There it’s out. That is how I feel right now.
Frustrated, angry, guilty, shouty, sad, tired, tired, tired and too mad to even sleep a moment.
When that anxiety raises its very ugly head the day hits a fast downward spiral. Its clear in a look, a posture, a smell, a tone that oh ho, its coming, doesn’t matter how fast we run its going to catch us.
That knot in the stomach, that sinking feeling, that whispered ‘Oh nooooooo’.
That twist when your day turns from what it was to what it is going to be, ruled by anxiety.
Its like walking down a corridor bumping into one side, recorrecting, bumping into the other side, recorrecting, never getting it right.
Reacting, or trying to, to just what comes next, no looking at the big picture, no peripheral vision, the world blinkered…. Need to do this, whoops, did that wrong, need to do that, oh need to do this, didn’t finish that……bobbing about in a tiny boat on a vast ocean of pits and troughs and huge waves just smashing right down over you.
Well, that’s my take on it. I’m not the one suffering from it, though it makes me very anxious when it happens. I am the partner, co-driver, crutch or contributor.
I watch, I get mad, I shout, I talk him down, I talk him up, I care, I cry with frustration that yet another day, event, moment has been lost or ruined. I feel guilty for my bad reactions. I take many deep breaths and push through the good reactions, only to fall into the bad again.
We work through it together, we are a team. When this happens I’m the grown up, the parent, the rock. And no it is not easy. It is doable.
This is the first time in all these years I have spoken out about this. Less than a handful of people know.
When it happens, which is very rare now, I don’t socialise, we don’t socialise; I am not good at smiling and pretending.
Sometimes I want to, and often I do when we are in the midst of ‘it’, cry my eyes out. Sometimes I feel really sorry for myself.
But its not my anxiety, it’s just something I share.
I once said “Why don’t you just let that anxiety sit right there with you? Let it be there, don’t fight it just accept it”. It soon got bored and it really did go away much more quietly and quickly than usual. I thought, “that’s it, a cure!” then the next time, maybe we were both more tired or depleted but we often forgot that trick.
I also remember, and this a big confession. Oh the shame, saying in the midst of a very deep, long, dark and particularly desperate period about 18 years ago – there were seriously mitigating circumstances, another post about dealing with what life, and people throw at you will show up one day – anyway, I actually said “You conned me! I thought you were strong. I thought you would be there for me. I didn’t know I would have to be your Mother!”. I am sure I have said worse too. I didn’t understand how it felt, how there was no control, how he didn’t understand, how he went blank to hide behind it.
But he is incredibly strong, totally there for me, we share our care. Just not on those days.
And now I see him change people lives in a few hours, literally. He’s a rock to so many, he’s a wave of calm when you are in the middle of turbulence. He’s a voice of reason, full of quiet wisdom and even in the midst of dire personal loss he has turned someones life from wretched to full of hope!
There is hope, so much hope!
For us, now (after so much work and perseverance and tears and talking) this happens once every few months, if that, and probably only lasts a day. As it used to be there would have been one good day every few months! I showed my frustration today, however much i know and help others deal with things I still react in a human way. I do have the tools to help now though and the practice to remember to use them, usually.
If you are the co-rider of anxiety try to remember:
1 They are not doing this on purpose.
2 Anxiety is strong and tricky – try to find some tricks to use against it (tricky post coming up).
3 Breath, remove yourself and regroup when you start feeling yourself slip into despair.
4 Remind the anxious person to breath, take time out, regroup. Often.
5 Find them something soothing and/or distracting,- walk, bath, hot and cold showers, running or other exercise, watch something really funny to belly laugh. Its hard at a time like that I know, it’s worth it.
6 Suggest they choose tasks that don’t need thought or real responsibility whilst they ride it out. Understand you need to direct. I am sorry, this is tough if you are working for other people. There is no easy way.
7 Acknowledge what is happening. Verbalise that it is happening now but is not permanent (even if you have one good day every few months).
8 Work on a plan together of things you can do to take control.
9 Discuss how it feels for you both. Especially the anxious person, they probably never thing about how it feels they are just stuck in this dreadful engulfing feeling!
10 If you have kids explain, maybe get some advice about how best to do it. Don’t leave them being anxious because they are picking up on anxiety and have no idea why or what because you can’t see or touch it and it isn’t spoken about.
11 Really remember that anxiety does not define a person.
12 When improvement happens try not to blip back to how it was at its worst as I did today!
Sometimes the trigger can be obvious and sometimes not so. Try to trace it back because there is often some clue.
For us today there was a migraine, a type that causes dream flashes, a bit like déjà vu, that is very frightening.
Usually I smell a chemical smell up to about 12 hours before these migraines but this time there was nothing I noticed so I could give no warning and it is very frightening. There were disturbing dreams last night.
Fragments so small as to go unnoticed can piece together a bit of information. By discovering a few reasons you can rationalise a little bit and that gives a feeling of understanding and so control, or something akin to it.
As you talk it through, investigate (the time needs to be right for both parties!) the boil will reduce to a simmer, the sea will calm, that band of pressure around the head will slacken a bit. It really is anxio’us’ it effects all people close.
The amazing thing for us is that we have experience, stories, history, and we have learnt over many years and much study in a determination not to be beaten, how to deal with some of the rubbish life can deal out. That rubbish can taint everything else or you can start clearing it out.
I feel so much better now that I have talked.
Time to go back as support… I am sure tomorrow will be better, maybe even this evening.
Do not suffer anxiety alone. Here to support you whether you are the anxiety pilot or co-pilot.
Follow up, 4 hours later, I read this post to my person, he calmed, understanding helps, we went out shopping, we laughed at a few normal things, it dissipated. That sounds as though it was like a mild headache, it wasn’t for a short time. It never is. But these days it is just a reminder of what it was so, please, have hope!
Rural retreat in France. Come on, lets get you sorted!Learn More
We had dinner with old friends at the weekend, nothing quite like that relationship where you are accepted just the way you are however long it’s been.
I was going to say ‘spots and all’ which reminded me of a snippet of conversation when I mentioned having been the spottiest girl in class.
I was actually, I am sure, the spottiest girl in the school; In fact, quite possibly the spottiest girl St Aiden’s school ever had!
It was totally mortifying. I distinctly remember, with shame, being dragged across the concrete garden between the art and science blocks towards Andrew Southgate, who was also being dragged kicking and screaming. Everyone chanting kiss, kiss, kiss. I had fancied him for ages. He said he wouldn’t go out with me because I was too spotty.
Well the greasy skin then means I may not have as many wrinkles as I would have had otherwise but I wish I knew then what I know today – that what we eat and drink and the way we live can change our skin (and our whole body) dramatically. Never so needed as during the various hormone changes of our lives.
We didn’t eat particularly badly then, we didn’t have processed food other than the odd tin of beans or spaghetti hoops on toast. Ate lots of fruit and vegetables (I worked on the fruit stall at the market at the weekends and in holidays), and as a family we had ‘pop’ and cakes rarely. BUT I was stressed, even as a child, life was a string of places to be with no time to get there amongst other things. I am sure that had a huge effect.
I was asked for some ideas to help someone with eczema at the weekend too. I would give the same advice for most skin complaints –
Up your clean water intake.
Add a tablespoonful of apple cider vinegar once or twice a day.
Reduce the whites – sugar, bread, flour, pasta, rice, cakes, pastries etc you know which they are!
Reduce dairy – cows milk cheese (try goats or sheeps, there are some that will sub for lots of cows cheeses), cream, milk – except milk kefir which, I believe, is worth using.
Reduce bread, when you do eat it choose wholemeal, granary or sourdough. I work much better with sourdough than ‘normal’ bread.
STOP eating all processed foods. Even fruit yogurts – they may sound good but are loaded with sugar.
STOP drinking fizzy drinks, unless its Kombucha, preferably homemade.
Sugar feeds disease. And you may think bread has very little sugar in it but IT TURNS INTO SUGAR AS SOON AS YOU SWALLOW IT!
Add in fermented foods and drinks such as:
Sourkraut (raw from the health food shop or homemade – easy peasy and cheap, Ill post instructions asap).
Kefir (as above – so easy to make and quick) nut milk kefir is totally dairy free but cows milk is so pre-digested I think its the dairy exception. And its fun watching those little grains go forth and multiply!
Kombucha (again easy and cheap to make at home, flavour it with bits of chopped ginger and its like ginger beer).
Fermented veggies – can be made using a starter from health food shops or, much cheaper and more fun, use some whey from your milk Kefir (strain the Kefir and you have the basis of Kefir cheese and some clear whey which is the bit you use for the vegetables).
So, any or all of this will help. The more you do the better results. It beats antibiotic creams that sting and drinking cabbage water and the results will speak for themselves – not only in the look and feel of your skin but also in your mood, mind clarity, digestion, energy levels, eye brightness and more!
Want to change fast?
Learn to change and start the change with us at our Recombobulate retreat in rural France then go home feeling great and with the tools to LIVE the change.
Come on, lets get you sorted!
Wealth is having love, kindness, a shoulder when you need it.
It is silence with a friend, being comfortable in your own skin, sharing, caring, valuing and being valued just the way you are.
If you constantly criticise you will feel constantly criticised.
If you constantly judge you will feel constantly judged.
If you belittle, you will feel less.
If you are quick to attack you will be defensive.
If you cannot be trusted how can you trust?
If you are not honest you will never believe.
If you do not give love you will not receive.
If you constantly brag nobody will be impressed.
If you do those things to yourself you can’t walk away. You can’t feel true happiness.
If you only think me, me, me you will only have you, you, you.
If you are generous of nature you will feel kindness.
If you are generous of word you will hear kind words.
If you are generous of spirit your spirit will be light.
If you are trusting and just you will feel safer.
If you listen and hear you have more chance of being heard.
If you give without taking you will also gain.
If you give all this to yourself, you will feel secure.
And the ripple effect will be radiant and travel far.