It’s really difficult to be honest with people. In an age of social media, everyone has so much pressure to be, look and feel perfect all-the-damn-time. It’s exhausting.
Right now I’m blogging on my kitchen floor, with a much-needed update about my life. And I’ll be honest, guys. I’m not OK.
I’m not fucking OK.
There’s a lot to catch you up on, because I haven’t blogged in months but, quite fittingly, my last post was about travel anxiety. And don’t get me wrong, New York was AN AMAZING HOLIDAY. I had THE TIME OF MY LIFE (I’ve never felt this way before, right?) but there was something so, so wrong.
I thought I was excited. I thought it was nerves about the longest flight I’d ever done, and the furthest from home I’d ever been. And then I thought it was jet lag making me feel sick and tired and tying my belly in knots and losing my appetite (but hey, I lost weight on holiday, who even does that?).
But the anxiety is back, and it’s back to bite.
I didn’t blog for World Mental Health Day this year, and I almost feel like a traitor to the community who’ve helped me so much over the past couple of years. It’s a community who doesn’t let you feel alone, who empowers you and who accepts you for everything you are. But I couldn’t face writing a post where I wasn’t on top of my shit. I didn’t want to be honest, and to be frank I don’t think I was ready to be.
I think the worst thing is the not remembering how to cope. You know when you get so used to a situation that you’re not exactly thriving, but you know how to deal with it? Anxiety used to be that for me. I knew how to incorporate it into my routine in order to achieve what I needed to (going to seminars, gigs, clubs). And now I don’t remember how to do that.
So when I get that creeping panicky feeling I just want to run away from it. I want to be on my own, in a safe place (specifically wrapped up in my duvet feeling sorry for myself and afraid to leave my flat, but you can’t have everything). And that’s how I spent most of New York. Struggling to leave our Airbnb. Needing to pee twice before I left. Oh just one more time. One more won’t hurt. Probably better go just to make sure. Oh, I was able to go then so I obviously needed to. One more time. You’d better go again OR THE WORLD WILL LITERALLY END or something equally as bad. And like that I’m back in the old routine.
I faced it head on this time, and went to the GP. I really wanted therapy, despite that lovely 6 month waiting list (and that’s if you’re one of the “lucky”, which I am), and yes, I’ve been added to the list, but in the meantime the GP wants me back on my meds. Which I’ve now been on for ten days and I feel like hell because all the anxiety stuff that gives me stomach ache has a real stomach ache to contend with. And nausea. And lack of appetite. And Oh My Days I just want to sleep all the time. Three times in the last week I’ve been asleep before 9.30pm and slept straight through to 7am.
So that’s how I find myself on my kitchen floor, back in the safe place, having just had a panic attack about attending a community choir rehearsal. I’ve been looking forward to it all day. But, y’know, community choir must pose an imminent threat to my life and humankind, because why else would I be shaking, sweating, pacing instead of going inside and talking to people, like other people can.
And yes, part of it is the meds making things worse before they get better, because that’s what meds do. You’ve got to hit rock bottom and crawl your way back up.
Like I said, a lot to catch you up on.