This blog may be triggering for some people. Please seek help from Beyond Blue and your medical professional if needed.
Anxiety is fucking evil. Excuse the language. If anything deserves vile language it is anxiety. It is all consuming and brain changing. It sucks me dry and makes me think things are 100 times worse than they are. The ironic thing is, I am usually anxious about bad stuff. So, it doesn’t need to be made any worse, thank you.
Most people I share these feelings with find it surprising. I get up, I go to work, I look after my amazing little baby and have a wonderful husband. I am fairly successful at what I do and extremely good at it. Life looks pretty good from the outside. But when a bad day hits, it takes everything I have to face it all.
Rather than stay in bed and make me sad, my anxiety drives my head into spinning worse case scenarios where the most horrific things happen in everyday life. If you know what I mean, you will know exactly what I mean. Mostly these things happen to my family, Sam or Callie. The people I care most about.
Cruel, evil anxiety. Taking my worst fears, putting them into vivid colour and playing them out in my head over and over again, all day and all night.
The catch is, anxiety drives me to be good at life as well, as this is the only way to shut it the hell up. If I clean the house, go to work, help other people, stay busy, stay focused; I can have short-lived breaks from the constant noise. Or it can be simple stuff, like today I bought myself some flowers, a magazine (which sits unread on the table next to me as I have instead worked all morning) and made myself a pot of coffee. I have two blissful hours to myself.
BUT, the bliss is the hardest with anxiety! Also, probably the most important. If I keep going, running with the endless ideas, thought, projects, I know I burn out. It’s not like a maybe, it’s a certainty. And then, stuck in bed with a migraine (usually my downfall) there is no escape and I am sucked into the deep hole of darkness until I can drag myself up and distract, distract, distract.
If I take this downtime (yes, my downtime is writing blogs apparently!), look at those beautiful flowers I indulged in and spent 5 minutes (a lifetime for me!) putting into a nice vase and just try to breathe, I will be able to carry on and if I get myself at the right time these days, I can actually enjoy the downtime.
Anxious is a vicious beast, but if we can learn how to tame it as it individually affects us then we can use it to our advantage. Essentially, it is there to drive us into some action, so why not make it positive if we can? And I am not saying that we always can, that I always can, but I am learning how to. I am 30 and I am still learning. I am also most days enjoying this process. I have never known myself better, nor loved myself more.
Beating my anxiety is about accepting myself. Accepting that anxiety is part of my personality and that is ok. Doing the things I need to do to stay sane and practicing some serious self-care, just like I tell my clients to do. Take some of those pots off the boil, please!
Most of all, for me, it is about being super true to myself. I have run from this for a long time. It has given me a lot of success but a lot of sickness as well. So, it’s time for me to look at it through clear glass and realise some limitations to my capacity (oh, shit!) and that it is ok to have a nap if I’m tired, or buy the flowers and the magazine today. I deserve it (yes, I like to justify even the simplest things).
Need help? Get your butt into clinic because without my herbs, I would be a bigger mess. See your GP, there are options here as well. Short or long term. It is ok. Slow down. See a therapist. We anxious types LOVE to talk!
If you don’t already know you can head to your doctor and get a mental health plan to help cover some of the costs of a psychologist. Or jump online and use some quality resources to learn more about your anxiety. Try Black Dog Institute, Beyond Blue, SANE Australia or Head to Health.