Anxiety Blog 1

Intro:

I’ve been away for a while because things have gone from bad to worse lately. Only in the last couple days have things gotten better.

 

I’ve been thinking about doing this blog for a very long time, as I believe it can help people, however, I’ve always been somewhat insecure about talking about it. It’s a sensitive issue for most people, and I’m afraid people will see it as my way of complaining about my issues, however, it couldn’t be further from the truth. With a little help, and guidance from my friends, they told me to go ahead and talk openly about my issues with anxiety.

 

Before I go on any more, these are certainly MY issues. I’m not interested in blaming people for them, despite the fact that I sometimes do as a defense mechanism. I acknowledge the fact that in most situations, I am the problem because most people do not understand anxiety. If people cannot see something, usually they don’t believe it. In my experience, this is a fact. Even when something is explained, most people still have issues understanding or believing. As I’ve said, this post is about trying to help people in the future on the sensitive  issue of anxiety.

 

Anxiety, what it is in my experience: 

For me, anxiety is an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion induced by stress usually. In my life, most of my anxiety came from things not going as planned. If I put a lot of effort into planning something and it ended up exploding in my face for whatever reason, I would have a tremendous panic attack. Things have always been, and continue to be this way for me. Anxiety stifles my breathing, makes me lightheaded, gives me tunnel vision, often it nullifies my ability to think rationally, and almost always it makes me very sleepy after a big panic attack.  Overly negative people have also always been a trigger to my panic attacks, as well as people over reacting to something I say (like taking a joke seriously). This is a part of being unable to control my surroundings, which is something people with anxiety have issues dealing with. They think they need to be able to control everything, even things well beyond their control. I’ve been in relationships, and friendships with people who don’t understand, this is my attempt at helping people understand not just for me, but other people who suffer from the same thing.

 

Being in a relationship with someone with anxiety:

I guess the first thing to mention is you should be honest no matter what. When people with anxiety catch you in a lie, they will forever think you’re lying to them, besides, there’s no point lying in a relationship to begin with. It’s unhealthy. Communication is definitely necessary for both parties, particularly the one suffering with anxiety. It’s best to talk about potential triggers of panic attacks and ways you can both avoid these triggers together, this requires a fair level of understanding from the less anxious party, as you have to think how things can affect your significant other. It’s hard to imagine what they’re going through, but think of it like this: The more anxiety we experience, the more damage it does to us, potentially taking years off our lives. Not to say that you’re killing anyone by triggering a panic attack, but you’re doing more damage than it seems, and most people with anxiety are too afraid to tell you, especially if you’re their significant other. To be fair, most people have an inability to see what’s wrong, so talk about it.

A lot of relationships are one sided. Most unsuccessful relationships, I can say from experience, are unsuccessful because one person has to do most of the work. Factoring in anxiety, if you’re the one with anxiety AND you’re also the one doing all the work, you’re going to have a really hard time.

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In my experience I was in a relationship with a girl that lived about 2 hours away, and I bused out all the time to see her, but she never bused out to see me, past a certain point she didn’t even drive out to see me even when she could. This alone caused a lot of unneeded anxiety having to bus around so much Occasionally  I’d have to bus to work early in the morning, and sometimes she’d request me to come out at very late hours of the night, sometimes impossible hours, in that the buses literally had already stopped running. To any average person, they’d just say no and be done with it, but to someone with anxiety they freak out because presenting them with an idea that they would consider, but can’t because of extenuating circumstances, they overreact. Like I said, we want to control things. SO thinking about what I said from my experience, you should consider both working together. Putting too much pressure on one person is enough to exhaust them, let alone someone with anxiety.

Working Together: 

As I’ve said, communication is key, however, I should elaborate that FAIR communication is key. This means no pointing fingers. I’m guilty of doing this, as I’m sure many people with anxiety are. We tend to point fingers when experiencing overwhelming anxiety, or when we’re in a panic attack. Though the worst thing you can do when someone is having a panic attack is ignore them. Just change the subject and give them a bit more time to think before responding, make sure they’re okay, but don’t treat them much differently either. Just maintain a calm setting and avoid arguments even when the person experiencing the attack seems hostile. It will pass. Often times we say things in panic attacks we almost instantly regret. I can’t explain the science behind it, but I’ve personally said some hurtful things to some people when having a panic attack, I suspect it’s a defense mechanism. People with anxiety tend to push people away, especially when people get too close. Work together by talking about it. If something is compromised, work it out as a team. When things get rough, wait it out. The bad episodes pass and it’s best to weather the storm together. Encourage seeking help in the mental health sector, be there for them through the long mental health process, it’s a life lesson for both of you. All storms pass, and I like to say: There’s always bomb shelters in shit storms. And there’s nothing someone with anxiety needs more than having someone there for them through the good and bad. Too many times have we been abandoned by people, or we’ve pushed then away when things got rough. Finding someone that is willing to stick by you through the hard times is something I KNOW we all cherish.

Weather the storm
Weather the storm

 

Slow down:

If you’re early in a relationship with someone with anxiety, don’t rush things. Give yourselves enough space to go at a comfortable pace. Don’t be too emotional or overreact (or pretend to be offended,upset,etc.) with someone with anxiety early on, they may push you away before they want to just because they’re afraid you won’t be able to handle them at their worst. Give yourselves air to breathe. Think of anxiety in this case like the Sims. In the Sims you can give your characters a list of tasks to do, this list can get rather long, however, usually something goes wrong with the Sim and they decide they want food instead, or they break the toilet again. This can be related to rushing into a relationship because you are giving yourselves so many tasks so early on, and preparing for a long future when you don’t know what’s going to happen between now and getting married, particularly the thought that you might not even get that far.

Couldn't have predicted that.
Couldn’t have predicted that

 

Sure, it’s nice to think about and talk about but it’s overwhelming to people with anxiety to think years ahead, often times it’s hard for us to think days ahead, and as I’ve said, in my experience I try not to make plans because my panic attacks are most frequently induced when things don’t go as planned. Most relationships don’t go as planned, that’s part of the fun. Carpe diem as they say, seize the day, seize the moment. Living in the moment is usually better than dreaming of the future anyways. Relationships are not about the destination, they’re about the journey.

 

Seems hard? It’s not: 

Most of the things I’ve talked about are actually basics of most successful relationships, just in more depth. Communication, working together, taking things slow, these are all things most people should consider anyways, but if you’re in a relationship with someone that suffers from anxiety, these are a few great pointers to consider when having to go through the rough times, but you’ll find that it’s worth it. We seem complex because most people don’t understand, but anything that stresses most people out just stresses us out significantly more. Nothing is particularly unrealistic, in fact, pampering should not be a way to deal with someone during a panic attack, as psychologically it could have the reverse effect.

pavlov-rings-a-bell

 

What’s next?:

I’ll be working on more blogs about anxiety as it is an issue I have to deal with every day, and I’d like to help people that have to deal with it as well. I’ll be talking to others with similar issues to site them in future anxiety blogs, also I’ll be writing one about break up’s from the perspective of the person with anxiety, as well as a blog about being friends with someone with anxiety. I hope some of these pointers help, please share this with anyone you know that has to live with anxiety in hopes that it may help them.

 

 

 

 

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Operation Vacation

Well, it’s been a while everyone. Sorry, but sometimes real life gets in the way of what we love. Nonetheless, I am back to write about an experience that not only change my life, and my friends life, but also an experience I hold dear to my heart.

The time I sent my best buddy Bryan to New York, with all expenses paid and some cash spending money. Some of you may know the story of how this came to be, but this is an in depth look at the experience:

In the summer (2012) I saw a listing for a television show online called Operation Dream Vacation. After reading about it, and learning that I could have the opportunity to send anyone in my life on their dream vacation, I started thinking about who would be best. I thought about my mother first, but decided that she really goes anywhere she wants for the most part anyways, so I scratched that. I thought of my sister but wasn’t sure if it would conflict with her job or her schooling, so I decided to think of more people that are deserving, I thought of my girlfriend, the one I was spending every day swooning over, and would love to give her such a gift, but decided that because of the closeness between us, the producers would probably not even look at the write up and suggest I take her on our own vacation.  Then it hit me, my friend Bryan! Bryan had never been anywhere of Canada since I met him years ago. Bryan has a passion for street photography so right off the bat I thought New York City would be perfect.

So I wrote in to the show, telling them what I knew about Bryan, our relationship as friends, and why I thought he was so deserving of such a reward, and life changing event. After I sent the message, I was waiting impatiently, checking my email every day for a reply. A reply that I thought would never come. After a month I gave up and continued to live life, focus on school, and work. Then all of a sudden I get a phone call from the TV show asking if we could do a phone interview. I was ecstatic!

On the phone interview, I was asked many more questions about Bryan, some I had covered in the email, some I had not thought of until it was brought up. I was asked where I thought Bryan would like to go and I suggested New York, among other places. I was asked to contact close family and friends of Bryan’s to see if they’d be a part of this great experience. After the phone call was over, I eagerly contacted his Brother Glen, and his Sister Kelli. Then I also decided to make contact with his roommate as well, since it would be great to have someone so close to him physically be part of the experience. Everyone agreed to be part of the experience and they all had to speak to the television show representatives and give their sides of the story. This was great because most of Bryan’s history was a blur to me, and nobody knows his childhood like his close family.  We were all nervous to this point, but as soon as we met the crew of Operation Vacation for our on camera interviews, those nerves instantly faded.

Everyone on set was super excited and positive. From the director to the assistant, the crew was full of great people. On Camera we had the city of Vancouver as our backdrop while we spoke about Bryan and his life. It was great telling people all about my best friend and his passion for photography. This is where things got really personal and we started speaking about more of the dark parts of Bryan’s life. Things like his father, and the death of his grandfather, and (thanks to me) the relationship he lost two years ago and is still pained by.  I was, and still am, looking forward to seeing the show in action, and seeing myself and everyone else involved on television.

After these interviews, we were up and running, only a couple more weeks and we were on camera as a group being interviewed by the hosts of the television show. It was this day that we were given the chance to decide who was deserving of going on the trip with Bryan. This was a choice we ultimately decided we couldn’t make, and figured we would allow Bryan to chose on a sneaky interview set up with Scott where the Director asked Bryan who he would go on vacation with if given the choice. The best part? BRYAN HAD NO IDEA!

Soon after his decision was made we were on set to do a group interview again.  The set interview is where we were given a choice of where Bryan should go on his Dream Vacation between New York City, and Dubai, we decided the Big Apple was ultimately the best choice of the two. It was a hard choice ultimately for me, as Bryan could excel with his photography anywhere in the world, I am certain of it. This was the day everyone else discovered that Scott was picked to go on the trip with Bryan. Certainly, I was disappointed, I would’ve loved to go with Bryan just to see his excitement and amazement as he landed in the Big Apple right up until him leaving. However, I was very excited for Scott as well. Scott is also a photographer so I knew he would be able to take advantage of such an opportunity as well.

The next destination was at Bryan’s bosses house where it was set up that all of Bryan’s closest friends, family, and co-workers would wait there until Bryan was brought over for the surprise. We waited impatiently, and practiced the unveil as we would only have one chance to make it perfect. We talked to each other, and did more interviews, being a more recent friend of Bryan’s, I got a chance to meet some of his older friends from Langley, where he grew up. We all chatted and had lunch together until Bryan got there. I was so nervous!

As I watched Bryan come up the steps of where we were waiting I watched his face go from excited to confused and everything in the middle. He later told me he was scared it was a photography intervention as a joke. He knew nothing until this point, but this is where it was unveiled that he was going to New York City, and he was leaving tomorrow! This is where we all shared laughs, and tears, and we were all just very proud to see everything come together so well, and to be seeing Bryan off on a new stage of his life.

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Bryan and Scott were off to New York.

This is where I thought about what it means for Bryan. The fact that this is all for his photography is one thing, him getting to see a new city to make his stomping ground is another thing, but the main thing to me at this point is the coverage. Bryan Mollett photography will be seen across Canada, America, and other parts of the world. This means the most to me. I’ve been a part of, and a huge fan of Bryan’s photography and I couldn’t be more proud to share it with the world. Sure, I didn’t get a trip out of the deal, but I changed someone’s life for the better, and that is something I will die proud of. Bryan and I will always be best friends, and I’m glad to have given him the opportunity to take the next step towards the future.

Operation Vacation will be on television in Canada and America, and parts of other nations. I look forward to seeing it, and I hope you all get to see it as well. Until then, give Bryan your support by checking out his photography page and seeing his trip to the Big Apple, New York City!

http://bryanmollett.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/a-trip-to-the-big-apple/

Here’s a link to the Television shows Facebook page, Show us your support by liking it:

http://www.facebook.com/ConvergentProductionsVacation

This is a picture of me and two of my requested Bryan Mollett photography prints. I am very proud to hang these on my wall

Second Best?

I get it quite often. People tell me they wish more people were like me. Friends have said it, females have said it, males have said it, people just like me in general. But I’m nothing special really. I mean, yeah I like to think I am, but I just do what my heart and brain say to do. I try to be caring towards everyone, I like to make people smile, I like to entertain people, people can trust me, and I’m just respectful. Does the fact that many people wishes others were like me mean they have settled for second best?

 

Why settle for second best? Perhaps by avoiding people that are not pleasant we should make a stand against it. Support the notion of being kind, respectful, etc. I mean, if you were ostracized because you’re a jerk, you would probably take a look at yourself and try to be less of a jerk.

Ladies. Why put up with a boyfriend that continues to do things that bother you? Either talk to him about it, or, as they say, gtfo. The more you keep negative energy within, the more you attract it, let it flow.

I know that I am not the only respectful person out there. Sure, they are growing thin in numbers, but that’s because we allow it to happen. But respectful people still exist, however, as long as you keep the jerks in your life it will repel the good people. It’s sort of like dealing with the positive/negative energy thing. Negative repels positive. You have the choice to keep the positive and banish the negative. YOU dictate the people you surround yourself with. Don’t settle for second best, you are fueling the spread of this disrespectful nature.

I’m only special because we have supported the spread of negative energy. We created it, and we can stop it.

Share the blog if you wish to stop this.

Education Proclamation

People often talk about how hard school is, or how hard learning is. Well, I’d like to respectfully disagree. Not only for the obvious point that if you do what you like, anything is fun and easy, but I will delve more into what it makes easier, and how the only thing is doesn’t help, particularly in British Columbia, is the wallet.

Post Secondary leads to a better life. This is a broad statement, but what I refer to is the fact that it opens up opportunities, MANY opportunities just by having a diploma. It shows employers that you are more trainable than others in that you can pick up a skill quickly after being briefly taught. This is a skill many don’t have, even some that DO have post secondary education, however, it does significantly help with applying places. Not just jobs either, careers. Never again will you have to work a 9 to 5 if you chose not to. School allows you freedom to chose a field that better suits your sleeping patterns, work preferences, etc. again, simply by having that little magical slip of paper.

Post secondary helps you meet new people. I can’t tell you how many new people I have met through school, many being new friends, friend I am sure I will keep for the rest of my life. Friends that will go on to do great things as well. Friends I will work with in the future. Friends that can introduce me to even more friends that strive towards the same distant, yet, attainable goal. A wise man once said life is like a box of chocolates, and what is a box of chocolates with only one chocolate in it?

LEARNING in general increases intellect if you’re doing it right. Chances are if you’re reading my blog and keeping up to date with it your intellect has improved (haha). But if you’re watching Jersey Shore and reading Snooki’s book while following tabloids on the side, chances are you are REDUCING your intellect.

 

Personally through my experience in advancing my English skills, I have gained a broad sense of our language, and have adapted an outstanding vocabulary. Friends of mine are often shocked at my ability to use words, and that I don’t always use big words when they find out just how extensive my vocabulary is. However, I don’t type like it often because I do not speak like it. In today’s day and age, most people have a very minute knowledge base of their own language, and that’s okay (well not really, but whatever). It’s my job as a writer to acknowledge this fact and bend my own words so everyone understands. However, my point can be summed up easily. I don’t know how many times I’ve avoided sounding like a jerk by saying someone lacks intellect, rather than saying they are stupid. This is because if I say someone lacks intellect, most people won’t know what it means, and the ones that do will still take a few moments to think about it, giving me enough time to run for the hills in case they throw the first punch.

All in all, education is the best thing we can do for ourselves, or if we are lucky, the best gift our parents can give us. I consider myself lucky to live in a country that allows such educational opportunities and a world of freedom once my eyes fully open. And ultimately, the tuition and textbooks can be next to nothing in the grand scheme of things. To end things off, I will quote another movie, my favorite movie, in saying: You know, if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

So go out, get educated, avoid tabloids, and have fun. You only get one chance to prove you’ve got IT.