Acupuncture for Anxiety

So I haven’t blogged in an age, call it what you will, but I think I suffer from regular writer’s block. That, or I just do not do enough outside work and a Master’s to create interesting content. Like who really wants hear about the long hours I spend in front of my TV? Seriously though, if you do want a blog on that I can oblige…..

As some of you may know I suffer really badly from anxiety and when it flares up it’s crippling.

I could be out doing something completely regular or normal and a wave of paranoia will take over and suddenly this thick lump is in my throat and it’s choking me and tears prick my eyes and I need to leave, get out, and run as far away from my brain as possible until it subsides.

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And I was dealing really fantastically with everything until I went through a break up, a really bad, sudden one, the second one in a year, and I was embarrassed and heartbroken. Unfortunately this all culminated into a tragic mess that spiked my anxiety out of control to a point where I was suffering from daily panic attacks and insomnia. Add that to a diet of comfort eating and I was a hot mess!

Luckily I have the greatest friends and one of them suggested acupuncture, this was how I met Sinead Casey of Nea Acupuncture, a city centre based acupuncturist.

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My treatments with Sinead began in late August with a consultation surrounding food, lifestyle and treatment goals. At the time I could hardly speak to her without tearing up. I could hardly breathe.

But Sinead was fantastic, originally focusing on points to help with my anxiety as well as recommending supplements to help detox me and aid my erratic sleeping patterns. She used to check in after treatments to see how I was coping during the week. It was incredibly helpful to have someone else in your corner going through a difficult time.

Throughout the course of treatments she suggested removing dairy from my diet, removing any badness or toxins that would decrease my mood in any way. She sent on diet plans, recipes and app suggestions to help with meditation. Now I am the proud owner of HeadSpace Meditation App and my head feels clearer than it has ever been…

In the last few months, as hectic as my life has been, juggling work, a Masters and a blog, I can now zone out. Things that would have originally affected me personally or caused anxiety do not have as much of an effect. And as for diet I no longer crave sticky things like cheese and removing this has seemed to coincidentally regulated my hormones, clearing up my acne.

I’m braver now, because I feel in control of my anxiety and I can do more things, see my friends more and just LIVE more. It’s win win!

I would highly recommend anyone to give Sinead a visit for any lifestyle advice or treatments, as it has been such a natural yet effective way of helping me cope with my anxiety.

You can contact her at neaacupuncture@gmail.com, your mind and body will thank you for it!

 

 

Confessions of a College Graduate

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.

Some of you may not know this about me, but I am a recent Electrical Engineering graduate, I even managed a 1.1 in a level 8 degree!

Some of may also be unaware that I have never desired nor wished to be an engineer.

My engineering degree capped off the most taxing four years of my life, it signalled my lack of social development and the omission of that so-called college experience.

I will always remember my induction day at my local institute of technology, that tumultuous moment when the student leader named out our class list, the sickening nodules that formed together in the pit of my stomach as I willed the senior student to call out one more name that would mean I was no longer alone amidst the sea of boys, but alas no such name was mentioned, no such solace arrived and on my first day of a new adventure I realised that I was the only girl in my year!

The ugly truth that no one tells you about engineering is that girls should do it, it is a course perfectly suited to our over analytical  young adult mind-sets and attention to finite detail, but seldom girls ever choose it and why would they? Because unfortunately the overly male orientated world of engineering hasn’t changed or vastly improved in the last thirty years and undoubtedly won’t in the next.

Throughout my degree I was the only one asked in my course why I chose Electrical Engineering, I was the one whose possible sanity was questioned, I was the one stared at like an other world alien as I was a girl who had chosen this course. The men however, their decisions were never questioned, as if they had obviously chosen a logical college course that would root a smooth and rewarding career path, I on the other-hand was an unnerving enigma.

I chose engineering because it was logical, 2012 was a difficult time, in the peak of recession there was a job drought and a future decision for an 18-year-old was an obnoxious task during leaving cert year, so I took my first adult breath and made a decision that would stay with me forever, I am good at maths, I am going to be an engineer.

This was not the answer I told lecturers and my peers, I simply informed them that my dad was an electrical engineer and that relaxed them, they could compute this, that made sense to them. The only girls they had ever met in engineering were following in familial footsteps as god forbid a girl could make up her own mind.

Life is difficult in minority, I quickly realised guys find it awkward when you’re the only girl, it irritated them, it resulted in me eating lunch alone. At first the canteen wasn’t so daunting sitting at a lunch table alone, you could pretend you were meeting someone or that you were too busy studying and happy to be alone with your thoughts, but that novelty soon wore off and I retreated back to the engineering department and spent my time isolated, hiding from the world, defeated and embarrassed.

I began to excel academically from the excess time spent on assignments, that no one noticed that my social skills were depleting at such an intense rapid rate that towards the end of my second year of college, I struggled to maintain eye contact with others. My ability to converse with others was diminishing and small talk was a thing of the past. No one noticed that eight-hour college days past without someone so much as looking in my direction, let alone speaking to me.

And yet despite everything, I owe my whole self to Electrical Engineering. If I had done a different course I may not have gotten a retail part-time job, where I discovered the sheer love I had for makeup, blogging and in turn marketing. Had I ended up in any other situation my life would’ve amounted to numerous different possibilities, none of which leading me to where I am now, to a Masters that challenges me daily but sparks my appetite for learning and to an internship that is everything I could have ever asked for.

Engineering broke me, my heart and my spirit but it triggered a series of catalytic occurences that caused me to flourish into a person with the strength and resilience to tackle any challenge and any opportunity.

To Electrical Engineering and CIT, you have made me everything I am today.

Remember that everything that is happening around you, good or bad, is in some way conspiring to help you.
Debasish Mridha

A is for Anxiety

actually i havent been well lately

This isn’t a normal post for me, and if you’re looking for something makeup or beauty related, look away now, those posts are coming but this isn’t one of them, this one is about anxiety.

I have been totally non existent on my page lately, why? Because I lost interest in it, well to be honest I lost interest in everything. Now I am one of those people that’s always on the go, working and college, I try to keep up with everything I hardly let myself breathe, I keep myself busy so I never have to deal with things, I just keep going I don’t know how to slow down!

I am a very strong person and I’d never be one to wallow,I just put it in a mental box and get on with my life. However, about 8 weeks, when all the exams were finished, when the Christmas rush had settled down and my college month off was set to begin I fell down the stairs. I don’t exactly remember what happened, I think it was caused by total exhaustion, or my body just had enough of me putting it under pressure, all I can remember is the excruciating pain through my left leg and an insanely swollen ankle. Next thing I know a pair of crutches were going to be my new fashion statement for the next month, my ankle was fractured.

Now I’m not wallowing, I promise, people have it so much worse, and I could have hurt myself a lot more, but suddenly all my independence was gone. I couldn’t manage the crutches, it took me ages to get up and down to the toilet, I couldn’t wash my hair or stand up in shower because I wasn’t allowed get my cast wet, I couldn’t even make myself a cup of tea. I felt totally useless.

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With the weather being wet or icy outside, I found it physically difficult to leave the house, with my leg so I ended up spending hours to myself watching TV and Netflix, I had too much time on my hands, lots of time to think, the problem being you can’t stop your thoughts, you can’t escape your own brain.

The anxiety pretty much started with insomnia, I couldn’t sleep or if I did I had nightmares, awfully vivid hallucination type dreams, they were horrifying!

It got to a point where I was afraid to go to sleep because I didn’t know where my mind would wander to, so I had to sleep with Netflix blaring in the background to drown out my own mind, I was exhausted, but it was the darkness and the quietness in my room I couldn’t cope with, it was like I was totally isolated, like I was being swallowed up.

I began to lose interest in everything, I got up because my mom would come check on me, and I ate because she made me my meals, but I didn’t have any interest. I felt if I could just hide out under my duvet, the world would forget all about me and I’d be okay. I was lifeless, energy-less.

Suddenly I was panicky in every situation, I remember being brought to town the week before my birthday and crying in Debenhams, because of the volume of people around me, I was constantly paranoid, I was constantly worried and afraid, like these people were looking at me and judging me, it sounds totally crazy but it was overwhelming and I couldn’t stop the thoughts, I couldn’t shut off my brain. I felt like a weak weepy version of my former self, it was crippling.

Even though the cast went and I was more mobile in the walking boot for my leg, the feeling didn’t alter, I didn’t feel anything either way. I was becoming totally numb to everything even though I was crying all the time. I was out of it, like someone on mind numbing medication, I couldn’t concentrate or even think straight, if I tried to it over whelmed me. It started to get to a stage where my own mother had to remind me to shower, but then I’d snap if she suggested wearing makeup or doing my hair. I NEVER don’t wear makeup!! It’s my thing and I had lost total interest in it. I was lost.

I felt really guilty for being like I was, which added to the anxiety, there is so much in the media about suffering from depression and anxiety I didn’t want to sound like I was jumping on this trendy new bandwagon, but I felt like my insides were tearing themselves apart. I eventually told my mom, now my mom is like me, unless you’re physically sick or something, you tell yourself you’re grand and you keep going. But I just couldn’t anymore.

Now, because we are really close she had noticed the changes in my behavior, but finally voicing what was going on in my head was like lifting a weight off my shoulders, when someone just listened and didn’t look at like I was crazy I felt better.

This too shall pass

Now I’m trying to deal with this naturally through the help of little things everyday like making myself relax or just taking time to myself. I’m really finding talking to your friends about nothing serious and having a laugh really helps, or going for long walks.

I still get nightmares every so often, but it’s getting better, I make little lists everyday and tick them off, so my brain kinda thinks I’ve accomplished something today and therefore not useless, if that makes sense? That makes me sleep a whole lot better!

I’m getting better week by week with dealing with the anxiety attacks and even though I have mini “freakouts” when I’m in college or out shopping but I’m learning to ground yourself.

I know some of you may not have any interest in this type of post, but I know as a young person there is so much we have to deal with and it is so easy to suffer from anxiety, so I just wanted to let people know that I’ve been where you may be and that there is nothing wrong with asking for help! Talk to people, let them know how you feel, don’t feel guilty or embarrassed because its okay not to be okay.

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I was also planning on doing a post on my favourite ways to de-stress and unwind, which I feel helps me out immensely with my calming myself down, please let me know if you guys would be interested in something like that!

Until next time lovelies,

Barbara xxx