It'll Never Be Me - Until it is - Being Diagnosed with Anxiety

I've always been someone most would consider high strung. Meaning, I'm easily excitable, a little nervous and sensitive at times. I've always been nervous of things like job interviews, meeting people for the first time and making a good impression. I feel like everyone deals with this kind of nervous stress, so this was never something I worried about a lot. Don't get me wrong, I could stress with the best of them, but I always found talking it out, or even just taking time away from the stressor would help quickly. What happened this time, is not like anything I'd ever experienced before. 

Two weeks ago I suffered a pretty severe anxiety attack at work. I kind of just snapped and had a big old fashioned meltdown (Now, I do not want to get into the stressors that both my doctor and myself know caused me to sort of trip and fall over the edge of "high strung" to anxiety). I felt like I was having a heart attack. There was a tightness on my chest that I couldn't shake, I couldn't breathe deeply and I could not stop crying and shaking. I felt like a failure, like everything I had done to that moment wasn't good enough, that nothing I could do would make the situation better. For lack of better words, I felt like I was drowning. I just felt like I couldn't keep my head above water. 

*This image was on pinterest with no one to give credit to. If this image is yours please contact me and I will give you credit

*This image was on pinterest with no one to give credit to. If this image is yours please contact me and I will give you credit

I had to call my mom to pick me up, because I knew I couldn't continue on. I couldn't think straight, my mind was racing a mile a minute and all I could think about was what had happened, what had been happening all week and more importantly, what was going to happen because of what had just gone down. 

Nothing I could do would calm my nervousness, the pain in my chest or stop me from crying. Now, I want you to know, I am NOT a crier. But this month, I had cried nearly everyday. Little did I know at the time, that the "stress" I was feeling was closer to anxiety attacks. 

cartoon: @introvertdoodles

cartoon: @introvertdoodles

I went to the emergency room (because my family doctor's after hours clinic was closed Fridays for him to do his rotation in the ER). My heart rate was over 100bpm for a long period of time, so they put me into a quiet room to calm down and relax while I waited for the doctor on call. 

THANKFULLY, they sent in my own family doctor to talk to me. I think this made explaining the situation a lot more comfortable for me. I cried a lot more, I shook and I discussed with him how I felt about the environment I was in, and how it made me feel. We agreed the best course of action (FOR ME) was to pull me out of the situations that had sent me spiralling into anxiety attacks. 

We also reached the conclusion together that I should try some anti-anxiety medication to help balance me back out. I'm not usually a person that accepts prescriptions for medication. I don't necessarily agree with putting things into my body that could do harm in the long term, but at this point in my life, feeling as desperately lost and, for lack of better term out of control of my own thoughts, I accepted. 

It helps me to see someone I respect like Kristen Bell openly and fearlessly talking about her struggle. No one should make you feel bad for trying to get yourself better, no one. Don't ever let them. (below is the video of the full interview she did)

It helps me to see someone I respect like Kristen Bell openly and fearlessly talking about her struggle. No one should make you feel bad for trying to get yourself better, no one. Don't ever let them. (below is the video of the full interview she did)

It's been a week and 2 days since I left work. Every day has been a struggle. I haven't been able to sleep, I found the medication I was put on would help more for an immediate attack and not necessarily support me in more of a constant balance. I made another appointment to meet with my doctor (which he told me to do so we could see how I was making out after my initial visit) and we decided to change the medication to another anti-anxiety pill, but one that is more slow acting, so it lasts longer in helping to balance my nerves. I'm finding already, 2 days in, they are helping me feel a little more like myself, a person I've missed for over a month. 

Dealing with friends and family is another hurdle I'm trying to gracefully tackle. So many people have been asking me how I feel and offering their advice on how I can "get over it". Everything from the looks people are giving me, to the simple "don't think about it" causes more stress for me. It's hard to turn your brain off, no matter how much you know what you're thinking isn't rational. I know everyone is trying to offer support from the outside, but really, if you haven't been plagued with these irrational thoughts all the time, it's so hard to understand. It's like I'm constantly battling my own brain to maintain some sense of normal. 

*This image was found on pinterest with no credit given. If this is your image please contact me and I will give you credit for it here.

*This image was found on pinterest with no credit given. If this is your image please contact me and I will give you credit for it here.

I've always been a huge supporter of mental health issues because they can and do affect so many more people than you think. Your neighbour, the one smiling brightly and cheerfully, they could be suffering inside and hiding it. Your boss could be suffering, and that could be why they're a little harder on you. Your mom, your brother, your father, your sister - Anxiety isn't a death sentence, but to someone suffering it can feel like it. Please remember to try to offer support without simply dismissing how they feel. 

You can help someone suffering with anxiety just by being there. Listening to them talk, because even though they're worried about things you know to be not true (they are aware their fears are irrational too, but they just can't control the way their brain handles this), just listen, support them when they're having a good day, support them even more when they're not. Try not to constantly talk about their anxiety, often that little bit of normality can help them feel closer to calm. At the same time, try not to get upset with them if they're having a particularly bad day. Try not to let their anxieties pull you in as well, because you need to protect your mental health as well as support theirs. 

Lastly, I wanted to share this video of Kristen Bell talking about her struggle with anxiety and depression. Often times people can suffer from both, which makes their struggle even harder for them to deal with. Anxiety and Depression can and do happen to everyone, don't feel alone or "crazy". You're you and you're allowed to feel how you do. Just know there are many people out there suffering from the same things and we are just a few key clicks away for support.

Have a good day my lovelies.
  - Carlybellexo

Sunny, Snowy Sunday Hike

Some friends and I took some of the dog gang out for a short hike this morning. I snapped a couple photos on the way. 

Isn't my friend Katie a snow babe?

Isn't my friend Katie a snow babe?

Well, the dogs are sleeping, my tea is just the right temperature and Bravo is playing one of my favourite movies of all time, The Fugitive, so it's time for me to relax! I hope your Sunday is perfect! 

- Carlybellexo

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Okay, any girl that says they don't like Valentine's Day is probably lying a little bit. Even me. I love heart shaped items! Who doesn't love LOVE?

Kevin and I have never really been big on celebrating since his birthday is on the 10th, and usually he's out on tour anyways. This doesn't mean I can't buy MYSELF some super cute Valentine's themed presents! (I can justify just about everything these days!)

I wanted to share a few of my favourite Love themed items so you can either drop hints to your special someone, OR buy yourself something cute to celebrate how great you are! Here are a few of my favourites for her & him (because we SHOULD find something for those men in our lives too, I guess).

Chapters/ Indigo has some AWESOME Valentine's themed gifts this year! We're talking everything from candles and journals to water bottles and tea cups. I can't get enough of their gifts and one of my favourites is their Striped Reading Socks. They're adorable high socks lined in soft fleecy teddy bear fluff! Perfect for lounging around the house with a good book and a cup of tea or coffee, even a good snuggle! They're a little pricey at $34.50, but they are made really well, so I think they'll be perfect for use until well after the snow melts! They come in grey and white or pink and white.

They have cute little pink hearts on the heels! 

They have cute little pink hearts on the heels! 

What lady wouldn't want some custom, frilly unmentionables? My friend (and old neighbour) Sarah runs OhhhLuLu and sells the most beautiful custom lingerie. Here's my favourite, the Swan Romper! You'll never find someone who puts more love into each piece than Sarah! She makes everything by hand, now that's true love!

For the coffee lover, why not try a Shoppe815 Coffee scented soy candle. Each one is poured with love in Burbank CA by my sweet friend Katy! The candles last for 80 hours and smell like coffee with hazelnut creamer. If coffee isn't your scent, they also carry candles in scents like campfire, oakmoss, spruce, and for the men in your hearts - gasoline, motor oil, leather and tobacco. 

I am a water drinking junkie, so naturally Swell Bottles are on my list. I use mine everyday and they live up to the hype. Pour water into them and it stays cold for 24 hours. I love filling it with cold water before bed, so waking up thirsty I get the pleasant surprise of icy water, every time. Yes, they're $40 BUT I'm telling you, they really are worth the price. And come on, how cute are the little hearts, arrows and red lips on the bottles? (Scroll right to see more colours and designs!)

One of my personal favourite places David's Tea has so many cute things to offer the tea lover. I LOVE their adorable Valentine's Day line! You can grab up a tea or two, a heart-shaped infuser, glass travel mug with hearts, or even their adorable Love Tokens coupon book! You give the gift of 5 free cups of hot or cold tea to your sweetheart! They just hand in the coupon in store for a drink on the house! How sweet for your tea lover!

Lastly, who can resist the cuteness of Shop No one, that's who. My pick is the That's a Wrap Scarf in Extreme Supercute Heart. It's all in the name, I don't have to explain it anymore.

- Carlybellexo

I have a Confession

Just like the title says, I have a confession to make to all of you. 

I must confess that I've given into my dark side, I've lost my motivation. I mean, truthfully, I could feel it slipping away the past few months, but now, at the time when everyone else is gearing up to change the world, here I am, sitting on my bed in my underwear, watching Netflix, trying desperately to not get distracted (thanks Instagram for all the recommendations for pictures to look at),  and FINALLY post something of substance on my blog.

I like everyone else wants to put my best foot forward in 2016. I want to make all the right choices, transition into all my hopes and dreams for myself. I just need to find the motivation to do so. 

They say you can't change until you're ready. Well girl, you've waited too long, even if you're taking the lifestyle of the sloth to heart, you're going to be making yourself ready. 

I've decided to change my Monthly Goals tab to The Challenge. I'm still going to be posting goals, but I think it will be much more fruitful to make ONE challenge and try to attain that, instead of several things and overload myself. Failing on more than one front always brings you down more, so focusing on one aspect I want to change, that will be so much more attainable, at least, I think so. 

So in the upcoming days, please check out my Challenge tab. Maybe you'll want to participate, we can talk through these challenges, send pictures and little words of encouragement. We can challenge ourselves to be the motivation we can't find inside, for someone else. 

Will you think about joining me in my year long quest to use this newfound motivation and become the person I know I can be?

- CarlyBellexo


HAPPY NEW YEARS! Can you believe it, it's 2016 already! I feel like 2015 just FLEW by! 

I had a pretty good year personally in 2015 and I'm hoping to make even more memories in 2016.

There are so many things I didn't get to start in the past year, so I'm going to plan on making 2016 a year filled with commitments and excitement. 

Like everyone, I want to better myself. I strive to do this every year so that's nothing new. We tend to challenge ourselves in January each year and then fizzle out before we've even gotten started. This year, I'm going to challenge myself to not give up on me.

Keep your eyes peeled for some new Challenge posts from me in the coming week. I'm excited to share my journey with you!

What do you hope to get done in 2016?

- Carlybellexo