22 April 2015

THE MYSTERY OF ANXIETY

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I have spoken a couple of times about anxiety on here (you can find one post here and another here). It is something I struggle with everyday, despite appearances. People often comment that they think it is strange that I can put videos up on YouTube and yet can’t leave the house on some days. Doing a video, in your own house, with no one around, is totally different to leaving the house and surrounding yourself with strangers all rushing to get somewhere, trust me. Plus, it took a long time to get the confidence to put something out there, you know?! Hearing your voice and seeing your face and body from the angles that you never usually do is horrifying. I found it, and still find it, unbearable at times.

Anyway, I have gone off subject slightly.

The reason I am writing this post right now is because I am currently sat in a coffee shop in Salisbury, crapping my pants (not literally, panic ye not). I find going into town alone excruciatingly difficult. I had to come in this week as most of the tops I own have gigantic holes in, and the sun is out, so unless I plan on wearing thick, woolly jumpers forever, I figured I should treat myself to some new bits and pieces. I planned to venture in yesterday, but found one of my amazing excuses not to, i.e. spring cleaning (the entire house, all day). Good work Lucy, good work. But today I had no excuse, so set my alarm for 7.00am (yep, I have to psyche myself up BIG time). I got out of bed feeling good, not overly worried but jittery. I put my make up on, threw my hair up and planned to leave by 7.45am and head for a coffee shop to ‘test’ myself in a public place and attempt to work a while.

All I had to do was get dressed. This was where it all fell apart.

I know it is very common for girls to try on everything in their wardrobe, but I find this part so hard. Everything I put on makes me feel like a… there are no words to describe how I feel actually. I go from feeling fine to feeling awkward, clumsy, strange, dizzy, faint, sick, childlike…bla, bla, bla. After losing my temper and yelling at myself a bit, I realise I have totally ruined my mindset. But I needed to get out the house so, as usual, did a bit of mental coaching on my stupid brain! By this point I am no longer feeling strong, just very self-conscious and extremely fragile (not to mention majorly pi**ed off that I have changed my mood so quickly).

So, as I mentioned at the start, I am in a coffee shop typing this, but it is now 10.20am. It took me ages to get here. I flit around in town like some kind of secret agent wannabe. I feel I look suspicious, which, to be honest, I probably do because I cannot act normal here, not in this environment. I don’t have Joes hand to hold and his constant (and very amazing) reassurance that I am not going to keel over and die just shopping for half an hour.

What’s next then? Next is a trip to replace the holy t-shirts…wish me luck...*

* I am here to tell you I survived. This is going up several days post-coffee-shop-writing and I want to add that I feel proud of myself that I pushed out of my comfort zone and went through with all I needed to do. Once, when I was having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, I was advised not to use 'safety behaviours'. For me, safty behaviours are things like calling Joe or leaving the situation, rather than riding the storm and letting it get as bad as it can get, so that the peaks of anxiety finally start to dip. This does make sense. If you dive home at the first sign of trouble then you never know what would have happened and, therefore, always build made-up scenarios in your mind that are usually much worse in their outcomes than what the reality may have been.

I put this post up to allow people a bit of an insight into my world away from this space as it is easy to come across as confident and edit out parts of life that you struggle with, but in reality, these things are my real life, and for me take up a lot of time and energy.

Feel free to get in touch if you want to chat about anxiety of have a story to share. If you have anything you feel you would like to share I can publish your thoughts here anonymously or otherwise! Get in touch via the comments below or via email on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com.

Thank you for reading.
xoxo
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2 comments

  1. I read this post last week but have been very behind with commenting - now finally getting around to it! I've suffered with anxiety for a number of years and I think it can be so easy for people to dismiss how scary it can actually be, particularly in the early stages when you're not certain why your body is reacting in strange ways. Reading about others' experiences is one thing that helped me, but I think ultimately everyone is different. Great post! x

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    1. Sorry to hear you suffer with it too, it is such a strange thing sometimes. I have days where I can trot off out the house an be okay and days where, for no reasons, it just strikes hard. Bizarre really. Have a fab day honey xx

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