Saturday, October 8, 2011

Small victories

First of all, i'm really touched and grateful for all the sweet and supportive comments on my last post.
It's a pretty common human mistake to assume that we're the only ones dealing with whatever issues we happen to be dealing with, but we never are. But because nobody wants others to see their flaws and their weaknesses, we all walk around in our little bubbles, thinking we're the only ones.
And we look at each other thinking "that girl, she could never feel what i'm feeling, she looks so cool and together and her life is probably perfect" and well, that's just never true.

Now, i'm in no way happy that so many of you knows what it's like to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, but i'm happy that you chose to tell me about your experiences. You made me feel less alone.
And i'm especially relieved that so many seem to have overcome their anxiety completely, something i actually never knew was possible.
It gives me hope!

I've had a good week.
After the stress London kind of faded (working hard, like physically hard, on the darkroom helped me move on) i started feeling more like myself.
After so many bad experiences lately (London and Prague in particular) i was starting to think i'd never be able to do normal, but challenging stuff again, so it was kind of a huge deal when, a few days ago, me and Allan decided to work on on my leg. Getting tattooed, especially the longer sessions in Japan, has been a trigger for panic for me for a long time, and i was getting seriously worried that i had reached a point where a simple, short session in my own studio was too much for me.
So i told Allan "maybe", just so i wouldn't get too worked up during the day, and that seemed to do the trick.
The first 15 minutes were kind of awful (but then again, they always are) and i could feel the panic emerging, but i focused on my breathing, and on telling myself it'd get better, and it did.
Not the pain, because holy shit, but the pain was never what scared me.
Feeling unwell, being nauseous, not being in control, and ultimately feeling less than sane, is what scares me. And for some reason, the idea of passing out, even though i've never even come close to that in real life. Weird.
It was a short session, cause Allan had a meeting about a photography gig to get to, but it was a successful one, and i don't think i can explain how much i needed that.
I needed a win. I needed to do something on my "trigger list" without having an episode. And i did, and i've been riding that feeling ever since.
The only thing that bothers me right now is my leg being too sore to work out. But i'm ok to do yoga still, and that's something that's becoming increasingly important to me.

Sorry for the rant.
I guess i decided to share.
Here's hoping that doesn't turn into over-sharing!

My sweet and patient husband

Our trusty sidekick, being bored out of his mind

There's still a long ways to go on this one, but it was great just getting started again

The next day

Today i'm gonna search eBay for wigs, dresses and other things that will eventually make up a Halloween costume.
It's funny, but with Halloween being kind of a new thing in Denmark, not even a tradition yet, i've never been a Halloween person. But now, with the shop plans i just posted about on the other blog, i kind of have to be.
And i must admit, i'm getting into it!


  1. I was just catching up on your posts and saw you had posted this, your latest so I shall post here instead! I am glad you are feeling a bit better now. Bigger events don't phase me but I get anxiety for smaller events, like if I was going to a friends party and I didn't know anyone or something like that. Thinking about that now makes me feel sick!! Kind of unrelated but not, when I had a baby I tried some hypnobirthing techniques ( and whilst it sounds like a bunch of hippy nonsense to some, I did great and didn't need any drugs for the labour. Since then I've had a bunch of awkward horrible tattoo spots worked on, including my legs, in the same spot as you (isn't it horrible!) and I found using the same breathing techniques really helped me relax and focus and make the whole process much easier. I guess though it is common sense, concentrating on your breathing etc, but I'd never been able to do it before I'd done it for the birth of my daughter, so now I know it works so I stick at it. I don't have to do it for all my appointments, a lot of them I can chat through, but when I had my knee tattooed in the summer it did help a great deal.

    My Halloween outfit this is year is Freddie Mercury! Have fun finding wigs!!

  2. Congratulation on your victory! I love your tattoos. I got only four but very similar style : flowers, bird and the lady. I would love to get more but booking in a advance an appointment and flying for example to London to get one is too much stress for me at the moment. Id love to fly to Copenhagen to get tattoo by Allan one day, maybe someday... So well done! :) Yeah isn't that shocking how many people suffering from anxiety and panic attacks nowadays. I know now why there are some many books about that in library or bookshops. Somebody has to buy them right? Im planning do yoga too as its supposed to be very good. I think its good you talk or write about it. Its kind of relief. I hope you will get better soon. xxx

  3. It does seem to be really common hey? Or maybe it just is on the internet because that's where all us crazy people flock to. That way you don't really have to do the whole social interaction thing but you can still meet new friends.

    It's funny how we were just talking about getting tattoos at work and then ta daa, we both got them! Did you utilize your vulture skills? haha

  4. ps. aaa I forgot to mention that I'm also taking vitamins and minerals: magnesium, calcium, b vitamins (this is the one I've been taking, you can see the Ingredients -
    , and omega oil 3, 6 and 9. I cut down all stimulants like coffee, fizzy drinks, sugar. However I can now eat sweets again, trying to cut down tho. Good food with time to time treats and supplements works for me. I'm sure you will get better soon. A month ago I couldn't leave the house on my own today I'm feeling much much better. Hope I don't bother you too much, lovely :) xxx

  5. Honey child, anxiety is completely manageable. It used to be if I set foot on a bus I'd be off a stop later sobbing and shaking and collapsing on some confused strangers lawn with heart attack panic. My new motto? Ain't shook. And it's true. Identifying your triggers is an important step. Identifying what makes things better or tolerable is waaaaay more helpful. And it can be really simple stuff! Like pretending your tough (when you actually feel like you're going to puke), or rewarding yourself with fancy tea if you have a day without incident. Much love.

  6. Well done for getting 'back on the horse'. All victories, no matter how small are reasons to smile. Have a great weekend. :)

  7. You're a brave little toaster! Make sure you congratulate yourself for every victory, no matter how small!

    When I came to Copenhagen, that was a huge thing for me. It kind of marked a turning point in getting over my anxiety. I used to freak the fuck out getting on buses and trains, in case they decided to go somewhere else or stop and I'd be stuck and not able to get home. So to fly, to another country, by myself was just huge. I mean, yeah, I still have my days where everything makes me anxious, but I can do so much more than I ever used to. I pretty much think nothing of jumping on a train to London on my own now, staying in a hotel on my own, and dashing around the city on my own. I even went to see a scary play on my own! Madness!

    It'll take some time and work, but you'll get there. I know you will :)

    If you're ever feeling crappy and need something to take your mind off it, just whatsapp me xxx

  8. It is definitely stressful to travel for tattoos, sometimes i don't understand how our clients do it. But i guess it helps that our studio is friendly and comfortable with a virtually stress free atmosphere.
    I hope you'll feel better soon too!

  9. Thanks for your thoughts on this. I agree that faking being brave and pretending you're ok can be really helpful, especially if you're in a stressed situation you can't get out of. But i'd still prefer to find a long term solution where i didn't have to fake it.

  10. True, i'll take any victory i can get at this point!

  11. I was so proud of you for doing that, still am. I think it's amazing how far you're come. And the anxiety you're experiencing now, with the break in and stuff, is actually you fearing something real, not something you're imagining, so don't ever see that as a set back.
    I hope my fears will be a thing of the past too, some day.

  12. Thankyou, that means a lot xxx

  13. Thanks for the link, i'll definitely look into that!
    I find breathing so hard, but yoga is helping a bit with that now. But i'm a slow learner, i think!

  14. I've been off coffee for a year and a half, but i still drink black tea, although i probably shouldn't at this time.
    It's impressive to hear how fast you've progressed (and no, you're not bothering me at all).
    I take supplements too, the most important for me being vitamin D, since i am severely low on that without the pills. Every time i've been low on D i've been sad, bordering on depressed, so i always encourage people to get a blood sample done to see if they're low on that too.

  15. Oh I am the same! I always get so distracted and lose my focus. It drives me crazy when people just say really calmly "just concentrate on your breathing and mellow out" or something like that. Like it is as easy as hitting a switch. Maybe with practice we'll get better haha! I've never been very laid back and chilled out though. I even talk and get up in my sleep!

  16. Yeah It could be vitamin D too. Im taking vit D as well as it I bought supplement 3 in 1: magnesium, calcium and vit D in one.

    Its true Ive progressed pretty fast in few weeks but sometimes I have a feeling like " seating on a bomb" cause you dont know what the next day/ next hour will be like. But in my case the books were and still are very important. Maybe cause its a new thing (anxiety and panic attacks) for me. I felt a big relief when I realised what happened to me and how I can deal with it.

    Ps. Hope your little friend, Lucifer will get better soon :)

  17. Du er den sejeste mouse jeg kender!

  18. Lucifer is all better, thanks:)
    In my case, a 3 in one supplement is not enough, i have to take the strongest vitamin D on the market cause i am always so low on it, for some reason. But the other two are important too, for sure.