So having been medication free ever since coming out of the hospital in October 2019, I found myself reaching out to the Doctors for some anti-anxiety meds over the last few weeks. I don’t generally suffer from anxiety disorder; as I have said in previous posts I’m a bit of an all or nothing person with my mental health. Either I tick along with my ‘wellbeing’ neatly in place, or, about once a decade ‘bang’… I’m hit by an episode of stress-induced psychosis! (WAH).
Being these episodes were preceded by anxiety in the past I was naturally VERY worried that there could be another episode looming, so panicked a little. I took the sensible step of contacting the Doctor straight away and not taking any chances.
Days have felt twice as long, small tasks that should be easy have felt difficult and I feel shattered all of the time! Anxiety is quite literally exhausting.
Initially, I felt a bit of a failure, “oh, but you were doing so well.” People say. Yes, I have been so strong as I powered through writing my memoir during lockdown, healing both physically and mentally. But then, as I became a Café widow again in April, and my book reached its final edit from my editor, coupled with the loss of my dad and an overload of other family problems, something seemed to give the normal ‘bouncy & confident’ me a real knock.
I know it’s the right time for me to leave my previous ‘Leader’ position with Tropic, and I was beginning to feel really excited about a new career launching my book along with public speaking. I’m passionate to talk about mental health and bring about change to get it treated as equally as physical health. The only way this can happen is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, and hope that this may support others who struggle with mental health issues.
But then four of the blue, my drive, passion and excitement screeched to a halt. It is too triggering for me to read through my book whilst I am going through this bout of anxiety – so I have put it down for a while. I feel like I need to focus on the small things for my own well-being, and am not ready for the world to read my book. Not this month anyway!
I have not suffered with social phobia since I was in my thirties, but I’m struggling going to the supermarket with my mask on, I just don’t feel confident like I did before. My walking stick has never bothered me, but I even feel self-conscious about that … for goodness sake! I feel like the world has turned upside down since coming out of lockdown.
People don’t seem friendly anymore; you just see their eyes and much as I try to smile or make eye contact, everyone seems to be in a world of their own. I’m constantly on edge; am I giving enough space, have I sanitised, am I standing in the right place in the queue? The world just doesn’t seem the same and I find myself feeling far happier slipping into a hermit-world at home with my two fur babies, Mabel and Chester. This is the girl who was out at every event partying and running pampers in ladies homes for groups of 10 or more women!
I find myself asking if it is my recent covid jab that may have turned my brain to mush, no longer able to focus on anything! Even reading a book has become a challenge, often having to re-read the same page at least twice! I nearly took the dogs out for a walk with my ugg-style slippers on the other day and having got in the shower with my bra on, I then left the shower with conditioner still in my hair! If it’s not an after-effect from my covid jab, maybe it’s part and parcel of being fifty-three and in early stage menopause. Let’s hope it doesn’t last ten years like it did for my mother apparently!
Hey ho, I will take a dose of my own medicine. I love the quote – “The strongest of the species is the one that can adapt” – according to Darwin. So, I need to pull up my Bridget Jones pants, force myself to do the things I am now finding ‘outside of my comfort zone’ and adapt!