The thing about anxiety is it sucks the joy out of everything - I thought depression was bad! I've got this constant churning in my stomach and my mind and body is on red alert, waiting for something bad to happen. This isn't me. I keep telling myself that there's no need to be anxious. Everything is going ok. I am safe. But still the dread and fear persists.
And the fight or flight mode is not good for managing fibromyalgia either. It's like a double whammy of crapness. I'm getting desperate now, something needs to change. I've requested to up my dose of Sertraline, although I'm worried it's this that's giving me the anxiety. Hamster on a wheel anyone?
I've been working really hard trying to stay in touch with my mind and body to calm the anxiety, but it is one uphill struggle at the moment. Anxiety is ruling my life! It dominates everything I do and every thought I have. Thankfully I'm still sleeping ok. That hasn't deserted me. I've been doing lots of the CALM app sleep meditations to help. I wish I could shake myself out of it. I'm even worrying about my commute and the parking and my walk to the office - and all this before I even start my day at work.
I did manage to take a hike on my weekend off, out in the country away from people. That did me some good. Thinking about something other than the churning in my stomach was a nice change. I thought challenging myself would distract me and it did. I had to focus on getting around the circuit at Old Winchester Hill without tiring too quickly (thanks to fibro). I managed it in just under an hour.
Something needs to change, I know that, whether it's my job or my medication dose. I'm waiting for my doctor to come back off holiday so I can talk to her again.
I went back to work and I'm literally taking it one day at a time. I don't let myself think too far into the future because then the panic sets in. I'm watching Billy Connolly's "Does" series and trying not to be afraid of Life. "We pass this way but once.." The anxiety has left me with this dread, which I'm relieved to report is slowly easing as the new anti depressant gets into my system.
Other than that, not a whole lot else to say this week. I braved my PIP application online in one sitting. It's something I've been thinking about for a while due to fibro and mental illness. We will see how it goes..
It was a lush day being a tourist amongst the thousands of tourists at Buckingham Palace with my friend Claire on Saturday. The State rooms were amazing! We also visited the Royal Mews and the Queen’s Gallery where there was a Japanese exhibition on. Another Royal Residence ticked off and it was great to see London tourism booming post pandemic. I did wonder whether we’d ever return to normal during the dark months of lockdown..
I booked these tickets in 2019 and we finally got to see Michael Buble at Bath Royal Crescent on Friday! It was such a great venue and the weather was stunning; we got so lucky.
I still haven't read Reasons to stay alive; that note at the bottom there reminded me.
This book is a collection of Matt's thoughts and feelings which is a really interesting way to write and publish a book. The first quarter of the book made me feel quite anxious - the worry upon worry upon worry about the state of the world and the people in it - but then I got into the rhythm of it all and picked out some gems I could remember for my own mental health battles.
I used to have the constant worry (which I now know is anxiety) about the world, but this dissolved when I hit my teens and the depression sank in all of a sudden, completely throwing me off course when I was about 13. I now have what Matt describes in the chapter "Crash" where my mind feels cluttered all of the time. I guess this is still a form of anxiety.
I also like the chapter "A note from the beach" and the ending of that chapter "Just be. Just beach." I try to remember this when I'm feeling overwhelmed with work or house projects. The other thing I try to remember is that I am everything and nothing. A single moment and all eternity. Matt talks about the universe and how it is so much bigger than us. He talks about the sky and just looking up and staring at it to anchor himself. I think about both of these things when I'm trying to combat anxiety and when the situation I'm in is making me feel trapped, but really it isn't the be all and end all, it just feels like that in the moment. This too shall pass as my therapist always says.
What a treat to see Dame Judi Dench in conversation with Gyles Brandreth this past Sunday. Again, I've waited a long time to see this one - 2 years and 2 months later...
It was well worth the wait. Listening to them reminisce about their old theatre days in the first half and then talking tv and films in the second. There is something really special about being in an intimate setting with like minded people watching one of our idols in the flesh! Time just whizzed by. It was also lovely to hear Dame Judi talk about her husband Mikey and how they met and what it was like to work together on A Fine Romance, and then of course when she talked about Geoffrey Palmer and As Time Goes By, one of my all time favourites. Brilliant writing and acting and beautiful gentle comedy. Really good for the soul when I've been feeling unwell.
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.