“It’s just a spark, but it’s enough to keep me going…” – Last Hope, Paramore
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who has been reading my posts. I started this blog as a way to vent any random thought in my head but the fact that people have come back to me and said that something I’ve written has helped them in some way is just mind-blowing for me. I’ve always said that if I help even one person feel good about themselves, then I’ve done my duty as a human for the day. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Now, if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to tell you about my own head. I’m not talking about the long ginger hair, or the blue eyes, or my nose-ring. I’m talking about what’s on the inside. My thoughts. Well, my thoughts and how I escape from them if I need to.
I get insecure. Very insecure. On a number of occasions I’ve had to ask people if they still like me. I absolutely hate doing that. So, chances are, if I’ve ever asked you that I’ve been wanting to for weeks – and I’m really scared that you’ll say no, because you mean a lot to me. I think it’s natural for human beings to feel insecure sometimes. I mean, you doubt yourself a little every now and then before pulling yourself back up and carrying on. But for those of us who have grown to not trust the voice inside our own head, it’s really hard to pull ourselves up on our own. Hence me asking people. I speak more about this in my “Jealousy and Loneliness” post but it’s really easy to feel like people are letting go of you. Almost like they’re leaving you behind. It can be tough because you don’t know if you’re making it all up in your head, or if they’re actually trying to get you to back off. I find asking people is a good way to shut down any of those thoughts for me because if I read or hear someone saying “Yeah, we’re all good!” then I can quickly show my mind that.
I once read somewhere that you should think of anxiety as a physical thing to help you deal with it. I think the purpose was so you could put it away or pay attention to it if you wanted – but the ball was in your court, not anxiety’s. But, me? I like to think of my anxiety as a friend. Almost like a little figure that sits on my shoulder. Sometimes my anxiety will need a little cuddle and to be reassured that everything’s okay. So when I get anxious (and can remember this coping technique, more on that later), I give my anxiety a quick hair-ruffle and tell it to calm down a little.
Another way I’ve been told to think about anxiety is like a fire alarm. Some fire alarms are way more sensitive than others. My next door neighbour might have a fire alarm that only goes off when there’s a fire close enough to melt the plastic, but mine goes off whenever the steam on the kettle is a little too heavy. That fire alarm is there to warn you of danger, but sometimes that “danger” is really just a steamy kettle.
I’ve noticed recently that, during a low spell or anxious time, I’m forgetful. I’m not just talking about “where did I put my keys?” or “did I feed the cat?” forgetful. I’m talking about asking my best friend to remind me of my name and address because my mind’s blanked on that. It’s scary. I was in the city centre where I live and I had to ask my best friend (who lives 200 miles away) which bus I normally get home because I’d forgotten if I was queuing for the right one. It’s also bad because it means I forget my coping techniques. I’ve practised them for years and years but as soon as I’m anxious – poof – they’re gone and I can’t get them back.
I had a conversation with my best friend the other day about good days and bad days. We spoke about everything happening for a reason and how that saying can feel really odd if you’re depressed. But we came to the conclusion that “even if it’s a bad day, you need to have faith that the bad is simply making way for the good – otherwise you’d go crackers!” It’s hard to see it that way, especially when going through something tough. But it’s true. You might not get the job you want, or you might not stay in a relationship you thought was forever (both have happened to me) but there is something amazing out there just waiting for you to find it. You just have to battle through the jungle first.
Remember this, if you ever feel like you need some reassurance – ask for it. Those who matter, won’t care.
Until the next post,