An Anxiety Update

This year certainly has been a year for thinking 'fuck it' and doing a lot more of the things that usually terrify me. We bought our own house, I quit my job and went self employed, had a smear test, have travelled around a lot more and this week I did something else that I really struggle with; meeting new people, alone!

I've been chatting away to Abbey for over a year now, it doesn't quite seem that long and I'm not entirely sure where the time has gone but even at the very start, I knew she was someone that one day I would muster up the courage to go and meet in person. Living quite far apart, I always wondered to myself how this would ever be possible and then she moved to Leicester this year for her PhD and it just so happens, Leicester is my closest city besides Nottingham. So off I went, literally shaking as I left the house but as soon as I started driving I felt much better. Driving does that to me for some reason and it baffles those around me who constantly say 'don't drive if you feel like that!' but as soon as I'm behind the wheel I instantly chill right out. And then upon arriving in Leicester, I spotted Abbey's face and instantly felt even more at ease and knew I'd have no problem with just being myself.

Being a typical anxious person, I spend a lot of time worrying whether I've made a very good impression; did I come across as uninterested simply because I focus so much on my breathing, will people make a fuss if I don't eat very much or judge me over my choice of food, will they even like me? Will I say too much of something I'm not supposed to, even swearing...is that allowed in front of some people?! You never know but sometimes it just 'slip's out' and even a gentle 'oh bollocks' can offend some folk and then what do you do?

I grew up never knowing that the way I behaved was down to something called anxiety. I didn't know or understand, I thought I was just some sort of freakish idiot that couldn't do the things most people were finding so easy. One of my earliest memories of anxiety is sitting in MacDonalds with my Mum and my brother having just finished a Happy Meal each and Mum said we could get ourselves an ice cream if we went and ordered it ourselves. This was no fault of my Mum's, it's just teaching kids independence after all and of course my brother shot up and went straight to the counter whereas I remained in my seat, preferring to stay put and go without rather than walk across the restaurant alone and speak to the scary person behind the till.

As I've got older however and I seem to have improved with age, I am learning to manage these thoughts and feelings. Some days I don't feel I can walk into a supermarket alone or even pop to the post office, I freeze and feel an incredible urge to just run until I get home and can lock myself away in our bedroom under the duvet and not move. This infuriates those around me sometimes, especially when all they ask is I pick something up for them during the day or drop something off somewhere. And then on other days, I don't struggle at all. After seeing Abbey this week, I needed to nip into The Range to grab some crafty bits and there have been times when I park up outside and can't bring myself to go in. But I pulled up, got out and walked into the store with no problem what so ever. I even wondered around for a lot longer than I needed to, simply enjoying being out in public in what was at the time the quietest I'd ever seen that shop and I felt I could walk around it for hours finding little hidden gems. It was one of those moments where you wish you had lots more money so you can go a bit crazy.

 I don't bring up mental health very often on my blog simply because to be honest, I don't feel very confident disclosing something that a lot of the time I don't even talk about in real life but then I remember that experiences like this are what join us all together and hopefully helps us all to feel less alone throughout our struggles. I'm very lucky that I have some brilliant friends around me who are very understanding, encouraging and also celebrate the little victories with me. Some days I get huge bouts of confidence that don't stop me from doing anything and others, I can't even answer the door to my regular postman. 

But this year sure has been full of lots of little achievements and meeting Abbey was such a fun afternoon which I can't wait to do again very soon. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and will show you love and support, especially when you need it most and don't forget how important it is to also show yourself love and care too.

Thanks for reading,



3 comments

  1. I have so much respect for you for being so open and honest about this, Ellis! I totally resonate with what you've said about not feeling like you want to be totally open about mental health online - I haven't talked about it much on my blog either, but I also agree that having these conversations is important for showing others who experience the same things that they're not alone! I'm very much a person of two extremes - I can do pretty much whatever I want and feel really confident and relaxed BUT when I am having an anxious episode, it can get so bad that I can't even leave my bedroom to go to the kitchen for food. When the pendulum swings from one to the other, it's quite scary! I'm starting to get to know the triggers that set me off now, last week one such trigger occurred and I just sat on my bedroom floor physically shaking - it can be absolutely debilitating! I'm so proud of you kicking anxiety's backside and coming to meet me, I had so much fun and can't wait to do it again soon!

    Abbey 💓 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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  2. I can 100% relate to this post. It's hard when some days you literally want to hide away from the world, but what doesn't kill us makes us stronger!

    Lots of love,
    Agnese | www.agnesehadebe.com

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  3. I met Abbey at a blogging event recently and she's so lovely! I'm so glad you manage to fight your anxiety so you guys could meet

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

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