Tag Archives: anxiety symptoms

A little win is a win nonetheless…

I love that word – nonetheless . It just feels quite wrong and doesn’t fit to either the pen nor the tongue does it? Arrggh already waffling on and haven’t even begun yet!

When you suffer from social anxiety it’s really tricky to explain to people how difficult it can be to do usual day to day things. How tasks and interactions that other people wouldn’t give a second thought to can be and feel impossible.

I wish this wasn’t the case. I wish I could click my fingers and make my social anxiety disappear . That I would find myself sauntering down the street with confidence , head up, shoulders back .Striding along looking people dead in the eye .

NOT attempting to take up as little space in the world as possible.

NOT choosing self service tills to avoid human interaction.

NOT struggling to express myself on subjects I know I am knowledgeable about for fear of other people thinking I’m wrong and stupid.

These are big things though , big deals . I don’t expect to wake up tomorrow and be able to suddenly be a changed woman with a changed brain that doesn’t tell her lies about what other people think of her.

I’m left then charting progress by celebrating little victories . Chalking up the small wins. The times I don’t let the voice of social anxiety that lives in my brain whispering ” everyone thinks you’re pathetic” win whenever I have to engage with fellow humans.

I thought maybe if I tell you some of my recent little wins , and some of them are really tiny , maybe some of you could relate and give yourselves a pat on the back for your recent little victories.

I ANSWERED THE PHONE (MORE THAN ONCE)

I wrote here about my phone anxiety . I bloody can’t stand phonecalls . Often because of my accent I think (that’s what i blame anyway) people don’t always understand what I’m saying and all it takes is a “pardon?” or “can you repeat that?” and that’s me done .

Anxiety voice telling me the person on the other end of the phone thinks I’m an idiot who can’t even talk properly.

NOT this week. Now this is not a courage mind over matter thing. It was a backed into a corner type thing. They were important phonecalls , I had no choice. Were they as awful as I’d feared ? Course not ! It was fine .

That’s anxiety though isn’t it , it’s power is having you worried and catastrophising (my therapist’s fave word!)

I TOOK A JUMPER BACK TO A SHOP

Again pretty easy stuff here , surely ?

Errr well no not for me !

I bought a jumper , the sleeves were so long they could have made a straitjacket (not lost on me !)

Now it wasn’t very expensive so ordinarily faced with the choice of taking it back and dealing with someone who might ask me all kind of questions or just putting on the charity shop pile – then congrats charity shop you bagged yourself a nice new jumper.

Anxiety voice would be telling me the shop assistant would be thinking I was so stupid and how could she not even be able to buy the right size jumper.

This week I did it , shop person was lovely – win for me!

I ASKED FOR SUGAR

Now this is what I meant when I said some of these wins are tiny. However as it was big enough for me to point out to the friend I was with at the time then it deserves a mention here.

We were in a cafe . I was slurping away at my tea as per. However when i went to pour my second cup – shock horror , there was only brown sugar cubes left in the bowl. Ordinarily I’d have just used them so as not to make a fuss and silently berated myself for ruining perfectly good tea because I was too lame to ask for some more white sugar (yes it DOES make a difference , I’m from Yorkshire I am picky about my tea!)

On this occasion I asked the perfectly friendly and helpful gentleman for some white sugar and guess what? He brought it . It was that simple , the earth didn’t crumble beneath my feet or anything!

Social anxiety sucks !!

Little wins though , they’ve got to be little carefully trodden stepping stones to a big one . I have faith in that!

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Aaarrgghh…what is with the phone related anxiety??

I love my phone , I do!! Probably a bit too much . I wrote only last week here about how I think I could make  a few changes in my life in order to use my phone less.

My phone is my blog , it’s amazing articles fab people share on Twitter that I never would have seen otherwise. It’s chatting on Twitter about Bake Off and Strictly with folk I’ve never met but share common interests with. 

My phone is Facebook , it’s keeping connected with people who are as busy as I am and don’t always have time to catch up with personally! It’s bickering with my siblings whilst we find ourselves so unbelievably hilarious it probably should be a bit embarrassing.

My phone is my teenagers sending memes and articles they think will amuse me ,and they do. My phone is even for texts (yeah I still text! i am that old!) 

A ‘Good Morning’

A ‘How’s your day been ‘

A ‘saw this and thought of you’

A ‘good luck’

It’s a way of letting people know I’m thinking of them and that they are me too!

Do you know what my phone is not for though?

It’s certainly,absolutely not for phone calls.

No way. 

(unless it’s my sister)

I like to think on a day to day basis I am on top of many of my anxiety wobbles. On the whole I can deal with people , even strangers. I can walk into a room full of people I don’t know without feeling as though I’m going to faint or get those horrid stomach cramps or feel my face begin to go numb. It’s taken a long time to get here and I’ll fall backwards from time to time but I can do it. 

The phone though??? Making phonecalls , even answering phone calls just make me want to find a nice black hole somewhere to hide in! I can’t stand it.

It’s irrational I know that , I have never come to harm because of calling someone up but nothing strikes anxiety into my bones like the thought of having to call a stranger. 

Having to make a dentist or doctors appointment takes hours of psyching myself up . Then when I do build myself up to do it and I’m asked to repeat myself (I live away from ‘home’ and my accent can be tricky on the phone for some reason) then I’m all put in a spin and decide it’s best I never speak again.

Calling a venue to enquire after details of an event is unbearable . I will always always email if that is an option.

Seeing errors on bills has me weighing up whether it’s worth just losing the money so as I don’t have to speak to someone.

Phonecalls are my kryptonite , my Achilles heel,my weak link. 

They’re the thing that when I’m proud of how far I’ve come with my anxiety, how much better I feel ,how much progress I’ve made sniggers at me from the sidelines.

“yeah you think you’re over me ???How abouts you call up that night class you fancy doing now you’re all social then?? – loser!”

It’s really frustrating and irritating that this thing , which should be a tiny nothing is still the thing that has my tummy churning and breathing off kilter and heart racing.

Maybe I need to just bite the bullet , spend the whole day doing all the phonecalls I need to make as some kind of  anti aversion therapy. …those of us who do suffer from anxiety though are so aware that doing things that provoke anxiety are often about as easy as flying to the moon!!

I will overcome this one , as I’ve overcome so many other anxiety triggers. I just don’t know how yet is all!!


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A calm, quiet bout of anxiety…

I’m in the midst of an anxiety wobble right now. In fact I’m writing this as a distraction technique (I recognise that writing about the thing I’m trying to distract myself from seems a bit odd – anxiety is an irrational arsehole)

I’ve no scary physical symptoms today though. I’m not shaky, I don’t have the annoying facial numbing that often turns up. I’ve not vomited. My legs aren’t wobbly.

Neither am I in a panic.
I don’t have feelings of dread.
I don’t even feel scared.

Yet this kind of anxious moment is the most troublesome to me these days (I’m so grateful for that too. The most troublesome part of my anxiety used to be an all consuming fear of fainting crossing the road with the kids with me) that I no longer have to suffer the horrors that anxiety used to gift me with daily is something I really am very grateful for. These days though these seemingly calm moments of anxiety are the worst, nothing physical going on except an ever so slight quickening in my breathing pattern. It’s all going on in my mind though which is a bloody pain.

I’m over thinking… this is never good.

I’m not having deep thoughts about the state of the country (though that would certainly be worthy of a good solid panic) Instead I’m taking tiny things and blowing them out of all proportion. I’m assuming the fact small girl’s daddy hasn’t texted me back within 5 mins means something dreadful has happened and my overactive imagination is filling in the gaps (that are not even there!) about exactly what this could be.
What it likely is is that he’s not a phone obsessive like me and he’ll just not be by his phone right now. I know this.
I can rationalise.
I do know that my brain is just playing tricks on me but right now in the moment that doesn’t help at all. Anxiety is a total bellend in that respect.

So although I’m sat quite calm, functioning perfectly well with mum tasks (there’s talk of a Trivial Pursuit game in a sec, they’ll wipe the floor with me and my shot concentration) still the mind is racing.

I’ll be fine in a bit. I know I will. That’s the reassuring thing with my experience of anxiety. I know it won’t last. 

For now though I could just do with someone to stroke my hair and make soothing sssshhhing noises. Oooo in fact did I not say earlier in the week that next time anxiety hit I wanted to be read to by Thierry Henry and his lovely soothing voice? Let’s do that… I bet he’d be good at the hair stroking too.. and I bet he smells soothing… Anyone have his number???

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