I try to keep my social media outlets upbeat, but the truth is, that is completely impossible and not true to life. I got into the habit of only posting blogs that were of something warm and smiley and a little too flowery. However, I feel that the small number of posts I have shared with you have confirmed how minimal those days can be. I am only human and bad days do happen.
We are 88 days into 2017 and these have been some of the most testing days I’ve had to experience yet. I’ve found that the image we present of ourselves on the outside, is sometimes not what is going on in the inside and I guess this is where my blog really begins. My previous posts were nice and light-hearted, but what I’m passionate writing about is something I was a little reluctant to share… until now.
Half way through March I found myself hiding behind a fake shield of confidence. Kalms had become my new night time companions, I had been having internal battles to pluck up the courage to do a food shop at my local supermarket. I would get sweaty palms when crossing the road because 1) I feared being run-over and 2) I would get embarrassed about the possibility that I could be walking funny or my clothes had wriggled into a position that would make me look silly.
Damn you Anxiety. You devilish creature.
I’m no expert in defining anxiety, (I am merely expressing my own experiences NOT symptoms that are medically classified) so if you do feel like you experience or have experienced anything similar to the above, I’m 100% not saying these are recognized traits of anxiety but these are situations that I associate with my own. If you do feel the need to be reassured I would advise going to your GP.
After expressing how I felt to people close to me (I am lucky to have a wonderful support network), I became aware of how many people have or have had the same little battles as me within their lifetimes but hadn’t openly spoken about them until now. The only way I can describe anxiety is that it is a chameleon, it can appear in many different forms, within different people but it’s all associated with the same thing. The feeling of unknown, inexpiable dread.
One of anxieties many causes can be related to elevated levels of stress.
In January, I experienced a traumatic situation that I had suppressed and tried to ignore (which is my own coping mechanism for grief I guess) but weeks later it revealed itself in the ghoulish physicality that is anxiety. I bought myself flowers (nature and plants are things I have found to be really grounding), indulged in chocolate and gave myself confidence-boosting pep talks in the mirror… a little technique I semi-stole from Alice in Wonderland, although she was told that thinking of six impossible things before breakfast was rather useful. Luckily, I have learnt to deal with my run-ins with anxiety in my own little ways and it doesn’t severely affect my life as it does some, which has meant medication hasn’t been something I have needed.
Edna the Hyacinth
Whilst writing this, I feel like I am settling back into myself and I decided to write this when I felt a little better, (I have wanted to write this post for weeks but finding the right words were hard) so I could give a well rounded outlook on anxiety because it is only a chapter within life and it is something that isn’t defining of who you are as person. You CAN get through it.
Normalising something not spoken about enough is a goal for me. I somewhat feel empowered because sharing IS caring and its better when we can all stand together. I have wanted my blog to be an honest insight into my life and I slowly feel like I’m achieving that.