I recently attempted to write about Anxiety and went off on a tangent about having sex with Daddy Pig… so, in line with the ‘Take Off The Tape’ campaign, I’m back on the subject. (The task here will be trying to incorporate humour – which felt easier in my last post; in honour of Jeremy Hunt).
‘Take off the Tape’ is a struggle for me, not least because it involves posting a selfie – I just can’t do it without looking like I’m a reflection of myself in the back of a spoon. It’s not a good look, especially when I was at the back of the queue when they were giving out noses – and then proceeded to break mine… I am, however, saved by the fact that it involves the selfie to feature a sticker over your mouth, stating the biggest cause your Anxiety – my photography skills and my face therefore being saved by my need for a piece of paper large enough to cover my whole head.
I am a happy Waitress and a happy mum, I love where I live and I have marvellous friends and family. I was lucky enough to have post-natal euphoria and I grab any life challenge by the balls – determined to succeed and get through. Life’s hurdles are a gift. However, I sometimes develop terror within my happy bubble, and become engulfed in fear that people hate me, are ashamed of me, embarrassed by me, or that I’m going to die. I know this is bonkers, but it’s ingrained, and has been for about 30 years. Big issues are normally fine, little issues are incorrectly filtered in my brain.
Habits are a bit crap. I remember working on a High Dependency Unit and seeing a patient lighting a fag – oxygen mask in hand. I ninja-rolled across the floor and intervened; it turned out she was oblivious to what she was doing, and that she nearly blew up the unit. The problem with habitual thinking is that others can’t see it to dive in and say “What are you doing?! Stop!!”.
Here’s an example of my mind and the world it scoops me up into (for this example, I firstly need to explain that, despite being able to parallel park and having been around Croft race track, my car-competence skills are diminished when it comes to recognising my own car…). Yes, I have on many occasions been guilty of ‘mistaken car identity’. ‘How is this relevant to Anxiety?’ I hear you ask. Well, whilst most people might approach the wrong car and be immediately notified by the incorrect contents, I do not have the innate ability to recognise this as an obvious sign of error, and instead I freak out that someone has put random contents into my car and is watching me from afar. I have an instant fear that I am in trouble.
These are some of my actual previous thoughts: Why has someone put trays of eggs on my passenger seat? Who would do that? How did they get into my car? Do they have keys? Where are they watching me from? Are they filming me? Where will this end up? Are they laughing? How many people are laughing? Am I going to die?
This has happened on five occasions that I can recall: involving fear over afore mentioned eggs, along with a Ribena bottle and a baby car seat. The latest incidence saw the what-are-the-chances-of-that-happening situation where I got INTO the wrong car, after it had been coincidentally left unlocked. I am then sitting in what I think is my car, scared to death over why someone has placed boiled sweets and a pink iPhone onto my passenger seat, and hung a coconut air freshener from my fear view mirror. As I look around to see who is filming this, I notice my actual car in the car park and then have to deal with the anxiety of being seen getting in and out of two cars of the same model and also the fear of being caught by the owner, getting out of their car; with the lame excuse that I thought it was mine….
(At this point it’s worth laying all my crazy cards on the table and admitting that I have called out the emergency break down service at midnight on an Easter Sunday – to ‘fix the locks’ of a car that wasn’t mine. It wasn’t even the same colour. Or make. The Mechanic was speechless).
So there it is. I can choose to be happy and positive, but my fear sensor has work to do before it can automatically distinguish between real fear and childhood-triggered terror which erupts at the site of a Ribena bottle in someone else’s car… The good thing this has highlighted is that I need to face my fears – so I took the ‘what will people think of me’ fear and Tweeted my previous blog at Jeremy Hunt; successfully managing to sleep reasonably through its very atypical hundreds of FB shares, amidst a tendency to think that maybe everyone hated it and that I was going to die as a result. I think it’s done me some good, so I’m toying with whether to tweet my ‘do tits beat wit?‘ themed Blog at Kim Kardashian.
In the meantime, I shall override the fear of posting this one online…
(If you would be happy to follow me on social media, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter here: Facebook / Twitter – I’m only a few weeks into my profiles and my pension and mortgage may well be riding on a book deal – so any support is much appreciated!).