Sassy 1 – 0 Anxiety

Its been quite a journey over the last few months, not always an easy one as I’ve battled my anxiety. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve always been a worrier and been anxious at different times of stress, e.g. exams, waiting for results but never to the extent that it has seriously impacted my ability to get on with my day to day life. That changed when things came to a head in April.

Now it’s September and I’m actually feeling like me again. That’s not to say that I’m not anxious, there are still some unresolved work issues that need to be tackled but I feel like I can cope with resolving them. Don’t get me wrong, I am still taking medication and will be for a while yet. (While I am feeling more like me, I’m not ready to give up my safety net just yet.)

I have also gained huge awareness of my mental health. Truth be told, I hadn’t realised just how unwell I actually was. I just kept on going and wondered why I wasn’t getting anywhere and why I was constantly chasing my tail? I was exhausted, not sleeping properly and it took all of my energy to get up and get through the day. The really scary thing is, if my physical health hadn’t declined I would have kept on going and ended up in an even bigger mess. It almost doesn’t bear thinking about.

I now know just how critical it is to listen to my body and really take care of myself. Nothing is worth risking my mental and physical health for. I am also incredibly lucky to have a supportive partner, family and friends as well as a GP that I can open up to and know that they will help and support me. I know that sadly this is not the case for everyone, GP’s are overstretched and don’t always have time to spend with their patients.

When I look back to Christmas 2018 that I spent with my family, I barely recognise myself. I was anxious about the smallest of things and kept my feelings to myself. I doubted myself. I felt stupid and like a failure. I felt like I let my family down. I did have an inkling that I wasn’t right but didn’t act upon it. I had recently had the dosage of my anti-depressant increased and figured that once it kicked in, I’d be fine! Now I see that there should have been major alarm bells ringing that all was not well. Hindsight really is a marvellous thing.

I can’t go back and change the past, I don’t have a time machine. I can definitely learn from it though. I feel I really have. I will do my damndest to ensure that I never go back to that dark place again. Nor will I ever let anyone take my power from me or allow them to make me feel that way. I am annoyed that it wasn’t picked up on, but that’s another issue and not one I have control of. I can however, control my actions and behaviour. I am only responsible for me and my choices.

I am proud of the choices that I have made and am continuing to make to get and stay healthy – both physically and mentally. I’m on a positive path and well on the way to getting my sass back. Long may it last. Look out world, Sassy is coming for you…

Tired of feeling anxious

Today has been a bad day. Nothing particularly bad has happened, I’m just tired of feeling like I’m living on my nerves all the time. I’m tired of feeling jittery and jumping at every notification that my phone sounds. Tired of jumping at every noise the wind makes. Tired of feeling overwhelmed.

I know it takes time for medication to kick in…I just wish it would hurry up. At the same time, I’m annoyed at myself for needing medication. It makes me tired too, so in the mornings I feel spaced out and discombobulated.

Discombobulated. I like that word. I like words. My blogging is helping me put my thoughts and feelings ‘on paper’ so to speak. I like writing, I’ve kept a journal for as long as I can remember. Still do. I like that this is separate.

I’m also annoyed and frustrated at myself for having slipped back into my unhealthy eating habits and having gained five pounds. I really want chocolate to cheer myself up but don’t want to gain more weight or go out to buy chocolate. Food/ eating is not a healthy coping strategy. Now is not the time to be hard on myself, I’m still working on being kind to myself. Tomorrow is a new day, I’ll get back on track and start using my NutraCheck app again.

I am so thankful for my cat. He’s very affectionate and loves being petted and having his belly rubbed. His purr is so soothing, I could listen to it all day. He’s very vocal and not shy at letting me know if he’s hungry or wants attention. We look after each other. I’d be lost without him.

My boyfriend is also a brilliant support. He keeps me sane, keeps me calm and can always make me feel better. Even thinking about him makes me smile. He makes me happy. We talk all the time and message each other loads when we don’t see each other. I’m so lucky that we found each other. I know I’ve definitely met my soulmate. Suddenly I don’t feel quite so anxious anymore.

Anxiety is winning today

The image I have in my head is of arm wrestling contest. I’m trying to win so hard, the tendons and muscles in my arm are straining with the effort but anxiety is too strong and is kicking my butt. To use a boxing analogy, today my anxiety has me on the ropes.

I feel sick to my stomach, I’m sweating, my mouth is dry and I can feel my heart racing. My cat miaowed at me and I jumped….its ridiculous. All he was doing was letting me know he was coming upstairs to me. A total overreaction on my part, but there it is.

I’ve tried wearing a new top, wearing my favourite necklace, spending time with my amazing boyfriend, having a treat of a chocolate brioche for breakfast, using my senses and eventually I resorted to medication. I don’t like taking medication but there was no way I’d have been able to get out the door without it today. Nothing was working.

I feel like I’m getting worse rather than better. I feel so debilitated by my anxiety. I know feelings come and go, I just need to be patient waiting for this to pass. I feel like an emotional mess…I’m struggling with my feelings and how to work through them, I’m nowhere near ready to go back to work yet.

On a positive note, HR are being really supportive and have lifted a weight from my mind. Progress is being made. It may be slow but its a step in the right direction. I just need to be kind to myself and keep on going….this too shall pass.