The Anxiety Spiral

I thought I’d speak from the heart this evening with a bit of a different blog from me. I want to talk to you about what a lot of people don’t talk enough.. anxiety.

Opening Up

I was at the beautician the other day and suddenly i just opened up about how I’ve been feeling lately, all she asked was “Are you looking forward to summer now you’ve broken up” and that was it, like verbal diarrhoea- it all came pouring out.

Have you ever felt a certain way, without actually knowing that you felt that way, but then when somebody asks you and you think about it, it’s not until then that you realise that’s how you felt. Well that’s what happened. I mean there’s always the tell-tale signs and i think my husband knows them all too well. Mine are usually agitation and being short tempered.

The truth is, i haven’t been feeling myself lately, i’ve had a lot of anxiety. Every time i wake up i have that feeling , that knot in the tummy, that agitation that creeps in. Sometimes you can just get on with it and hope it eventually disappears, but not this time. I don’t need to go into detail about what’s been causing my anxiety to creep back in because i think someone who has anxiety always has it, it never goes, it’s just how to deal with it or knowing when you’re having an ‘episode’, and also who even knows really what causes it.

I always find that it stems from one thing that might be bugging you and then all the little things follow, the tiny, no big deal things that can make an anxious person make them into a huge deal! It’s never one thing is it?

I read something recently which made so much sense to me;

Anxiety can spiral out of control very easily. Once you feel anxious about one thing, all the other things start spinning too, making it easy to spiral into an anxiety whirlpool where you worry about absolutely anything and everything. This can often happen in the middle of the night. So the anxiety spiral is an important thing to unlearn.

Now i bet we have all felt like this at some point in our life. It speaks volumes to me, and sometimes when you feel like this and try to explain how you feel you sound ridiculous. So that statement really comforted me. Almost makes me feel less crazy!

So as i spoke to my beautician she gave me some great advice about how to try and relax, live in the moment and control the way I’m feeling. It’s funny how really everyone at some point in their life have or will suffer from anxiety, it’s so normal now and it’s also great that people are now talking about it. So that’s why i thought if i write about my feelings then maybe I can relate to someone and help another and also get people opening up about how you might be feeling. It can be trauma, death, post traumatic stress you name it that can trigger the anxiety devil that lurks below in anyone!!

My Episode

In 2014 i finished my teaching degree and was so excited to get stuck into a job. Once I finished school i went straight to college and realised i wanted to be a Drama Teacher. It was really the only thing i was ever passionate about at school, and one of the only things i ever received good feedback on at parents evenings. Whilst the Maths teacher was complaining i talked too much, the Drama teacher was saying how enthusiastic I was.

At the time of doing my teacher training, art funds were being cut from every college and university so getting a job in further education was becoming near impossible. So there i was graduated with my teaching degree with NO JOB and no jobs in further education anywhere. Months went by.. no jobs.. then the odd job came up in secondary, i had no choice but to apply for them because who knows when anything else was going to come up. When I did apply there was this common theme where i either ‘didn’t have enough experience’ or ‘I wasn’t the right fit’. Sometimes they didn’t even bother to interview me to tell me that. I think after hearing that a dozen times it can make anyone feel pretty low.

And that’s what it did. I felt shit. I felt like I was failing everyone around me and most of all myself. I just felt like all my hard work was going to waste and it was like being back at school. I just didn’t feel like I was good enough, the one thing i was good at and i couldn’t even get a job in it! My self esteem took an enormous hit and i was at my ultimate low. It gave me zero confidence! If a job came up I wanted to run for the hills because I couldn’t cope with more rejection. So there’s;

1. Failure

2. Rejection

3. Confidence (GONE)

Then came the temp work. The dreaded.. wait for a phone call in the morning jobby. I did maternity covers at secondary schools for a while. I had no idea about anxiety until i started working at this school that would have me throwing up every morning because the dread of going in was so bad. I was so poorly! I didn’t realise until some researching that it was anxiety and as i was reading about it i kept thinking- i’ve always had it!

I eventually landed my dream job at my dream school. And I’m still there now- 5 years later! Happy days! So the point in that was to show that anxiety can always be there but major events in your life can shape you and cause anxiety to stir and previous things that have happened in your life can cause permanent damage without you even realising.

I wasn’t afraid or ashamed to ask for help , it took counselling and a lot of self therapy to try and control it. It doesn’t just go away but what i learnt is how to recognise it and deal with it. My little mantra is;

1. have I felt like this before..

2.how did I manage it last time..

3. what happened last time I felt this way..

and of course discussing how i feel with either my Husband or usually my Mum often helps. If you don’t regularly suffer from anxiety i think it’s hard to sometimes explain how you feel and for them to understand why you feel that way. Even i don’t know most of the time! Sometimes when I real off my worries to my husband he often says ‘why are you worried about that!’ and I’m like I HAVE NO IDEA BUT I AM!!

So lately anxiety has crept on in and as i was talking to my beautician she had all these great ideas (self-help) and that i should do a little experiment and see what works and what has the biggest impact on my mental health. I thought it was a great idea and that i would then share them with you!

Experimenting

I have come up with loads of ideas on how i think i could distress and perhaps have more me time away from everything else in my day to day life.

I am going to over the next month or so do some ongoing experiments and see what works and what makes me feel better and can help me when i go through this downward spiral.

I’ve only two of these so far so i can only report on those but i will return with a full blog on everything i’ve done but i thought i’d give you a taster of the beginning of my journey.

Experiment 1- Cutting back on Social media

Now a while ago i had a sudden urge to just cut social media all together and go cold turkey for a week, i have previously blogged about this so i won’t go into major detail you can just go check it out if you’d like too! Anyway this made a huge impact on how i was feeling so i thought i’d start with what i knew had made a difference in the past. I decided to not go on social media unless i’m on my own and actually need to- for example if i took some cute pics of Adeline or i was having a conversation with someone on WhatsApp previously. Another thing i’ve realised is WhatsApp is a hard one to just cut away from because no one seems to text anymore so if i did cut WhatsApp completely i won’t have any contact with friends or family. I have that many WhatsApp groups it’s literally constant so i have just decided to try and just cut back on it and turn my notifications off. I’m telling you now Day 1 (which was last Wednesday) of cutting back on social media and WhatsApp made one hell of a difference. I can’t even explain why because I don’t know why! I just felt free and my mind felt clearer. Social media does some crazy things and can make us feel a certain way. But i felt relaxed, there was no pressure, just happy and living in that moment whatever it was i was doing.

Getting lost in a book

After having Adeline i just stopped reading, i obviously had my hands full and i was in that new Mum bubble. I couldn’t read at night because i was feeding every hour and if i wasn’t feeding Adeline i’d be sleeping myself! I love reading and i think it’s a really easy way to forget everything else except for the characters in your book and whatever drama is happening in it. So i’ve started reading more, instead of going on my phone or cleaning the house when Adeline naps or turning the tele on once bedtime is done i’ve decided to just relax sit and read for an hour. I do feel like it’s making a huge difference i just feel generally more relaxed and zen on an evening.

Yoga

The next test of time which i will report back on is; Yoga & Meditation. I am only a couple of days into this but i am loving Yoga it makes me feel so relaxed and free. Also it’s nice to get back into a little exercise after such a long time!

I will be back with more soon!

Peace & Love! ✌🏻

#mentalhealth #anxiety #yoga

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