If you’ve been reading the blog recently you may have seen me talking about how anxiety has been kicking my arse a lot. I’ve been managing my mental health with fluoxetine for quite a few years now and I’ve always managed to get back into the swing of things quite quickly; not so much with this latest flare up though. It’s not the worst I’ve ever had, but it certainly does feel like the longest.
Just when I feel like I’m crawling up that hill to get back to the top again, I come tumbling back down. A bit like The Grand Old Duke of York I suppose. I’m told it will pass, and the thing is, I know it will. But right at that moment in time, it certainly doesn’t feel like it. It just feels like the tiny black hole that once was – as let’s face it, if you’re a sufferer like me it’s always there, even if in its smallest form – is getting bigger and bigger.
Not so long ago, I decided that I was not going to let it defeat me any more. I was going to battle it head on. I can’t let this dark beast take my life away from me; I need to live my life to its fullest. After all, we’re not here forever. And of course I want to give my boys the childhood they deserve. Which means not being afraid to go places. Bringing these coping strategies back for if I do feel anxious. I know they work when I use them; I just haven’t needed to for a while. If I need a little help along the way, that’s fine.
I’ve done two things in the last few weeks where anxiety has reared its ugly head and almost stopped me. Almost induced a panic attack at just the thought. The fear of the unknown, quite simply. One of these was something I had signed up for a few months ago when I was in a good place; volunteering at a local Race For Life event. The day arrived and I was becoming so panicked; just some of the thoughts that were going through my head were –
- What if something happens to me while I’m driving there? (It was the first time I’d driven to the location on my own).
- What if nobody talks to me? (Which shouldn’t really matter, but it does to a person with anxiety).
- What if I get lost in the woods and/or they forget about me? (The course took place through a wooded area and I was a course marshal).
These thoughts may seem completely irrational to you, the “normal” reader; but to somebody battling anxiety, they are completely normal. If that is you, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. So do you know what I did? I simply thought “I will not let you beat me” and I did use a little something to help me be calm and collected. The wonder that is Rescue Remedy. It sounds crazy to think that this actually works, but it does. A few drops and I felt calm and ready to face the world. I did my job, I did something for the greater good, I did something for me.
This is just me, battling anxiety in baby steps.
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