Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring!

blog-dont-panic

When will this end??!!! That was always one of my favourite questions to regularly scream in my head, out loud, at myself, my friends, my family whilst I was going through Anxiety. What a joyous question for my housemate to come home to after a hard day at work. “How was your day? Did you pick up milk?” “WHEN WILL THIS END?!” Poor Drunkard. Maybe it was me that pushed her to alcoholism…(joke).

It’s often the way that when you’re up to your eyeballs in something, you can’t see any change whatsoever and every day feels the same. It’s only when you look back that you can spot significant turning points where things have very slightly started to progress.

If you leave your mind to do what it wants, every day, ever so slightly, something within your brain is healing. I assure you it is happening, it’s just the slowest steps in the entire world. It’s not even steps, it’s like a mini shuffle, like snail pace shuffle. And some days you won’t move at all (woopee!). And some days you’ll go BOING-BOING big steps backwards (even better!?) but for me the BOING-BOING-Backwards days, always led to a BOING-BOING-BOING-Forwards day the day after (Ooooh yehhh, lovin’ life!) then I’d get too excited and back we’d go again the day after (ahhh shit). But I got to a point where, when I was having the most crap day in the entire world, I was able to think: Oooh goody this means tomorrow could be marginally OK. Can’t wait! If nothing else, it teaches you the virtue of patience…

A panic attack. I’m not going to offer any kind of advice. I am just going to say: It Ends. Just know that IT WILL. Believe it. Do nothing. Just believe that it will end, and the day will plod on again when it’s over. Contrary to the storm going on in your mind and the emotional black hole you are being sucked into, the world around you is actually still turning (What?! How can this be?). So don’t run from it or fight it. Whether you’re in a meeting, a crowded space or in the bathroom, you can’t get out of your own head so just plod on with what you were doing and let it happen.

I found it almost humorous, when I looked back (MUCH later on) that I could be in a raging hell of a panic attack at my desk in a silent office, literally with the worst thoughts imaginable blanketing my mind, on the brink of screaming, running, jumping out a window then as clear as day, out of the silence and tap-tap-tap of keyboards, a colleague would turn to me and say: “My boyfriend and I had an argument about socks this morning…” And there I was, back in that room, weirdly able to respond and function in a fairly normal way. Sorry Natalie, can you say that again, I was about to knock myself out with a heavy duty stapler because I thought the world was ending. (Errr, call HR…)

No one can panic forever. It just feels that way because when you’re in hell, time moves pretty damn slow. One day you may even start to enjoy being in hell. Too soon? OK. For me, it wasn’t even the physical symptoms that upset me so much – raging insides, heart about to burst out your chest, complete detachment from the world around you. It was more the way my anxious mind managed to pinpoint and drag up every single worst fear, worst memory, horrific scary thought stored away in there. Incredible?! Your brain stores things you never even realised it stores. Wow, where the hell did that thought come from? I must be seriously f**ked up?! What films have I been watching?! In time, you might even find these thoughts interesting, watch them go by and label them, like some kind of sick version of the Generation Game…

generation_game_conveyor

Stages I went through. I had zero faith for a very long time and spent every day anxious, believing that every day would be the same for the rest of my life. If I couldn’t fix it today, why would I be able to fix it tomorrow? But despite months of these thoughts, things changed and I started to know that there would be an end to this condition.

Please note I was the worst possible person to experience something like this because I basically did everything wrong, for quite a long time. I also was one of those people who didn’t really get, and had no interest in getting, mental health issues. Can’t people just perk up? Yes, ashamedly, I was one of those. My journey went:

  • Breakdown (does it really matter why? Nope. Becomes irrelevant)
  • Symptoms of anxiety beginning.
  • Bury it.
  • Symptoms of anxiety becoming worse. Fear. Denial. More fear. Anxiety symptoms worsening.
  • Ignorance – blaming everything around me – other people, jobs, situations, past experiences.
  • I know! I must have a physical illness! Multiple blood tests, diet changes, change in habits. Felt worse.
  • Mild realisation that I may have Anxiety, that severe Anxiety is an actual condition.
  • NO – More denial. There must be something else.
  • Anxiety is a real thing though and people experience it…
  • NO, not me. No way. Wouldn’t happen to me. I have to figure out the answer.
  • Anxiety symptoms getting worse…
  • Self hatred – WHY CAN’T I FIX THIS?! I’m FAILING. Panic!
  • Finally stopped running. Perhaps this problem is real and it’s in me?
  • PANIC!
  • Research.
  • PANIC!
  • Initial acceptance that this is me.
  • PANIC!
  • Further acceptance. Anxiety easing.
  • This is SHIT! Lots of crying, breaking down randomly at the tiniest trigger.
  • Anger. Why me?
  • Acceptance. Relief…Ok this is me then. I have an Anxiety Disorder. Is that that bad? No I suppose not, maybe I’ll just accept it and starting being kind to myself

Then as you move forward and find areas of your life where you can be happy and free again, you can introduce social activities, healthy eating, exercise, relaxation, hobbies, surrounding yourself with positive loving people, which are things beneficial for a healthy lifestyle in general.  But it is important to note that I am not saying to do these things to get rid of anxiety! Just do them because you want to do them.

So, to sum up…yeh it is pretty shit…but it has to get really really shit before it can get better and despite what you may think, yes it is changing all the time. And yes it will end. In the meantime just let it happen. Maybe try and enjoy it??! Too soon? OK…

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Anxiety, Anxiety disorders, Confidence, Depression, Develop, Emotions, Growth, Learn, Mental health, Mindfulness, Paul David, Positivity, Strength and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring!

  1. Duncan says:

    I love your description of the stages, exactly what I have gone through! You are right around the denial part especially. In my head I was like, “nope, this is just a severe case of the beer fear – it’ll be fine tomorrow.” Then when it didn’t go away, just piling panic on top of anxiety on top of panic! And the why is this happening to me / how could this possible happen to me stuff – I was like “er so I am a 5ft 11, 16 stone rugby player with a good job and what is essentially a great life, so, er, why can’t I leave my bedroom?” “why does the idea of being alone with my thoughts in the shower scare me – ME! – so much?”

    Keep going with the blogs. They describe it very well and I am sure it will start to get a following. The more people who get the message out there around Paul’s method and it’s restorative capabilities the better, as his is the method that works.

    Hope you’re well

    Duncan

    Like

    • Thanks so much Duncan, it’s been so helpful for me as well to do the blog as I feel that something positive can come of it all. I’d like to think that lots of people read it and it helps even if they don’t comment. If you ever wanted to meet up one day to share experiences it would be lovely to meet someone who truly understood! Just a thought that crossed my mind as I read your comment on a sun lounger in Croatia, feeling a bit free and spontaneous…There’s another blog post right there!

      Like

  2. Duncan says:

    Don’t be making me jealous with all of this talk of holidaying in Croatia! Glad it is proving a positive experience for you, and you’re right – I would never have commented on anything like this in my early anxiety days. There will be a lot of people reading and not commenting. Also, free and spontaneous – its nice to be able to say it. I just took the day of yesterday and went to Wimbledon. Brilliant., watching Heather Watson and Serena Williams on Henman Hill, thinking how literally a year before the same situation was hell for me! As for meeting up, I think it sounds like a great idea. All the other people I have met face to face think they can’t be cured, that this is for life. I’d love to speak to someone who has the same attitude as me. Every time I post I enter an email, do you have access to it? If so, feel free to drop me a note and we can sort something out. Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

    Like

  3. Rachel says:

    Wow! Amazing to read your blog! I found the link here on Paul’s twitter. I love that you are so frank about it. I still have a little jolt when i think that yeah, it’s me, and I’ve suffered from an anxiety disorder. But then I think, well, with the help of Paul and people like you, I’m slowly but surely getting over it. And after all the worrying and overthinking I did about the situation, I’m not surprised I got myself in that mess! I’m also 20 something girl and just want to live the lovely life that I had before, I really feel that I can relate to you. So thanks for that. Keep going with the blog!!

    Like

  4. Ashley says:

    Hello, been a while since I have been on here and I have been doing pretty good. I love coming to read your blog as it helps ease my my fears. However there was one thing that happened the other day that has my anxiety through the roof and is really troubling me. My 4 year old son whom I love to death, is the light to my world and what keeps me going when times get tough. However on a particular day as he was coming towards me I felt nothing and this terrified me to death. I love my son so much and the fact that I could not feel the love for him right there and then bothered me SO much!!! From there on out I tried so hard to “feel” the love I have for him and when I can’t it scares me so much!! Is this my anxiety playing it’s tricks on me or is something else going on here.

    Like

    • Hey Ashley! Sorry this is a bit of a slow response, I hope you’re doing OK?! 10 days later, better late than never eh 😀 Even though I don’t have a child I can completely relate with the whole shutting down of feelings and feeling things you don’t expect for someone else. I have felt awful things towards friends, family, people I am close to and love dearly, but in the moment can suddenly feel overcome with hate, anger, jealousy, so powerful it shocks me completely. I would thnk ‘but I am supposed to love this person, why am I feeling such violently horrible things towards them, or worse, as you say, nothing.’ Such a scary experience. But to be honest, your brain is just a normal organ and how can you expect it to feel the same things all the time, it is going to explore so many different emotions and feelings are triggered by so many things, especially when you are experiencing anxiety, to be honest it is so common for feelings to be shut down completely. I often feel total shutdown because I am so worn out both physically and mentally, that’s our minds and bodies trying to recover and most likely your mind was doing the same and you just happened to see your son at that time and you’ve linked it strongly to him. In all honestly, these feelings are never all that important, one day you can look at someone and feel so much love, the next you can feel annoyed or nothing, but it is mostly about you and your inner self, how you are feeling just reflected onto the outside. Just like a boyfriend or husband, they will never ever fill you with love every time you look at them, it’s not realistic, you’ll have days where you reject them, they irritate you, you feel hate, whatever it is, it is 99% about you and your own feelings and fears. Same with your son. He’s your son and you will always love and be there for him, even when you feel nothing, that’s what love is. It’s being there even when you feel nothing, not being there because you feel constant strong feelings of happiness. Does that make sense? Hope you’re good and Merry Christmas Xx

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s