A Bundle of Contradictions


I wish my anxiety could be finite. I’ve known it to be so for others. They’ve experienced a short bout of anxiety at some point in their life, and have stories of overcoming it. I’ve experienced anxiety off and on for 26 years (my whole life) and in the last few months it has really begun to make me frustrated. I wish I could shake it but I’ve tried so many things and it still remains.

Right now, I sit on a train on my way to a recruitment meeting about a job, because I’m really anxious about not working. However, I’m also really anxious about working; because even though
I have a degree, skills and experience; I get really bad anxiety that I’m incompetent and my colleagues are judging me. I feel as though I can’t win; I experience anxiety about not working, but an equal amount of anxiety about working.

I feel anxious about saving money but equally as anxious about not doing more fun things because they cost money.

My life feels like a bundle of contradictions.



Anxiety: Always Anticipates the Worst



-Anticipates my fiancè will die young and we won’t get a long and happy life together.

-Anticipates I’ll be in a car accident.

-Anticipates I’ll be late even though we’re running on time; and then stresses when we’re too early.

-Anticipates I won’t find a job, even though I have a degree, relevant skills, good references and also experience.

-Anticipates I’ll never get on with my mother-in-law after a minor disagreement.

What things do you fear that are irrational (if any)?


Reader’s Question


As of late, I’ve felt a bit flat. Uninspired, unmotivated and fatigued.

I’ve tried a few things that have helped a bit, affirmations, journaling and eating healthier. There hasn’t been a major shift but it’s helpful to have a few strategies that help a little.

I’m curious to know…

What do you do to elevate your mood when you feel tired and flat?

First Day at School


I should be excited to go and educate little people. Today is the first day back at school and I’ve been dreading it. I’m sure it’ll be fine once I get there. I’ve become rather accustomed to working on myself this summer and having me time, rather than spending my life improving the lives of others, while being deeply dissatisfied with myself and my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. I used to love my job. I’m not someone who lacks compassion and empathy, I used to have it in sheer abundance.  The thing is,  I work with kids with disabilities and mental health difficulties as well as those labelled “vulnerable”. I graduated a few years ago and  have worked really really hard, always going the extra mile in any way I can. I threw myself head first into my career and put the rest of my life on-hold. All of my compassion and empathy seems to have run out. I gave it all away and as I continued to give more, I never topped it up. I neglected me.

Now I am fatigued. A bit burnt-out and I wish I hadn’t neglected me so much.


Vision Board


Since being with my fiancè, I feel like I’ve achieved so much. His unwavering support and faith in anything I choose to do has been  invaluable. I’m completely enamored with him. Our compatibility is incredible, we always manage to have similar shared goals to achieve, while maintaining our own separate interests and goals; it’s like the perfect balance.

Since meeting him 4 years ago, we finished university, got our first graduate jobs, saved a lot of money, moved countries, traveled to 13 countries in the space of a year and got engaged.

With his support I was able to put in boundaries and maintain them with my alcoholic parents, increase my self-esteem, gain confidence, stop dissociating and stay present.

Today he came home with 3 canvases; one vision board for him and his goals, one for me and one for our shared goals. We’ve been gluing pictures of home ownership, marriage, weddings and health; and I can’t wait for our future together.


Healing: A Marathon Not a Sprint


When I fist began this journey of healing from my trauma, I was 24 years old. I wound up in a therapist’s office explaining how both of my parents were alcoholics, I was a codependent to them, I had trauma from my childhood and I expected to be in therapy for three months while I learnt how to “not be a codependent”. My therapist was shocked and told me “healing is a marathon not a sprint, you are not going to be able to get rid of the effects of twenty-four years of abuse and trauma in three months”.  These words devastated me; I was extremely burntout and I really didnt have the emotional energy to do  serious work on myself over an extended period (or so I thought).

Two years have passed since that session, and for the first year of my journey I felt as though nothing really changed. In fact my situation got worse, I began to put in boundaries with my parents, they were used to manipulating me and me enabling them and did not react well to my boundaries. They tried very hard to make me “cave” and do what they wanted. This was a really tough period, but I hung on to the magic words I’d heard “healing is a marathon, not a sprint”.

Due to living with addicts my whole life, my boundaries in all of my relationships were really loose because I didn’t know any better. I was magnetic to people who were manipulative, bullying and/or codependent themselves. Surprisingly, I had a very healthy relationship with my then boyfriend (now fiance), who helped me recognise there were ten other people besides my parents who I needed to enforce boundaries with. I realised I had to quit my job, as all three of my colleagues were codependent or bullies and the whole office therefore had a toxic culture.

I realised the other day after two years of deep healing work and a huge dedication to self-improvement; that I’m no longer magnetic to unhealthy relationships, I’ve stopped dissociating, I don’t feel “abandoned” the way I used to and I’ve gained some self confidence and a lot of other skills.

Taking a step back and noticing this improvement has made me so grateful that I hung in there for this marathon. I’ve still got a long way to run; my fiance is currently hanging out with our friends making excuses as to why I’m not there (I’m too anxious to socialize today). Things are not ideal, but they are a hell of a lot better than they were two years ago. I’m keeping on running because I’m breaking the cycle and it starts with me.


Visceral Reactions


Trauma makes my brain overreact often. Due to growing up in an unsafe situation, where by I lived walking on eggshells, there was a constant message in my head “you are unsafe”. Even though there are no threats currently, the unsafe message plays in my mind over and over again. This causes some incredibly emotional and visceral responses to normal situations.

For example:

My fiancè, whom is very loud and outgoing gets acknowledgement and praise for something I contributed immensely too; my brain says: “you will spend your whole life living in his shadow because you are quieter “.

Someone makes a joke about me in jest or just pure banter; my brain says: “that person hates you, they’re teasing you”.

My mother-in-law sits quietly looking serious; my brain says: “she’s angry at you, you have offended her”.

Over reacting in this context of trauma really is not fun. As I continue my journey of healing, I looked forward to feeling more safe and more secure.