I’m disappointed to admit that I’ve been going through a ‘rough patch’ this week.
It all started last Tuesday. I had to take a few days off work because of a particularly grotty cold. Sinus pain and a blocked nose kept me awake until the early hours and I was apparently snoring like a beast (sorry Dan.) So eventually I got up and watched TV until around 4am. Sleep has always been a trigger for me. Like most people, a lack of rest can make me feel vulnerable emotionally, so I need to stick to a routine. Illness messes with my routine dammit!
At the weekend, I attended the hen do of one of my closest friends (we’ll call her Betty.) I’d been looking forward to it for months and wanted her to have a wonderful time.
There was a slightly shaky start with regards to travel. If I was being polite, I’d say that the three separate train journeys were an inconvenience.. if I was honest, I’d start sobbing and rolling around the floor in protest. It was HORRENDOUS. I curse you Western Trains, with your slow speed, freezing carriages and non-electric doors!
Four hours later I arrived in Gloucester and the hen do began.
That evening, I gave a heartfelt speech about the bride with another friend, (I’d even prepared a power point presentation because I take such responsibilities very seriously!) Even though there were only twelve people present, three of who are my very close friends, I was nervous. Not about the speech itself, but about how my body would react. As I waited to begin, my mind started to race and my heart was pounding. My legs felt unsteady and I was sure they would collapse from under me. What if I can’t speak properly? What if my voice starts to shake and everybody notices? What if I ruin the whole speech and make everyone feel uncomfortable? What if this proves once and for all that I can’t face the panic and I’m going to be miserable forever?
Believe me, reading that back I feel so angry with myself. I HATE how self-focused I become when anxious. In that moment why couldn’t I see that the evening wasn’t about me, who cares how I feel? It was about Betty and her experience.
Despite having a panic attack before I began to speak, my words were clear and my voice remained steady. Nobody noticed my discomfort and I was able to relax and focus on the moment.
I wish I could say that I enjoyed the experience, but I didn’t. I was frightened and lets be honest, feeling scared is never pleasant.
As I type this I’m able to overview the situation from a rational perspective. I that think my expectations were simply too high. Rather than accepting that an attack was likely, but knowing that I could deal with it (which I did) I fell back into old bad habits and tried to force myself not to have one… which in turn makes the possibility of an attack almost certain!
Instead of accepting this I felt incredibly disappointed and as a result, a heavy weight stayed with me for the rest of the weekend. My mood was low and I didn’t sleep well. Naturally I hid all this from everyone because I’m not a completely selfish cow! As said earlier, I wanted Betty to have a fantastic time and would rather cut off my own finger than spoil a single moment.
I hoped that returning to London would lift my mood and although I spent a lovely bank holiday with my boyfriend and some friends, I still felt the dreaded weight. Work helped to keep me distracted, but by Wednesday I was breaking. I hadn’t slept properly for days and I all I could think about was the fear.
So I decided to take a sleeping tablet (the prescription kind.) This is usually perfectly safe and advisable to help me get back into a routine. However, I forgot that you’re advised to avoid alcohol… and after a small glass of red I must’ve passed out. I woke up face down on the couch with Dan shaking me awake and shouting my name.It was a STUPID F**ING THING TO DO and I was so angry with myself. I vowed to NEVER put him through that again. It was careless, I should know better than to make a mistake like that. Lesson learnt.
To take a step back I’m going to re-read my book by Dr David Carbonell (my own personal God.) Realistically, there are always going to be setbacks and I need to start following my own advice. I should feel happy that I’ve recognised what I did wrong on the hen do… even if it has taken me five days! Just accepting it has lifted the weight and I feel happy. We take it one moment at a time and I know I’ll feel better soon.
Gym tomorrow (first time all week, whoops.) Followed by a spring clean of the flat and dinner out with my amazing boyfriend.
I live a rock n roll life… and I wouldn’t change it 😉