Where to begin…… and that’s the thing I think; it’s so very hard to explain to someone that hasn’t experienced it.
Constant uncontrollable worry, mind working overdrive, daydreaming, overthinking, panic, doubt, anger, annoyance………. just wanting to hide away.
Sometimes there’s a clear reason why it happens; an argument, a bad day at work, a particular stroppy toddler, or just me judging or critiquing myself too harshly.
My anxiety feels as if everyone in the world is waiting for me to trip up, so that they can laugh at me; it makes me second guess my every move or decision. I therefore overthink everything; I critique myself so heavily- and also I take others comments to heart, a simple statement from them I manage to turn into a criticism.
You are walking down the stairs carrying a pile of washing, your foot slips- the feeling of being about to fall! That’s the feeling……. the breath grabbing, heart pounding, ‘oh shit’ feeling…..the feeling over and over, and over. For no real reason; I can be having a good day and then it comes.
Hot and sweaty…..
It’s bloody awful.
And then there’s the fears and horrid thoughts….
This began when Dorothea was tiny; I used to worry that something horrible would happen in the night. Often I woke- convinced she was tangled in the bedcovers, or that she’d fallen off the bed, I’d rolled on her etc. Etc.
So many nights I‘d wake hot and panicked; stretch out to told her and be convinced; even if just for a moment, that she was cold- the poor child would generally grumble under Mummies prods- but I would sign relief and try and settle to sleep once again.
This has been happening more and more recently……
That same feeling of dread; suddenly waking and thinking something horrid has happened to her. Or other feelings of dread; being woken to a message or call of bad news, having irrational fear of weird things (cranes, driving under train bridges, overtaking lorries…)
And I’m so flipping tired!!!!
No not tired; it’s fatigue- it’s a tiredness that sleep won’t resolve. Not that I can sleep- although I’d love to (I’d take a week straight)- when I do sleep I have the funkiest dreams ever! And when I don’t sleep I visit the kitchen and eat custard and drink lemonade.
I feel exhausted; tired of thinking, tired of feeling nervous, tired or being ‘on alert’ and tired of that feeling of impending doom. Being able to rest would be a real treat.
All this seems to be driven by my thoughts, anxieties and self critique; but then there’s the very real physical symptoms!
– regular headaches; always behind one eye, they make me take myself off to bed.
– racing heart/palpitations/chest tightness
– throat tightness and difficulty breathing or talking
– hormonal imbalance; disappearing and then heavy periods, mood swings, loss of libido
– bladder issues; peeing more with increased urgency
( I’m a nurse so I get that although these are actually very real physical symptoms- they are very stronger linked to my mental health).
I feel lost; unappreciated, silly, foolish- I take comments and criticism too harshly. Somedays I feel I’m useless at everything; others I can see my talents and strengths and have confidence.
But it’s how to take control?????
– I know I’m not everything I sometimes judge myself to be
– I know I have skills, knowledge, gifts and areas of expertise
– I know I’m appreciated, loved, cared for, trusted and wanted
– I know I’m kind, honest, genuine, social and loving
But how can I be all that…….. how can I be everything I know I can be, at my best…… when right now I feel at my worst?
For now I need time…..
– time to rest
– time to be selfish and prioritise me
– time to think AND time not to think
– time for family and friends
– time to make decisions
– time for fresh air and exercise
– time for talking, for listening, and for being quiet
– time to make the right decisions for me