After having a pretty good few weeks, anxiety crept up a couple of days ago and struck me with a vengeance.
I had a busy weekend, on a severe lack of sleep, after a fall out with a loved one, a breast biopsy (I found a lump), almost no opportunity to take a break, and a couple of important yet stressful situations that I can’t even talk about publicly yet. I feel like I’ve burnt the candle at both ends, and then some. There is no candle left.
On top of all of that, no house chores had been done, and nothing seemed tidy. Seeing clutter can make my brain feel cluttered anyway, but that day there was just too much to do, and I had run out of candle to burn. I didn’t even know where to start, and it tipped me over the edge.
I just felt a bit helpless.
Everything had built up (though in hindsight I realise I’ve had a shed load going on and only just had a bad reaction to it, go me!), and I could feel the effects of stress and anxiety running through my body like an electric charge, mostly in my legs. All I could then focus on was this uncomfortable tense feeling, and had no understanding of how to positively process it. Toddler was playing and baby was asleep upstairs, so leaving the house wasn’t an option, but I really could have done with going for a good walk. I’m protective of my boys’ sleep so I wouldn’t normally dream of waking them if I don’t have to. But on reflection, maybe that was a ‘have to’ moment. Maybe I should have just put them in the pram and gone for a good walk.
Earlier in the day, when the tension first started rising, I tried to catch it. I wanted to try meditation following everyone’s great comments on the self nurturing post, but it really wasn’t working out. Both boys were awake at the time, too young to be left unattended, and its difficult (for a newbie) to meditate with them in the background. I could have put them in their cots but that came with a risk of crying, which would be counterproductive! So no, it didn’t work out.
Feeling quite helpless and stuck, I cried. My toddler didn’t seem distressed, but was aware enough to say “mummy crying”… *wince*…. that was like knives in my heart. I’m not against my boys seeing me upset, but at this point I needed support, so I called my Ma (mum, pronounced “Marrrrrr”).
At this point, I turned an important corner. I cried a tonne more but this cry was different. It was slow and deep, I felt a bit like I was grieving. I realise now, I was just really feeling my emotions. I wasn’t ok, and that was ok. I was just letting that out. The tense charged feeling in my legs reduced significantly, that accepting cry had opened a release valve.
I dropped Marge an email summarising the day, and requested that next week we discuss how I can learn to really let go of anxious tension so it doesn’t build up like that. We’ve worked on so much already, that I feel like we’ve identified and torn down a lot of the behaviours that would normally have made me anxious. But should I ever get maxed out like this again, I want to know how to nip it in the bud.