, happier and face my fears but it’s going to take time. As someone who finds it quite difficult to ask for help, it’s important that there’s understanding how difficult it is to speak up and ask for help when you’re struggling especially with mental health. But it's something I wanted to raise awareness of in this blog.

I like to hope my experiences have made me open-minded, non-judgmental and someone who will always have a listening ear.

One of the best things you can do listen, help someone to believe in themselves and give someone a chance.

Until next time....





Thursday, 17 May 2018

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018- Sensitivity

Hi everyone, I hope you’re well?
I wanted to blog about the value of sensitivity when discussing mental health issues, when someone may disclose they have a difficulty or in general when someone may be not finding life not that easy. Although this blog focuses on Mental Health Awareness Week sensitivity is important when discussing any kind of difficulty, disability or condition and not just relevant to mental health. Many people may have co-occurring mental health problems alongside a disability or difficulty, such as: dyspraxia.

I’ve never been someone who finds it easy to talk about myself, how I feel or the struggles I may be having at a particular moment in time. As someone who has social anxiety/anxiety, my fear of judgment has always been pretty high. A fear of what if someone laughs at me, dismisses me or even worse tells me off or shouts at me for finding life a bit more challenging than they do. I don’t think anyone can fully understand what it’s like to have experiences of mental health unless you have faced challenges yourself but we can all show some empathy.

From an outsider looking in perspective when someone may be facing issues invisible to the eye, be feeling overwhelmed and unfocused with anxiety or withdrawn from the low mood and that they are simply being lazy or not trying hard enough. The world we live in is very fast paced and very go, go, go. So it can be difficult for many people to understand why other people may simply can’t just do something, it took them a longer period of time or why they may get overwhelmed or low with tasks many people simply take for granted. When you add other difficulties  and disabilities to the mix, it adds another layer to the equation. There are also so many different perspectives on mental health, no two experiences are the same. Charities such as: Time To Change and Mind do a lot of work to help to reduce stigma.

But, many people who struggle with their mental health also have difficulties with their self-esteem and confidence. There’s a good chance that we will already be hard on ourselves, or maybe be more sensitive. So sensitivity or a listening ear can mean a lot to someone who is going through a difficult patch. Shouting or insensitive comments or looks don’t make someone feel better about themselves, in fact, it can make things more difficult.

From my own personal experiences due to the invisibility factor, there’s also a fear of people thinking you’re lazy or not trying hard enough. I know well how situations, places and things people take for granted are far from easy to me. Situations which many people wouldn’t think twice about such as transport, getting my hair cut, going to the dentist or going to a concert to name a few. Can be a lot more anxiety and panic-inducing for me and then is the low mood from depression which can come from life too. I know too well how words can make you feel when you're already finding things difficult, but how the sensitivity of others and some understanding can mean a lot too. I would like to thank people for standing by me recently when life has been a bit tough, it means more than you'll ever know.

Sensitivity can help someone believe in themselves when they struggle to and open up and talk when it might be hard.

You’re stronger than you think!

Until next time...

On Sunday my dad and my boyfriend Matt will be running Manchester 10k in aid of Mind and Dyspraxia Foundation to raise awareness. I don't like asking people for money, as I know money is tight at the moment, but every penny helps to make a difference.

Mind: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rosiemattmind18
Dyspraxia Foundation:  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rosie-edmondson1





Monday, 19 March 2018

Finding Out More

Hello everyone, I hope you are well?

 I'm sorry for the delay in posting since my last blog it's been a bit of a difficult few months for me- this blog is quite from the heart and took courage to write, so please be kind whilst reading it.

I wanted to write this blog about the value of finding out more, especially when someone has social anxiety, finds it harder to express themselves or talk about how they feel. Checking in with a friend or loved one and asking, "how are you?" or "how are things?" For a lot of people talking about how they feel can be challenging: maybe due to fear of rejection/judgement, finding it difficult to explain or finding the right words. I think it's about finding a balance however, so not to overwhelm someone by asking too many questions, personal questions, or making them feel under pressure.

As someone who has had fear of rejection from a young age and has never been an outspoken person, especially in group situations due to social anxiety/anxiety, I've always struggled to talk about myself and how I feel. In social situations, when it comes to my turn, finding the confidence for me to share my ideas or speak up or stand up in front of a group, can anxiety inducing and is a lot more challenging. It doesn't mean I don't have an opinion/ideas: it's just harder for me and it takes time to feel comfortable and relaxed with people.

One of the best things you can do to be there for someone who has a mental illness, condition or difficulty is to firstly listen, then take a little time find out more. Read blogs, watch Youtube videos, read information on Charity websites. By educating yourself you help to gain awareness not just for someone you care about but also other people. Whilst there is more mental health awareness around in current times, awareness and understanding of dyspraxia are still limited. It's more than just simply being a bit clumsy.

It's important to remember everyone has different challenges and deals with things differently. Just because your friend's friend /next door neighbour has difficulties with their mental health or is dyspraxic doesn't mean they will be the same as me. People can also find different situations more challenging than others.  My anxiety can take various forms: generalised, health-related and social. I can also experience panic attacks anxiety-based depression.

Some people like to use an "outsider looking in" approach to finding out more about someone, but for people who may have anxiety/mh challenges, this may be more tricky, as is the case also for any invisible difficulty. Sometimes you have to look beneath the surface. You cannot tell fully, no matter what someone puts on Social Media, whether they are having a good/bad day, so always try and show some kindness. Even though I've been blogging for a while now there are still things people may not know about me and chapters of my story not told.

But most importantly find out more to get to know who someone is as a person, to get to know their heart and soul. What floats their boat and  and what their interests and passions are.

Putting us under pressure to open up or do things, however, doesn't help, we need to be given time and empathy. Be in someone's corner, by showing your support, whilst it doesn't take away their challenges, it can mean that they aren't facing them alone. For many people, confidence and self-esteem are quite big issues which can go alongside other difficulties.  I know from my own personal lived experiences in my day to day life, words of support can mean a lot.

 Our lives are like a book but there may be chapters of the story which are untold. By taking the time to find out more you can help someone unlock their pages and help to write the future.

Until next time.......




Saturday, 17 February 2018

The value of empathy, and understanding

Hello everyone,

Having empathy is being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes, to show them some kindness and care.  I don't think you can truly fully understand what someone is going through whether it be a mental health condition, difficulty or disability but we can all try and show someone a little bit of compassion and kindness.

As with all of my blogs, no two people are the same, and everyone's experiences are different.  We all have our own personal experiences, stories and there are so many different perspectives, even from those in similar situations. For example, someone else may experience anxiety/depression like me but have different triggers. The same with any other difficulties: the charity Dyspraxia Foundation use the phrase, "when you've met someone who's dyspraxic, you've met someone who is dyspraxic."  It's very easy to put people into a box when in reality we are all unique and present uniquely. We all come from different backgrounds, have different family circumstances and different interests.

As someone who has anxiety/social anxiety, I can overthink and worry about many things and find various situations challenging.  My brain can be like a runaway train,  doubting yourself for situations upcoming or ones you've been in, overthinking anything and everything struggling to switch off. Some of the thoughts you can have when you have social anxiety can be; that people will judge you, laugh at you, look at you or are upset with you. These thoughts can trigger the physical symptoms of anxiety/panic and then affect my mood. If you know someone who has anxiety or is, in general, an over-thinker the little things can really help us. This could be; being aware of your tone of voice, being careful of your words e.g. telling someone "not to worry/panic" isn't helpful, or giving someone a few words of reassurance or kindness or encouragement if a situation is challenging.

Likewise, with dyspraxia my brain and body process information more slowly which means things can take longer to pick up, do or learn. A little bit of time and patience can be lovely.  In all areas of life, it takes me time to build up my confidence. The little things can really mean a lot to me, and which is why I try and be compassionate and understanding to other people.

Last week, my boyfriend Matt and I had our 6th anniversary of being together, we are very similar but at the same time very different people. Being in a relationship with Matt has taught me to have empathy for things which he finds more challenging (social situations and anxiety) and his love of Arsenal Football Club and Britney Spears. I'm grateful to him believing in me. Also thanks to friends and to the lovely Mollie King who I am forever grateful for her kindness.

To anyone who might need this today, no matter where you are on your journey, you are enough and you are good enough. You and your voice and opinions have much value, you matter.

Until next time..

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Time to Talk Day 2018

Hello everyone, I hope you're well?
This Thursday (1st February)  is Time To Talk Day which is run by the amazing mental health charity Time To Change. This is a day which encourages people to try and talk more about mental health to help reduce stigma and misunderstanding.

Up to 1 in 4 people can struggle with their mental health at some point in their lives, there is a good chance that this is yourself or someone close to you. Mental health conditions as with many disabilities or difficulties are invisible to the eye, so you can't tell by looking at someone what they might be going through. 

The theme this year is about how there doesn't have to be a set place to have conversations around mental health. I have always struggled opening up about my anxiety/low mood and how I might be feeling, I know talking isn't the easiest for everyone and I know from my own experiences anxiety can make you feel like you’re bothering people and opening up can be difficult. Not everyone finds it easy to instantly become an open book about how they feel nor feel naturally confident approaching someone and sharing their experiences. It can take a while for me to get to know me and for me to build up my trust. I’m  so grateful to those who are patient with me about this and for words of support with my anxiety.

Which is why the little things can mean a lot to, simply asking how they are, taking the time to find out more or simply giving a listening ear. I know the little things mean SO much to me. I  try my best to give back and be there for friends and loved ones when they might be finding life a little bit more challenging. I would hate for others to feel what I have or to go through what I have in life. 

We all have a responsibility to talk about mental health, not just on Time To Talk Day, but every day.
Awareness days/weeks are simply so much more than on that day or for that week, awareness and understanding needs to be out there all year round. 

But by generating awareness and helping to reduce stigma we can help others feel less alone and encourage more conversations and maybe empower them to seek help to further support themselves. 

Most importantly,never underestimate the power of kindness, kindness can mean a lot. You’re not alone and I hope by writing this blog it might reach out to someone.

Keep going,
You're a lot stronger than you think you are,
Until next time.....




Antipatory anxiety

Hi everyone, I hope you’re ok? I wanted to blog about something which can affect me quite a bit and isn’t the easiest to talk about. Antici...