This post comes to you, coffee cup in hand, headphones in and anxiety through the roof! Having spent the last three days in bed off work and covered in my own vomit (nice image that!) Inevitably my anxiety has progressively skyrocketed and my over-worked brain just simply couldn't handle it anymore hence this post... I think I should just add here as a side note that I have a viral infection which is why I have been off sick from work and why this is vomit in my hair, the anxiety is secondary to this, not the primary cause...
Now if you would like shortened down version check out my latest Instagram post which explains in a nutshell how I'm feeling and what pushed me to begin writing this today. If however you're brave and want the long winded torturous version then wow are you in for a fun filled ride. Sit back with a (strong) drink and brace yourself...
All jokes aside this is going to be quite a serious post, with some pretty personal background noise so if you do feel the need to comment please be pleasant.
Recently anxiety has become a much more spoken about subject with a lot more high profile faces coming out of the anxious closet and although this gave people, people like myself included to accept it more, I still didn't quite understand it but I didn't feel as much of a freak as I did when I first had a panic attack on a bus because the driver was having issues with the doors not closing properly, everytime he turned the engine on and off and those bus doors refused to close my heart began to beat faster and faster until I literally felt like I couldn't breath and ran from the bus only to end up on a lonely street with no other way of getting home. Long story short I ended up calling my dad who, as a dad does, dropped everything and came to get me. I panicked for about 20 minutes and then slept for about 3 hours after because I was exhausted. So although I really do believe the increased coverage on anxiety has been a very positive thing I can't help but think it's been a bit glamourised, is it cool to have anxiety now? Has the word been thrown about a bit too much and a bit too loosely to be taken seriously anymore? I'm sure anybody who suffers with anxiety will know it's not nice. it's not glamorous and I frankly wish it would just sod off for good!
It's safe to say I led a good childhood, being blessed with an amazing and loving set of parents meant I never went without, they always have and continue to strive to ensure we come first and I will never be able to repay them for everything they have done for us but where things were not so happy were school, I never felt I fit in completely and flitted from one set of friends to the other, this continued to college and when it came to university I had more or less isolated myself from the world. I moved away from home and went to live in London for Uni so I literally knew nobody there. Without delving too deep into the past as some things are quite raw and personal, a serious of events occurred whilst in London that consequently led to not only anxiety and depression and taking a lot of time off but also being told I may have to quit my Uni course. I never spoke to anybody about those events, they stayed very bottled up even to this day.
Fear not this story has a happy ending, I fought for my place on my course and refused to let what had happened get the better of me, even when I had given up and I called my mum to say I couldn't do it anymore she said I had nothing to lose and give it my last shot, I passed and it led to me walking up that stage twatted up in a cap and gown holding my scroll for dear life constantly thinking they may take it away from me at some point. Wow I didn't realise how hard this would all be to write...
Ultimately whenever negative events occur in life, however small they may be whether it's an argument with a loved one or becoming a little bit poorly my anxiety flairs up progressively and the longer the negative occurance continues (for example being sick for 3 days and counting...) the worse my anxiety seems to get. Having just started a new job being sick isn't ideal in anybody's books but sprinkle anxiety on top of it and you get me! Frantically thinking I'm going to get back into work and be fired because I caught a virus I had no control over! My brain does not think rationally when things don't go to a plan and I begin to see the worst POSSIBLE outcome, however unlikely it may be, if it's a possibility, it's a reality to me!
So ultimately this post is to help me and anybody else who could quite possible have a nutty as brain as mine to think, hold on there! Have you heard yourself?! Evidently these were actually my husband's words today after I said...'But what if I get fired?!' Sometimes I know how stupid it sounds but my brain somehow makes it sound rational and all I really want is for somebody to say, listen you crazy bitch, the likelihood of that happening is almost the same as pork loin airlines doing chartered flights to europe but... maybe in a more diplomatic way. So husband, if you're reading this, when I turn into crazy neurotic bitch resist the urge to slap me and just tell me everything's going to be fine.
Firstly, when anxiety and paranoia strikes DO SOMETHING, anything just get your mind off whatever it is that is frantically going round and round in your mind. I have tried a lot of thing today, reading (Gone girl is my book of choice at the moment), watching youtube videos (I will never tire of watching Hannah Michalak and her beautiful little family), cooking (although recently I have become sick of cooking), cleaning (yes I most definitely am sick!). Literally anything to get myself out of that rut that is feeling sick and consequently letting anxiety rule my life.
Sometimes however rather than giving your brain more to do it's better to try and give it less to do, so run a nice hot bath, this is one of my favourite things as with my anxiety I tend to be very tense which leads to headaches and then I just can't switch off. I run a nice hot bath with something which is going to help me relax. Aromatherapy Associates bath oils are amazing for relaxing the mind or if you're after something a bit more fun, Lush is the place to go.
Venture out of your safe little bubble, us anxious little beans have a very naughty little habit of creating a lovely cosy little hole for ourselves which has everything we need to survive, our constant caffeine supply, all of our social media and worst of all absolutely no signs of human life for miles around. This is not beneficial behaviour and will lead to you eventually becoming a snivelling anxious mess, believe me, it's not pretty. As much as it will physically hurt to peel back the covers and get yourself outdoors, DO IT! I have spent the last three days projectile vomiting and nauseous like a bitch but unless you're physically crawling on your hands and knees you have no excuses not to step outside. Get some fresh air, take in the sights, soak up the vitamin D and I promise you, you will come home feeling just a little bit better, lighter, calmer and less anxious.
Talk to someone, now that doesn't necessarily mean a counselor or professional. That never worked for me and I tried many things from just talking to someone to CBT. It may work for you in which case USE IT, don't take it for granted and implement the techniques into your day to day like to ensure you get the most from it but if you're like me and it's less beneficial for you talk to your mum, or your dad, your best friend or your partner but someone you trust and who understands your circumstances. For me I have certain people that I know I can go to in certain situations who will instantly calm me and ease my worries, they are my rocks and they know who they are, and I don't tell them often enough how much they keep me sane and how much I really love them. They each play a unique and integral part in keeping me grounded and helping me constantly grow so that I can lead a more 'normal' life and well that's very very important to me so thanks guys! You're all amazing in your own rights.
I seem to have opened the floodgates and literally cannot stop rambling now so I will stop for now but what I've learnt just from piecing this post together is that the two days of tears, tantrums and copious amounts of coffee have helped me release some of the anxiety that had been accumulating for a while. So maybe another tip should be to sit down with a notebook and pen or diary or laptop and just begin releasing as this has helped immensely and now I'm off to try and enjoy the rest of my day. I hope this was helpful to atleast somebody out there and if it wasn't well, it helped me so it wasn't a total waste.