By Kelly (Daydreams of a mum)
I’ve had a weird couple of weeks.
Nothing huge has happened, no trauma, no incidents of note.
I’ve just not felt ‘right’. I’ve not had a real anxiety attack for a while and none of the usual triggers were present. I could just feel it creeping up on me. That sinking feeling walking around ASDA, you know the kind you get when you’ve messed up in a big way or forgotten something really important? You feel panic and nausea and dread. Well, that feeling has been present intermittently for no reason at all.
The reassuring thing about my personal anxiety disorder is that it’s usually fairly predictable, but this was new. So I’ve spent a couple of weeks permanently looking over my shoulder waiting for the prod that my anxiety was giving me to turn into the huge shake that usually follows.
Only it didn’t.
So of course this made me anxious. I was anxious that my anxiety disorder wasn’t presenting as I expected. Well played, anxiety.
This escalated over the last few days into another classic of mine but one I really thought I’d seen the back of. The waking up in a morning, not even opening my eyes but already feeling my breathing pattern wasn’t right, feeling dread and panic. It’s been a real nuisance and left me shaken a bit and unsettled.
Shaken and unsettled, in my case then trigger the big guns of my anxiety. Ridiculous thought patterns culminating in horrible self-loathing and self-doubt and all round a lot of thoughts about how rubbish I am.
Last weekend this little blog of mine had been read lots and I’d had the most lovely, flattering comments about it. Such positive words that ordinarily I’d have been proud as punch about. Now when this happened whilst anxious brain was in charge of things my thinking went more like this: “Oh no, people are saying nice things about my writing because they feel so sorry for me about how shockingly shit it is. That’s it, I’m deleting the whole thing – who did you think you were anyway putting your nonsense out there? Why on earth would anyone want to listen to you? ”
I suppose one good part of knowing your own mind can go rogue on you from time to time is that I can acknowledge when I’m anxious and never to make any decisions at that time!
I mean, I was feeling rubbish and hating on myself a bit so reached for the tortilla chips and salsa for comfort. Between the salsa jar and my mouth the salsa dropped off down my PJs. Now, ordinarily, I’d roll my eyes at my clumsiness and carry on. Not when anxiety brain is in the house though. Thought process then was: “Oh for goodness’ sake, you can’t even EAT now? Is there anything you can do you, useless arse?” At this one I’ve got to admit once the feeling had eased I even managed to giggle at my own craziness! Tortilla-related trauma, that’s a new one.
I talk often recently on this blog about how healed I am after the abusive relationship, how I’ve never been stronger mentally. This is true, really it is.
So then if I don’t document the slips, if I gloss over the hard times, I feel like a bit of a fraud. The thing I’m taking from this bout of crapness though is this – it’s a not a big disaster, not really.
A couple of hard, horrid weeks doesn’t mean I’m back to the beginning again. It doesn’t mean anxiety wins. It doesn’t mean all the huge steps forward and the achievements I’ve made are wiped out.
I’m still here looking forwards, I’m still lucky enough that an anxious period is the rare thing not the 24-hour nagging noise that it once was.
I know it will pass. I’ve stumbled. I tripped, but I’m back on my feet now and surely it’s the continuing to get back up and try again that counts; it’s talking about the highs AND lows that helps. So let’s keep trying.
Published with permission, originally posted here
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