Blog, By Deb
I would never have described myself as an anxious person.
It wasn’t a label I wanted.
It’s funny the things we think we do want and the things we think we don’t.
Realising this has come more from reflection than a knowing at the time.
I thought I wanted to be a victim, I wore that one like a badge, with pride, the ‘poor me’ badge.
That one felt like it gave me merit, it seemed like a worthy label to wear.
I couldn’t help it, it wasn’t my fault. I was helpless, I happily owned that one.
But somehow in my head, anxiety meant you were weak, so I wasn’t having any of it.
I hid the fear uncertainty and insecurity that tore me apart and hurt me so much it felt like physical pain.
I wasn’t going to allow myself to be labelled anxious.
That, I would never admit to or own.
Since I have understood more about the thoughts that find their way into my head, I have much less respect for anxious thinking.
I wouldn’t give myself the anxious label now for very different reasons.
I now know that ‘I” am not anxious, I am simply having thoughts that come with helpful (if at times very uncomfortable) feelings. Feelings that warn me I am heading in the wrong direction. Feelings that warn me the story that is playing in my head is best ignored, left alone to fade away and certainly not taken seriously or acted upon.
This morning I had to get up early to go look after my 21 month old grandson.
I was half asleep when my alarm started to play it’s tune.
I rolled over and turned it off.
I lay back down closed my eyes and consciously thought about love and connection.
It only took a few seconds and I started to feel really good.
My fingers and toes were sort of numb, like they didn’t start or end anywhere, I was light and floaty and everything felt good.
I stayed like that for about five minutes, then sat up flicked on the light and headed for the shower.
I really like to start my day that way, I guess it’s a bit like a mini meditation.
The thoughts don’t really have any content, they just feel good, I feel good.
The water in the shower was warm and the shower gel smelled of perfume.
I was singing in my head and dancing under the water, as I lathered up, then let the water wash the soap away.
I turned the shower off and reached for the towel, hanging on the heated rail. It was warm and inviting too.
I dried myself off, dusted myself with talc, moisturised and spritz with a little bit of perfume.
I pulled on a comfortable dress and thick tights and head down for breakfast.
It was early for me, hence the alarm, I had to be at Laura’s just before 8.
As I filled the kettle, it started, that think my head can do sometimes…
“What if you have the wrong day? “
The thought landed innocently, if a little heavily, in my head, it wasn’t loud or accusing it was claiming to be a friend, helping me out. But something about it was a little suspicious.
The feeling it brought with it went through me like an electric bolt.
“Oh God if I’ve got it wrong, I will wake up the whole house and I will look like a prize idiot, that’s what” I answered myself in my own head.
The feeling that came with that was heavy and it slightly twisted my gut.
But I knew not to take any notice, the feeling was my friend, not the content of the thoughts.
I shook off the ridiculous conversation, opened the cupboard, picked out my cup, I set it on the worktop and placed a tea bag into it. I tried to remember the tune of my alarm to distract my thinking, as I poured boiling water into the cup, picked up the spoon and squeezed the tea bag.
I was back on top. The thoughts had gone. Phew, a win to me.
I laughed out loud, went over to the cupboard and chose my favourite dish to have my cereals out of.
I opened the draw and carefully chose my spoon too, some of the spoons in our draw are way too big and made of entirely the wrong metal to eat cereals off.
I sat down to eat and picked up my phone to flick through the messages from last night that had come through after I’d gone to sleep.
It did it again…
“You call yourself reliable, but what if you have the time wrong, what if you are losing your mind and you’re not reliable anymore.”
The electric bolt feeling and the gut wrench came as a double whammy this time.
“look I’m really only trying to help, you have to consider these things” continued the not so helpful but claiming to be helpful, voice in my head.
But I had this, the voice just wasn’t a match for my open mind.
Not like the old days when I would crumble under the imagined pressure and feel anxious, and turn myself inside out trying to find ways to prove I was okay, whilst the voice gathered momentum and won hands down, leaving me a quivering wreck.
This time I stared to wonder how I could write this experience as a blog.
How I could share it to help others.
My happy head was off into a plethora of helpful thoughts and great ideas…
Until it said with a smile “best get in that car and go look after Zachy, you don’t want to be late”
“No” I agreed, smiling back, “I’m on my way”