Since I shared my experience and journey with anxiety last year, (you can read the original post here if you missed it) I’ve had lots of messages sharing your own experiences, coping strategies and sometimes just checking in to see if I’m OK, I want to thank each and every one of you for those. As this was something close to a lot of us, I wanted to share a little update with you today. I’ve been putting this off for a while as, to be quite honest, I’ve been struggling a LOT with anxiety of late and I had hoped to post something more positive. HOWEVER, after thinking about it and putting it off several times I realised this was all part of it, it doesn’t have to be perfect or have answers and sometimes it is a struggle and thats OK too, we’re not alone, it happens, so I’m sharing it anyway, the whole messy thing…
Since late last year I’ve had bouts of anxiety on and off. last year was a tricky one for me personally, one I was glad to see the back of, and as we got closer to the end of the year I could feel it ticking down, I felt like I was holding my breath waiting for the end, like in the films when they show the bomb clock count down to zero. The more I held my breath the more I couldn’t breathe. At midnight I literally felt like I let it go and took my first deep breath for ages, it was the first year since I can remember that I didn’t cry on News Years Eve because I was just so happy to see the back of it.
Towards the end of the year I convinced myself I was doing OK, I had lots of great stuff going on professionally (work is always my saviour!) on the surface it was all good and I was looking forward to the New Year and lots of great stuff but I found it creeping out into other areas (a bit like when you wear those Spanx pants to hold your belly in and it pops over the top instead – if you squeeze it in there, it will just pop out somewhere else!) I found myself spending ten minutes putting a spoon straight on the kitchen counter, checking my door was locked 17 times before I could leave the house or double and triple checking the contents of my bag – my anxiety was squeezing out somewhere else.
I told myself I’d give myself until midnight on New Years Eve to do what I needed to do but once we got to the New Year I was getting my grip back on life. Giving myself a time limit on anything uncomfortable always helps. So if I find myself somewhere I don’t want to be for instance I tell myself its only for an hour / day etc.. and focus on the time after that to get me through. So having a time limit on letting myself be a little bit uptight was important. At 00.01 on January 1st I told myself no more! Since the 1st I have managed to get a grip on that side of things much more. I’m still finding myself needing a lot of alone quiet time at the moment but as the first half of my year is always full of travel, people and crazy back to back 20+ hour days, I know that I need that time to decompress in the gaps in between and I’m trying to be as kind to myself in those moments as possible – although with such limited time I am struggling slightly to keep this in check as much as I should, my self-care strategy does mostly end up at the bottom of my very long to do list! (noones perfect. right? *sigh*) On the positive side, the work distractions do MASSIVELY help though as I don’t have time to overthink things, I need to keep it moving!
So there you have it, my last few months, basically a bit of a mess held together with work and as many hugs with my furry peeps and bubble baths as I can squeeze in. It’s not perfect but it’s working.
I hope you’re all doing well and having a good start to the year – do please keep in touch to let me know how you’re doing.
Thank you for dropping by today and most importantly, take care of yourselves!
p.s. If you need more help, you can also contact MIND – There is also still time to support my friend John Bloodworth, in the All Counties Craft Challenge in association with Create & Craft TV in aid of MIND, the mental health charity, please click here for his Just Giving page.