Working through anxiety

I’ve spoken lots in the past about my anxiety, how crippling it was and how hard I worked to overcome it. Looking back, it was there for pretty much all of my adult life, even though at the time I didn’t realise. Thankfully, for the last couple of years, it’s been pretty non-existent.

So when I climbed into bed on Monday evening, tired and ready for a rest, I was not expecting a full-on anxiety attack to appear out of nowhere.

I’d forgotten quite how overwhelming and scary they can be. My heart was beating like crazy, I couldn’t catch my breath and my mind was whirling with negative thoughts.

It was awful because even though I knew what was happening, I couldn’t quite get a hold on it. I’d try and think I was winning, then it would kick back in. Eventually { a couple of hours later} I managed to calm down, and doze off. The after-effects followed me into the next day though.

I woke tired from not getting to sleep till 3 am, then being woken several times by Oren, and feeling very fragile and shaky.

A message to a couple of friends, an arrangement for one of the kids to get picked up for a bit so I could have a restful day at home, and the promise of a coffee being dropped of later. I ran a hot bath, lit some incense and candles, popped in a bath bomb and soaked the stress away. The tears flowed into the water, and I emerged feeling a little more grounded.

In the past, I’d fight against how I felt. Now I lean into those feelings. Let them guide me. Being gentle with myself, reminding myself that those negative thoughts were just thoughts and not facts.

Listening to them and seeing what maybe they were trying to tell me.

Reaching out, not pulling away.

Slowing down and not pushing myself.

Accepting where I am right now.

I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone, chasing dreams, expanding my life, and sometimes that can be overwhelming. My brain gets a little freaked out and tries to make me stop and stay where it’s safe. That’s OK. I can reassure it that while it might be uncomfortable, growth is good and is where the magic goes. We can feel afraid and still keep going.

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