It's all me, me, me...

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Vivre Sa Vie
London, United Kingdom
Well hello there. My name is Viv (well, it's not really), and, like a lot of people, I'm ever so slightly neurotic... I have panic attacks and anxiety (ranging from mild to pretty intense), on and off. I also have an amazing and quite high-profile job, so I'm choosing to remain anonymous on here. Not because I'm ashamed of the aforementioned neuroses, but because I don't want to be googled and for my colleagues to read bizarre posts about me breathing into a paper bag and popping lorazepam. I've worked for bookshops, mixed arts festivals and charities, and have met (and still meet!) a lot of famous, fetching and fantabulous people for my job. (See, anxiety doesn't need to stop you being AWESOME and doing what you want to do) Here's hoping you'll find some helpful hints and tips on here which will help you tackle the evil panic heebiejeebs... PS. I'm an Australian, but I live in the UK, and have adopted tea-drinking, pubs, Wodehouse, and a Welsh man.
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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The interwebs can cheer us up!

' Gee whiz, now I've got these inspiring blogs to read I can cut down on the barbiturates  and unsavoury menfolk!' 

We interrupt this most fascinating of all fascinating blog streams about gallstones to bring you news of inspirational, anxiety-busting blogs and websites elsewhere in the world.

Firstly: XO Jane. Have I mentioned this one before? Sorry gents, it's definitely a ladies only one, this. Ladies - listen up. I've just discovered it - full of hilarious, sassy (I really hate that word, so why would I use it?), feisty (if anything I hate this even more than sassy, grrrr) and strident (ah, forget it) articles written by clever, funny women.  

Okay, so I've just somehow managed to make it sound really terrible (remind me not to write a review of your book if you ever publish one), so just go there and see. It's not remotely all about mental health, but there are some bits and pieces that are really pertinent to us worry-warts: Anxiety hero Sara Benincasa has written a great article on there about panic attacks, there's this one  and this one about depression, and even one about GALLSTONES, who'd-a-thunk-it?! 

Use the search bar - it's your friend. If you're in the UK it will probably try to steer you to the new UK version, but I personally prefer the US one (which still features a lot of the UK articles).

Nextly: The Big Scary C Word. It's actually a breast cancer blog that popped up on Huffington Post UK, but is such an inspiring and brave account of a young woman coping (well, hell, she more than copes) that it deserves inclusion in the push-up bra (uplifting, see what I did there) section.

 I initially internally shrieked with self-hatred after seeing how phenomenally well she was dealing with something infinitely more terrifying than anything I worry about, but then I realised - she doesn't have an anxiety condition! Or depression! Her boatload of shit is very different to our boatload of shit, but you can certainly draw a hell of a lot of inspiration from this woman's sunny outlook - I certainly have.

Nextly nextly: Panic about Anxiety. Summer Beretsky blogs at Psych Central about her agoraphobia and panic attacks. Loads of great, clear, honest (she doesn't hide behind anonymity, hmmm) articles there about anxiety in all its gnarly forms.

Question: Is an anxiety blogger blogging about other great anxiety blogs a little like a woman telling her boyfriend how gorgeous other women are and then giving him their numbers? Guys, guys - where are you all going...hang on, can I just.....guyyyyyys...? 

V x

Blogs: for when life feels like a metaphorical budgie is crapping on your metaphorical head


Scarlett said...

Thanks for these - and no, we would not desert you in favour of these! I hate "sassy" and "feisty" but I don't mind strident. Odd.

Sheryn said...

Thanks for the blogs.. I find it helpful to read about others panic attacks and anxiety.I think I have had anxiety for most of my life but didnt realise it. Thats why I love your honesty so much. You girls are so gutsy to tell it like it is.I have spent a lifetime pretending. Sorry about your gallstone problem. Hope you find some comfort. You are one funny brave lady.xx

Vivre Sa Vie said...

Thanks, Scarlett! Sassy and feisty are my two pet word hates. Only ever used to describe women, feisty is the eviller of the two because it has at its heart some kind of shock that a woman could be passionate or assertive - i.e. the default is that she isn't, so a new word has to be invented to describe this mystical fiery beast. Grrrrr. Sassy just seems a bit lame and sixties now. x

Thanks, Sheryn! Funny and brave - I couldn't think of anything I'd rather be known as, so you've made me one v. happy bunny.

And there's no shame in anxiety - I promise you - the more I've 'come out' to people, the more I've discovered half my friends, peers, and heroes have it. The trick is to 'own it' as the Americans would say, and then it becomes less terrifying and onerous. Be out and proud!!!! Vx

Scarlett said...

You've hit the nail on the head - that's exactly why I hate those words!! Agree about coming out about anxiety, though sometimes my casual mentions cause disproportionate alarm!

Lucy said...

Perhaps slightly off-topic, but I can really recommend this TED talk:

Apparently, the way you sit doesn't only determine how others see you, but also influences your stress levels.

I usually sit like the hunchback of the Notre Dame. Preferably clenching my neck or touching my face. Especially when I feel Mr. anxiety sneaking up. According to this talk, those poses are actually making me feel even more powerless rather than protected.

Not sure if this works for me YET. But tomorrow, I'll start doing power poses until I'm an assertive Orangutan who knows no fear!

Imagine after all the breathing exercises and cognitive recalibration we went through, it all came down to spreading our arms. Ha.

Vivre Sa Vie said...

Lucy - a twin Hunchback!!

I absolutely hear you on that one - I am a veteran hunchbacker, but also have a weird hand clench that probably would have frightened warring ape clans a million years ago, but now just makes me look a bit...odd. Will definitely check this out ASAP! xx

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