Saturday, 11 October 2014

A Weekend Trip to Newcastle

Last weekend I went to Newcastle to visit my cousin Kristy and her partner Deb. Four months ago Kristy had her first child - baby Thomas! He's absolutely adorable and me & mum were desperate to meet them. We had never visited Newcastle before and I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised. It's absolutely gorgeous. We stayed at the Novotel which was a 2 minute walk from the beach and I just kept saying how it smelled like Sydney beaches (the beaches on the Gold Coast have a different smell and it just isn't the same).





We went for lunch at The Landing and then got some Dippin' Dots and spent an hour or so at the park. It was lovely.





I was the lucky one that got to sit next to Thomas in the car and look at his beautiful face.
I forgot to take pictures of our final day there where my aunt, uncle & other cousin showed up. We had a really nice pub lunch with them and it was great to catch up unexpectedly with them.

I think this trip was a really good thing for me because it's made me realise that I can have the life I dreamed of having in Sydney, just on a smaller, more affordable scale which suits me better anyway. I have to be honest, now that I'm looking at different places to move I'm terrified by the amount of money I'll be losing every week just on rent! I really wish I had saved my trust fund money I got when I turned 18 and put it towards a house. I might make a post on Financial Decisions & Regrets soon to hopefully help people that are a bit worried about money like me.

Monday, 6 October 2014

50 Situations That Trigger My Social Anxiety

Since I recently found out about social anxiety I've been taking notice of the times I have felt socially anxious as well as situations that still make me feel that way. I have to say, my social anxiety was pretty high during high school - I would typically only leave the house for school or to go to the movies with friends every month or so.

I thought sharing this list might help people, or at least give an overview of situations that affect the way I live my life every single day. The only time I don't feel social anxiety at all is when I'm at home alone. I should preface this list by saying that I don't struggle with panic attacks and social anxiety doesn't keep me from doing EVERYTHING, but I do daily feel anxious in any social situation and I do have to pick and choose what I feel comfortable doing because of my social anxiety. On with the list...
  1. Every time I'm on the bus, train, airplane, boat or any other form of transportation. Getting off a bus is just as bad as I think about how annoying it is that I made the bus stop when all these people just want to get where they're going quickly and I worry about if the stop button doesn't work or if the bus driver doesn't stop at the right place.
  2. Every time I have to wait for anything - it's particularly bad when people are behind me in a queue or if people are walking/driving past me.
  3. Going over to someone else's house.
  4. When I catch up with friends. I worry that they find me boring or a burden. 
  5. When paying for something at the check out - it's actually worse with the electronic check outs where you scan your products yourself as it never works properly and the person has to come over and help you - it makes me feel completely incompetent.
  6. When serving customers at work. I worry I'm taking too long, I worry about making a mistake, of not knowing the answer to their questions, that we don't have the product they want in stock. 
  7. Every time someone looks me in the eye for a prolonged period of time. 
  8. When people are listening to me - I constantly think they think I'm an idiot or that they will disagree with me. 
  9. Interacting with superiors, people in authority and my boss. My boss in particular triggers my social anxiety due to her personality.
  10. When walking from my bedroom to the kitchen - the reason I feel anxiety in this situation is because there's a hallway, then the lounge room and then the kitchen. It's basically a giant catwalk and even though they probably don't even notice I'm walking past I constantly think about how they must think about how annoying I am and how fat I am and how much space I'm taking up as I walk past the television. 
  11. Any situation where there are boys around - doesn't matter if they're old, young or related to me I always feel anxious (my brother is the one exception to this).
  12. When birds are around - they're unpredictable and I worry about if one shits on me and then I have to try to clean myself up and how embarrassing it will be.
  13. When people are on the street collecting money for charity or trying to promote something.
  14. When someone in a shop comes up to me or asks if I need help.
  15. At every appointment with my psychologist. I know she's supposed to help me but I can't help but feel completely judged and like an idiot and that she's overanalysing everything I'm saying.
  16. Having to give any sort of speech or talk to people.
  17. Walking across a stage.
  18. When anyone who has a "larger than life" personality is around.
  19. Sometimes I randomly worry that if I bend over to pick something up off the ground that my body will do something or make a noise that I don't want it to that would be excruciatingly embarrassing.
  20. Going for a walk down the street.
  21. Having to answer the telephone or answering the door when the doorbell rings.
  22. Having an instant conversation over things such as Facebook chat, Skype or MSN.
  23. Eating in front of people.
  24. Walking into a clothes shop where it's clear nothing will fit me. I constantly think about how everyone else in the shop would be thinking "why is that fat girl in here?"
  25. Having to ask someone for the time (thank god for phones, they've really saved me with this one and it rarely happens anymore). 
  26. Having to flag for a taxi.
  27. Having plans change in the moment. 
  28. Going somewhere I've never gone before.
  29. Going to a public toilet - the thought of anyone hearing me pee freaks me out so I always wait until there's either no one else in there or for a hand drier/tap to be turned on. I used to hate at school when I said I was going to the toilet and someone wanted to go with me.
  30. Having people sit behind me at the movies or at a restaurant. 
  31. Paying for something with a gift card - I think about how they would judge me for not actually paying for the item myself.
  32. Going to the doctor (I've avoided it since I was in grade 7) or the dentist. 
  33. Ordering anything. 
  34. Asking for help. 
  35. Running into someone unexpectedly, especially if I haven't seen in a long time.
  36. When people look at me when I'm not engaging with them. 
  37. Anyone commenting on my physical appearance.
  38. Making a mistake and having it pointed out to me.
  39. Sending a FaceBook friend request.
  40. Worrying if my makeup is running down my face, if I smell, or if I'm visibly sweating.
  41. People hugging me, touching me on the shoulder, or grooming me.
  42. Being stuck in a car with one other person who I have to talk to for a decent amount of time (the only exception to this one is my mum).
  43. People watching what I'm doing, noticing or observing me.
  44. Being asked a question unexpectedly.
  45. Handing in an assignment or anything that will be criticised.
  46. Not speaking eloquently and stumbling over my words.
  47. Entering a room after everyone else has already arrived/being late.
  48. Having to write or type with people watching.
  49. Returning something to a store for a refund - in fact, I never do this and would rather lose money.
  50. Taking photos of people - either for them, of them, or even of myself in public.
This is just the list of things that regularly affect me nearly every day - there are mere thoughts that trigger it as well such as having to ring up to book an appointment for my future child, going to a parent-teacher conference, walking down the aisle at my wedding, the thought of someone bringing up something embarrassing at my wedding, having to go for job interviews, and much more.

It's been a few months since I last saw my psychologist - I haven't seen her since I discovered social anxiety so I'm going to book an appointment and hopefully work on getting better and gaining some coping skills.

Grade 6 Camp | Primary School Memories

Lately I've been trying to clean up and organise my room and all my school documents which lead me to find these treasures! I took a crappy disposable camera to camp in grade 6 and I'm so glad I did. Yeah, they're not the best pictures but it's just fun to have memories from a time you'd completely forgotten about.
I absolutely love this picture. On the left is probably my best primary school friend, May. We used to hang out quite often.
Alice, Chloe, Ellie
Mr. Hill - my grade 6 teacher. 
Tyson - my primary school crush lmao.
Ellie - she was on my netball team & her dad was the coach.
Honestly cannot remember this girl's name!
Alice





Me in a super cool visor. Obviously the lighting was really good.

The gang jumping into a three metre deep pool! I remember doing it and freaking out!
It's so funny that I found these photos when cleaning - I barely remembered any of the people in the pictures until I saw them!