With a little over a week to go before the PDA conference I’ve reached a sort of plateau as far as my anxiety goes……but for how long? How much higher can it go? It’s very high already but I’m managing…..just. Anxiety is a funny thing, of course I don’t mean funny as in haha, but it is interesting how it affects the body as well as the mind. Even my cats are picking up on my extra anxiety. 😳
What is anxiety? Well in the dictionary it states:
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
“he felt a surge of anxiety”
synonyms: worry, concern, apprehension, apprehensiveness, consternation, uneasiness, unease, fearfulness, fear, disquiet, disquietude, perturbation, fretfulness, agitation, angst, nervousness, nerves, edginess, tension, tenseness, stress, misgiving, trepidation, foreboding, suspense; informalbutterflies (in one’s stomach), the willies, the heebie-jeebies, the jitters, the shakes, the jumps, the yips, collywobbles, jitteriness, jim-jams, twitchiness; informalthe (screaming) abdabs; rhyming slangJoe Blakes; archaicworriment
antonyms: calmness, serenity
a nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behaviour or panic attacks.
“she suffered from anxiety attacks”
strong desire or concern to do something or for something to happen.
“the housekeeper’s eager anxiety to please”
synonyms: eagerness, keenness, desire, impatience, longing, yearning
“her anxiety to please”
Well all that goes some way to explaining what anxiety is but that still doesn’t tell you just what that means to me or how it makes me feel. Some of the words used to describe anxiety also explain perfectly just how I’m feeling right now. Words like: apprehension, fear, disquiet, agitation, nerves, edginess and suspense stand out for me the most at the moment but I would say that all apply. The strange thing is that I feel like this a lot of the time anyway but at the moment it’s definitely heightened. Also these stronger than normal ‘anxieties’ are nearly non-stop whereas normally they ebb and flow throughout the day. I might have a few hours when I’m not anxious about anything but it soon returns. Physically it’s affecting me too, all this extra anxiety. My heart rate is up – I know because I’ve checked – and at times I can feel my heart pounding away. My sleep pattern has gone AWOL. I’m now up half the night and back to having afternoon naps. I’m also having more psychotic episodes and I’ve had tummy ache for nearly a week. I can’t relax my mind or body no matter what I try. I can’t focus my mind. Even just thinking about my anxieties and writing this is causing my heart to race and my breathing to quicken. So writing about anxieties raises my anxieties. Interesting…… 😳
I’ve had to cut back on many things to make room for all this extra anxiety and, hopefully, avoid full blown meltdown. I’m doing nothing every day apart from watching box sets, playing games on my iPad, listening to music, smoking lots and sleeping. It’s about all I can manage at the moment. Minimal Facebook, no socialising, no cooking or housework and no hobbies. These are the steps necessary for me to remain in control of myself. I would say that I’ve been anxious about the conference for a good few weeks already, if not longer but it’s only been in the past week that I’ve had to reduce demands right down. Basically I’m just counting down the days – marking time as it were. I’m having a hair cut on Tuesday and a beauty pamper session on Thursday in the hopes that it’ll relax me a little or at the very least give me something mundane to focus my mind on. (No offence) We are also going to a family party on Friday and I’m going to a craft workshop on Sunday. I’m very aware that this extra anxiety is also making me snappy with Paul. I don’t mean to be and I am trying to keep a tight rein on that and so far I’m doing okay. My already short fuse is definitely much shorter than normal! Things that don’t normally bother me are winding me right up and pissing me off.
When I think about sitting in front of all those eyes I can feel those feelings come racing back up to high. I’m not worried that I’ll mess it up or wimp out or anything like that so that’s not an issue. I’m just scared of the unknown and this is one of the biggest things/demands that I’ve faced in my whole life. I’ve never done anything like this before, ever. I have no experience. I’m not a professional with years of study behind me and letters after my name – I’m just me. Just Julia. I left school at 16 with no GCSEs. I’ve never worked or studied. All I have is my story. Is that enough? Will I make a fool of myself? Am I punching above my weight? Do people really want to hear me waffle on? Can they really learn from me? I hope so because me is all I have to give.
This will be the first time that I’ve spoken in public to so many people but it will also be the first time that I’ve shared all my skeletons as it were. Come Tuesday 4th November 2014 a few hundred faces will know everything. Things I’ve kept hidden for years. Things that even my own family didn’t know until very recently. These secrets, if you will, will soon be out there in the public domain. That thought scares the hell out of me but it also excites me because I hope that this will be the final step of closure for some of my demons. So come the 4th I will bare my soul and hope that I’m not rejected or judged…….. 😁 I just have to remember to breathe. Lol. 😳 Despite all of this I’m still happy, still smiling and looking forward to it. 💜