Anxiety… Like A Pine Cone?

Life is so busy now for everybody, we work, we eat, we sleep, we occasionally have fun. I think that the pressure of the modern world makes more and more people suffer with depression, anxiety, ptsd, suicide etc.. We need more time to relax and actually enjoy ourselves, we do after all only have one life to live.

If you’ve suffered with depression on a serious level chances are you have at some point thought about taking your own life. You have probably picked the song that you want to fall into that blissful sleep too where all the worries in life will disappear. Myself, I’d chosen Johnny Cash’s Hurt…. I had thought about how peaceful I would be without all my worries and without my mind whirling 24 hours  a day, no more panicking about being in social situations, meeting new people, having to think about everyone else except myself (selfish I know)… Then the realisation of how fucked up this would be hit me…. knowing my luck I wouldn’t pop it before the song had finished, the music would shuffle and I’d end up dying to something like the Venga Bus… No one needs that.

If you’ve been there and are still here, you will know that the sun does shine after the dark nasty storm. It’s like you need to sail a boat through a stormy sea to see that it does pass, eventually, it’s not pleasant but you can get there. I found that after these feelings I needed something to make me hold on, when these feelings wash over, I focus on this one thing, my boy, and I think about him constantly for the whole of the period. Sometimes when things in my mind get too much, I can loose track, however, the boy is always there.

There are days when I’m shit, I’m sure you get them too, I don’t want to get out of bed and just want to sleep and cry it out. For no reason. I turn into this girl that I aren’t even sure is me, hell I’m not even sure I like her at all!! The psychologist keeps telling me it’s because I shut everything out, I don’t deal with stuff. I do however, try! I go and I talk about what they want me to talk about and I leave and feel the same as I did before. I don’t want too! I feel frustrated that after nearly 5 months of therapy I still don’t feel like I’m getting there. I’m sure my thinking like that doesn’t help me or my situation at all..  when the anxiety kicks in.

In my session yesterday I was asked to describe how the anxiety feels. I spent a lot of time sat there trying to put into words how I felt. How do you even begin to describe to someone how you feel? Especially when you aren’t sure how you feel yourself?? I was told that I need to think of an object or something that I can relate to the anxiety.

I thought of a tree, I thought a tree was a good thing to go for as it’s alive! It changes throughout the year, leaves colours changing and then falling off, but always stands resilient whatever the weather. That’s when I was interrupted and told not to describe what I want to be but what I am. So obviously at this point I am stuck with the image of the tree in my head. Gah.

Right, I decided, I am a tree with pine cones, my anxiety, and yours too, potentially is a pine cone.

We are the tree, we grow and we change throughout the year. Situations occur, change our paths and potentially lead to us having the dreaded anxiety. This anxiety forms as the pine cone on the tree. The worse it gets the bigger the cone grows before it gets too much for us to handle and then it falls. When it’s landed it takes on our worries and stresses and changes with how we feel. We wake up feeling confident, so the cone opens up, like the sun is shining on it, we attend a new situation, feel nervous, so it starts to close, then when we are overwhelmed it shuts up tight. Until we are back in the safety net of our lives. Then it goes further! I think we do subconsciously, or even consciously know that how we feel affects the people around us. People who we know care, but we push away. When the cone opens up it spreads its seeds, like us un intentionally spreading worry among our loved ones.

This little thing from my session made me feel like I’d found a little secret of how to describe how the anxiety feels. I thought I’d share it with you 🙂

Love and Light

J

 

 

 

A Moon Who Lost Her Tide.

Growing up I was a bit of an odd ball, an Edd the Duck more than a Gordon the Gopher. Never had much confidence and never really fit in, more so at primary school then at secondary. I can remember never having anyone to play with in the playground and doing anything anybody would ask me, just in hope that they might like me. I hated primary school and was so excited to move to secondary school. I can remember actually being happy on my 1st day, I’m sure most kids never feel like that haha! Secondary School was good! I had the most wonderful group of friends when I was there, had loads of fun and mischief.

My group was close and consisted of people in the year below and year above me. We were heavily into Indie music and Art. I can remember reading an article a few months back saying that as humans we are most influenced by the music we hear between the ages of 13 and 16, I truly believe that. My mom was always into great music, Queen, Rolling Stones, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen…. Not going to lie there was some rough choices in there…. Michael Bolton and U2 are the first 2 I think of, but well we all make mistakes and I guess the dull sounds of Bono making your ears bleed are comforting to some. Now I feel guilty. Rattle and Hum was a great album.. just please don’t tell anyone I know. Music continues to play a huge part of my life.

The group I had were insane. I was so blessed to have them through that key part of my youth. The nights we had in the music hall playing instruments, the trips we took with band, which allowed me to go abroad for the 1st time in my life, the nights in the civic hall listening to the up and coming Indie bands (Cast, Kula Shaker, Pulp) were the most memorable fun times of my life. Ever. I wasn’t confident but I was o so very happy, when I look back at photos from that time I see myself, and to me, I look like a totally different person, my eyes twinkle and my smile isn’t forced from the depth of my soul.

I firmly believe that confidence is a born with trait. My mum isn’t an overly confident person and neither am I. I don’t believe dislike for yourself is an innate behaviour though, I believe that’s firmly learnt. I’ve never felt popular or pretty or particularly special… average… thats the way I felt.

When I went to college I met my Ex partner. I was besotted. so besotted. He knew the right things to say, he really did, so much so I surrendered myself fully to him for the next 11 years. In that time I was emotionally and physically abused and it’s only when I look back now I realise he must have saw me coming a mile off. Maybe 5000 miles off, who knows. He spent all my money, inheritance from my family, never allowed me to have a car, I had to leave for work at 530 in the morning to walk to his moms to drop off my son then walk the 8 miles to the train station to get the train to work. I did this again in reverse on the way home. I was getting in at 8pm, bathing and feeding my son, having tea and going to bed to re start this again the next day.  He’d rock up at 1am and expect me to cook his tea and shout if the house wasn’t clean enough for his standard. I was exhausted. I found steroid needles in his drawer, he convinced me I imagined it, I found a ring box wrapped in christmas paper, again, I totally imagined it, He took my son out to a theme park, he’d never done this before, again, my son, who was 3 came home and said he’d been out with ‘daddy and the nice lady’ and you’ve guessed it, I never heard that and was making it up. sigh. what a fool I was. He went on shopping trips, when we had no money, and come back with designer bags full of clothes, He’d locked me in the boot of his car because I’d got upset my son cried because he was sick, he drove me 15 miles from home, regularly, in my pyjamas and made me walk home in the middle of the night….. it goes on and on and onnnnnnn…….

When the relationship finally came to an end, I had a ‘feeling’ something was going on, he kept not coming home, women’s intuition I think, I knew he was staying at one of our other houses. So I put my son in the car at 2am, like a complete raving looney, and drove there and sure enough there were 2 cars on the drive. I rang his phone and could hear it ringing in the house. I drove home. I’d had enough, yet it still took me a long time to escape.

The next day when I saw him and he ignored me again, I asked about it, said ‘I saw your car there’ He actually tried to convince me that I had dreamt it!!! Couldn’t quite believe it.

Theres more to that story but I don’t want to bore you with it. Long story short he left, eventually after a truly horrific last few months.

During this time, when I look back now, I realise how much of myself had been destroyed through this relationship, I was a shell, empty, exhausted. I had no friends I was like a moon who couldn’t be bothered to change the tides. He had destroyed my friendships, every single one of them. I had my Mum and my Nan, that was it.

He’d systematically persuaded me that all the people I had grown up with were awful people. He’d left me with no faith or confidence in my self at all. Destroyed my soul, I’d never felt so awful in my life when I finally opened my eyes and realised what he had actually done.

I spiralled. I went out with friends from work, I went to Dublin just to escape it all for a weekend, I went to more concerts. I thought I was starting to live again, when in fact all I was trying to do was shut off and compartmentalise everything that happened. I shut my son off as I was so ashamed of what he had witnessed. It took me a long time to gather myself and return to being the fabulous mummy that I am. Boom! Hehe.

Unfortunately now all the evil has seeped back out of my brain, bit like the film ‘The Blob’ and I am in the middle of a truly horrific time. It’s difficult to explain to people now, nearly 10 years later, I can’t function properly, I can’t think straight, I panic, I worry, ridiculously worry…. but its nothing that has happened now, it’s my brain opening up and trying to cope with this overwhelming hurt in my sub conscious. The scary thing is, these compartments open when I’m sleeping and the nightmares are horrific, and surprising as these things are things that I’ve forgotten had happened. What freaks me out the most though? I’m balling and screaming like they have just happened. It’s bizarre. And shit!

I retrieved an old friend from school, you’ll be pleased to know and she is my rock. She never judges me and is always there, I feel sometimes she despairs but she has never left my side. While my confidence is horrific she constantly dis allows me to put myself down. Herself, her amazing husband and children are coming for lunch tomorrow and you know, it makes me happy that she was the person that I picked up hahaha! I don’t think any of my other friendships will ever be restored to the level that ours has, I’m too scared to let people in.  Petrified of letting people in. When I met up with another friend with her, the friend said ‘I hated you at school, you were talented and beautiful and everyone  loved you’ My jaw dropped. I was so surprised that I may have been perceived that way to another human, I didn’t know how to react at all. So I chose not to be involved with her, as I didn’t want to feel like I was that person, and I was worried I would let her down when she realised just how shit I really am! Anyway, my friend, I’m blessed to have her, she may think I’m a nut job, hell she is probably correct, but her love is unconditional and for that I’m thankful.

I guess what I’m trying to say to you, if these things have happened, or if they are happening please, please reach out. You can do this. You are worth the stars to someone you really are, and it’s really not the person that’s making you feel small. I wouldn’t have survived without my Mum, Nan and my Son. Even now, fighting what I am fighting, I just don’t want anybody in the world going through this. Theres help. Once you have told one person, that weight will lift it truly will. Be inspired. Be strong and love yourself. you so deserve more. You definitely don’t deserve to be fighting a battle 10 years from now like I am. I hate myself for not reaching out earlier. We all have only one life and I’ve wasted a lot of my 34 years in an emotional mess. Don’ t be me.

Love and Light

J