Worry is the thief of Joy…

My biggest anxiety in life, and I’m sure I’m not alone, is the struggle to enjoy life when things are going well as I get a horrible, stomach turning feeling that something is going to go wrong.

Even without explanation. The struggle to enjoy the ‘now’ for fear of something taking the happiness away is wild. I can give the best advice; ‘why worry twice? /Why take away your happiness by worrying about something that has not or may not ever happen/you have to enjoy the now’ But putting that advice into practice when your head takes over is another thing altogether.

It’s never been more apparent than right now. Everyone knows this pandemic has done awful things to peoples mental health. The ‘corona coaster’ of feelings is too real for everybody.

The fear for me at the minute isn’t actually getting covid, it’s the isolation fear, lockdown fear. I know I’m not alone when I say this. Whilst on the outside that may seem a selfish thing to say, but I can feel it destroying me mentally. The worry, the analysing, the loneliness, the isolation, the fear. It is soul destroying. I got it – lockdown to protect the vulnerable. We did that, I was happy to do that. But how long can we go on scared of our own shadow? What about the other vulnerabilities that isolation brings?

Scared of going out for fear we will get told to again stay in. It may seem like a first world problem, and perhaps it is, but for someone who struggles mentally (and I don’t just mean me here, I know that many many more have it a lot worse) it’s an uphill battle day after day. I whole-heartedly think there should be/must be a better way than this.

Even pre covid, this was my biggest anxiety. The feeling of the rug being taken from under you. But now I feel like I’m on a contestant state of high alert. It’s exhausting, and cannot be good for my health or wellbeing. And I know, not only am I not alone, and I have it much better than a lot of people. So my heart goes out to you. If this is you too. One of the most important things i’ve learnt in the last year is that just because someone else is may be having a worse time than you (and trust me I know that is the case here) it doesn’t make your feelings not justifiable or invalid. It is OK to feel sad/mad/anxious/scared in your own situation. I’m all of these things, for myself, and for people in other situations too.

I don’t even know what to say or how to make this better. I would say to ignore the worry, but when the worry has already become a reality it’s hard to pay attention to that. I wish I could pinpoint where this started, when I became this way – was it triggered by something? I don’t know. I do know, i’m not alone with this anxiety though and that I want to do something about it. I don’t want to be constantly expecting the worst, worrying about what could be or over analysing every scenario. I don’t want to not experience the joys of everyday by worrying of what may be. Obviously, bad things do happen, will happen. But the most certain thing is there is usually not a lot we can do about it before hand. (see I can tell you this with confidence, it’s believing it myself i struggle with!)

When I’m anxious, I go numb, unable to concentrate on anything other than something menial like scrolling on my phone (my phone becomes my lifeline – i’m glued to it because if there is to be bad news that is how I will surely receive it) or watch episode after episode of Friends (anxiety reducing – fact!). I can’t hold a proper conversation because my head is elsewhere and I can’t even play with my daughter – which is what upsets me the most. I am that riddled with nerves and anxiety that I struggle to enjoy the time with the best, most amazing person in my life. Sometimes it takes hours/days to come out of it.

I know I need to get better with it, I need coping mechanisms and techniques to stop getting into this state. So, I don’t have any advice right now (if anyone does, it will be greatly received?!) and I’ll pass on any wisdoms I do learn. I guess I just wanted to let anyone else that gets this know they aren’t alone because I know that would help me.

We got this. Better days are coming.

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