Loving Someone with Anxiety means…

As many of you know, I have struggled off and on with anxiety and self harm issues since freshman year of high school. I would love to be telling you now that I have found the magic secret of how to make it all better – but I’m not. I’m telling you I still struggle a lot with these things (not always following through but with the thoughts) and how it’s affected my marriage.

I first told Trevor about my anxiety and self harm issues the day after we started dating. We were walking around downtown Green Bay and we walked past where I was seeing a counselor. I immediately felt the need to tell him what was going on in that area of my life and in that moment I knew I would trust him more than anyone before. It was a big deal for me to spill this information so early on and feel completely open talking about it. I felt a huge sense of relief telling him and thought that this initial step would allow for open communication about the topic in the future – which unfortunately I was wrong about.

The topic anxiety and self harm and mental illness are considered taboo and too few people are willing to talk about the topic. There is a huge stigma developed around mental illness, and this is making it harder for individuals to find the treatment they need or to talk to their loved ones about it. This breaks my heart, knowing that often times the source of their mental illness is a chemical imbalance they’re born with – not simply “moodiness” as a lot of the world sees it.

The mix of love and anxiety is hard. Trevor and I have been married for just over a year – and I feel that a lot of the things that cause fights or disagreements stem from my anxiety. This is hard for me to face. I know I want and need better control over my anxiety and seeing a counselor again is certainly on my to do list, but here are a few things I have observed from Trevor’s end.

  1. Loving someone with anxiety means holding them when they shake with fear from the awful thoughts that cross their mind for no reason.
  2. Loving someone with anxiety means wiping away the tears that may not make any sense or have been caused by anything.
  3. Loving someone with anxiety means saying just the right thing when it all passes.
  4. Loving someone with anxiety means staying by their side when they struggle to fall asleep.
  5. Loving someone with anxiety means trying to understand mental illness – even though it can be impossible to explain.
  6. Loving someone with anxiety means accepting the apology and giving forgiveness, even though the apology often isn’t given right away.
  7. Loving someone with self harm issues means telling them and making them stop rubbing their wrist when those thoughts cross their mind.

This is obviously not an inclusive list – but I feel it sums up my relationship with Trevor and the many ways he shows his love to me when I am struggling.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what it means to or how you have seen someone love you if you struggle with anxiety or mental illness. Feel free to comment below or send me a message.

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Recent Life Lessons

I have a lot of friends who are currently in the season of singleness. And while I wasn’t in that arena for long, I am glad I did experience it. Marriage has helped me to realize the importance of having been single and having lived on my own – even if only for a semester of college was I living entirely alone in a single dorm. During that semester I dealt with a lot of personal things, some stemming from having been long distance with Trevor, but I also learned a lot. Some of these life lessons have only now come to realization now that I have been married for a year.

God works in such mysterious ways, and we never know how these “nows” will impact our “laters”. I’ve learned, perhaps most importantly, this first year of marriage, the importance of embracing the “nows” – no future day will ever be the same as now. Today’s experiences shape tomorrow. Today’s reflections impact tomorrow’s plans and thoughts and actions and words. Everything matters.

While this post has gotten a little more philosophical than I had initially anticipated – it has been so eye opening to come to a realization that life presents us with so many revelations and that God does truly work in our lives.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

-Romans 8:28 ESV

MARCH?

WOW! You guys, it’s already March?! How is that possible?

I honestly cannot believe we are already so far into 2016, it is bizarre to me.

My March has a lot to look forward to! I have a nice 10 day long Easter Break, I am planning on beginning a new hobby (more details to come…), am hoping to get a few more photo clients, and will finish the toddler room for practicum (this week!!!) and will begin the preschool room!

School has been so crazy busy lately. It’s midterms and all the projects are beginning. As much as I love learning, I wish teachers planned their schedules differently even though I know it isn’t often possible. I promise I will start posting a few more structured posts soon, Easter Break will certainly help with those!

This past weekend I got a nice break from school and my normal work schedule. Trevor and a few friends of mine and myself went to the casino to officially celebrate my birthday! We enjoyed slots and hit up the bar! I ordered my first legal alcoholic beverage! I had pink Kinky with Sprite. We were a little lost on what we should order since the menu listed a lot of alcoholic beverages we had never heard of before, so the loveliest bartender helped us out. Seriously, we would have been lost without her.

So cheers to the start of March!

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The girls + me

XO Elisebeth

5 Ways to Feel Better After Being Sick

Hey everyone!

If you follow me on Twitter (@hovie06) you know I came down with an awful case of food poisoning over the weekend. I am still recovering, but am feeling much better than Friday night. Trevor has been such an amazing guy and helped me out so much. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it without him.

So while I am not yet back to 100%, I thought I would share with you all how I get back to being me again after being sick! Note: All of these tips are things I have done after I have followed doctor instruction on medication and am feeling much better already.

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Go about your regular routine.

This one is a hard one for me. I always need gobs of rest after getting sick, and this time was no different. So I implemented this one with one exception – don’t establish time restraints. I got myself going in my morning makeup and clothes routine at about 11:30 today, and I took my sweet time doing it! I feel so much better just having gotten something done today, even if it took me 10x longer than normal.

Make yourself look good.

Even if you feel not so great still, this one is a huge one! I don’t normally jump straight into my full makeup routine, but I do at least my face makeup and my hair. This helps me build confidence again about myself, even if I was wrenching my guts out two nights ago and moaning nonstop. I also wear my favorite comfy clothes – BUT NOT SWEATPANTS. As much as I love sweatpants, they don’t help my self-esteem on not-so-hot days. Today I put on my favorite jeans and I feel a thousand times better. Plus, since I threw up so much, I look super skinny in them. But honestly, nothing is better than my oversized tee and a cozy cardigan.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Do something for you.

Not that laying in bed the past two and a half days hasn’t been for you, but make yourself happy by doing something for you. What I did for myself for today was light my favorite candle (cafe macchiato) in my bedroom while I got ready. Pretty simple if you ask me.

Don’t be afraid to say no.

You are still recovering from being sick, so you have the right to take it easy. I skipped two of my classes today because I didn’t think I could make it through without having to rush to the bathroom. I also have a 3 hour and 50 minute night class tonight (!!) and I am planning on leaving early so I can get enough rest in tonight. Know what your body needs and don’t push yourself too hard or you’ll end up back in bed.

Accept those positive words.

You worked your butt off to not look like you were dying all weekend, so you better accept any and all compliments that come your way. I got plenty when people found out I had been bed-stricken all weekend and look how I do right now. I’m not saying you should use this as leverage, but don’t turn away those positive words that can uplift your soul.


 

This is obviously not a complete list, as everyone is unique in their own way – but these are what works well for me!

Let me know what you do to make yourself feel better in the comments below, I would love to add to my personal inventory!

XO Elisebeth

What’s Up

“What’s Up?”

The classic second text from someone, after they acknowledge your greeting.

Often, I just respond with something along the lines of, “not much,” or, “just chillin.” However, lately, it’s been more along the lines of, “just avoiding packing,” or, “trying to not be too stressed.”

Life catches up with you sometimes. Those times are when you miss the, “not much,” “just chillin,” moments of your life.

I’m definitely not saying that every little ounce of stress is bad though. I think stress can be great. It’s a terrific motivator, for one. But it’s when the stress takes over your entire life, that the issues pop up.

I have had tremendous issues with that in the past, but I’m working on it. I actually think that planning the wedding has been a lot of help. I’ve had this overbearing, constant stress with the millions of things to do, so I have had to work on dealing with a continual amount of stress. In the past, this would have meant a lot of dark and hard nights to work through.

But I’ve gotten a lot better at how I handle my stress now. I vent on here. I go take pictures. I go on walks. I work. I talk with Trevor about it. I no longer turn to a blade to deal with the stress.

At the beginning of the wedding planning process, I knew I would be taking on a lot of stress. I realized that going to school, working, and planning a wedding would be quite the challenge for me. And don’t get me wrong, it has been. But I made a promise to myself last August, that I wasn’t going to have any new scars on my wedding day. There have only been two days since that promise that I have broken down and cut myself. Both times, I felt more regret than ever from those decisions. I think a big contribution to that was that I knew I was not only hurting myself, but Trevor too. It’s a crazy thing – to be loved.

Love makes you do some strange things. In some cases, they can be negative. But in my case, it was beyond a positive thing. Trevor has helped me through so much, some of which I don’t even think he realizes.

So that’s what’s up. I’m being grateful for better stress management and for an awesome guy in my life to help me through it all.

Let me know what’s up with you….

XO Elisebeth