9 August 2017

DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER



You guys know me enough by now to understand that I like honesty and I like being totally open about mental health and what it is like to live with it. Hopefully you also realise by now that I talk about the days I feel are significant to me to try and help someone else, not to look for any sympathy whatsoever.

I have been sailing along quite nicely for a long time and suddenly, last Friday, I was hit with unbearable anxiety. What's strange about it is I hopped out of bed feeling super happy and all was great in the world. As I sat at my computer happily typing away, I started to feel a bit breathless, like a panic attack was going to strike out of nowhere. I did what I always try to do, ignore the stupid thing, but within the hour I was shaking and feeling like I had a hand around my throat.

Still, I decided to get on with the day regardless and try to go into Penzance as planned. As I drove around, looking for a car parking space I felt physically sick, faint and tearful; the typical result from a severe anxiety attack. What then doesn't help is that I then starting beating myself up about it, with things in my head like 'for f**ks sake, why are you such an idiot, everyone else is ok, why can't YOU be ok?' or 'why did you even leave the house, you should have stayed home' or the classic 'you shouldn't be out, everyone will look at you'. Thanks a lot brain, you dick head. Lucky for me I know all those voices are a load of crap, so I try to just push them to one side but they still do damage sometimes; thankfully nothing lasting these days though.

Anyway, I left town, giving up on the illusive parking space I was looking for and head to the gym, by which time I was shaking like there was some kind of sodding earthquake happening beneath my tootsies. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't see straight, I felt sick but I got in the gym and had the worst workout I have attempted in weeks. I felt so ill in there and must have looked like I right jittery wally; I don't think I looked up once.

When I finally got home I pulled my poor old worn out body to the shower. It's strange how much a shower can help you feel better isn't it? It always works for me. I followed the shower with a lay on the bed and a power nap (another amazing healer... sleep).

BUT... and here are all the positives to come from that day (sometimes you have got to really want to see them, but they are there!).

I did leave the house - one point to me / zero to anxiety
I did try (several times) to get parked and to overcome the negative words in my head - another point to me
I did get to the gym, go inside and have a workout - another point
and, more importantly, I did listen to my body and my mind and try and chill out when I would usually have pushed on. That, for me anyway, is the biggest win of all.

Why did I tell you that story? Because I want anyone who suffers with any form of mental health issues or anxieties whatsoever to know that you are not alone. You cannot judge a book by its cover because, on the outside, someone may look super confident but inside, they may be somewhere dark and lonely at that moment in time. Always be kind and never, ever judge right away.
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4 comments

  1. This post is everything, I really like the fact you thought about the positives of the day and what you managed to do. Definitely going to employ this tactic in the future. You're such a lovely, strong and inspirational person Lucy, sharing your stories is very very helpful and I'm sure others find it helpful too.
    Peta x
    www.pe-ta.com

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    1. Thank you so much lovely. It is so important to see the positives after a bad day and acknowledge the things you have achieved regardless isn't it? Otherwise it can become all consuming and before you know it you are on a downward spiral. Thank you for such kind words... to me you are all of those things too! Lots of love xxx

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  2. Lucy, thank you so much for sharing such an honest post. Every time someone talks about mental health in this way, I think it goes some way to help end the stigma.
    Also, I definitely relate to this! I've had a lifelong relationship with anxiety myself, and I understand how much it can railroad you on any given day, for *seemingly* no reason.
    Thank you again for sharing x

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    1. Thank you honey. I always write as openly as possible about mental health because I want to help smash the hell out of the stigma. I am now old enough to not really worry about peoples judgement I guess and believe in spreading the word that we aren't all rocking backwards and forwards in a corner with mental health issues! It can be such an invisible thing sometimes. Thank you for taking the time to comment, it means the world xx

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