This morning I woke up with an all too familiar feeling, fear in my stomach and a weight on my chest. Hello anxiety, its been a while. It took me by complete surprise and is taking me a little bit of time to bounce back if I’m completely honest.
So now I’m left trying to figure out what brought on this attack. I could sit for hours obsessing over every little thing, desperate for an answer, a full explanation as to why I’m feeling this way. More often than not it’s not a straightforward solution, in fact, majority of the the time there’s lots of reasons behind my anxiety attacks, things that may have built up over time, things that have been overlooked and shoved to the back of my mind. But putting all this aside, it’s still happening, I’m still left feeling scared and unprepared.
I’m also left trying to overcome all of this in the few hours I have before work. Attempting all the usual things that I find helpful; herbal tea, yoga, meditation (don’t knock it ’til you try it chaps) but all to no avail. I had to pull myself together and get myself to work, with the full burden of anxiety still weighing me down. Starting my day off by teaching a spin class and let me tell you, faking energy and happiness for people who need motivation is the hardest and most challenging thing of all. They’re not aware of the war going on in you mind so you’re left faking a smile, pretending to be the most upbeat instructor ever, all while trying not to burst into tears. But I did it and I even got a round of applause at the end (well done Lucy!)
Writing this has been a therapy of sorts, I don’t feel as anxious as I did this morning. Even though it’s still there, sitting on my chest, churning my stomach, I can breathe now and it’s getting easier.
I guess what I was getting at with all this ranting, is that, it’s not as simple as just ‘picking yourself back up’ when you slip and your smile falters. I tried to do that, I tried everything that usually works and for some reason, today it wasn’t going happen and that’s okay. When people who may not understand, may not know the struggle of anxiety, tell you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, or at worst, to just get over it, you are under no obligation to do so. I believe it’s a case of building yourself back up to where you need to be. No rush, no force, just doing what’s right for you at the time. Be gentle with yourself, what ever that means to you, whether it’s a form of self care, talking to a friend or just taking some time out to work out what you need, only you will know what’s right at that time and only you have the power to make that happen.