Anxiety has hung around me the last few months like a thick blanket that isn’t warm and comforting. It is heavy and hard to remove. It sits on your shoulders pulling you closer to the ground and it has given me a new obstacle- replying to texts and messages. Trust me in knowing this post is not an excuse, it is an air of frustration. An acknowledgement that again, anxious thoughts and feelings have chipped part of the china mug, frayed the ribbon and broken the grasp.
An aspect of life I believe many of us suffer from is the god-awful moment of admitting defeat. There is an incredible amount of pressure on society to get it right, win, achieve and succeed. ABOVE + BEYOND. But reflecting on the last few months, I have been ‘defeated’ here and there. By my mood. My mindset and therefore, my responses. I spend so much time flying the flag for being honest about mental health. But as everyone is in this life, I just can’t seem to preach the tale to myself. Reassure that it is ok that Anxiety got the better of me tonight, yesterday and the day before.
It is ok.
An unexpected repercussion of my mind running at 100 miles an hour in the early hours of the morning or having clammy hands about going to Topshop and Lord I don’t know why is that I have now come across a hiccup. A bump in the road which was once so flat. If the old cortisol is doing its thing and the anxious thinking and ruminating is at a soaring high, I have begun to shrink from the most open book you’ll find on the shelf to one locked tight perched discreetly at the bookend. When the anxiety is all too much I cease to reply to texts, get back to calls or answer messages on time. I -wish- I could tell you why. Give you an answer. Say ‘hey I am sorry hon, I am so lazy with texting’ or ‘I have been so rushed off my feet’. But it isn’t the case… my hands are tied by a feeling of panic and worry.
I know that so many of you understand through personal experience that when Anxiety is steering the boat- you are consumed. This has a part to play. If the fight against the over-worrying and the inability to rest is taking up some precious time, gathering up positive responses and any reply of enthusiastic content seems suddenly so much more tricky. It is like your the CD ( cue you thinking: ergh so 2007, Pops what are you blabbering about) that plays the first half of the tracks perfectly, then by track 10, it starts to stutter, skip and stop. If the anxiety isn’t sucking everything you have like a hungry mouth to a Frube tube (another throwback), communicating and responding is SO LOVELY. I am all there, hot on the replies, even sending horrendous snaps of myself for pure amusement of the group chat. In fact, I could give Kris Jenner a run for her money. I could be capable of juggling three iPhones, and five Blackberrys all at once. Answering every damn message. But then when there are few days where things are not so easy, I pull back. I only wish I truly understood why. Then it could be justified. Be warned… a cliche is coming your way.
It isn’t you, it’s me.
It has got to the point where it needs to be overcome.
I have been getting my beauty of a Mum to read replies for me because I am so worried they’ll be negative. Even when there is no possible way they could be. There is a lack of rationale in the face of the bloody A. I do feel that my past experiences of negative communication, as we all grin and bare at different times, through text, WhatsApp, messenger, whatever medium it is has had an impact on the sudden struggle with unintentional ‘ghosting’. But I have begun to take those golden baby steps to break through the barrier and to stop being a communication recluse…
I section ten mins, half an hour, even an hour of the day to reply to all messages (never get through them all but it is a start and that is always an achievement to be rewarded). This way I am able to sit down, truly take in the message. It is a calm way to tackle the urge to ghost and become aloof. You are replying (well bloody done) and in a calm way. A typical scenario for me is a hazelnut latte in costa, laptop charging and the phone being consistently tapped as I compose all my replies in a way I am truly happy with. Ahhhh and send! Then you can enjoy your day having replied to all the precious people in your life, feeling that Anxiety can take a seat at the edge of the boxing ring for today because you ain’t interested! Another factor to remember is that those who love us understand. They aren’t against you. They won’t penalise you for feeling out of sorts and falling off the radar. They just want to know you’re ok and that they are there. And the best thing I can do to ease it all is to make sure I let them know that I am there for them.
Family, friends and so many more (on the whole) aren’t going to leave you high and dry if you communicate that your replying is just that bit off at the mo but you love them and am sorry for the late replies. The thing is. This is human. We are human and the flaws in our mental wellbeing aren’t flaws. They are normal. I get sick and tired of society shunning this. So many of us have these personal challenges that rule our days but that is ok. As long as we are trying to live every moment how we want to and to nurture and care for those we love, then there will be better days. And you are doing great. Trust me. Take the moment you are in and make it everything you wanted and more. Reply to the text that you just couldn’t open and be proud of yourself because that is one step closer to being where you want to be. Happy.
If you haven’t heard from me there is one thing I have to say and it is not sorry, it is thank you. Thank you for being so caring, understanding and bloomin’ patient. It means the world.