I have never really thought of myself of an overly anxious person. It’s not like anxiety gets in the way of me doing too many things. It has never put me off applying for a job, or pushing myself to try something new, or stopped me from talking to a complete stranger. It doesn’t get in the way of me living a normal life. And yet, somehow, it’s still there. I can feel it hanging over my shoulder, invading my mind with negative thoughts and making me feel a sense of unease.
It’s a bloody pain in the arse, if I’m honest.
I’m not entirely sure when it started, but I think the hormonal changes of pregnancy probably had a lot to do with it (me and raging hormones go together like peas and carrots). I think there are lots of changes that occur during pregnancy and never reverse. Memory loss, for example, after three children I am now left with the memory of a goldfish. Not a ‘oh damn it, I forgot to buy bread’ type of memory loss, more like the forgetting you took your car and walking home, or forgetting what day it is and taking your child to nursery on the wrong day kind of memory problems. Pregnancy literally turned my brain into an over-boiled cabbage, that cannot be uncooked.
Perhaps that’s where the anxiety began, out of a feeling of losing control, or never being quite good enough, or organised enough. Or perhaps it’s feeling like everyone one else has their shit way more together than I do. Who knows? I think I’m less concerned with where it came from and more concerned with working out how one politely tells it to f*@k the hell off.
Because, the thing about anxiety is that it becomes a perpetuating cycle. The worrying about not getting things done, about not being organised enough, thin enough, not having a clean enough house, not having enough time, worrying whether the kids have eaten healthily (you can see why it’s called generalised anxiety, can’t you?); worrying about not getting all these things right, makes it harder to do just that. You can’t concentrate, can’t perform, can’t plan, can’t make decisions, heck, even being pleasant can be a challenge. Then comes an even greater anxiety and even less ability to get things done.
You see, today I was meant to be writing a different blog post entirely. I had a plan, but that niggling sense off impending doom got in the way. I actually stared at my screen in a semi-trance like, 100% gormless twat-like state for a good hour, before deciding to throw the plan away and write this instead. Because, if this feeling is sticking around for the day, then I may as well go with it. And although I know I’ll hover over the publish button before going through with it, scared that someone reading this might think I’m a prat, or think less of me somehow, on the other hand there may be someone else reading this who feels the same.
If you are that person (not the one who thinks I’m a prat, I don’t like you), well, you’re not on your own. Although I don’t have the answer, if I did, I wouldn’t be writing this now, perhaps just talking about it might help. Either that, or we can wind each other up and get into even more of a pickle. Who knows?
So when the logical part of your brain fails you and all the healthy eating and early nights aren’t enough to stop anxiety from seeping in, just remember you’re not on your own. We’re all loons in our own way, let’s be loons together.