Last year was a bit of a whirlwind I had been suffering from stress and anxiety with the realization that I was the only one that could do something about it. Looking back over the years I suddenly had light bulb moments where I could actually see the anxieties building up in me. I would always put it down to something else and as such last year they all built up into a massive smack in the face. After another trip to my doctors when Guy made me go after a nasty panic attack brought on by a horrible migraine at 3am in the morning, where he had to witness me throwing up, crying, shaking and looking like a crazy adrenaline pumped freak.
The doctors were very understanding and unsurprisingly told me that it was all too common in this day age to have people suffering from stress and anxiety. That we never switch off, the constant access to the internet, emails, text messages means we are never just at peace with ourselves. That is only too true for me a confessed control freak workaholic that never switches off which only makes the fact that Guy and I also work together even worse. My doctor said he could look at drugs to help me but that I should give stress management ago first and I had to agree I needed to make a change in my life and pills were not the answer.
I started to look at mindfulness and various other self help books, I even looked into classes. I found some very useful meditation videos on YouTube from a man called Michael Sealey which upon listening to them for the first time made me cry. I had an overwhelming feeling of release and calm. Learning breathing exercises and what could calmed me down and stop my migraines was amazing (although it doesn’t work every time). What was truly eye opening to me was that I had the power over my brain and that I could start the anxiety but I could also stop it.
It’s been a long journey and I am by far cured, I have recently started to use the app headspace to learn meditation and the interesting concept of observing our thoughts and feelings, not to fixate on them and try and stop them but to observe and just let them be. One of my main issues has been trying to fight the tension in my neck, the throb in the side of my head, the tight knot in my stomach, my racing heart and mind. Even telling myself off “stop being an idiot” “why are you worrying about it, it doesn’t matter” “why can’t I just be normal” the more I keep berating myself the worse I feel. Learning to just let these feelings wash over me to tell myself it’s ok to feel tense is alien but it does seem to be working little by little.
One of the little changes I have been trying to make is the switching off and towards the end of last year Guy and I decided to bite the bullet and buy a holiday cottage in Port Isaac North Cornwall. We had talked dreamily about it for years forever looking on right move at our dream cottages about how we would renovate them and spend summer days on the beach with the pups. We had a little of bit of money put aside and talked of having a new kitchen and various other treats for ourselves when I said to Guy what are we waiting for? We don’t have any children, we don’t need to move house and we have everything we really need how many more bikes and handbags could we buy?!
It took a bit of convincing with Guy but I knew we had to do it this was going to be our little bit of heaven our escapism from the rat race. So on the 2nd of December we drove down to Port Isaac in a little van full of furniture with the pups and got the keys to our little 1850’s old coastguard station cottage and we couldn’t have been happier. We spent the entire Christmas and New year decorating and it was such fun and bliss sat in front of our little log burner with two very happy little dogs curled in front of it.
I am going to post the renovations we have done to the cottage and the places we love to go in Cornwall etc. The photograph is the back of the cottage in the garden.
Also I would love to hear from anyone who suffers from anxiety and how you deal with it as I really feel talking about it helps.