Sunday, 9 August 2015

Relapse

Relapse - a deterioration after a period of improvement.

And this is what happened. For the last two years I have been on a steady path in dealing with my anxiety issues. But I will admit there have been many instances where I have ignored silly thoughts in my head, worried about certain situations that on reflection weren't worth anxiety over. I understand that there would have been times that I would slip but I think it is safe to say that I have relapsed back into anxiety.

It all came to a head last week when I couldn't sleep, my concentration at work was shot and mustering all I could to not cry was my goal of the day. It took me back to two years ago when I did exactly the same thing but what was worse this time was I knew what was happening...and I was so panicked by it. I was my own worst critic as I couldn't utilise the tools I had been taught to reduce the anxiety because crying about it seemed easier. After I had my panic attack I knew enough was enough. I had to take hold of it.

I spoke to a good friend of mine who has two psychology degrees and he made me realise that it's a good idea to start liking myself. I need to start training my mind and change this learned response. Simply because he is right...when I worry about something I have somehow learnt to become anxious over it rather than realistic about it. I want to change this and I have tools to help me start.

One thing I do want to say though that as rubbish as I feel right now. I know I am lucky. I am lucky to have brilliant friends who have messaged and rung me all week to see how I am. I am fortunate to have a family who know how to distract me and blessed to have a housemate who lets me cry on the sofa and doesn't think she's living with some crazy loon. I know that and for that I am thankful.

But I am also encouraged. If I stop to think about it I don't give myself enough credit for keeping my anxiety/depression at bay. For two years I have known I have these illnesses and each time they have reared their ugly heads they haven't been as bad. And you know why? Because I don't let it. I try so hard to rid my head of those mean thoughts and their intrusive natures. I have to stop myself from ruminating on the past and feeling regret because it just leads to one dead end. So even though this time the relapse has been so much worse it has also made me realise how far I have come.

On Friday I felt so alone, despite having so many people around me. Yet, today I don't have as many people around me but I do not feel alone.

This is my battle and I am always going to show up for the fight with a sword in hand.


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