Unwanted Advice Causing Anxiety

An old bit with mum's dog, Doug!

I have mentioned before, that I have social anxiety as well as a fear of failure or people thinking back of me. Wednesday is a day I usually post, but my anxiety and fear combined by mid afternoon, so I took the night off.

So what happened? Well, by lunchtime I was struggling, but I was o.k. At my other work, we had a puppy that was very hard to handle. My work mate took over working with her, and had a little bit more success than me. I was happy for her but disappointed in myself. I did my best and I should have realised that, but didn’t.

Then I got approached by someone selling books, outside the supermarket. That’s something that sets off my anxiety, being approached in public. I am very aware of people who are doing things like this. By the time I am approached, I know exactly what they are selling or collecting for. So there is no need to approach me. I understand they are just doing a job, but its not helpful to me.

So, going into my second walk, I was anxious but still coping. That’s when the clincher happened.

The dog i was walking has problems with people, but I am very aware of what to do. But I only walk with her once a week. So I am very limited to what I can do, in regards to training her. Last year she successfully bit a guy as we met on a blind corner. On Wednesday, she tried to bite another man. I could sense she was about to try, so I took appropriate steps to make sure she couldn’t get to him. Then I gave her a telling off, and we went to carry on our walk.

No harm done!

Until the guy decided to lecture me on how I must train my dog. Well, considering training needs to be a consistent thing….yes that’s right, you are lecturing someone who has worked with thousands of dogs over 8 years. She is not my dog for a start, and I do not have the ability to train her to that level. I have trained a similar dog to be able to walk in a busy street without biting anyone. But it took over a year of me walking her, multiple times a week. I have worked with dogs terrified of people and got them to like me. I have looked after a dog who ended up biting me, after I didn’t receive the information I needed to avoid it.

So I am very experienced with aggression in dogs thank you. That guy would have been bitten if I didn’t know what I was doing. The fact that it happened and how I reacted, would have helped in teaching her in the long run!


I am more than comfortable around a dangerous dog, and my ability handling them!


I am very grateful for that job. Most of the time I can relax. Because the chances of a problem are low, even with a dog like that. That’s because I am confident in my own abilities, to instinctively know what to do to diffuse a situation. And I know my dogs well enough to know danger signs. That peace of mind is huge to me, and helps me get through the day. But not when people interfere, and not when they criticise me for no good reason.

It happens more than it should.

A few weeks ago, some guy also decided to educate me about a dog that I was working with. This dog has issues about walks being scary. He claimed its most likely a genetic thing. Erm…..her mum is my friend, who is extremely experienced with dogs. She is a vet nurse at the S.P.C.A. They rescued the dog as a stray, she had been living in the bush for a few years. She doesn’t want to walk because suburbia is new and frightening to her! And guess what? Since then, my work with her has started to pay off! We are walking great lengths now.

So, or all the people who observe a situation for the first time, remember that you do not know the back story. You may consider yourself an expert, but the other person might know more than you. The other person might have social anxiety, so your little piece of advice could ruin their day. I could have had a panic attack, and that’s when I am likely to mistakes. THEN someone might get bitten! So please butt out.

What triggers do you have, for your social anxiety?

The Importance of Knowing Your Diagnosis and Triggers

If you haven't been properly diagnosed, please go see your doctor

I have been thinking about what my blog is missing so far. I have noticed that I have not spoken about the diagnosis’ and triggers. Both of these I am not aiming to discuss much. I feel like professionals should always be the go to for advice on a diagnosis and how your triggers work. I am more interested in discussing what to do once you have a diagnosis and you know your triggers.

I have been diagnosed with mild depression and anxiety. I feel like it varies more than “mild”. Overall, the term is appropriate, but neglects the specifics in regards to someones illness, like varying severity. For brief periods, certain scales would have me at severe depression. This could lead to someone thinking I am over-reacting, if they know I am diagnosed as mild, yet not wanting to live anymore.

However, once you have a diagnosis, you can take steps forward to understanding your illness, and how to treat it that works for you. If you are not diagnosed, please go see a doctor and get one! Its the first and one of the most important steps! Please do not self diagnose, because you can get it wrong. This could lead to mistreating your illness and you will confuse others you speak to! Not good for that stigma thing!

Triggers are also helpful to move forward. Once you know what triggers your illness and how, again you can take steps to manage it. Some things are obvious and you can avoid it, or take steps to get used to it slowly. Other things might be deep rooted in your brain. That’s when you should really seek professional help. Professionals are trained to unlock the workings of your brain. Me, I wouldn’t have a clue!

Making a mistake with my job – working with dogs, can really trigger my anxiety and depression



What are my triggers? I have many, but I will describe one of them. For depression and anxiety, probably one of my biggest triggers is the fear that someone is thinking negatively about me. This means, I am awful at handling a big mistake in front of others. My anxiety kicks in immediately in the moment that I know that I have made a big mistake. Assuming I have, my depression will follow soon after. My world will feel like its caving in, and I will overthink it. Thoughts will be of the worst case scenario. Sometimes I will even want to die or run away!

Where I am at now, I know I can make a difference by doing this blog. I know that most of the time my illnesses won’t hold me back. I am slowly accepting that when they do hold me back, that’s ok. I need to be kind to myself and remember I am ill, and to not sweat it if I fail. So while I do not agree 100% with my diagnosis, I have taken it and understood what it means for me. As for triggers, I am at the point of identifying them. I still need to work out what to do with them, but that will come in time.

Whats your diagnosis? What triggers you? How have knowing these, helped you?

World Record Attempt – The Next Steps

Group shot of my first world record attempt

I want to share with you all, whats next for my world record breaking. At the moment, my plan does not consist of much. So why share? Well, I have learnt that you are more likely to follow through on a goal, if you tell people. So here I am, making it public!

The Last Attempt

As you will recall from my earlier post, I broke the world record for ‘Most Football Penalties in an Hour’. The official count was 359. Unfortunately, there was a scoring error. I recounted after watching back the footage, and got 391 and 393 with both counts. Guinness decided to take the number counted on the day, which was slightly upsetting. But this proves to me that I can break my own record!

So that’s my next plan, reattempt my previous attempt! This time I will be setting myself a new goal, not only to beat my own record, but break the 400 mark. In my first attempt, my training as well as the half an hour before, was not ideal. I didn’t train quite as much as I should have, and I got too involved with setting up the event, that I didn’t even warm up!

The Next One!

I cannot wait to have the winning feeling, of breaking a world record again!


So there will be changes to the next event. Not only does the scoring need to be improved, and I need to prepare better, but we had a problem with one of the camera’s cutting out the action! Plus the evidence was a headache to work out! But this time around I know what to expect, so hopefully there will be no errors. Plus, my helpers from last time will all help again I believe!

I want to promote mental illness again. I am still debating whether or not to promote my charity of choice – Voices of Hope. Or perhaps I could choose a new one. Or maybe this blog! Regardless, with more time, I can focus more on promotion. Perhaps I can turn it into a bigger event this time? We shall see.

One thing I do know, is that second time around will be bigger and better. Barring injury or illness, I am very confident of my chances.

I am yet to lock in any dates, but I will probably be aiming for November or March 2021. It will depend on the availability of the field and if I can return to training shortly, and if I can get through it. My shoulder injury is still slightly playing up, so I may have to delay until March.

Either way, stay tuned here, for updates. Because this time you guys will come along for the ride with my preparations!

Crisis Lines – Countries Added!

I have been sick all week!

Hi everyone, I hope you are all keeping safe and well. Unfortunately I have been sick. No, its not the horrible virus, just the common cold. It’s not bad, but its sapped my energy right out of me!

Unfortunately that means I have fallen behind with my crisis info updates! I still have 10 countries to add!

BUT the following countries I have added!
Europe – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland
Asia – Hong Kong, India, Israel and Lebanon
Africa – Liberia
Oceania – Fiji, New Zealand and Tonga

This means now Oceania is done, as well as the America’s. Hopefully the rest will be complete by the weekend!

Dinner With My Father and Family

I wanted to share this video with you all. The main reason is, we all need to not be scared to show some emotion. So I did!

I apoligise for the length. If you read my previous post, you can skip the first 5 minutes, because that’s the back story.

It was a hard night despite being able to spend extra time with my grandfather. Looking back, two nights later, I am glad I went. Despite how horrible I was feeling for much of the night.

Here is the video.

My Father Resurfacing After 19 Years

Angry men and fighting in general, has always made me feel uncomfortable

This is a blog post I do not want to write, about a situation I was hoping to avoid. But due to recent events it was inevitable. Its time to (somewhat) face the music. My father is back. I do not like it, but I have to be near him.

The back story

I grew up in a toxic household, with someone who could not control his anger, and would scream and break things. I was also bullied at school, so I am certain both factors lead me to being scared of people. In my early to mid twenties my social anxiety was terrible. It was only going to university in 2008, that I managed to improve on it. But still to this day, I have problems. I also have nightmares that he is back in my life.

When I was 18, he finally left. I went to school that day celebrating with my friends. He came back briefly a week later. Perhaps that’s why I have the nightmares. I saw him for about a year after, a few times. Those meetings were good. Then he stopped them. For a couple of years my sister and I got birthday presents with a card attached, that didn’t say who they were from. Weird but it was something. Then, nothing. No contact what so ever. I didn’t really care. My view was always that if someone toxic wants to walk away from you, hold the door for them!

About that time he made a comment to mum, that he had to leave or he would have killed me. Literally or figuratively? I was starting to stand up to him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was capable or murder. My sister got in touch with him a year or 2 ago, he blamed mum. I didn’t buy it.

This would have been me on a regular basis growing up. His screaming and breaking stuff scared me a LOT!



Now, we have reached a point that our paths are going to cross. Sadly my nana is dying. We all know she hasn’t got long. My grandfather, has just had heart failure and is not in a good way mentally. This Saturday is his birthday, and everyone has decided to put a dinner on for him. Myself, my mum, and my sister all invited.

My sister, for her own personal reasons, wants to go. For myself and my mum, its harder, but mum is going. That leaves me. I am in the awkward position of wanting to support them both and my grandfather. But I have worked so hard to shut my father out of my mind. Why on earth will I want to undo that?

I have decided to go, just to show my support. I will not be talking to or even acknowledging him. If he tries, I will politely tell him I do not wish to talk and I never will. It’s going to be a very hard night for me, but I feel like it’s the right thing to do. And others have given me advice, that this may make me feel a bit better about it.

My only concern is, I do not want to show any signs that I am affected. He does not deserve to see that. For that, I need others to not upset me in any way, because I will be feeling bad on the inside. And when I am like that, it comes out real easy.

I will update on Sunday on Monday, about how it went! Wish me luck!!

Ways To Improve Your Mental Health in a Lockdown Part Five

Relaxing Shower

I want to finish this series of posts, with 2 things that I feel are very important. This post is all about care – self care and care of loved ones. So many of us are struggling, so its vital we look after ourselves and others.

Self Care

Self care is an important thing to look into, to keep some sense of normality, like I have previous said. Not only that, but spend a lot of your down time focusing on things to try and keep you in a happy and positive mood.

Everyone’s idea of self care is different, but the one I feel strongly about is having a shower or bath. Not only is it important for personal hygiene, the warm water tends to clear my brain and make me relax. Often while I am in there, I am able to think of ways to do things I am struggling with. Thats because the shower is the one place I can concentrate. Plus I am often feeling tired, and the water is good at waking us up! Taking a shower helps to keep your normal routine from before lockdown, but has many ‘feel good’ benefits!

Try and find these acts of self care, which make you feel as good as possible. Then do them on a regular basis!

Care of others

Look after loved ones and those you are sharing space with. We are all in this together, be kind!

We need to check in with others, as well as make things easy for each other. When it comes to your household, the more we spend with people, the more chances there will be conflicts. Especially given the levels of stress. My suggestions are to compromise with space vs contact, and try and let things slide.

For introverts especially, space is important. Whereas extroverts will be frustrated with the lack of social outlets. So if you have both in your household, try and find a balance between the two. Having a decent amount of social time as well as time alone, is most likely going to keep everyone sane. Its difficult to find that balance, especially in a time like this. But too much of one or the other will make one party struggle.

Now is not the time to be getting everyone worked up over little issues. Given its a crazy time, people will lose focus and make mistakes at home. That’s normal, and a lot won’t even be worth mentioning. There is little point to be increasing stress levels to get a resolution to a small problem. So let lots slide and appreciate stress = mistakes. Also, expect people you live with (and yourself) to be very stressed, sad and angry. This is not a normal time, and we had very little preparation for it. So naturally, we find it hard to process. As we try to, we experience a wide range of emotions. This is normal. Just let it slide.

Missed the first 4 parts? Here is Part One, Two, Three and Four!

Crisis and Helpline Details For Oceania

Woman calling a crisis number

So I have decided to do this final list by the Oceania region instead of the continent of Australia, because that would exclude the Pacific Islands and New Zealand!

Also, something key to note. I am including helplines as well as crisis lines. That is why its important to visit the websites to determine if a service is for you. I aim to add in the type of line for each, soon!

Australia

Beyond Blue (phone, online chat, email and online forums)

Phone – 1300 22 4636

Website – www.beyoneblue.org.au/home

Blue Knot Foundation Helpline (for surviviors of childhood trauma or abuse)

Phone – 1300 657 380 (9am – 5pm AEST)

Website – www.blueknot.org.au

Kids Helpline (for kids and youth up to aged 25)

Phone – 1800 55 1800

Website – www.kidshelpline.com.au

Lifeline

Phone – 13 11 14

Text – 0477 13 11 14 (6pm – Midnight, AEST)

Website – www.lifeline.org.au

Online Chat – www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/online-services/crisis-chat (7pm – Midnight, Sydney time.)

MensLine

Phone – 1300 78 99 78

Website – www.mensline.org.au/
Online Chat – www.mensline.org.au/phone-and-online-counselling/

Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling (24 Hour Crisis Support and Face to Face Counselling)

Phone – 1800 011 046

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OpenArmsVeteransAndFamiliesCounselling

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/openarms

Twitter – https://twitter.com/OpenArmsSupport

PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia Helpline)
Phone – 1300 726 306
Website – www.panda.org.au

Q Life (LGBTQ Support)

Phone – 1800 184 527 (3pm – Midnight)

Website – www.qlife.org.au
Webchat also available via their site

Samaritans

Phone – 135 247

Email – support@thesamaritans.org.au

Website – www.thesamaritans.org.au

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SamaritansAustralia/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/samaritansaustralia/

SANE Australia (Mental Health Helpline and Support)

Phone – 1800 18 7263 (Mon – Fri, 10am – 10pm, AEST)

Website – www.sane.org

Email – helpline@sane.org

Online Chat also available

Suicide Call Back Service

Phone 1300 659 467

Website – www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Online Counselling – www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/phone-and-online-counselling/suicide-call-back-service-online-counselling/ (Online and Video Chat)

Youthline

Phone 1800 198 313

Crisis Numbers by State

ACT

Mental Health Triage Service

Phone – 1800 629 354

New South Wales

Mental Health Line

Phone – 1800 011 511

Northern Territory

Top End Mental Health Service

Phone – 1800 682 288

Queensland

13 HEALTH

Phone – 13 43 25 84

South Australia

Mental Health Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service

Phone – 13 14 65

Tasmania

Mental Health Services Helpline

Phone – 1800 332 388

Victoria

Suicide Help Line

Phone – 1300 651 251

Western Australia

Mental Health Emergency Response Line

Phone – 1800 676 822 (Peel) or 1300 555 788 (Metro)

Fiji

Lifeline Fiji

Phone – 132454

Website – https://www.lifelinefiji.com/

New Zealand

National Mental Health and Addictions Helpline

Phone – 1737

Text – 1737

Website – http://www.1737.org.nz/

Lifeline

Phone – 09 5222 999 (Aucklanders) or 0800 543 354 (rest of the country)

Website – http://www.lifeline.org.nz/

The Lowdown

Text – 5626

Website – http://www.lifeline.org.nz/

Email and Webchat available on the website

Youthline

Call – 0800 376 633

Text – 234

Website – https://www.youthline.co.nz/

Tonga

Lifeline

Phone – 23000

An Example of my Social Anxiety

My social anxiety can cause awkward moments!

Today I want to share a post I wrote in a mental health support group. This post highlights my social anxiety and its effects. I have come a long way since freaking out at the propect of talking to strangers, in my early twenties. But lately I have relised that some situations are hard for me. Here I give an example of one.

Twice in the last 2 weeks, my depression and social anxiety has got the better of me! As I have mentioned, I am into racing die-cast cars like a big kid. Nearly 2 weeks ago, on the night where my depression hit me the hardest, I went to have a look at new cars in the store to kill some time. A young guy starts looking too, and asked me what cars I was looking for. I could have told him what I was doing, I bet he would have loved to know me. I lied and said I was looking for my niece (slightly true, I buy her cars too).

About an hour ago, I did it again. I took my cars out to the garage, opened the door to let the light in, and shot some promotional video’s. Once I was done, a little girl about 10 walked past with her mum. She saw all the cars on the table and was fascinated with them all. She told me I should race them. I told her that I already was going to (I got that bit out this time!). So she asked me for my YouTube name! I lied again and said I didn’t have one! I lied to a little girl! I would love to get to the point where I can speak with passion to strangers, about the things I love, without being scared of them ridiculing me. I need to accept that people find me an interesting person and not everyone will mock me. I guess that’s the effects of bullying growing up. Its ingrained into me, the thoughts of “what if they say this… “

You know things are not great when you lie to a child!



Just thinking about it, I find it interesting that my brain goes to the lie straight away without even considering that I should share my passion. Furthermore, it makes me sad to think that I could have brightened up the young man’s and the little girl’s day by sharing my hobby with them. Its something I really want to work on. Share with no fear!

Ways To Improve Your Mental Health in a Lockdown Part Four

Reading a powerful mindset can transform your thinking, during lockdown

I know many of you are out of lockdowns now, but this will still apply if you have the free time. The aim of this blog is to make you realise that you have an opportunity to change your life to something bigger and better! But first we need to make sure we will get through financially.

Prepare For a Job Change

Will we have a job at the end of this? Unfortunately we have to face the reality of these tough times. Some of us are (if not already have) going to lose our jobs. Others will lose hours or business won’t be good for a long time. This virus means the economy is in trouble, and the landscape is about to change. I am not going to go into why I believe people should be jumping at the chance to work online now. I am only going to say if thats something that you are considering, go click on the SFM tab at the top of this site. They can guide you like they guided me. But regardless, we need to expect the worst when it comes to our jobs. With this free time, its a good time to look at our C.V’s/Resume’s, and update them as needed.

This is also a great time to determine whether or not you are in the right job/career. Ask yourself some important questions, such as: Have you still got money coming in from your work? Or have you had to rely on government payouts? Are you happy with your work? I mean, REALLY happy? I am not talking about how much you make, but how you feel at work mentally. Do you enjoy what you are doing to the point that you go home in a good mood? And what about if the world has another crisis? Will your job get you through that financially?

This is a time where thousands of people are going to be jumping at opportunities to change jobs.. Why them and not you? There is no reason. If you determine you need to jump ship, then this is a good time to do it. The risk is low because you most likely have less to lose. Plus with the landscape evolving, there is a high chance you will make an long term improvement. Being in a positive work space also means you will be more mentally prepared for if something like this crisis, happens again..

Here is a video that really inspired me to start up this site. It features Gary Vaynerchuk whom I mentioned earlier, and its very applicable right now. Warning: Features strong language so not safe for work or children.

Positive Voices/Reading

I keep mentioning that I believe that the most important part of you day, is the morning. This is a belief of many influential speakers and writers, such as Hal Elrod. I have already referred to Hal’s book, The Miracle Morning. In this book, Hal discusses 7 things you can do before you start your day, to give yourself a mental boost. All of the activities are designed with positive thinking in mind.

Audiobook’s are handy in the way that you can listen to them anytime and anywhere!

One valuable morning activity, is reading. Now, recently I have discovered audiobook’s. There is nothing wrong with physical or e-books, but I do like an audiobook. I have been downloading and listening to a lot of motivational speakers. I always thought I wouldn’t be swayed by such speakers, but I was wrong. Tony Robbins is an obvious one. I am interested in working online, so I am getting the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk in my ear. He is blunt and doesn’t sugar coat anything. Get past that and I realized that he is a very smart person. He narrates his own books, meaning you can hear the power and inspiration of his words.

If a morning starts off with activities such as reading/listening to influential speakers, you are more likely to feel positive than you otherwise would. We can also use this time to read up about more mental illness specific information, from a number of sources. I will be discussing some good sources/books in the future.

Are you going to come out of this crisis a changed person, for the better? Or are you going to go back to your old ways where you accept mediocrity?

Ways To Improve Your Mental Health in a Lockdown Part One, Part Two, Part Three