Recently, I had a troll attack my Instagram account about my anxiety tip ‘Understand your negative emotions.’
And they weren’t even like one of those friendly troll dolls we had back in the 90’s. (Remember how cool they were?)
This one was feeling ‘rage’ (her words) about how I ‘happiness wash’ anxiety because apparently a bright coloured background and butterflies on my branding.
In all honesty I teared up just a little. When I read it I felt attacked.
I chased the little boy around the clothes line as he dragged the long purple ribbon behind him.
As he giggled with glee and twirled the ribbon like a rhythmic gymnast I joined in pure delight with him, finding myself in fits of laughter at just how much fun it was.
Life, when you have anxiety can be anything but fun at the best of times. It’s more like a cloak of darkness over the clothes line and you’ve run into the pole.
This week has been a mix of emotions.
First it started with finding a lump in my right breast. After asking my husband to have a feel (didn’t take much coercing) he says ‘actually there really is a lump there Di.’
So I book myself into the doctors.
In the mean time I poke and prod at it throughout the night, making it more sore as time passes.
I planned out how I’d create little A4 folders with notes in them for my friends and family if I ended up having cancer.
I start contemplating life. What if all this striving is all for nothing? I’d never regret the time spent with family and friends but all this push, work and worry. What then?
Just before we were about to be announced as youth pastors my first husband went missing. I remember the turmoil. The crying out to God and not knowing why this would be happening right here in this pivotal moment of our lives. Why would he allow my husband’s mental health issues to spring to the surface, causing him to lose his identity?
‘That’s not very nice’ he kept repeating from his bedroom. His sing songy voice going between that phrase and ‘the wheels on the bus go round and round.’
It was meant to be his naptime but my 2 year old wasn’t having a bar of it. A bottle of milk perhaps, but no nap.
I’d laid him in his cot after a big morning out at play group. It had already been an interesting morning starting with him not wanting to put on his clothes. I’d pull his pants up (soft leggings because ‘jeans are too cold’ apparently) and then he would wiggle out of them.
Then later on he was swinging my button necklace round and because I was scared he was about to whip me with it I pushed his hand away from me firmly.
One of my core values is adventure.
I love travelling, I love getting off the beaten track, I love trying new things (as long as I don’t feel like I am going to die in the process- fear of heights much…)
But I’ve felt lately that over the years that adventurous spirit has died down a bit all in the name of routine.
I remember the girl who would get out in all her clothes in a storm and just twirl in the rain and open my mouth to catch the droplets…
When we were in Italy it was amazing. We spent 3 weeks sinking into culture, pasta and nature. We were there during the freak snow storm in 2010 which shut down airports. We were stuck on the way to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower and arrived quite late, to be turned around in the freezing cold to wait several more hours to get back to our accommodation.
At the end of the trip I started to get snuffly. I’m guessing all that snow, travel, not to mention pollution was sending my poor asthma haywire and my nose to drip like a tap.
So we entered a little pharmacy inside Termini Station. Of course, the assistant didn’t bother to help us. She attended all the locals, chatting up a storm with her sing songy voice. I picked up the box to see what it was as it was written in Italian. It looked like a packet of Strepsils as it had the same imaging on it but I wasn’t sure. I was hoping that by picking it up that she would come over and offer assistance.
Beep, beep, flash, flash,
Stomp on the brakes.
“You can’t make me go faster than I need to go!”
Yet you still drive up my butt.
Anger rages inside me,
I give you the middle finger,
You back away,
But I feel angry.
I love a good counselling session. It feels good to talk and unravel stuff I’ve tucked back into the recesses of my mind.
As I untangle those knotted cords of confusion and low self-esteem, I find new ways of doing and being.
This session in particular I came armed with wanting to work on one anxiety trigger in particular.
The “I’m in trouble” trigger.
You know the one I’m talking about. You noticed that you have a missed call from your boss and you go into automatic “Wahhhh oh my gosh I’m in trouble mode.” Or someone has resting bitch face on and you ask them “Is everything ok? Did I do something wrong?” Or perhaps you’ve been asked to present at a meeting and you do so because heck yeah for an opportunity to show off your PowerPoint mad as skills…
I wasn’t always a bad sleeper.
When we were young and even right up until I left home after high school, we were made to go to bed by 8:30pm. Phone calls (on an actual landline) were not allowed to be made or received after 8am.
I remember thinking it was soooooooo stupid. I wasn’t tired and I wanted to talk to my bestie (and trail the long curly phone cord down the hallway and away from listening ears of course. I mean, we’d be probably talking about that cute boy in class, or something about Jesus. I know the 2 topics seem such a contrast but hey, we were teenagers not nuns).
I’d get up at 6am because I had gone to bed so early. I remember thinking this is weird.