Mental illness: the thief that stole my confidence & independence

As it is health awareness month I decided to reflect on the last ten months and my diagnosis of anxiety and depression. Upon reflection I have come to realise that I have neglected to work on my self image as well as my self confidence. So I challenged myself to do something different everyday for the entire month and so far I am winning. Everyday during the first week I made myself feel good by doing something new, positive and out of my comfort zone.So wether it is putting make up on, going for a walk or dressing up, I have done it to make myself feel good.

Week Two of the month and a friend asked me to look after her cat while she was away on holiday. I have done this many times before, however this time it had a bit more significance. As I drove to her home by myself for the first time in a few months, although I have seen her many times since my diagnosis and I have obviously driven to her house before, this time it was different. For the first time in months I actually drove somewhere other than on the school run. Yes I have been driving with my husband and kids, but this time I drove myself by myself. Driving to her home my anxiety kicked in, and I realised just how much of my confidence I have lost to this illness.

Previously driving somewhere wasn’t a problem for me and even driving to work wasn’t a problem because I had to. This time round It just felt different. My anxiety kicked in as I drove on the motorway, but the minute I reached her home and snuggled on the sofa with her sweet cat, it all evaporated. The significance in this experience was realising just how much work I have done in my recovery, but also how much work I still have to do. I have come to realise that not only have I lost my confidence in the process, but also my independence and sense of self. Everything I have done have always been around the interests of my family and with them, but I asked myself when have I last gone somewhere alone? That question I cannot answer. Prior to visiting my friends lovely cat, I have not driven alone unless it was to work or gone anywhere without having either my friend or my some of my family with me. Never alone for leisure. This is something I need to work on. I need to gain my independence back and maybe working on that will build my confidence. Maybe the two has some inter-dependence.

For most of the second week, I have not worked on myself at all. In fact I spent the week in bed not by choice, but due to a sudden case of tonsillitis. It hit me really hard. I had an dangerously high temperature and couldn’t eat for a few days. So although I wanted to get up, dress up and show up I physically couldn’t. I used the time to recuperate and reflect in between naps and feeding my friends cute little cat.This has made me realise how much I have under taken the past year. I took on more than what my body could bare and it’s starting to crack. Now I need to reduce my workload which may eliminate some stressors in my life, but also I have so much work to do to regain my confidence and independence.

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11 thoughts on “Mental illness: the thief that stole my confidence & independence

  1. This is a really moving post, I hope things get better for you. I suffer from strong anxiety as well, and have found solace in blogging about the things I love and enjoy in life. I hope it brings you the same piece of mind it has brought me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much lovely. Blogging really is like therapy for me, and I am learning so much through this journey. Thank you so much for reading/commenting. I wish you all the best on your journey xx

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  2. Great Post. I can relate to dealing with anxiety issues and depression. I, too, have found a cat or dog to be comforting. Your blog shows courage and strength. Thank you for your honest sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I wish you all the best on your journey, anxiety and depression really steals out joy, im just so happy I’m able to learn from this and try to be better! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I really appreciate it! Xx

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    2. Thank you so much lovely! Xx

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  3. Nice post! I commend you on sharing your experience with anxiety and depression. It allows the rest of us to connect to you through your writing. I have also found that just doing something different can have a beneficial impact on my wellness and anxiety; as often the event that I am fearing is often not as bad as the build up in my mind. On a side note, driving across bridges, at one point in my life, would send me into a near panic attack. Perhaps it has something to do with the claustrophobic nature of it. While it’s not nearly as bad today, the anxiety will pop up now and again. Thank you once again for sharing!

    Roger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Roger. I really appreciate your time and input. Means a lot to me. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post 🙂 I can really relate. Driving is difficult for me sometimes too, with my anxiety. It was never a problem for years, until the last couple- mainly when I am driving with my kids in the car. In fact, during the last winter I pretty much told my husband, “you have to drive anytime it is icy or snowing ,” because I would have panic attacks as I would drive. I was not so concerned with my driving, it was the fear of other people’s driving causing an accident.

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    1. Oh lovely I know that feeling all too well. I have only ever driven twice in the snow in the ten years I’ve lived in this country. Honestly the fear takes over and I just can’t even bring myself to driving in this conditions especially the last year. Xx

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  5. Lovely post- really conveys the reality of what it is to be human. The small yet big choices everyday.
    How sometimes self-care get lost in “life” and it is a struggle to get it going. And when you do- something else may crop up, to change what that self care needs to look like.
    I really connect with what you’ve written here, the piecemeal nature of life.
    Thank you for sharing your human times,
    Spence.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautifully expressed M. Keep working hard and the process of rediscovering you is essential.

    I know (I really do mean I know) that it can feel self centred at the time, but a flourishing you in all your glory is the greatest gift you can give to your family, friends and the world!

    Liked by 1 person

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