Mikala: "My life with Anxiety"

April 25, 2018

Hi, I am Mikala and I am Monty’s mom.
As the other half of Monty’s happy universe, I’m usually the one behind the camera filming Michael and Monty doing what they do best!

As some of you may know, I suffer from anxiety. While writing this it strikes me that the word “suffer” may not be the appropriate word for me to use, because there are so many people in the world suffering from hunger and not even knowing when their next meal will be, but when I am having a panic attack it feels in my body and my mind, like I am suffering. I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am for the life I have. I get to eat every day, I have a home, I am going to school, I have a family and I have good friends both online and IRL.
But even though I have what I would call a good life from the outside, in my head I am often surrounded by chaos and these annoying thoughts that is my anxiety. I have what is called OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and general anxiety. I am terrified of many things such as getting seriously sick, my loved ones getting sick, and then there are all these annoying anxiety thoughts in my head telling me what to do to avoid fear. I feel relief when I wash my hands and I feel the anxiety build in my body and mind when I can’t wash my hands when I feel like it. I don’t mind saying hello to people and giving them a handshake, I don’t mind kissing and stroking Monty or any other animal, but I am very afraid of touching something that will cause an allergic reaction in me.
My anxiety about getting seriously sick probably started when I lost my dad to cancer when I was 10 years old. He had been declared cancer free three times but each time the cancer had actually spread, and the doctors were wrong. He was in and out of the hospital for two years and even though I can’t remember that much from that time, I can remember visiting him at the hospital, eating chocolate, and being terrified without telling anyone.
My little brother was born with autism and when my dad passed away, my mom was alone with me and my brother who needed extra care.
I can’t remember when my OCD started but I can remember when my dad passed away I was terrified that my mom would get cancer too. That was when my anxiety about my loved ones getting sick started. I have a strong perfume allergy and because of this I have had some outbreaks of allergic reactions from time to time. The worst was when I discovered that I am also highly allergic to aloe vera. I got a terrible reaction in my eyes when I was 24 years old, and I was so terrified of going blind. I was of course nowhere near going blind, but anxiety doesn’t listen to reason. I had so many panic attacks and that’s really when it hit me, I couldn’t live this way anymore. I was constantly afraid of touching things that could give me allergic reactions and I was avoiding everything in my life! The only place I felt safe was in my bed with my beloved cat Mickey.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, because it is very important for me to tell you, that if you are battling with anxiety you are NOT alone! You are NOT the only one and you are NOT weird! You are a human being and so many people have the same feelings as you have right now! I have spent so many (too many, really) of my years trying to hide how I felt instead of acknowledging my feelings and that it was okay to feel this way and also that it is more than okay to want help!

I got help in therapy and when I met Michael six years ago I was in a good place. I am still battling (sometimes daily) with these annoying feelings of panic, but I am trying to work against them and do the things I am terrified of! I found it very helpful for me to acknowledge my feelings when I feel anxiety and then try to do what my anxiety tells me not to do... unless it’s something that I actually should be afraid of like bungee jumping ‘cause I would never not be scared of that anyway! ;) But this way I try to challenge my anxiety and when I have success and manage to do the things I am afraid of, I feel that I have won! The more I do it, the less afraid I will be, and in time that specific thing does not give me anxiety or panic anymore. This sounds way easier than it actually is. It takes time but for me it has worked very well!

I just turned 34 and because I have spent many years battling with anxiety I have not managed to get higher education. I still sometimes feel embarrassed when I tell people that I am finishing general studies this summer as a 34 year old. That is typically something you do when you are 24! But you know what? I shouldn’t care about what other people think! I should be proud of myself just like YOU should be proud of yourself! I know that it’s easier said than done! I have days where I feel embarrassed and just weird and like I’m the only one feeling this way and thinking these weird and stupid anxiety thoughts! Do you know that feeling of being the only one feeling this way? But what we all really should do is try and focus on the good things in ourselves! If you are battling with something in your life and you also sometimes feel weird, alone with your thoughts, and you feel like you don’t belong anywhere and that you haven’t reached your goals you set for yourself when you were young, STOP THAT! Just take a moment and try to STOP these thoughts right this second you are reading this! And tell ME what you are proud of about yourself! What do you love about yourself?
It can be everything from you have a smile that lightens up the room, you have nice hands, to that you are a good friend, you are the best mom or dad in the world for your kids (with or without fur).

I will start telling you what I am proud of about myself and then I need you to tell me what you are proud of about yourself in the comments, okay?
I am proud of my big smile, and even my big teeth! I am proud of how I have overcome some very difficult obstacles in my life. I am proud of how I am as a mom to Monty and how I do everything I can to make him happy. And then I am proud of being a part of this wonderful Monty Happiness community that we have all created together. I’m proud that every day we do what we can to make people smile and help cats in need.

Now it is your turn! Tell me what you are proud of about yourself. I will read each one of your comments and if you have made it this far in the text; thank you so much! This means the world to me, that you wanted to listen to me.

All the best to you from me, Mikala

 

     




57 Responses

CFN
CFN

May 23, 2018

Hello Mikala – I am so glad you shared your story. You are very brave, and by opening up I am sure you have helped many people feel less alone. You are so strong and resilient, and I want you to know how proud of you I am. It is not easy to go back to school while facing other challenges as well. Mental health issues do not get enough attention here in the US, and I know many people who are dealing with them. You, Michael, and Monty bring an unbelievable amount of joy to this world, and I hope you can feel at least some of that happiness and love coming back your way. I am so grateful for all of you, and everything you do to make this world a better place. Sending hugs your way…

Ahavah (V)
Ahavah (V)

May 02, 2018

This made me cry. You’re so strong and brave. I wish I was like you.

I’m fourteen years old. My mum knew I had High-functioning Autism (also known as “Asperger Syndrome”) when I was three. My dad never believed her.

I was always bullied when I was young. And my dad, who is an alcoholic, physically and verbally abused me. He also verbally abused my mum. He didn’t do any of this to my little sister. I would have panic attacks from anxiety and my autism often.

I never had any friends, and the ones I had I kept running back to even when they were abusive. My teachers were terrible to me as well. My mum tried to tell them about my autism, but she couldn’t prove it because my dad wouldn’t let her get me tested. And my dad was always beating me when my mum wasn’t around. He let his alcoholic friend abuse me and he got drunk all the time and he whenever he was drunk, he’d throw me inside the car and say, “We’re going to the f**king orphanage!” and I was little so I thought he was actually taking me to the orphanage because he’d drive around. And he was drunk.

My mum and dad got divorced when I was nine and I was relieved because my dad wouldn’t call my mum names. But I still had to see him. He beat me and humiliated me and I soon figured out I wasn’t going to the orphanage. But I never told my mum. I thought all kids get beat by their dads and get called “little rat bastard”.

In middle school I was bullied worse and the teachers made my anxiety go out of control, so my mum got me tested. I have Asperger Syndrome (High-functioning Autism), generalized anxiety disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (I finally told my mum about my dad), social anxiety disorder, and depression, because I am different.

The next year my best friend hung himself and I couldn’t get over it. A week later I was assaulted by a boy who was way bigger than me and he tried to hit me with a chair and beat me up at school. My PTSD was worse. My dad liked to joke about me “getting my ass kicked” in the fight.

I held in my emotions about Aaron, my friend who committed suicide, and eventually I exploded into a panic attack and I had to spend a couple of nights at a Behavioral Centre. Mind you, ALL Behavioral Centres treat kids terribly. They physically abuse and verbally abuse patients and they restrain them and provoke them. The one I went to physically abused me. The verbal wasn’t such a big deal because I was used to my dad doing that, but they also drunk on the job. They refused to give me my medicine.

I was released but I was still depressed. I didn’t even know the cause of Aaron’s death until a long while after. All I knew was that it was suicide, because he told me he wanted to kill himself and that he drank alcohol. My therapist was terrible and instead of focusing on her patient’s needs, she focused on the family needs. Guess what that meant? I had to see my dad again! Even though I told her what my dad did, my dad, being the evil, twisted, narcissistic sociopath he is, put on a good show and pretended he was the world’s greatest dad. He made me and my mum look like we were crazy. And my sister would side with my dad because she was his little angel.

I have OCD and a lot of allergies, not to food but to animals. Even cats, which sucks, but I still have my kitty. My dad didn’t care that I have a system and fears about my lips seeking up. He refused to give me Benadryl when I had an allergic reaction because it makes me fall asleep. So I just stayed in my room at his house because I hated him.

Then he convinced my mum that since I stay in my room all day long, I’m depressed and suicidal. I went to another hospital for a week, yippee!! And my roommate tried to kill me, I was the only mellow kid at all the hospitals I went to, everyone else was aggressive.

My mum still doesn’t understand my PTSD, but she understands my autism. My PTSD gets even worse. My step dad has no experience either but I guess he tries. It’s hard because they blame me for my panic attacks. They’re not perfect. My mum is the one who loves me most, but when things get hard, such as me saying I don’t want to go somewhere that gives me memories and triggers my PTSD, I get treated poorly.

My cat is my anti depressant. So is Monty, I have a whole album for him and other cats, especially disabled and rescued cats and other animals, and my own kitty, for when I have a panic attack.

Stacy Foulger
Stacy Foulger

May 01, 2018

Thank you Mikala. Your words mean so much to me. I am crying from your post as it is something everyone needs to hear.❤️When I was 9 my parents divorced and my best friend (Nana) passed away. I have suffered from anxiety ever since. Being OCD definitely adds more fuel to the fire. I take medication for stomach/ heartburn issues and when my anxiety and panic attacks are really bad I can not take my pills which causes me not to eat. It is something I have continued to try and battle every day. I will be turning 34 this year and even though it has been a very difficult year I am proud that I am still here, I am proud that I have an amazing man that understands the way I am and truly loves me for me, I am proud to have 2 beautiful fur babies that always knows when mom needs some extra love, I am proud of me and the women I have become and continue to be stronger everyday …lots of love xoxo

Sandra Vella
Sandra Vella

April 27, 2018

Well done for sharing this intimate part of your life. One tends to keep these things inside and only the few that are really close to us know how we feel. It’s hard to admit your weaknesses when you seem to be surrounded by perfect things.
Going to school at your age is not a bad thing and you are definitely a very good parent to Monty.
Right now I am going through all these negative thoughts and there are days when I want to be alone and listen to noone. I am trying really hard to get through this rough patch and the days that I succeed it feels good until another obstacle (which when looking back sometimes it’s nothing) comes right up.
WELL DONE to you and Michael and wish you both love and strength to take care of your beloved boy.

Karma Hurworth
Karma Hurworth

April 26, 2018

Hi Mikala,

Thank you for opening up about this. I am a germaphobe (about people things, not animal). Literally will run from people that are sick, hate touching money, am constantly washing my hands. I get anxiety and depression, which I’ve learned to control with herbal supplements. Right now I’m dealing with compassion fatigue as an animal rescuer. The losses are so hard, even when they are very small in comparison with the success stories.

I am proud, that at 52, I went back to school (so see, 34 is not too old at all!) and did well until I lost my financial aid. I’m grateful that now at 57, I’m strong and healthy enough to participate in roller derby. As a contact sport, believe it or not, it has helped with the germaphobia. I’m very proud to be working at Big Cat Rescue where we rescue big and exotic cats from abusive situations, and that the domestic foster cat program I manage has saved over 600 little lives.

I love you both and Monty. He truly does bring me happiness when I’m feeling down. I just need to click on a video. :-) Oh, and I have soooo many Monty things and more on the way!

Sara Miller
Sara Miller

April 26, 2018

Uhm… ya… the ODC thing. My undies drawer and sock drawer are sorted in rainbow color. Tank tops are stacked in rainbow order… etc, like the rest of my stuff. When my husband wanted to mess with me, he just takes them all out & throws them on the bed. Luckily, he doesn’t do that anymore. He has had his fun. I also have a mild version of ASD.

I am proud that I can help others understand their sensitivities and learn accommodations to minimize their panic attacks, especially the parents of non-verbal kids.

Denise
Denise

April 26, 2018

Thank you so much for sharing this. So, so much. I suffer from anxiety and OCD, too. It has always been there but it seems to get worse the older I get. (I’m 37 now.) Right now, it makes me not want to leave the house because I’m scared my to cats might get hurt or worse while I’m away. Working full time is pretty tough. But what’s even worse is the stigma that goes with it, so for most of my life I was hiding my fears, panic attacks and tried to blend in. I’ve opened up to some people and often write about it on twitter. It’s so wonderful to read your post, because there are so many people out there who suffer, and knowing they’re not alone, not a crazy freak, makes getting up a little bit easier.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. ❤

Aiden Legendre
Aiden Legendre

April 26, 2018

Hi Mikala! I, too, suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, as well as OCD and ADD. I very much enjoy the feeling of cold water running over my hands and my wrists. I count things obsessively, and I also have an inordinate fear of illness.

I must first thank you for being willing to speak publicly about your battle. Mental health (and health issues related to mental health) still does not get the recognition it deserves. I kept my conditions to myself for years, because I felt like such a failure. Social situations make me break out into cold sweats, not getting to rinse my hands in cold water when I feel like I have to makes me freak out and panic about what will happen, and thinking about myself or someone I care about getting sick makes me sick to my stomach.

Such small things seem so impossibly easy for others, and it’s like every little thing makes me feel as though this will be the day that my anxiety kills me. I have learned that I am NOT a failure, that others, like yourself, face these challenges every day, and are strong enough to overcome them. Once I stopped comparing my challenges and my successes to others, I felt so, so much more at peace. I may have anxiety and those other issues, but they do not define me. They do not control me. They are merely a part of me.

I love my cat, Peanut. When she developed primary glaucoma at 5, I felt as though my world were ending. She ended up losing her left eye (the pressure in her eye was too high even with daily eye drops and other treatment, and she had lost a decent amount of her vision from the glaucoma, and we could not keep her pain-free, so we had to have her left eye removed.) I was absolutely terrified and still cannot fully forgive myself for making her half-blind. But it has been nearly 2 years, and with daily eye drops, and checkups with her optometrist every other month, she so far has managed to keep her right eye. I’m such a happy cat dad!

I love my sense of humor, I love that I am lucky enough to be blessed with a fur-panion, and I love that people like yourself and I are unashamed to talk about our conditions and not feel shame. We all fight a daily battle – every single one of us. I will keep pushing to win my battles, as I hope you will do with yours.

If you’ve made it this far in my tale, I sincerely thank you. I wish you all the very, very best that life has to offer. Never stop fighting! Love and positive energy to you all!!! <3

LSmith
LSmith

April 26, 2018

You are an Overcomer !!! Short and to the point I have my own personal experiences , not fun , not easy . We get better and we get happier but it’s work everyday . So happy for you getting on with your life and you have your little family . I know it takes a lot of strength to share what you have and thank you . Thank you for sharing Monty also !! Love that kitty !!
Just “ Keep on keepin’ on “
Love to you all !

Sharon
Sharon

April 26, 2018

Hi Mikala
I think we’d be surprised how many people have this problem but don’t share it because others will think they’re "different"or just weak. We all want to appear to be strong and hide our feelings but, as you know, sometimes it doesn’t work. I will check the front door and patio door several times before I go to bed every night just to be sure someone doesn’t get in while I’m asleep. I sometimes have to tell myself "you’ll be okay, there’s nothing to be worried about like I’m talking to the worry-wart in me and not “me.” Just reassuring myself does help. Also, if I keep really busy I’ve found that helps a lot. I’m a worry-wart so I have no problem worrying about something that may or may not happen – that’s when I have to tell myself “what if it doesn’t happen then I will have stressed myself out for nothing.” These little techniques have helped me a lot. Also I try to not to worry about things that happen that I can’t change and focus on the things that I CAN change. I am always reminding myself that I have a beautiful family, have never been hungry not even for one day, have a roof over my head, essentially all the things that I need. So I just focus on those things and when the bad thoughts try to interfere I tell them (loudly – not in a meek voice) to go away! Just remember – you are NEVER alone there are many of us out here right there with you. Thank you and Michael for sharing Monty with us – he brings a smile to my face every time I see him. I enjoy reading your posts on Facebook – I try to check in once a day. I too have found that my pets make my life much happier and my cat and rescue dog sure do keep me busy! They give you a reason to keep going even when things are not as you’d like for them to be. So Mikala keep busy, don’t worry so much about things you can’t change and enjoy the wonderful things in your life. Hope this helps.

Kelly Anderson
Kelly Anderson

April 26, 2018

I am proud of you for going to school and learning to cope with anxiety. Yay you! I struggle with brittle depression which means we find a medication that works for a while and then it doesn’t. But i do my best to work, take care of my two kitties, take care of my home and create art.

Taylor
Taylor

April 26, 2018

Thank you for this…
I pray for ya’ll everyday since I’ve discovered sweet Monty on instagram. I really appreciate you writing about your anxiety. I hope it gets better for you. I’m about to turn 34 as well and have had some medical issues along with severe anxiety these past 2 years (I’ve always been the strong one in my family, so these couple years have thrown me for a horrible loop).

Thank you, again. You don’t know how much it helps to know that someone else out there is experiencing what I am. I hate it for you, though, and I’ll pray for some peace from the anxiety you’re going through.

Mandy
Mandy

April 26, 2018

I have had anxiety for years. I have also been fortunate to have been in therapy and prescribed medication to improve things. It has helped a lot! Getting the medications right can be a challenge, but it is completely worth the effort. I have a kind, supportive spouse, too, which also helps. Mikala, you are such an inspiration! You and Michael are such a loving couple and are such wonderful cat parents to Monty. All of the work that you have done on the behalf of special needs pets is to be commended. And congratulations for going back to school. You have done so many good things in life. I hope that you, Michael, and Monty are happy. You are such good people (and cat) ❤️

Amy
Amy

April 26, 2018

I had anxiety/OCD that was a result of severe depression. I’ve been in counseling 4 times. The first time was 1.5 years, the others not so long, and we’re ways to manage dealing with coworkers and the last dealing with the death of my beloved dog and the adoption of another dog.

I always have a feeling my garage door is open. Doesn’t matter that I know it is closed, I’ll get up from sleeping and check. If I leave the house I ride around the neighborhood 4-5 times to make sure it’s down. My sister, when she wants to put an end to an argument will say “you’re garage door is open”, and that makes me mad and anxious.

I, like Monty, was recently diagnosed with epilepsy. It’s so weird because I’m 45 years old. How do these things happen? I’m unable to drive again until August. That’ll make it 18 months since I drove last. I’m pretty much chained to my house. I want to get out, look forward to driving again and yet I’m scared to death. I had 2 accidents because I had no idea anything was happening. I’m self employed, and I’ve been honest with clients, but I feel like they think that maybe I can’t do the job the same way. My family always tells me “you’re not the same person you were”, but I can’t see it. I’m getting anxious just from writing this! But I know I’m going to have to get past it to gain my independence. I’m sure that counseling will again be a part of my future.

I would encourage anyone to get counseling when they feel they need it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it actually does help. Why be miserable when you don’t have to be right?

Kathy M
Kathy M

April 26, 2018

Good job opening up! You are not alone – that is the motto of the mental health group I’m involved with. I deal with anxiety & I help my husband manage his anxiety & depression. In the U.S. our motto is break the stigma. Posts like yours help do that! Never give up hope! ❤️

Kimberly Danielle
Kimberly Danielle

April 26, 2018

I have horrible anxiety as well, and I could not have worded any better what it feels like than you did. It really was poignant and beautiful. I’m 40 now, but only graduated with my Bachelors Degree when I was 33. So I totally feel you. I’m proud of you. What you’re doing isn’t easy! Thank you for sharing your story and Monty with us. You and your family are an inspiration!

Kristina
Kristina

April 26, 2018

You are amazing just the way you are. Your big heart is wonderful! Thank you to you, Michael, and Monty for sharing your life. It makes us all better.

Mycat_george
Mycat_george

April 26, 2018

Oh sweetie, I had no idea! I suffer from general anxiety disorder as well. I was once diagnosed agoraphobic. I’ve also lost family to cancer and I’m currently watching another one lose her battle to bone cancer. She’s full of so much grace, courage and acceptance that although we are devestated thinking about losing her,we can still see she’s just enjoying her life and her time with us.

I still struggle with anxiety. If I make a plan, I also make a backup plan, and then a backup plan to the first backup plan. Unable to live life with spontaneity, deal with large crowds, go places I’ve never been before. I remember peeing my pants in 3rd grade when a lunch lady yelled at me for getting my jump rope without permission. I remember every anxiety filled moment, every panic attack and every night I lay there awake with my heart racing. I too started therapy, and I elected to take medication to help with the physical side effects of my anxiety (I couldn’t eat, I gagged on everything including water, my heart would pound, hot flashes that made me so sweaty). I still see a therapist once a month and I always will. My mom suffers the same way I do, so we have each other to lean on and encourage each other to face fears. George changed my world because he forced me to socialize more, meet new people, be the center of attention (I’ve ALWAYS hated that, I don’t even want people to sing happy birthday to me, everyone looking at me). George has given me this gift of meeting people from all over the world (like you!) and helping people and animals I still have days or weeks, even months, where I struggle, and I worry, and I have racing thoughts and I feel like the whole world is crashing down on me. But I am so blessed and grateful and every day for my life. I’m thankful for people like you, who open up to the world and share their stories! ❤️

Isasommerz
Isasommerz

April 26, 2018

Your are beautiful and sweet. I suffered panic attacks in the past and had learned so much about myself and how to help others. You are brave sister. Xoxo

Viviana
Viviana

April 26, 2018

Thanks for your post and I feel you.
Similarly, I’m constantly battling against my own dark thoughts, and I believe that the best way to help ourselves (and others by being an example) is to be open with the others with no shame at all.
You’re a great mom to Monty, and well done for getting back to your studies! :)

Maria
Maria

April 25, 2018

Beautifully written, and thank you so much for sharing your story, Mikala. I have struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life and reading your post brought tears to my eyes. I had a few good years recently, but the past year has been really difficult for me and I’m stil trying to figure out how to feel better. So I guess I’d say I’m proud of myself for all the work I’ve put in to trying to improve myself and my anxiety in this past year. I’ve come a long way but I am not quite where I want to be yet. I am also proud of how well I take care of my two cats.

Melissa
Melissa

April 25, 2018

Thank you so much for being kind and sharing your experience. From your posts, it is abundantly clear that you and your husband have big hearts! Your posts on Instagram are uplifting and I am so glad for you all that Monty is feeling bette. To answer your question, I am proud that I can be patient and positive in didficult situations. Sending happy vibes from Quincy, Massachusetts, USA! Melissa 💗

John Paul Goulsbra
John Paul Goulsbra

April 25, 2018

Hello my name is John Paul I did not know when i started school at 5 years old that i was dysleyic not untill 2004.They said i was half dysleyic i could read and writing badly. I could not talk to people no friends to talk to. So shy even in my 30th now 55 years old just started to people on facebook. I have justed a blog about haveing bowel cancer screening on the 4 sep 2017 luckly i got the all clear i could been six feet under died . Iam still here i got a second chance.I take it day at a time all the best John Paul . Ps sorry it ’s a long page.

Julija
Julija

April 25, 2018

Dear Mikala, thank you for sharing your story! I was attending therapy for last three weeks, because I have “unhealty” thoughts and due to that I get sick very often. As I was informed by my doctor my organizm try to destroy himself and as result I get sick for a long time period with different illness. Despite this I try to be a positive and do my best to get out of it. I am PROUD that I am reading a lot of books; that I have taken a cat from the shelter and am trying to be a good mom for my furbaby; I am proud that I am helping cats in need in my native towm; I am proud that I am trying to think positive! I am sending positive enegy, love and hugs to you, Mikala! 💜

Lisa
Lisa

April 25, 2018

You articulate this so perfectly. I tend to keep it inside and feel I have to always be the strong one. You have and deserve such a purrfect family 💜 !! I am proud of my determination and newfound patience! Lots of love and headbonks 😽xx

Viivi Viveca
Viivi Viveca

April 25, 2018

Hi Mikala!

Thank you for sharing your story!

I too have anxiety and when I was younger I had lots of panic attacks so I can relate to your story. There is nothing worse than being alone and having a panic attack, I looked for help from doctors but what finally helped me the most was my cat Nelly whom I got as a kitten from the shelter, she used to calm me so much. She has been gone for 6 years but I think and miss her every day.

I am a nurse and I take care of lots of elderly patients, I am good at my work which I have been doing for 16 years but lately the system here has changed and I have less and less time with each patient and that makes me sad. The work is more stressful and demanding both physicly and emotionally and as I get older,( I am 43 now,) I wonder how long I can do this kind of work.

I have a good life, a wonderful hubby, two lovely kitties, a home… but I still sometimes feel pretty crappy and have fears and anxiety. I am super scared of losing my hubby, as he travels a lot because of his work I am also often by myself for a longer period of time and coping with that is sometimes a big struggle for me.

When I feel axious or sad my cats help me and looking videos or photos of Monty or other cats like Maya and Smush make me feel better. Monty always puts a smile on my face!

I am sending you lots of love and happiness!

Brianne
Brianne

April 25, 2018

First and foremost, thank you. Anxiety is hard and even on the best days you can sense it hanging at the corners of your life waiting to attack. I always have some level of fear that something will happen to a loved one or one of my animal companions. I panic when my husband has to travel without me. While I did complete a college program at a traditional age, I wasn’t the greatest student and really fell short of what I could have done. Going to school older is perfectly fine! I am back to taking classes and working full time and while it is stressful I am doing WAY better this time around at 32 and my husband supports me fully! You can do it!

I am of my compassionate heart and desire to want to make the world a better place. Yes I know it causes me pain at times but that is worth it to make something better, no matter how small. I am proud of the steps I have taken in the past few years to recognizing that I wasn’t “ok” and taking steps to managing it. I am proud that after years of putting it off I worked up the nerve to go back to school and actually get an education in a field I wanted.

You and Michael do big things and reach so many! Thank you for your work for not only special needs critters, but also for being someone you can relate to and approachable! It makes your cause that much more powerful! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Fiona
Fiona

April 25, 2018

Hi Mikala! I would like to start off by saying Thank You for this wonderful blog. I too have anxiety. My anxiety just started this past year due to a chronic illness I’ve had my whole life, but in the summer of 2017 I went through some really traumatic stuff health wise. I never really understood what anxiety was and how it can become so dibilitating until having gone through it myself. I can relate 100% to that fear of getting sick (I fear that all the time), I also get that fear of something happening to loved ones (that’s something I struggle with my anxiety). I have learned tools to help me when I get my anxiety attacks however so it’s more manageable. I’m Thankful for my friends and family and all their support. The things I love My fur baby Chloe (we may be getting another one in a few weeks) I also love my eyes, and I love to laugh A LOT.

Marianne
Marianne

April 25, 2018

Thank you so much for your honesty and your braveness. Your are a great hearted woman and together with Michael and Monty you bring so much joy into the world. I love having you every day in my IG feed. I suffer from depression and I fight for a good life since more than 20 years. I am proud of me being alive, of me being a caring and loving person with a good husband, a lot of friends and our cat. I love living and so do you. It is all about that and going forward and take what life offers for us. Be a fighter, be a dreamer and be a lover.

Heather
Heather

April 25, 2018

I am proud that I am kind hearted.. we all have some form of anxiety, mine is having to make small talk with people I don’t really know…I never know what to say and I could almost be sick to my stomach. I am comfortable with people I know well…… you are a wonderful person,

Mikala, Monty's mom
Mikala, Monty's mom

April 25, 2018

Thank you so much for all your amazing comments!
It means the world to me with your support and I’m so happy to read all the things you are proud of about yourself!
I think it is so important for us to talk about these things like anxiety because I felt so alone in my mind for many years! And as I’m reading your stories I feel the exact opposite of alone but surrounded by awesome people who knows how it feels to struggle with something like anxiety!
I wish I could give everyone a hug because you don’t even know how happy I am for your comments!
You are all AMAZING! <3

Christine Braun
Christine Braun

April 25, 2018

Mikala, I too suffer from panic anxiety disorder. You are not alone!!! You are an amazing woman and kitty mom. What am I proud of? That, at 62, I’m still keeping it together and enjoying life, with the help of God. I have an amazing husband and family. And never apologize for “suffering” with anxiety. It is horrible. All the best from the US!

Cydney Ritter
Cydney Ritter

April 25, 2018

Hi mikala! I too suffer from ocd and anxiety but it’s not nearly as bad. Mine is very minor compared to yours! I am so proud that you came out and wrote this! It’s never easy trying to explain these things or to have people understand them but I just want to let you know you are an amazing person!! I am proud myself for being the best mom I can be to my daughter and my kitty cat! 😻😻Kisses and headbonks to your family!!

Cam
Cam

April 25, 2018

Both my Sister and my Mother suffer from anxiety. My sister cannot drive on a motorway because of it, only small side roads. I also have two colleagues at work who have moved to night shifts because it is calmer for their anxiety. I have watched their struggles and know how hard it can be. I applaud you all for talking about something that is WAY more common than anyone suspects, and starting those important conversations. You are so brave and so strong! What am I proud about? I have depression and ADD and I am proud that I continue to fight and live another day. We are all warriors!

Marjie
Marjie

April 25, 2018

Mikala,
Talking about your anxiety, admitting it and taking steps to counter the anxiety is such huge progress.
I don’t have anxiety like you but I did go back to school when I was 42 to finish my college education. I loved being an adult with life experience to help me through the classes. I then worked at the university in charge of a large graduate program in English. Many students were in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and even one in her 70’s. It is NEVER to late to go back to school and finish for your benefit.
I too suffer from allergic reactions that are crazy sometimes. When we traveled last year to the UK, I got sick the start of the second week with reactions from wood burning stoves, perfumes, fragrances in soaps/ lotions, old musty smells, dust, cleaning smells in the hotels. You name it, I was affected by over stimulation of my senses and ended up going to urgent care twice. Our bodies let us know, don’t they?
Hang in there Mikala, you are a beautiful young woman with so much love that you share with our IG community. Thank you for opening up to us, I know it is difficult.
What do I like about myself? My sense of humor that I got from my mind.
Marjie

Lis
Lis

April 25, 2018

Dear brave Mikala,

So well stated. Never let anyone or anything stop you from being proud of who you are. Living with anxiety is a constant battle and I’m so happy to hear how far you have come, building up your self confidence. I used to have severe panic attacks and thought I’d have to live with them forever. However, they did end and I never had a single one since. No medication involved. The last time happened many, many years ago but regardless any struggles and sorrows that may occur in life, the panic attacks never occur anymore. This said to hopefully give you hope and reasurements that the nature of panic attacks can change to the better and even sease alltogether.
Kära Mikala, njut av livet och din älskade lille Monty. Du och Michael är underbara föräldrar. Skickar stor kram!

Angela
Angela

April 25, 2018

Mikala, thank you all around but, I want to say you’ve been through so much in your life. And you’ve struggled getting through it that’s courage, power and strength. They say what don’t kill you makes you stronger. I believe in you to get through and do anything you want. Never care what others think of you, if you do you’ll always be miserable because can’t please everyone the one you person you need to please and that’s yourself. I think your a beautiful person inside and out I know that’s a cliché but it’s the truth. You do so much for your family, just look what you and Michael do for Monty and other cats in need. Most wouldn’t care nor do anything about it they just let them go on suffering, being hungry and just blatantly turning their backs on them but not you and Michael your beautiful people. Just let me say extraordinary people with a lot of love to give and a lot of fur babies and even humans to help when they need it. I think you can overcome anything if you set your mind to it and give it all you got and I think you’re that person. If I could snap my fingers and help all your anxiety go away I would. That’s just something that’s not possible , you have to keep fighting it and overcoming it each and every day I know you can do,you’ll be a stronger person for it. I wish you all the best in the world, and much happiness. You have my email if you just want to talk which is pretty much all I can do since I’m in the US feel free to email anytime and I will try my best even if it’s just to listen to help you. I’m sorry I’m not a good writer I hope you can understand my dribble.
Hugs to you, Michael and Monty, wish you all good health and lots of happiness. 💜💜💜

Theresa
Theresa

April 25, 2018

Sweet Mikala…thank you for the strength it took to tell us about your anxiety and OCD. I have had anxiety disorder for most of my life as I grew up in an emotionally and physically abusive home and am now married almost 35 years to someone who is emotionally abusive as well. I am in weekly therapy and am on several types of medications for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and agoraphobia. All of these things eventually cost me a 35 year career in global marketing and also affected my physical health to a point where I am physically disabled.
I am most proud of my 2 daughters; one is a veterinary technician in critical care (she loves animals very, very much!) and my elder daughter works for an international company in product safety management. She has also worked abroad in Japan for 3 years teaching high school students conversational English. She is very good with languages and would love to return to live in Japan. I am proud that despite my illnesses, I have raised two smart and career oriented women who value their educations.
I have days where I feel I cannot struggle any further due to loneliness. No one calls or visits. I have 2 furbabies to keep me company, but they are both very independent.
I too lost a parent to cancer. It will be eleven years this tenth of May for my mom. We had her funeral on Mother’s Day, but I was in the hospital waiting for a very serious surgery, so I could not be there. That upsets me still.

Therese
Therese

April 25, 2018

Thank you for sharing your story.
I also have panic attacks and bad thoughts.
It’s getting better, but the self esteem still sucks. Don’t know what I am proud of 😔

Donna Kay
Donna Kay

April 25, 2018

God bless you Mikala! I also have anxiety and have dealt with it for many years. Thank You for your words, they really touched my heart! What I am most proud of is I have a genuine heart. I am loving, friendly and happy girl who adores cats and look forward to your live videos of Monty. Thank you for opening your heart to us and for opening your lives and sharing it all with us. I am thankful for you, Monty & Michael.

Bonnie Grosshauser
Bonnie Grosshauser

April 25, 2018

Mikala I’m so proud of you for what you are doing. I don’t suffer from the same thing you do but at times I have an overactive mind. I think of things to come and things that have already happened. This keeps me away till all hours of the night. Till I’m so tired I just fall asleep. I am proud of myself because I am a very caring person. Sometimes I care too much. I am also a caregiver to my 95 year old mom. I love you very much Mikala. Keep up the good works. ❤️❤️❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Linda Collier
Linda Collier

April 25, 2018

Mikela, I certainly sympathize because I have suffered with anxiety and panic attacks all my life. Anxiety disorder is a crippling disease. I salute you for doing so well.

Katrine Naundrup
Katrine Naundrup

April 25, 2018

Kære Mikala
Du er så sej og har alt mulig grund til at være stolt.
Elsker jeres måde at være på.
Har selv panikangst som jeg har valgt at holde væk med medicin.
Det fungerer for mig.
Du sagde på et tidspunkt at danskerne synes i er underlige – det er jeg bestemt ikke enig i.
I er skønne og fantastiske forældre for skønne Monty.
Knus Katrine

Denise NolaBabies
Denise NolaBabies

April 25, 2018

I am proud of my family , 2,3 and 4 legged ones :). I try really hard to be a good mom, wife, friend and neighbor. I’ve suffered with anxiety and panic attacks… and have ptsd (most of mine is weather related ). Thank you for sharing. You are very brave

Tara
Tara

April 25, 2018

Hi Mikala, I have had cats my entire life and when I was 16 I was hit by a car leaving me with PTSD…my cats have been my everything and I do have 4 kids as well however they are not with me at this time so all 5 of my furkids keep me going…I don’t know where I would be without them…

Angela
Angela

April 25, 2018

Just want to say thank you Mikala… thank you for sharing your story. I know it’s not easy to talk about anxiety. I’ve been talking about it A LOT more these days… no longer afraid of what people think about me I guess. My mom passed suddenly last year and since then I’ve been terrified of losing someone else. I used to take medication for anxiety but actually physically felt much better once I stopped it. I was experiencing too many side effects.

Anyway… you should be super proud of your accomplishments!!! You seem like an amazing person! (And so does Michael and Monty.)

Virginia
Virginia

April 25, 2018

Hello!! Sorry for my english, I am from Uruguay, and I want to tell you that you are a Great Woman. Very brave and intelligent.
You must be proud of yourself!!!
All you tell is very deep and real.
Keep fighting, I support you from very far, but very near thanks to the technology.
Saludos, abrazo para ti y para Monty!!

Ella
Ella

April 25, 2018

I started following your amazing family on instagram a year ago. After I adopted my cat two years ago It felt normal to me to have interest in other fur babies lives.

I felt like I was reading myself when I read you. We do not suffer from the same symptoms but our feelings are exactly the same. I too have lost my dad to cancer 8 years ago, I am 26 now. Then my mom got cancer, thankfully she is doing amazing now. I haven’t completed my higher education due to anxiety for the same reasons as you. I also feel this embarrassement, specialy when I observe people around me living their lives to the fullest, while I totally feel like a spectator. I am an only child.

Reading you was a big, BIG relief. Not only for knowing that I am not alone, but because I sense the sincerety and the humanity in your words. You seem like a great hearted and kind person becaus. Your mind survived all these obstacles that you have mentionned, even though we might think that there are greater sufferings in the world, which is absolutely true and I join you when I feel that I have to be grateful for my normal life, but it truly is difficult sometimes.

The bottom line is that life isn’t life when it is constantly overwhelmed with fear. When fear takes the lead in our actions, in our thoughts, in our hearts. Everything we want is at the other side of this fear.

I am proud that I have remained the same person all along, that I haven’t lost my will to make a better life for myself, that I still love the same way, and still want to love.

Thank you for being Monty’s mom, for sharing your emotions and your experience with us, for showing us that we can make it.

Wiebke
Wiebke

April 25, 2018

Dear Mikala, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us all. Just wanna give you a big hug and say thank you for sharing Montys happiness with the world.
You are wonderful!

Leslie
Leslie

April 25, 2018

Thank you for your kind words and honesty. I will be 34 in June and just had my first baby (first without fur :). All the time I think about how I want to better for her. I want to finish school and get my degree, too, because I have spent the last ten years giving myself such a hard time about it. So many people around me have graduated and I’m always wondering what’s wrong with me that I haven’t. The last five years, I have also been dealing with my mom’s suicide and I don’t talk about it much, though I probably should. She’s missed my 30th birthday, my wedding, and birth of my first baby. I am still here, though, and grateful to have the life that I have. I’m proud of my never-give-up attitude and determination…and my baby! So, thank you, again for your words. You have inspired me :)

Cecil
Cecil

April 25, 2018

Hi Mikala,

Thank you enternally for sharing your story, and I can honestly say I think you’re amazing and, even better, inspiring. I’m currently 19 and my anxiety is making getting my higher education a real struggle, so it’s amazing to know that you haven’t given up and that it doesn’t matter how long it takes to do.
I really can’t thank you, Michael and Monty enough, as ever since I followed you, your pictures and videos are a source of joy and never fail to make me smile.
As for me, I’m working on what I can be proud of, sometimes its as small as getting up and ready and actually going outside for the day, but I’m especially proud to say I’ve made it to university (now I just need to stay here!).
My eternal thanks for being able to read this post, and give Monty lots of extra pets from me!

Melanie
Melanie

April 25, 2018

Hello and thank you so much for sharing your story. You are amazing brave and really inspiring. Also huge thanks for sharing Monty with us too, we adore him and the way you are both so passionate about giving him a lovely life.

Kelly
Kelly

April 25, 2018

Oh Mikala! I also suffer from anxiety! I am so happy to read your post because you are such an amazing person! We are the same age actually! And i love that you are going back to school. It took me 7 years to finally get my bachelors! So it is so awesome that you are going back and knocking those classes out!

As you requested, i love that i have a big ol heart. I can get really anxious about going out and being around people, but the people that know and love me will probably say how nice/good of a person i am, or try to be. I have 7 furkids and i just try to do the best that i can for me and them!

Angela
Angela

April 25, 2018

Hi Mikala! I have anxiety and depression and it is no fun….I am proud of myself that I haven’t given up and I keep fighting it. Medication and therapy are helping. It’s hard to talk about it but I am getting better at talking and not feeling ashamed if the way I currently am. The more we talk about it the further we get to ending the stigmas of mental illness. ☺️

Lisa
Lisa

April 25, 2018

Mikala
I am so proud if you for sharing. I recently discovered the awful thoughts in my head were part of my anxiety/OCD. It’s awful and can sometimes make you very lonely but I am now on medication which really helps. My life revolves around my cats and rescue….I think I feel safe around them as they don’t judge and love unconditionally. Stay strong and thanks for the honesty

Natasha
Natasha

April 25, 2018

Well done for this post Mikala, you are an amazing woman and a fantastic mummy to Monty.
My partner was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and life is tough for us both but seeing your gorgeous little monty always brightens our days.
You asked what I like about myself, I like I’m a being a tower of strength to my girlfriend and I love I’m a good mummy to my cat @Moet_the_tortie
I also want to say how proud I am of my girlfriend for all she’s going through, she remains positive and smiling throughout everything.
Thank you to you both for sharing Montys life with us. Sending you lots and lots of love xxx

Juliet Chapman
Juliet Chapman

April 25, 2018

I suffer from panic disorder and agoraphobia. I too have a son with autism, ADD and OCD.
I am proud that i have raised 3 beautiful children, i hhave a big heart and help others, and I am proud of my attistic skills.
I admire you and Michael. 😘

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