Friday, 7 December 2018

Me, anxiety and...

the peri-menopause. Yes, I have reached that stage in my life. I have recently worked out that my anxiety is probably down to the perimenopause. I have been having hot flushes and put on weight, too, both symptoms of the menopause. I am now on HRT and am waiting for it to take effect. I am still anxious about crossing roads on my own, and going down stairs/steps. On Monday I went to the dentist at Guy's. To get home, we (my mum came with me for the first time), had to go down steps to get out the station. Sorry, no I couldn't do that. It was dark and wet, the rails were wet and slippery. We ended up getting the lift up to the footbridge, walking across that then getting the lift down to the other side. Then we crossed the road to get a bus. We finally made it home. Before we had to go out to the chemist over the road to get my blood pressure tablets I had been waiting for.

I had been coping OK with our stairs at home in the morning, coming down them first time each day, until this morning. I had a bad hot flush, which made me feel dizzy, so got anxious about going downstairs. It took me half an hour to finally make it down, following my mum downstairs, slowly.  I now have to work out how to keep my face cool before I go downstairs so I don't get overheated again. Grrr....

I would like to know if you have had anxiety during the menopause, and how that affected you. Please let me know in the comments.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Why writing is my saviour

In my current world of anxiety issues, writing is my saviour. Why? There are a couple of reasons, and here I outline them.

1. While writing, I am concentrating on the world of my characters. So I am not thinking about me and my anxiety problems. Unless I happen to write about a character with anxiety and/or Asperger's. My current adult wip has an Aspie lady in it as the main character, but I have made her different from me. She is younger and braver than me.

2. If I didn't write, I wouldn't have books to publish and then sell. Having books to sell, means I can go out and sell them at markets and libraries. Yes, I do have to go out and cross roads, even if my mum has to come with me to the place, but I am still getting out. I do not want to become stuck in my own home with anxiety. I want to go out and meet people, talking about books.

I currently have put The Racing Angel and One Good Turn back into paperback (available from Amazon), so will have more books to sell for both adults and children.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Me, anxiety and roads

There is a new anxiety I am having now - I can't cross roads on my own, which means that I can't get out on my own as I have to cross roads. I think it has to do with balance. When I went to see my GP a couple of weeks ago, I felt v anxious and my head was all over the place, and so was my body. I ended up having an anxiety attack in the middle of an island in a side road. I felt so off balance that I was going to fall. No one was around to help me and I had to cope on my own. I only managed to get to the clinic because other people did come to cross the main road, so I walked with them. I felt safer doing that. I can get home on my own locally because the buses I get on, both stop just round the corner to my road, so all I have to do is get off, and walk a few minutes round the corner.

This is so frustrating for me as I had been going out on my own a lot up until a couple of weeks ago. I had to because my mum, who walks with a stick, isn't that confident about shopping either. Maybe there was something there hidden in my brain that was anxiety, and something has triggered it all of ten-fold (it feels like hundred fold), telling me that I can't cope with doing that alone anymore and need help. It is hard for me and my mum because she now has to come with me if I need to go somewhere, even across the road to get the paper. I did try the other week, but got to the end of the road to where I usually cross to the garage, and froze, starting another anxiety attack. It is going to be a long, slow journey to get better, I believe. I want to get better.

This is now going to be a diary, which I might publish next year after I am better, journalling how I feel about situations.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Me, Anxiety and Heights

Following my last post, things have been happening; good and bad. The good is that I am now on another tablet for my blood pressure which has calmed me down a bit when I'm indoors. The bad is that my anxiety turned into both anxiety and panic attacks, which were the heart palpitations, shaking, dizziness. I still get anxious about coming downstairs, but have now found a way to cope with it in the morning. I breathe deeply, do a mindful exercise (tense and relax arms, hands, shoulders and head), tell myself to look to the floor, go slow and go. That way does work. I have managed to come downstairs at the first attempt using that method, inc this morning. But the anxiety raises my blood pressure. I haven't gone up and downstairs during the day or evening yet, although I do go and have a nap in the afternoon, when I am all right. I think it is because I am in my bedroom for all that time and not going back and forwards across the upstairs landing which looks down onto the stairs, which I do in the morning. I get changed for bed etc down in our utility room, which does have heating in. It's smaller than the bathroom but will do for now. I thought that it was just the stairs at home that affected me, but when I went into a Boots yesterday and they had a few stairs going down, I froze then, too.

I am going to take it a step at a time, knowing it will be a long term thing until I am better. I am going to my GP on Thursday to ask to get counselling about this, esp now that my anxiety has affected another part of my life - going out on my own, esp crossing the road. We shall see what happens. My next post will be about anxiety going out and what I plan to do about that.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Me and my anxiety

Do you remember last year, shortly after my mum fell downstairs, that I mentioned I got anxious about going downstairs? Well, it's come back again, and a bit worse. I think it started on a Sunday when I had already been upstairs cleaning, gone downstairs for a while then went upstairs to help my mum with something. I got my bag with me and put some things in to take down but it was too bulky and as I went downstairs, it banged against the wall and made me nervous about falling. That was it. I went upstairs again and took a few goes to come down again.

On a couple of times it has taken me half an hour to get the courage to come down, after a lot of tears. It took me two goes this morning. There are other things going on that could be contributing to his anxiety of mine. I am on additional tablets for my blood pressure that has an 'uncommon' side effect of anxiety and nervousness, and I am very nervous about watching my mum in the garden as she has lost her balance a few times this year. Thankfully, no injuries, just scratches. She now uses the big fork to walk with as a stick and something to balance with as she digs and hoes the weeds.

I also hate escalators and steep slopes. I avoid the former if I can find another way to where I have to go. I encountered a steep climb this morning and my mum had to force me to walk up a bit to get across the road to where we wanted to go, which happened to be closed.

I have found that I'm not the only one who hates stairs and these high things. I posted about this on a FB group and got a lot of comments.

I hope that it doesn't last too long. I am currently having to get changed for bed and brush my teeth downstairs in the utility room, with the heating on.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Do I believe in angels or the afterlife?

Do I believe in ghosts and/or the afterlife? I don't know, to be honest. I would have said no before, but there must be something inside me that does sort of belief in some thing because I have written YA ebooks about teenage guardian angel (The Guardian Angels series), the Geraldine's Gems series about a lady who returns to help her living relatives and there are ghosts that appear in the Singleton series. And now there is this new series of short stories about ghosts helping families in crisis. 'The Family Helpers' due to be out soon. So, I will leave you to work that one out.

I have also written and had published a short story in the magazine Spirit & Destiny about a robin who is clumsy and could be an animal protector. I had read the magazine for a while to see what they like to publish and what their readers are interested in. It is all about angels, afterlife and crystals etc.

So, maybe there is an inkling of the idea that I do believe in some way of angels and the afterlife. 

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Discoverability - Publishing in different formats

Today is about getting discovered. One way is to publish your book in different formats. What do I mean? There are 3 that I know about: audiobook, paperbook and ebook.

For those of you who write for children, paperbook is probably the only version to do, esp if you write for younger readers eg under 9 year-olds. I currently write for 7-9s and will only publish in print for that age range, especially that I have discovered children of that age do like paper books more. When I come to write the next series, which will be for 9-12s, I might do an ebook version, too. Children of that age do have Kindles as I have been told by one mother who wanted a book for her daughter who was ten. My previous children's books are only available in ebooks for now, but I plan to start putting them back into print this year.

For those of you who write for adults, all three choices are good options, esp ebook and print. There is also audio. I won't be doing this as I don't make enough money on my adult ebooks to warrant this.

I believe the more formats you have out there, the more readers you can reach. I do like to have print copies of my books to hand, esp if I go to a meeting or a library where I can meet people and show them my book. I might sell a copy or two.

So, if you write for older children, think about publishing your book in print and digital. If you write for adults, think about publishing your book in all three formats.