I’m currently laid in bed. I’ve been here since 11pm, and it’s now 3:30am. I have always been so lucky to let my head touch the pillow and fall asleep instantly. I never understood or believed people that said they ‘couldn’t sleep’. And now I do. How awful is it that you have to lay there for hours on end with your eyes closed pretending you’re asleep? It’s the last thing your brain wants to do. You think the most random shit as well. Then your heart starts pumping faster whilst you think of all the negative things happening in your life, then you’re worried about your heart pumping faster and then it feels like the whole room has suddenly closed in on you and you can’t breathe. Stop. Take a deep breath and listen..
If you suffer from anxiety, you are one bad ass mother fucker and you have survived every shit day so far, so keep going because you’re worth it. If people say you don’t suffer with anxiety because you’re ‘smiley’ or post things on a regular basis so you ‘must be ok’ I understand you. You shouldn’t have to have your head in the sand when you’re suffering, but you also shouldn’t have to explain yourself. Everyone deals with their demons in different ways. And that’s ok. Battling with those thoughts or those palpitations and coming out of the other end is honestly magic, and you did that.
I thought about naming this post ‘tips that help anxiety’ but its such a complex subject and everyone deals with it differently so I’ve listed a few that I have found extremely helpful this week:
- Ask yourself ‘what’s the worst that could happen’. For me, asking myself this when I’m feeling anxious completely turns those feelings off. Because, the worst that could happen is so small sometimes and it makes me feel like I can conquer it if it got to that point. It’s a good way to look at it.
- Camomile tea.. It’s full of natural ingredients and has been proved to reduce anxiety and help you sleep. I researched online ‘natural alternatives for propranolol’ as I was prescribed these by my GP but literally leave it until I’m in full blown panic attack mode to take one, and then kick myself about it as I feel weak for slagging tablets off and then taking them. If you’re prescribed medication that helps with your anxiety and you feel comfortable with them then that’s great and some can be for short term use. I just prefer not to take tablets. Anyway I saw that camomile tea was an easy option and it does help me to chill out in the evenings.
- When you think you can feel your heart beating at the speed of light, actually try and listen to it and have words with yourself in your head. I honestly do. This is such a weird blog post and I’m laughing to myself for trying to describe this. But I often close my eyes and say ‘Sinead, come on.. actually pay attention to your heart. It’s not beating fast is it? Listen.. it’s beating slow. You’re winding yourself up. Relax and listen to your heart.’ WOW why am I such a fucking freak?
- Write things down/have a pen and paper under your pillow. When you have random thoughts or you’re trying to work something out in your brain, write it down. Half of the time you don’t want to, because you’re scared to put it on paper because then it’s there in front of you and you can’t bury it in your mind. Once I got to the point where I wasn’t opening my letters or paying my bills and it all heaped up on me.
- This goes with number 4. Get the job done. If you have a bill that needs to be paid, do it. Don’t let the money sit in your account and don’t let letters build up. Set yourself some time in the day and get what you’re worrying about done. It will make you feel 10x better afterwards because you’ve achieved something that your brain has been stressing about and has been using a lot of energy on.
- Catch up with old friends. This sounds weird because when you’re feeling like shit you don’t want to talk to anyone.. but I have been doing this a lot this week and it’s been nice because it’s a different conversation. It’s all been online because when I’ve got anxiety I don’t leave the house but talking to people who you haven’t in a while is refreshing as you have loads to talk about, meaning you don’t even need to bring up all of the negative things that are bothering you if you don’t want. It’s distracting and healthy and sometimes because they don’t know the length of how you’re feeling they don’t tip toe around you where as people that know you’re down might be careful in terms of what they’ve got to say as they don’t want to upset you.
I also need to mention here that the people who know me well such as my sister and best friends get that if I’m having a bad day I need to be left alone to sort my mind out and I am so grateful for that. I can’t deal with people sending me shitty messages or being funny with me if I haven’t replied for 20 hours but also the people that know me well will drop a message when its gone past those 20 hours to check in and I know they’re ears open. I am so grateful for these people. It’s so hard having new people come into your life and attempting to explain this to them because then they think they’re the problem, and it just doesn’t help having to deal with someone else’s emotions as well as yours, as well as the guilt for making them feel like that. That’s why it is important you let people know how you feel and how it can be resolved quickly. I’ve also got to mention the old friends I’ve been catching up with because you have all helped me without you even realising it. Aren’t you amazing?
Anyway, there’s gonna be lots of changes to my world this year and I’m excited but it’s going to be tiring. I’ve decided to give my flat up to move back to save for my travelling fund. You can expect a true refection on my blog as I’m going through it all, as writing really is therapeutic for me. I’m excited for you to read more. But for the first time in 3 days I’m now starting to feel really sleepy (see, writing things down does work!) so I’m going to take this moment and say good night and thanks for reading! x