When Anxiety Bites

Warning: Post contains gratuitous introspection and bad jokes.

Today I had a full-on anxiety attack; the first in years. I experience perpetual low-level generalised anxiety related to “life”, but this was so close to becoming a panic attack – tremors, shortness of breath, literally running away from the situation… OK, so maybe it was a mild panic attack – it took me by surprise, is my point.

Reflecting on it now, it isn’t at all surprising. All the warning signs were there; trouble sleeping, irritability, disturbing thoughts. I have had a stressful week in parenting terms and I actually mentioned to my partner the other day that I needed a break. It’s quite hard to have a proper break with a newborn though, so I’m not sure what greater self-awareness would have achieved in this scenario.

On the plus side, I have something specific to discuss with my new therapist during my appointment this week, yay?

I was only half joking in my last post when I claimed that watching the documentary about “super morbidly obese” people was research. I mean, I do have a complicated relationship with food and impulse control, so I was actually curious to see whether the programme helped me to get into the mindset where I could focus more on my unconscious motivations for binging. It appears that I may have accidentally triggered myself in the process. Duh, well done me.

After six months of being off work (maternity leave, taken early just to GTFO) I am still only just starting to tap into what the underlying causes of my anxiety are. It’s going to take a lot more work to really drill down to the core issues.

My problems with anxiety have cropped up several times since my late teens, but the last time I had therapy was early 2015. So there is FIVE YEARS worth of baggage that I’m trying to sift through.

I feel that I’m an onion (not the smelly kind) and I’m having to peel back the layers of armour that I’ve built around myself just to get through life and present as a functioning human being.

So, I’m an armoured anxiety onion.

Ha, maybe my rings just need battering?

Maybe I should go to sleep.

***

Have you any tips for ways to tap into deeper motivations behind emotions and behaviours? If so, please leave a comment. I’m open to new ideas!

Twittering

So I’m finally jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, only a decade too late but hey-ho.

I thought it might help to have somewhere to share my little nuggets of wisdom (ha) as well as keeping me in the loop on online trends so that I can better respond to my potential audience.

I’m not gonna lie, I don’t really ‘get’ it and never have, but perhaps it’s time to change that.

Anyway, if you would like to follow me or give me feedback on my blog or tweets, please feel free! I will happily follow you back.

@girlvstights

A Reflection on My Poetry/Writing

I wrote and published a poem on here the other day because I came across a poetry competition online and felt compelled to see how quickly I could write. I enjoy challenging myself intellectually from time to time.

The submission deadline was today, but I missed it because I was out with my family.

Initially I felt a pang of disappointment and guilt for missing the deadline, like I had met myself down after working on the poem. In truth though, I knew that the poem itself wasn’t good enough. On reflection, I think I was just seeking the instant gratification that submitting the poem would have provided.

I enjoy writing poetry, partly because it is quite short and I can devise it quite quickly. But quick doesn’t equate to good, right? Creative writing can’t fulfil its potential on instinct alone?

I read an article/interview recently that described a poet as being someone who lives and breathes poetry – reading and writing it all day long. By this definition, I am not a poet, or even a writer. To be a writer, I must hone my craft; to behold my pen as a violinist beholds their bow and engage it just as much.

Ultimately, if I really want to improve my writing – of any kind, not just my poetry – then I am going to have to put the time in and practise, practise, practise.

So, many more posts to follow then I guess?

A Brief History of Mine

I suppose before I start detailing the minutiae of my (probably) rather tedious existence, I should provide some degree of history to explain how I got here and why I am boring you with such things.

However, I will try to keep this entry relevant and concise to avoid it sounding like a meandering diary entry. Let’s say, five main points?

  1. My Background. I always enjoyed writing as a child, but never gave myself the opportunity to do it for a living. That said, I have undertaken a little bit of freelance work writing content for a website, but I don’t know if I’m actually any good at it.
  2. My Perspective. I feel that I have a reasonable amount of life experience, in addition to qualifications in both Psychology and Geosciences, so my posts are likely to be analytical and open-minded, but with a focus facts where appropriate.
  3. My Brain. So, full disclosure – I have mental health issues. Not exactly surprising in this day and age or even in this internet community, but I felt I should mention it as it may shed some light on how my worldview and perspectives on particular situations have been formed. On the whole though, I consider that I represent my persona as a functional member of society.
  4. My Family. Despite my best efforts to live an unconventional lifestyle (more on that later), I find myself in an accidental ‘nuclear family’ situation. After my last pregnancy we used shared parental leave so that my partner could be the primary carer and I could return to work, but this time I am attempting to do the stay-at-home mummy thing. It’s going great, right? A few months in and I’m already looking for distractions.
  5. My Job. I started my job in June 2017, six weeks after giving birth – which, in the UK at least, is crazy early to be returning to work. The nature of the job meant that I had little support or training and I realise now that I was already showing symptoms of postnatal depression, including those that affected my ability to carry out my role. After a matter of weeks I was feeling like a failure both at work and at home. This set a bad precedent in terms of how my performance was viewed at work. That difficult start has haunted every meeting with my manager since. After working hard to recoup lost ground I have come to realise that I will never meet her unrealistic expectations. This is why I have to find another way of making a living.

So, there you have it. A quick run down of why I’m attempting to set up a blog. If you’ve read to the bottom, how about giving me a ‘like’ so I know someone is out there?