9 January 2019


^^ The gorgeous view over to Marazion and St Michaels Mount ^^

*Warning - Mental health talk... Don't read this if you are triggered or just not interested in mental health posts - contact numbers for Mental Health help at the end of the post*

If you are a follower of my Instagram account then you may have seen this post from last week; I was having a pretty shitty week (let's not sugar coat it, we are all friends here) and so took myself off for a walk towards St Michaels Mount, along the quieter coast path that runs from the top of the village, rather than the busier coast-hugging path, where I may have had to summon a smile or fifty as I passed all the hikers and dog walkers.

That day had been one of many where my anxiety was beyond through the roof; I felt on edge, unable to sleep, eat, concentrate or function on a basic level. If I took myself to bed I just had a million fast-paced thoughts cruise on in and try and sabotage my relaxation time. 

Anxiety really is a bitch. 

I suffer mostly from low, depressive moods, which are bloody horrible too, but the one thing that I find is that I can read or lose myself in a film when I am down; escapism is totally possible when I am not anxious, and then all I have to do is try and take care of myself and be gentle with the feelings until they decide to bugger off again, which they always do in the end.

^^ I love the view from the church down towards the sea ^^

^^ The little painted pebbles were just outside the church, left over from Christmas service I guess ^^

But when anxiety hits I cannot out-run it. I read into every small thing that I see, read or hear, I drive myself up the wall with worry and panic about all the things. I feel like my place on this Earth is useless, because I suddenly become so over-sensitive to all the negativity we have on this planet and feel like I should be able to make it better but I can't. I worry about letting people down that I may have to reschedule when I feel like that or that my slightly edgy, jumpy appearance may make me look totally insane (or like a shoplifter if I happen to be shopping!). Anything you can imagine just lets itself into my psyche when I am feeling anxious; it really is a crazy place to be!

I tend not to talk too much about some of the details that can trigger the darkest thoughts because I am fully aware how crazy it sounds to say something like... 'well, I saw a bird in the tree and it was on its own, and then I got really upset because I thought it must have no family and be all alone and sad and now I feel really upset and worried about it...'. Trust me, I know how people look at you when you try and explain things like that... let's just say I said something similar to a therapist once and he made copious notes! 

Still, as I get older, I do learn to make these episodes shorter, through certain self-care practices, such as baths, walks and weight lifting (nothing beats lifting heavy things to shift bad moods for me). That is why the walk I took last Friday was so vital to turning things around. I left the house with my camera and just said to myself 'right, just take a slow pace and try and observe things, remind yourself of all the good, take time to really absorb life and remember how beautiful it is'. As crazy as that sounds, sometimes we do actually need to remind ourselves to step back into life again and to purposefully leave the darker thoughts behind us. It does need to be intentional behaviour or the bad stuff will always over power you because it is easier.

^^ The smell of cauliflowers are in the air everywhere you go around here at the moment! ^^

As I walked onto the first part of the coast path I felt tearful and lost and really hoped I didn't bump into anyone at all, but as I walked on I started reflecting on things, consciously slowing my thoughts down and gradually, without really noticing, less of the anxiety was there. It was replaced by the birds flying in and out of the trees and bushes, the little robin that fluttered along beside me for a while, nipping in and out of the hedges next to me, the gentle sound of laughter from people walking on the lower part of the path, the breeze on my face, the call from the seagulls, the way the colours were changing in the light, the reflection of the clouds on the sea as they move overhead, the 'hello' from a stranger walking his dog, the silence as I sat on a bench looking over towards Mounts Bay and the beautiful sight of dolphins playing by the mount. 

Remembering how small we are in this universe is sometimes the key to getting out of your head, at least it is for me. Sometimes we can get so involved in our own stories, usually written by and starring our ego, that we forget reality, and we need to be jolted back again. Once you have accomplished some kind of re-connection it is about giving yourself the time to heal; your nervous system needs resting, you need sleep and food that will help to nourish your body and mind. This is the important part, this healing process, so don't ever underestimate it, give yourself time to recover.

M E N T A L  H E A L T H  C O N T A C T S

SAMARITANS: Call anytime on 116 123 (free from any phone) with any issues.

SANELINE: 0300 304 7000 (open between 4.30pm and 10.30pm daily) for mental health issues or if you are supporting someone with mental health.

THE MIX: For under 25's - 0808 808 4994 (open Sunday-Friday 2pm–11pm)

PAPYRUS HOPELINE: For 35's and over struggling with suicidal feelings and self harm - 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–5pm).

There are many amazing other charities too, check out Mind for more information.

Don't forget to visit your GP for help and advice too, they really can offer amazing resources.

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