2 steps forward...and a giant leap back

I've haven't written on here for a while, I have been doing ok since having a nice Xmas break (and I thought you might want a break from reading about my sorrows!!)

But in the past I have found this a really good place to write everything down and try and organise my thoughts so here it goes...

Christmas was really nice, I spent it with my family and it was relaxing. I felt pangs of sadness and got a bit overwhelmed by being in the happy environment but I managed to get away with early nights so I could have calm and quiet. Coming back to London was hard, not because I was sad to leave my family, but mainly because I was retuning to the source of my initial sadness. (Don't get me wrong I love my family but I was ready for my own space).

But things weren't too bad...to begin with. My first week went ok and I started counselling when I returned to London. I was dubious about doing it and wondered if I would be able to relax into it and open up but I surprised myself and it was easy to talk and think about things once I got going. I'm doing this on a Saturday morning and I'm finding it quite tiring so my weekends have been very unproductive and I've slowly been slipping back into my old ways of isolating myself and staying in bed all day. I'm managing to stay more positive at work though and some days I actually feel like I'm starting to enjoy it (after 7 months) and I've only had one day off because I couldn't get out of bed, which is a massive improvement from 6 weeks ago. I think people think I'm being lazy but there are days when I feel I can't face the world. I even avoid drinking too much so I don't have to use the bathroom. But as I say, I'm having fewer of those days thankfully.

But now a lot of my sadness has settled down my anxiety levels have shot up sky high. I often wake up in the night to find myself shaking in fear. It's quite hard to explain but it's a strange feeling and different to how I feel when I have a panic attack. I still haven't worked out what's causing that but I now desperately need some sleep. I also had a set back on the tube this week. It was horrifically packed and crammed in like sardines more and more people wedged themselves into the smallest air pockets. At one point the doors wouldn't close due to the amount of people forcing their way on and my legs started to tremble and then the tears started and I had to get off. Thankfully another lady stopped to make sure I was ok and gave me a bottle of water and helped me work out the buses so I could complete my journey. Thankfully this doesn't happen to me often but when it does it's so sudden and embarrassing and it triggers even more anxiety so once again I'm back to feeling really low and tearful.

I have my third counselling session tomorrow and even if the snow is 6ft deep I'm determined to get there. I'm still a long way of 'recovery' but I feel determined to rid myself of all these horrible feelings.

3 Replies

  • I'm sorry you are having such anxiety problems. The tube can be horrendous, even without anxiety problems. I wonder if you are using any form of breathing exercises or meditation. There are some very good breathing and meditation, and also visualisation meditations on the web, so you can have a 'safe place' in your mind. I wonder if the anxiety attacks at night could be related to unremembered dreams?

    I do hope today's counselling goes well.

    Ann xx

  • Hi Katie,

    I can't really offer much advice, but I can at least try. I had similar experiences: feeling incredibly turbulent over the Christmas break. It was hard for me; I would be in the company of my family, and my brain would be elsewhere - thinking about other things. I would be jubilant around them - just really happy in their company - and at points I would drift into a strange dark place.

    It's good that you've been counselling. When I was feeling low, because I kept everything inside, I sometimes felt as though I should confide in those closest to me. I'm feeling positive now, only because of my family - only because of the 'substitute counsellors'! So your role is probably much welcomed and appreciated. I wouldn't feel too bad about taking time off. I mean, I felt so low this week - and it was vital that I took some time to organise my thoughts. It's necessary sometimes.

    I've had similar annoyances on the tube. It's horrible. Especially now, in this weather! It can get so stressful. I HATE the tube.

    I really hope your counselling session goes well,


  • Thank you to both of you for your comments, I appreciate the support.

    My counsellor has helped me to work out some breathing exercises so I do try and focus on that. My anxiety and panic attacks both trigger different feelings and reactions from my brain. The anxiety attacks make me feel shaky and scared but my breathing doesn't seem to feel much different so I need to work out a better way of relaxing when I experience that. I did try to focus on m y breathing when I was on the tube but the panic feelings just got too strong so my instant reaction was to remove myself from the situation.

    The anxiety attacks are most likely related to dreams which seem to be exaggerated memories of my hospital experiences before Christmas. I'm not quite sure how to get away from those yet. All in good time hopefully

    I think I need to stop trying to make myself better and accept that I've had a pretty awful few months and deal with things slowly. Sometimes I think my brain gives up when it gets too hard.

    I hope you're both doing ok

    Katie :-)

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