It's been a while since I last posted, sorry about that! I've been going through a bit of a tough time lately, both physically and mentally; it's been hard to find the words to share what's going on inside my head. To be perfectly honest, I'm in two minds about posting this one. It shares a little bit more than I would like, but that's the thing with anxiety. There's no middle ground.
I was feeling quite positive at my last point of writing. The 'F**k It* ideology is an interesting one, and something I felt I could really get behind. Unfortunately, things haven't quite gone to plan and I feel I've actually ended up taking steps backwards. Like I said last time, I find it difficult to express myself at the best of times. I try and try to be the positive change I want to see in other people, but can often be found contradicting myself, opting to isolate myself and enjoy solitude, instead of clamping down on my issues. Anxiety and depression can be... overwhelmingly powerful.
The past couple of months have been all about weddings. A time to celebrate and enjoy the moment, right? That's the bit I'm struggling with. I had two events this weekend, visiting a wedding venue for Mrs-Sausage-To-Be (she will legitimately kill me for calling her that) and myself, and the other one being watching one of my close friends from college get married. Our group has reached that age, where everyone is now getting married or having their second (or third) kids. It's something I look forward to, but at the same time dread.
Now don't get me wrong, super excited for both events. I wouldn't have proposed if I hadn't wanted to do it. Perhaps that's why it came as such a surprise to friends and family... But I am completely and utterly filled with dread at the prospect of standing in front of people during the ceremony, having attention thrust upon me during a speech, or even in having a stag do. So much so, I might have to the latter a miss. I just don't know if I can handle that - the travel, the activities, the drinking.... I'm 31, pushing 32, and have never sat through anyone's wedding ceremony.
To give you an idea of how the spiraling descent into madness goes, I kept a mini diary through the week:
One week out
Easy. You got this.
Two days out
Oh boy. Here come the heebie jeebies.
'F**k it' becomes F**k.
The day before
I went straight down to the gym in the morning, as I do every day, but anxiety is waving now. Oh hello meticulous planning, the thoughts of 'do I even want to be there' and 'Will anyone actually notice if I'm not there?'
F**k becomes F**K.
The day of travel, and I woke up to a vicious bout of IBS. It's true what they say, its linked to stress and anxiety, and my intestines are letting me know that. My head is full of thoughts of cancelling, about how I'm going to manage a small 1h20 drive, about what we'll do when we get there. Already I feel myself panicking, and I don't know why. Or moreover, why I can't push it all to the back of my mind.
I find myself thinking not of this trip, but of my nephew's christening, of just how the hell am I EVER going to beat this. This is where the depressive cycle kicks in, I begin to feel worthless and guilty, not for my own issues, but for dragging my long suffering fiancee down with me. I'm desperately telling myself the positives, how great it will be, how much I deserve a fucking break, that I hold worth. See how today goes I guess. I'm in the gym, trying to beat it out of me.
F**K becomes F**K F**K F**K.
Of course, it all works out in the end. Anxiety is nothing more than getting yourself worked up over hypothetical outcomes that will likely never happen. I know that, and yet in the heat of the moment, I cannot come to believe it. You can tell yourself over and over again that it will be ok, but you have to believe it's going to be.
So where do we go from here? I'm going back to my therapist later today to talk options. I think I'm going to give medication another try. I'd much rather not, but I just want to get a grip. In the meantime, if you are struggling, please drop me a DM. My door is always open for a confidential chat. I've also found listening to podcasts a tremendous help - in particular The Hilarious World Of Depression - a series where comedians and public figures go on to talk about their experiences with mental health issues. It's well worth checking out.