I don’t talk about anxiety very much; for me it’s like depression’s overshadowed younger sibling and it seems to get forgotten. But it’s very much there and very much something I struggle to overcome every day.
Take a normal day for example, a Wednesday – I go to Fat Club(Slimming World) and take the mancub to pre-school.
Sounds simple right? My head over thinks everything and it’s a nightmare for me – the thought of getting me and the boy up, fed and dressed and then go to his pre-school and speak to other people and then Fat Club to do the same fills me with dread.
For months I’ve been a hermit; I’ve been so crippled by panic, anxiety and fear that I’ve not been able to go very far from home.
A week or so back I was invited to an event in London and I was fed up with saying no and making excuses – the hubs was off so I had childcare and I decided to go for it.
And I was scared shitless – travelling on a train, to London, by myself and meeting new people – the nightmares started about a week before and I thought I would never get there.
Anxiety is terrible – I was worried about things that never even worry me such as what if I needed a wee and what if I fell under a train. Ridiculous.
I booked my train ticket a few days in advance so I knew I couldn’t bottle it – and then I started feeling really excited that I would meet some lovely bloggies I had been chatting to for ages.
When the day arrived I was sick in the morning. Twice.
My guts felt like they were twisting up and my chest felt tight. Shit. I knew this would happen.
But I refused to give in this time – I really wanted to beat it and I was feeling strong enough.
It was simple – I had to change trains once and once I reached St Pancras I could walk to the venue in twenty minutes or so. I could do this.
I literally had to force myself every step of the way. I wanted to run before I caught the first train. By the time I was waiting for my connection half way I was trying to work out ways of getting home and just forgetting the whole thing.
It’s hard to explain how I felt, I guess it was like my whole body was being crushed in a vice. My chest hurt, I couldn’t catch my breath. My eyes kept going all fuzzy and I felt like I may shit myself at any given moment.
When I reached St Pancras I cried. It was so busy, there were people everywhere. There was no way I could do this, it was all too much.
So I convinced myself to go outside for some fresh air. Once outside I convinced myself to go for a little walk to get my bearings.
Once walking I convinced myself it would be helpful to use my phone to navigate to the venue and I could have a walk and see how I felt.
Half a mile turned into just over a mile and the next thing I knew I was standing outside the venue, the Three Discovery store in Islington(you can see more info here).
I was here – I’d made it. Could I go inside?
So I opened the door and stepped inside. Shit.
Next thing I was in a lift and then walking into the red room. I was there. I said hello to everyone, and wanted to run. I sat myself down, took a deep breath and gave myself a good talking to in my head.
“You can do this. You are a blogger, you can totally smash this. These people are all really nice, give them a chance, they will understand. You have come all this way, just stay for a bit and enjoy yourself.”
And enjoy myself is what I did. The whole afternoon I had to push myself to relax and not do a runner. And I had a brilliant time. I even won a brand new iPhone in the raffle – and I felt so overwhelmed, what an achievement and what a reward!
After a few post-event drinks with my new found blog buddies I said my goodbyes and walked back to the station.
How did I feel? I was still anxious at the prospect of getting home but I was SMILING. I had done it – I hadn’t let the anxiety win.
“Depression doesn’t define you” – four simple words spoken by the lovely Erica that day, and they have stuck with me ever since.
I cannot let the depression and anxiety rule my life anymore. I will not let them win, I will not be beaten.
In your face, anxiety – I beat your sorry arse.
PS – thank you so much to the lovely Fran, Erica, Kay, Terri and Kip – you have no idea how nervous I was that day and you were all so lovely! 🙂 x