MENTAL HEALTH DAY

First of all, I just want to start by saying I’m sorry if my recent blog post about caring for yourself while caring for others made you worry about me. I didn’t write that post with the intentions of causing worry or even talking in depth about the pits of my mental state. I was simply trying to get everything that’s been going on lately off of my chest, and after getting some feedback from those around me I realized it may have been perceived a little differently than I originally intended. October is mental health awareness month & today is mental health day, so it feels only fitting that I go into it a little bit more on my mental health. Being quiet does nothing but make it worse, and we need to accept and talk about our mental illnesses to get better.

I did realize that maybe I scared a few people with that blog post because I haven’t really let my anxiety show that much. I’ve dealt with over-worrying and anxiety for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I was super socially anxious and shy. In the sixth grade, I was voted “most quiet” out of the whole class. I went through phases where my anxiety got the best of me with no known cause, like when I didn’t eat for several weeks because I was afraid I was going choke and die or because there were tapeworms in my food (we can thank a documentary on Animal Planet for that second one). Another example would be when I was petrified of ghosts and would sleep with my blanket all the way up over my head for nights on end (if I can’t see them, they can’t see me, right? Expert logic!) and not to mention the lack of sleep I got every Christmas due to my deep fear of Santa Clause.

Over the years, I have been able to manage my anxiety, fears, worrying, and paranoia. I’m an extrovert at heart who loves people, so the social anxiety part is mostly gone after forcing myself to talk to random people every week while greeting at Church on Sundays. I don’t fear to talk to new people, although sometimes walking into a crowded room can still get my heart racing. It’s virtually impossible for me to walk into a crowded room late. I do still also have a lot of random fears and paranoid spells. I will do everything humanly possible to avoid stepping foot in an elevator or on an indoor ride. I constantly worry people are judging me and that I’ll never be good enough. I need a lot of reassurance to build up any sort of confidence in myself.

Yes, my anxiety has been increasingly worsening over the last month, but there’s been a lot going on so I know that’s probably why. It’s nothing that I am majorly concerned with right now, and after talking about it with some lovely people (you know who you are and how grateful I am for you) I realized that it helps me be less anxious if I actually opened up about everything that’s swirling around in my head and didn’t try to hide it with a fake smile. I could just keep pushing on like nothing’s wrong, but that wouldn’t be in the least bit healthy.

I am looking forward to soon having a break. My fall break from school is next Monday and Tuesday and I’m thankful for the opportunity to also take off work to spend those days recuperating. I’m not gonna sugar coat it, this semester has not been the best. Like I’ve mentioned, a lot has been going on and I cannot wait to have a few days to rest and recover from it all. I plan on doing nothing but Halloween decorating, watching Hocus Pocus and Scary Godmother on repeat, and (hopefully) catching up with some friends and family. It feels like this is what my mind and soul needs, so I’m listening to it.

Make sure you take some time to take care of your mental health. I know it can be easy to forget, but mental health is just as important as your physical health. Rest, do some of your favorite things, and listen to what your brain is telling you! Know that you are loved through the struggle & despite what you may think, you are an amazing human being who is doing great things in this world!

xx,

Bailey

Life as an Over-Worrier

If you could go back in time and see me when I was in elementary/middle school you would not recognize me. The most likely reason for that being you probably wouldn’t have noticed me at all. That’s right, I was the shy kid! I never spoke up in class, did not talk to anyone that wasn’t my friend, and I definitely never wanted to be the center of attention. You remember those images on Facebook where you used to tag your friends as “the sporty one” or “the one who always makes you laugh”? I was always tagged as “the quiet one.” This was all because of this thing that lives inside my head that I like to call “the over-worrier.”

Some people would probably refer to this feeling as a type of anxiety, but it is something I deal with where this little voice pops up in my head during everyday situations and starts making me think about the “what if’s.” In fact they’re happening right now as I am writing this post. What if people think I’m weird because I deal with this? What if people don’t understand what I’m going through? What if this scares people away? What if people don’t like my blog? Those are the types of questions that float around my head in any given situation. It happens a lot and when I was younger I definitely let “the over-worrier” take control of me. I didn’t talk to a lot in front of a big group of people because I was worried that I would say something wrong or stupid that would make people not like me. This made people think I was shy, but I actually really wanted to make lots of friends and talk to people! I was just too busy worrying about what to say that I never got to say anything.

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Thankfully, in high school (especially junior & senior year) I started gaining the power to fight back against the “over-worrier.” I decided I wasn’t going to miss out on so much anymore because I was too busy worrying about it. So what if I say something stupid or someone doesn’t like what I’m wearing? I have a creator that made me in his image and thinks I’m pretty cool. He put me on this planet with a purpose and that alone is enough to not let the worrying stop me from fulfilling his plan for me.

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I began talking to new people more and making new friends; which was something that always used to terrify me because of worrying about what people who didn’t know me would think of me. I joined the greeter team at church last year, and that has been a tremendous help to overcoming the worrying that comes with meeting new people. Within a few months of being a greeter I became a team leader and find “the over-worrier” becoming a lot quieter. It can be a really good thing to get out of your comfort zone every now and then; you might even discover something that makes you really happy!

“The over-worrier” is someone who I still deal with on a daily basis, but I am trying my best not to let it overcome me and control all my decisions. I have managed to overcome a lot of battles with worrying and will continue to do so with the strength of lord with me.  If you found this post to be relatable I would love to talk about it with you! I also have a lot more stories of dealing with over-worrying, so if you’d like to read more let me know.

Have a lovely week!

xx,

Bailey

(featured photo by the incredibly talented and super rad Peter Nelson)