You are in control….

Whilst I sit here struggling to stay upright on this seat, due to severe rocking after my recent big vertigo attack on the 20th May, I felt compelled to write a new blog post. Although no doubt writing this will put me in more of a spin, as my main trigger is the computer! However I raise awareness of vestibular conditions and mental illness daily in the hope that I can reach more and more people and educate the uneducated on these debilitating conditions. It is important to me, it is my destiny.

This post is to do with mindset and determination. It is very true that YOU are in control of your own destiny. You are in control of how you carve your path in life. You can be a victim or a champion. Of course it is also true that there are things that are completely out of our control…..

I did not choose to have these conditions, I did not choose to have this path set out for me, but I am on it and I have to make the best of it. To some I might seem ok, strong, able, to many I am a happy, outgoing, and a full of life person. To me I am broken. Simples. But I am in control of ME, I can control how I feel, how I react to certain situations and how I react to my symptoms. The one thing I find very hard to control is my mental illnesses, it engulfs me and can rule my life.

I will NEVER get used to anxiety or depression but slowly I am starting to embrace the feelings of anxiety, the deep depression that darkens my door. It is how I react to and interact with these feelings that is important. Frightening as they are, they will not harm me, they will not beat me and they will not conquer me, although I can tell you they try their very hardest to!

Every day when I wake up my symptoms are there. Like groundhog day for 8 years. I am dizzy, I am jittery/anxious, I am rocking, swaying, foggy headed, blurry vision and many more symptoms besides. But somehow I get up out of bed, I get on with my day, although the days need to be adjusted according to how I am feeling. I still get up. People often say to me “but you are strong, stronger then me, you are more positive then me, you are more determined. No I am not I say back. I believe everyone has the ability to be stronger, be happier, be more positive. It just takes some practice.

However I know some people who will never be satisfied with what they have, they will never be content and that is because they allow themselves to be unthoughtful, jealous, rude, disrespectful, reactive and many more feelings besides. These people are not in control of their mindset and how they are reacting to certain situations in their lives. It is a deep shame but as my therapist says “I can never change people and how they are, they can only change themselves, never try to change people it will drive you mad!”.

Control is not just about getting up in the morning, getting on with my day and trying to be positive and allowing myself to live to my fullest capability. It is also about accepting that some days I have to be in bed, on the sofa or rest up, controlling my mind to say to myself “You need to rest today, listen to your body”. It is very easy to listen to your mind and say “actually although I feel rubbish today I am going to push myself” but sometimes this has a negative affect and can go very wrong resulting in more of a relapse. So its controlling those emotions and mindset and making sure you look after yourself and have your best interest at heart.

You are also in control of how you react to what people say to you. People can be very hurtful, especially when they do not know how to react to your conditions/symptoms. Unfortunately the ignorant and uneducated person can be hurtful without knowing it, they might blurt out a stupid comment. But actually sometimes what is more hurtful is when they saying nothing at all, no support what soever. But its how you react to both scenarios that is important. What people say or do not say will not hurt you, its how you think that is the hurtful part. If you react or play it around in your mind that is when things can escalate and get you down. So I ignore and move on, people that are like this do not have my undivided attention.

Live as a champion not as a victim. Having any debilitating condition is exhausting. Continuously feeling sorry for yourself and having pity parties does no one any good. Here is where a positive mindset comes in, it does take practice and meditation and affirmations are very helpful! My CBT therapist also helped me with my mindset. When I first went to see my CBT therapist back in 2013 I always wore black, I was mourning the old me, very depressed and anxious. Over time she taught me how to improve my mindset, how to get more positive and how to not let peoples attitudes towards me (or behind my back even!) drag me down. after being with her for over a year, my black clothes turned into bright vibrant colours, it was amazing. The difference in me was incredible and it showed me the power of mindset transformation.

Now when I speak to fellow sufferers every day, I instantly talk to them about mindset, as I totally believe that if you change that over time you can physically improve. People often push back on the meditation as they think they do not have time, or its sitting cross legged on the floor with your thumb and index finger together and humming! It is not, its about zoning out and BEING. It is about switching off and clearing your mind down, like a reboot. Over the years meditation has been very effective in my recovery but even after 3 years of practicing it I am still learning.

So next time a negative thought comes into your mind, dismiss it, and replace it with a positive thought. For example I used to say this a lot “I cannot go through today with these symptoms again” but instead say “I have to get up and just do the best I can today despite my symptoms, I am a champion not a victim.”

Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it helps others, the mind is very powerful.

Lara x

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