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