I have been so good for so long. I have been stretching myself and pretty much living a full life, with few boundaries caused by my anxiety. And then it happens –
I wake at 3 am with that dreaded ball of molten liquid sitting in my gut! I feel that if I don’t move to the bathroom, I may have an accident but my body doesn’t want to be moving. It wants to be still and hiding in bed. I think of the diffusion strategies I have been taught and begin the internal self talk. After a few minutes, I feel the heat subside enough for me to get to the bathroom. Accident prevented.
I return to bed but I leave the light on and find some music to listen to – anything to distract myself. Not today …. The questions flow thick and fast. What are you concerned about? What could happen? Why? Always why? Of course there is no why, it just is! My heart rate begins to speed up, so I concentrate on my breath. It calms enough for me to doze but when I next wake I feel sick in my stomach. I get up and make a cup of tea but I am angry with myself!
Today is supposed to be a work day and then I have tickets to attend the Rod Stewart Concert tonight. I did not prepare myself well enough. I have things to do to help me plan and have control on days like this. I didn’t complete them all ahead of time. I didn’t put out my clothes to wear to work but I did make sure that I had a healthy lunch prepared.
The Easter weekend had been a mixture of alone time and contact with people time. That was good. I got myself to the football – all by myself on Friday night. That was good. I ate, at least, 2 healthy meals during the long weekend. Not enough? Probably not! Exercise – probably not enough! Fresh air and sunshine – probably not enough! TV – too much. Computer – too much. Junk food – too much!
Now my mind is racing, so I sip my tea and concentrate on my breathing. I begin to calm down enough to tell myself that all of these things can’t be changed but I can do better from now on. I go to find my cat. Stroking Fev soothes me and she begins to purr. I take her back to bed with me and we snuggle down and I fall asleep at last.
I wake late and I feel hung over but I am still aware of that hot mess in the pit of my stomach. It remains but doesn’t feel like it is controlling me. At the moment, anyway. I stop to decide what I really want to do today and quickly come to the conclusion, that if I want to give myself the best chance of getting to the concert tonight, work will not happen today. I refuse to allow the guilt that is beginning to rise inside me, to be given any freedom to grow!
Today, must be about kindness to myself. It must be about rest and recovery – it is not a good day for unreal expectations for myself. Time to give myself a hug. Time to eat well and go outside for a bit and do a bit more exercise and nap when I need too. Allowing the negative feelings space but quickly moving on and listening to the positive messages I have inside me.
And only then, I will have the strength to go, with my friends, to the Concert I was so looking forward too. I know how to take care of myself!
I will be ready for you, Rod! Will you be ready for me?
P.S: Anxiety Girl Cartoon by Natalie Dee