Ironically I was due to post an exciting fitness announcement this evening, but as a result of feeling far from excited it seemed false to do so. I’ve had so many snaps from women around the world requesting an article about my anxiety, so what better time to lay it all on the line while this dark cloud is above me. Today was a bad day, I woke up with a headache after another sleepless night and felt an impending doom ahead of having to pry my head from the pillow. Although I haven’t been sleeping well the past few nights the moment I wake up in this mode all I want to do is cradle the pillow and lay there. The last thing I want to do is put on a brave face, but make no mistake, I don’t want sympathy either. I actually want to be as far away from the people I love as possible. I find strength and solace in dealing with these emotions alone, sharing them makes me feel even worse, hello again irony and the internet. BUT, if this can help one of those wonderful women who snapped me today…There’s a moment of guilt I have for feeling this way that spirals into a gut wrenching pain, infrequent of late, but severe when it arises none the less. They say success and anxiety go hand in hand; people with perfectionist tendencies also have OCD tendencies, creative thinkers over think by nature, we are able to put things into perspective and showcase empathy, we make thoughtful leaders and do well under pressure.
Sometimes though it’s the quiet lulls in life that evoke a panic. When everything factually is going well you stop to think ‘I’m not in control, I’m just allowing life be, I’m living in the moment. I must panic, I must do something, something is going to go wrong, something will be taken from me, I need control, I must change, I’m not doing enough’ and so on, until you want to put your brain to bed. Over achievers eh? I always say I would rather have a broken bone than a broken mind. Mental health can be torture for so many and it’s still such a taboo subject. There are assumptions that panic attacks are a sign of weakness or a lack of progress, they can signify one step forwards and ten steps back for someone with anxiety. It’s assumed that panic attacks often involve hyperventilation or the inability to speak. This evening I pulled over twice on the way to and from the gym to just sob crying. I managed to tick off everything on my to do list, I made all my meetings and I even tracked my macros, but I’m still crying. There was a moment in the gym as I placed the plates on the bar ahead of my set of squats that I just wanted to curl up in a ball and sit there waiting for someone to give me a hug or for everyone to disappear, I wasn’t sure which.
When your mind has been so over worked or you feel taken advantage of, or simply worn out by life’s woes you become sensitive to everything; just like the fight or flight mode that can physically manifest, your thought process is alert and hyper aware of every little thing. I personally feel unwanted, unworthy of love; a burden. I even overthink those thoughts and think people will roll their eyes and think what does she have to be anxious or sad about, or she’s so strong she can’t be feeling this way? That they will judge my life from their rose tinted social media lens and assume it’s perfect. You can create a great life filled with everything you’ve ever wanted and still feel lonely or down – truth be told the past will often rear it’s ugly head here and there or some days simply won’t feel right.
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and watched yourself have it? Been so outside yourself and not with them in that moment that you watch the moment happen. It can be quite frightening. I don’t feel the need to discuss my life worries anymore, I assume it comes with age. I used to talk things out until they felt ‘ok’ in my mind but now, I feel adding fuel to a slow burning fire gives rise to a burning sensation inside. I’m mindful that I can’t change certain scenarios and I can’t predict the future, I’m factually aware that worrying about ANYTHING in this moment changes nothing. Over-thinkers have a tendency to self sabotage their own happiness for fear it will be taken from them. In that moment, it feels better to make a choice to control something than to allow it potentially happen at random. I don’t have a solution for your pain or an explanation for your headspace, but I can tell you and myself it passes. Sadness is part of who you are and it’s real. For weeks on end I can feel strong and able to take on the world, I skim past successes without a pat on the back, I take for granted feeling light and trouble free and then boom, it’s back with a bang. There can be triggers, your past plays a huge factor, new fears can manifest or sometimes you’re simply over worked, over tired and just over feeling sad. If that’s you today, you’re not alone, you don’t need to find a reason or berate yourself, or maybe you know exactly why and you need to deal with it, but not right now.