Tag Archives: anxiety

Has blogging cured my social anxiety?

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I’m not sure social anxiety is ever truly cured , not if you’ve always been quite a nervous person. I can’t remember the last time I got the fear though , the people fear.

I can’t remember last time the thought of the self checkouts being shut brought me out in a cold sweat because I’d have to deal with a real life person.

I can’t remember the last time I did the thing where you meet someone new and you get yourself so worked up that you open your mouth to speak thinking to yourself “don’t say something stupid ,don’t say something stupid” only to open your mouth and pure gibberish exits, making the anxiety even worse.

I’ve embraced group situations recently , even groups of strangers . I’ve socialised more.

There is of course the fact I’ve some great people in my life who make socialising fun and who believe in me so much it rubs off on me this has eased the social anxiety.

I do think though that blogging might have been the biggest factor.

It’s not as nuts as it sounds , honestly. Humour me ?

I think the main factor is with blogging I am communicating via the written word. Always my favourite. Some of my raw , honest blog posts would never have been given life if I had to say them out loud. I’m getting better but I don’t find vocalising emotions easy.

So communicating via my method of choice brings with it a freedom.

I can tell my stories without needing to speak out loud . I don’t have to make eye contact , I don’t have to scan peoples expressions to see if they’re bored yet , I don’t have to panic noone can understand my accent.

Written down I can express myself in a way more relaxed manner , that has to be a very good start.

Also when I’m blogging I’m generally talking about something I am passionate about , a little knowlegable about or have strong opinions about. This is really helpful. It means follow up questions aren’t terrifying , I can back up what I’m saying with knowledge or anecdotes.

For a socially anxious person , or me at least , being asked or put on the spot with questions or conversations you don’t have a clue about is just terrifying and horrible and the phrase “wish the ground would open up and swallow me ” really comes into it’s own.

The blogging community helps too. All the little groups of people I never would have known ordinarily. People who have been through similar life experiences as I have. People who are honest and open about the challenges parenthood , and indeed life, throw at you. People whose lives have been really different to mine , but we have this blogging thing in common and a sense of familiarity.

Best of all these blog friends and I , well we again communicate via the written word. Social media is great for that . I think Twitter is my chatty place the most but there I can be chatty girl who doesn’t get her words muddled (too much) I can be semi articulate and free to think myself mildly amusing because the restraints that always held me back ( I blush when people talk to me…like a 5 years old , it’s excruciating) are removed. I suppose as well in this arena if people think you’re a bit of a twat well they’ll just unfollow you or not engage with you , quite direct and effective .

I just realised as well ,as I’m writing I’m using the present tense .

“I blush”

“I muddle my words”

Except , and this is the whole point of the post I guess (ah come off it Kelly when have you ever kept to the point?)

I think maybe spending time blogging , building up relationships with people online. Feeling connections with people . Being free to be my chatty , geeky self well that’s had a knock on effect to my actual real life too. Dislike that phrase ‘real life’ makes me feel like I’ve made up all my online buddies. Can’t think of an alternative though. Anyway spending time building relationships via my comfy method has given me the confidence to then take that out into my world. In all the years I’ve tweeted with folk they’ve always been so lovely and positive (except that spat I had with the Male Rights Activists but they’d not be on my Christmas card list anyway so no great loss) that I feel I am able to be braver and put myself out there with people.

My blog started life as an anonymous one , but people’s reactions to it gave me the confidence to then share it with people I do know.

Putting myself out there , being just me – the girl who loves Doctor Who , Andy Murray and chips. The girl who goes to the cinema and the theatre and for dinner alone through choice because she loves it , the bookworm and the dozy human who can often be found with her clothes on inside out. Well my blogger pals , my lovely twitter folk who I’ll likely never meet all made me feel good about just being her. It’s transferred into my day to day life that confidence.

I went to a group workshop last week ( old Kelly’s idea of hell) and I spoke and I contributed and I got to know a group of strangers because I spoke to them without worrying everyone was going to think I was an idiot…and if they did well I didn’t really mind they were strangers.

I can strike up conversations with people I don’t know without palpitations.

I sometimes even CHOOSE the tills with people at them!

The blushy girl is all but gone ( unless she’s talking to that handsome guy she hangs around with sometimes!)

Blogging has most certainly helped!!

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Musings Of A Tired Mummy
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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!

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
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A trio of tummy flutters …

It’s almost upon me !

That child free holiday with the current crush….

A few days of theatre and culture and GnTs and no one needing me for anything. A time to just be me . Kelly. The woman who adores the theatre, who loves chattering and visiting new places . I don’t get to be her very often.

Mostly I am mum. The one who nags about pots being brought out of teens rooms and spends way too long of each day deciding what we are going to eat . I love being mum I do. I haven’t always but these days I do. It’s nice to have that little break though isn’t it . *Wankery term coming up klaxon* It’s nice to have sometime to reconnect (told you) with yourself and remember who you are aside from mum .

So here I am , case almost packed . Spending way too long choosing what outfits to take and here they come . The trio of tummy flutters . All with their own individual twist.

Tummy Flutter number 1 – mum guilt

The big bad mum guilt. How bloody annoying is it ?? There’s just that unease in the pit of my stomach , telling me what kind of mum ditches her kids to go away with her fancy piece ?? That I’m not going to see the kids at all for ten whole days because of plans I’ve made.

Logical brain kind of covers for me here because small girl is away with daddy for a fortnight anyway. Whether I was here or not I’d not have seen her . As for the elder 3 well I’ve barely seen them these hols anyway as they’re all busy with friends and social lives and work.

There’s no need at all for me to feel bad but yet there it lingers … I’m not going to pay it the attention it wants though , not this time.

Tummy Flutter number 2 – anxiety

That feeling when your tummy drops because you’ve forgotten to do something really important.

My mental health these days is a pretty stable , predictable thing. Anxiety is always hovering around on the outskirts of my consciousness. Doesn’t impose too often but occasionally just knocks on the door of my brain to remind me it’s still there . Anything that needs planning and organisation is always going to roll out the red carpet for my anxiety. It’ll be stood there saying “go on then , balls this up? I’m waiting!! You know you are rubbish at plans ”

I’ve got to be on a super early train for my trip . I’m worried I’ll sleep in. I’m worried I’ll miss the bus to the train station. I’m worried I’ll forget my tickets , get the wrong train .

That I’ve messed up the dates , that anxiety will decide to show up in its strongest form whilst I’m hanging out with someone I really like.

Thing is , these are all legitimate concerns and ones I can do something about. I can cope with this kind of anxiety. The kind when all of a sudden I convince myself I’m going to faint in Sainsbury’s , triggered by nothing that’s an absolute pain. This kind though with at least a couple of toes dipped in reality I can cope with. I can set 3 alarms , double check bus times and dates and pack tickets.

I can beat this kind of anxiety.

Tummy Flutter number 3- crushing

Though the nicest of all the tummy flutters by far the most excruciatingly embarrassing and kinda pathetic.

Oh I am crushing like a teen with the anticipation of our hols. I am grinning like a loon at each message , tummy flipping reading how exciting he is too , daydreaming of all the great things we can do.

This is so unlike me. I am Kelly , Ice Queen , the girl who simply does not get giddy over boys. Never have …thank you universe for hitting me with a teenage crush at almost 40 most decent of you!!

Ah….hurry up hols , I am ready !!

Musings Of A Tired Mummy

5 tips for dating someone with anxiety

When I’m anxious , it’s horrible for me . Noone wants to feel like their breathing is so uncontrollable they might just pass out . Noone enjoys that horrible feeling of a thousand thoughts , most of them negative whizzing around their brain at a dizzying pace. It’s a horrible debilitating condition .

Not just for me going through it either . When anxious the kids get irritable mum , the one who is so sensitive to noise sssshhh is out of her mouth way more often that it should be. Friends and people around me get distracted me , the one who is going to need telling again when she is feeling better exactly what you told me just now because I’m nodding and trying so hard to listen but I just can’t take it on board.

So then imagine dating me ?

Obviously when anxiety is nowhere to be found I am a delight!!All sparkling conversation and wit and charm……or something….

During an anxious period , not so much! I can’t be the only one , so if you’re dating someone who suffers with anxiety there might be some tips here for you. Obviously everyone is different and I can only speak for myself but here goes .

I will cancel on you

This is likely nothing to do with you.

When anxiety strikes people are tricky. Even people I really,really like are a struggle. Now if I’m dating you I really really really like you as not many get that far. So I’ll try really hard to just push through. Only added to the people phobia is that voice. The anxiety voice telling me he doesn’t want to go out with me anyway , why would he ? I’m dull I’m boring I’m just an anxious drain , in fact he’s probably only involved with me because he feels sorry for me.

Regular me knows all that to be anxiety fuelled nonsense. Anxiety ridden me knows FOR SURE that this is the truth.

So I’ll probably cancel. Get under my duvet and spend a few hours worrying about if you’ll ever want to see me again with me being such a pathetic flake.

Anxiety is exhausting.

Prepare yourself for contradiction

Again can only tell my story , but during an anxious bout I want to be left alone . I don’t want chat or touching or made to talk about how I feel. Except….ALL I want is company of someone I trust and touching and holding and reassuring words.

Goodness knows what chances another person has of getting it right when I have no clue myself.

Sometimes silence is key

When anxious I become so oversensitive to noise . People talking normally will really get to me as it feels too overwhelming. I’m already exhausted because as detailed above having 3 million thoughts a minute wears you out . So sometimes I’m going to just need to lay under a blanket with you , no words, no small talk just silence and knowing you’re there will calm me.

You may get dumped

In my case you’ll certainly get dumped. I’ll decide that there’s no point continuing with this . Tell you to go find someone ‘normal’. Even if I really like you , especially if I really like you . How on earth could I expect anyone to put up with this anxious mess on a regular basis?

Truth is , I’m just giving you an out . I know I can be hard work when anxiety strikes . Especially if I’ve not mentioned I’m feeling anxious and you just think I’m going off on one because I’ve gone off you. So I’d understand if you can’t deal. I’m really hoping you won’t take that out though , I’m hoping you’re going to ride this out with me . It takes a special kind of a person to do that though so if that’s not you best you do run for the hills.

Once you learn the cheat codes it’s so much easier

You know the old fashioned games consoles where if you knew the cheat codes you could get never ending lives or some bonus. Well it’s kind of the same with people.

My anxiety is pretty predictable , it creeps up gently , gives me a rough couple of days then fades again. My reaction to it is equally predictable. I get a bit needy , I look for constant reassurance . If you can recognise the signs that I’m having an anxious day and even better then know how to comfort me then we’ll be just fine. I was once having a particularly bad anxious day ,all self loathing and horrid so employing the ‘lets just finish this’ technique detailed above. The (correct) response from the (lucky?!) guy in question was to suggest a duvet and a nap , and if I still wanted to dump him later that’d be fine!! Mr Smarty Pants was obviously right to my surprise and when questioned how he knew I was just anxious answered “I just know your anxiety cheat codes by now”

Caring about someone with anxiety can be tough , as I for one struggle to verbalise my feelings and so therefore my behaviour can seem odd. Anxiety makes me irritable and full of doubt and self loathing . It makes me exhausted and lethargic and drains me of energy. It can make huge changes to my personality ,it makes me needy and I bloody hate feeling like that. I’m a strong independent woman not that one under a duvet asking for her hair played with.That must be a lot to deal with.

It takes someone special to be the reassuring voice without getting frustrated by the need for it .

Someone special to invest in knowing me well enough to know that stroking my hair and shhhhh ing me like a baby can help when an anxiety attack strikes.

To be patient and to care about me when I don’t much care about myself.

Anxiety is not a constant in my life though , I’m lucky these days it’s just a rare visitor. So if you can put up with the occasional rough day it’s so worth it for all the sparkling conversation and wit and charm I told you about at the beginning….and I make an awesome pie !!I’m a catch , honestly!!

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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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3 tips to help ease anxiety at Christmas…

Christmas can be a fabulous time of year , in fact Christmas can be the best time of year. It can also be absolutely ram packed full of stress and anxiety triggers and noise and mess and chaos and worst of all…..

All.The.People.

Now I’ve been an anxious mess for knocking on for a decade now . Though thankfully anxiety is a rare visitor these days – in the same way you don’t see great uncle Bob all year round ’till he turns up at your front door ,half cut, on Christmas eve the same goes for anxiety for me.

I know everyone’s experiences of anxiety are different and I can only talk about mine but I have learnt a few tricks over the years to lessen it’s grip slightly over Christmas.

1) Don’t over commit
There are so many social events around Christmas time from the works night out to the catch up with the friend you mean to see all year to family get togethers. 

However saying yes (often for THE FEAR of saying no) to 3 parties a week when you know social anxiety is upon you is never going to end well. There’s little more stressful than knowing you’re going to cancel on people and then having to spend the whole day psyching yourself up enough to actually do it.

So choose the events you really want to go to and ditch the ones that you feel obliged to.

2) Give someone you trust a heads up.

Helpful if either you’re having people over for Christmas or if you’re going to someone elses where there are going to be a fair few people and you know you might at some point need a bit of a time out . That you might need to remove yourself from noise and over stimulation (and those damn people again) tell your partner or friend or aunt or mother in law. Let them know beforehand that this could be the case. 
You could even use a code phrase , you know if the rest of the family have you down as a solid individual living the shit out of life and you don’t want to blow your superhero ‘anxiety girl’ cover.

If you’re at your own house it’s possibly easier to slope off for 10 mins calm but if you’re at someone elses just have a code phrase. “I just need to make a phone call ” ( people call each other up on Christmas day , it’s passable) could mean “I am just going to sit in your spare room for a bit and get my mind together ,please leave me be”

3) Seek out the company of children

This possibly could just be me but during an anxious period children are great to be around. Yes I know my previous words about over stimulation don’t fit what I’m saying but stay with me. Just joining in with kids at Christmas can be an almighty distraction technique. I personally find it hard to worry about whether I drain everyone and noone wants me there when I’ve a small person singing me When Santa got Stuck up the Chimney or telling me all about the toy of the year Santa brought them. 
Conflict is a huge anxiety trigger for me also so I’d rather join in with a group of kids debating who the best superhero is than listen to Great Uncle Bob (yes him again ) being a racist , sexist bigot. He’s basically The Daily Mail in human form and causes you palpitations just listening to him rant.

For the record : I don’t have a Great Uncle Bob…we’ve all met this guy though right? 

I hope these tips can help even if just a little bit. Christmas can actually be a lovely time for those of us who struggle to feel cherished and worthwhile as people because most people are at their loveliest and kindest at Christmas and freer with their encouraging words (it’s probably the Bailey’s) 

I hope your Christmas is filled with as much social interaction as you can handle and that get as much physical affection as you can cope with/crave!!
Xxx


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Practical ways I tell my anxiety to keep away!

Anxiety sucks.

It can turn your average day into an overthought , catastrophizing nightmare.

I don’t have the cure I’m afraid .

I’ve read all the info , I know exercise , good nights sleep , healthy food and not drinking wine or overdosing on chocolate are what I’m meant to be doing to keep anxiety at bay. Not much fun though are they?

I can’t run when I’ve convinced myself I’m going to faint at any minute …and probably on the road…then I’ll get run over and killed… and then what will the kids do….Yes that’s my actual thought process during an anxious moment. Total pain in the arse.

I’ve never managed to stop that horrific pain through my stomach and my face going numb by eating kale.

How the hell am I meant to get a good nights sleep when I can barely breathe with the panic?

I know these tips are the sensible ones. Sometimes a run does blast away the panic , sometimes a long sleep stops the overthinking.

Over the years though , I’ve gotten to grips with my anxiety to an extent. It’s personal to me and I know how to nip an episode in the bud quite often , I know how to calm myself . They may sound a bit odd but anxiety is a personal thing , there’s no one size fits all solution. Maybe some of mine may work for you . Here’s how I tell anxiety to just p**s off!!!

Phone calls to my sister.

If I’m feeling a bit wobbly , or I feel unsettled this is my go to activity. Chat , especially idle gossip and thoughtless chat is a distraction. Add to that my sisters familiar voice and calms me down.

I’m not suggesting you all ring my sister when you’re panicky , though as I always say if I could clone her I’d give you all a copy – she’s ace!!

Maybe if you have someone with whom you can partake in chit chat as a distraction though , a familiar voice , a calming influence though this could work for you .

Monday vlog indulgence

Could be a bit niche this one …stay with me.

Monday’s are always a pain in the bum aren’t they? A good start to a week though can do wonders for my head. I also love a vlog , I’m a blogger , I’m nosy why wouldn’t I?

Starting the week by watching Marian Keyes weekly vlog sets me up nicely for the week . She’s funny , she’s engaging, she’s pretty , she’s smiley ( I’m pretty sure the accent helps too) I am a big fan of her books and she’s a bit of a Twitter crush of mine if truth be told. Being told stories is another on the anxiety cheat sheet and well , Marian is as fab at telling stories verbally as she is writing them down. The vlogs start my Monday with a smile. In fact I recommend them ( link here : https://www.youtube.com/user/himselfkeyes) to all of you , even if you’re not quite as nutty as me!)

Joining in with small girl

My 8 year old does everything with zeal. There is no half hearted with her. On a wobbly day , taking a leaf out of her book and just joining in with her is as therapeutic as anything I know.

If it’s feeding the ducks we’re throwing the food as far as we can , if it’s drawing or colouring it takes every bit of focus we have. If it’s dancing it’s with every bit of our body.

It seems when I put my absolute all into any activity it’s really hard for my anxiety to take a grip on my mind.

Watching stand up

An obvious one really.

From the school of fake it ’till you make it!! If I’m laughing anxiety does not stand a chance.

Writing

Could be a blog post , could be a letter (yes I still write those – how quaint am I?)

More likely though it’s just a total mind dump into a notebook.

When I am anxious I overthink.

This never ends well for me , especially when it all just swirls around my mind like some kind of brain bothering hurricane. The reason I ever started this blog was because I’ve always found that writing down what bothers me helps . Having a million thoughts whizzing around this head each one causing another hundred in an anxious chain reaction means I’m not going to feel great. Picking up a pen , writing them down uncensored gets the thoughts out of the nutty mind and into a notebook where they become much less powerful. I can see how ridiculous they are written there in black in white.Then I can shut the notebook and walk away. It helps.

They’re little things , but sometimes little things help.

Do you have any little tricks that keep your anxiety in it’s place or that can calm you ?

I’d love to hear them.

xxx

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Date me! : I’m a chronic overthinker … 

Really, you’d have to be as nuts as I am to date me.

My anxiety disorder often manifests itself in over thinking . I can work myself up into a frenzy about situations that are never going to happen. I can decide what OTHER people are thinking about me and make that fact in my mind. I grab hold of one comment someone has made and obsess over it relentlessly, make the highest mountain of the tiniest molehill and it always ends with me being in a panic.

So I can either drive myself even more nuts worrying about it or I can laugh at how ridiculous I am at times.

I choose the latter.

It has become apparent that dating is the ideal place for my anxious over thinking to thrive. Let’s face it, in this kind of scenario EVERYONE is trying to put the best version of themselves forward. You want to be liked. That’s how it works.

Poor unfortunate souls who date me though? They’re already fighting an uphill battle.

What he’ll say : You look amazing tonight

What I’ll take from that : aaaaw he fancies me! I’m rocking this dress!. ..errrrm hang on a minute. I look amazing TONIGHT? Has he been thinking I look rubbish every other time he’s seen me? Oh my! What on earth was I wearing last time? I must burn that outfit immediately.

What he’ll say : You can choose where we eat. I’ll eat anything.

What I’ll take from that: Ah how considerate, he knows I’ve odd little food ‘quirks’ … Oh wait, he obviously thinks I’m really high maintenance. He said he’ll eat anything – the undertone being that I’m a problem, my food dislikes are the barrier to us eating somewhere nice. He’s going to think I’m too much hard work and dump me!

What he’ll say : I’ve found us a new cocktail bar to try, you’ll love it.

What I’ll take from that : He’s so cute thinking of me when I’m not there.. .. although ‘us’? ? ? Did he just use’ us’? Bloody hell stop pressurising me, stop trying to encroach on my space you’ll be trying to move in next! While we’re at it-I’ll love it? ! Sure we’ve done cocktails often. Sure I’ve always raved about how much I’ve enjoyed it. Sure he’s been lovely enough to take time to get to know my likes and dislikes. Thinking he knows what I’ll love though? Cheek of it! Slow down Mr Telepathic!

What he’ll say : You’re fantastic to be around, I’m so relaxed around you.

What I’ll take from that : Yay! Yay! Hot guy thinks I’m great… Relaxed though? Relaxed? Is he saying I’m boring? Like he’s so ‘relaxed’ he’s borderline comatose because my company is so dull?

What he’ll say : I’ve got you a surprise!

What I’ll take from that : Ooo he’s so into me he’s getting me gifts! Eeeek this is awesome! Surprise though, WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DOES IT HAVE TO BE A SURPRISE? It could be anything, what if it’s something I don’t like and I’ve gotten this whole scenario wrong thinking he really gets me to discover he really doesn’t? He knows about my anxiety, why is the word surprise even in his vocabulary?

– upon receiving lovely, thoughtful gift. .

Yes but what does it MEAN though?

*brain explodes*

I mean, I think I do quite well and manage to control the over thinking most of the time and I can certainly cover up the underlying rabidness but I’ve also come to accept this is just part of what makes me, me.

The right guy will find it endearing I’m sure.. Or learn to live with it at least. I have to , he’s not run for the hills screaming yet!!!

My Facebook page is here


Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

Lucy At Home

A little relapse, a stumble backwards doesn’t mean back to square one 

I’ve had a weird couple of weeks

.

Nothing huge has happened, no trauma, no incidents of note.

I’ve just not felt ‘right’. I’ve not had a real anxiety attack for a while and none of the usual triggers were present. I could just feel it creeping up on me. That sinking feeling walking around ASDA, you know the kind you get  when you’ve messed up in a big way or forgotten something really important? You feel panic and nausea and dread. Well that feeling has been present intermittently for no reason at all.
The reassuring thing about my personal anxiety disorder is that it’s usually fairly predictable, but this was new. So I’ve spent  a couple of weeks permanently looking over my shoulder waiting for the prod that my anxiety was giving me to turn into the huge shake that usually follows.

Only it didn’t.

So of course this made me anxious. I was anxious that my anxiety disorder wasn’t presenting as I expected. Well played anxiety.

This escalated over the last few days into another classic of mine but one I really thought I’d seen the back of. The waking up in a morning, not even opening my eyes but already feeling my breathing pattern wasn’t right, feeling  dread and panic. It’s been a real nuisance and left me shaken a bit and unsettled.

Shaken and unsettled, in my case then trigger the big guns of my anxiety. Ridiculous thought patterns culminating in horrible self loathing and self doubt and all round a lot of thoughts about how rubbish I am.

Last weekend this little blog of mine had been read lots and I’d had the most lovely, flattering comments about it. Such positive words that ordinarily I’d have been proud as punch about. Now when this happened whilst anxious brain was in charge of things my thinking went more like this “Oh no people are saying nice things about my writing because they feel so sorry for me about how shockingly shit it is. That’s it I’m deleting the whole thing – who did you think you were anyway putting your nonsense out there? ? Why on earth would anyone want to listen to you? ”
I suppose one good part of knowing your own mind can go rogue on you from time to time is that I can acknowledge I’m anxious and never to make any decisions at that time!

 

I mean, I was feeling rubbish and hating on myself a bit so reached for the tortilla chips and salsa for comfort. Between the salsa jar and my mouth the salsa dropped  off down my pj’s. Now ordinarily I’d roll my eyes at my clumsiness and carry on. Not when anxiety brain is in the house though. Thought process then was “Oh for goodness sakes  you can’t even EAT now? Is there anything you can do you useless arse”  At this one I’ve got to admit once the feeling had eased I even managed to giggle at my own craziness! Tortilla related trauma, that’s a new one.

I talk often recently on this blog about how healed I am after the abusive relationship, how I’ve never been stronger mentally. This is true, really it is.

So then if I don’t document the slips, if I gloss over the hard times I feel like a bit of a fraud.

The thing I’m taking from this bout of crapness though is this-it’s a not a big disaster, not really.

A couple of hard, horrid weeks doesn’t mean I’m back to the beginning again. It doesn’t mean anxiety wins. It doesn’t mean all huge steps forward and the achievements I’ve made are wiped out.

I’m still here looking forwards, I’m still lucky enough that an anxious period is the rare thing not the 24 hour nagging noise that it once was.

I know it will pass
I’ve  stumbled.
I tripped, but I’m back on my feet now and surely it’s the continuing to get back up and try again that counts, it’s talking about the highs AND lows that helps.
So let’s keep trying.


Here’s my Facebook page 

 
 

Don’t I always say books are good for the soul… 

My name is Kelly and I’m a book addict.

Books are my ‘thing’.

Reading books, talking about books, watching adaptations of books (mainly to slate them I’ll give you),recommending books, just gazing lovingly at my bookcases, maybe one day even writing one!

Reading is my ultimate comfort.

Even the crappest of crappy, yukky days can be perked up with a duvet, a perfect cup of tea and a good book. You’ll always find a book in my bag. There are always a couple of books in my bed (yes not beside my bed or on my bedside table but actually in my bed, by my pillow)

You can imagine then how rough the last couple of weeks have been as I’ve been unable to read!
I’ve been all agitated and restless and unable to concentrate. It’s not been my usual kind of anxiety that’s been at play either (it’s branching out *sarcastic yay*) I wrote here about one of the worst things for me when a bout of anxiety strikes is not being able to read and that’s where I’ve been of late!

When I’m anxious I do suffer with the horrible mind racing, dizzying feeling. That I  feel as though there are a thousand (mostly random) thoughts whizzing through my tiny mind at  once. These past couple of weeks have been exactly that but in super duper fast forward mode. So many thoughts flitting into mind barely having time to settle before the next one arrives demanding attention… on repeat. It’s exhausting and unsettling.
I will apologise if my trying to explain my experience of anxiety is a bit off the wall and sounds nuts. It feels a bit nuts at the time, but I know some of you will get what I mean!

I’ve started half a dozen books and barely got a couple of pages in before my mind has wandered away from the book leaving reading and that lovely feeling of being absolutely absorbed in a book impossible.

Then I picked up Second Life by SJWatson, same author as Before I go to Sleep which I really enjoyed. It drew me in instantly and had me so hooked my anxious mind didn’t stand a chance of wandering. Not concentrating just wasn’t an option.

You’d think a jumpy, psychological thriller wouldn’t be a good book choice when you’re in the grip of an anxious period but,  for me last week, it worked.

You see being absolutely engrossed in a book and having your heart racing in your chest because of the story – that was kind of therapeutic for me. I was feeling nervy and jumpy for a good reason, not just because anxiety was being a knob. Also, I think the fact that a book has an ending is reassuring. I read this book in a day so experienced all the cleverly written tension and nervousness leading to the crescendo all these type of books need.

Then it ends.

You put the book down and all those feelings (once your heart rate calms down from the exhilaration) are done. As was my anxiety. Getting caught up in a fictional scenario seemed to have purged all the anxious feelings in a positive way!

I’ve not spoken about the book plot itself because firstly I just wanted to talk about how reading managed to drag me out of that particular period of anxiety and secondly I’d likely give too much away. What I will  say though is if you loved Gone Girl and the Girl on the Train and enjoy tense, nervy writing  give this book a go, I recommend it highly.

So here I am now, back in the bliss that is books. I’m not daft enough  to think a book that gets the adrenalin pumping will always work versus anxiety but on this  one occasion it did.

I always say books are fantastic therapy… and I this occasion I proved myself right! !

That doesn’t happen often.