We are the last leaves to fall

Where I am in the world the seasons are stuck between autumn and winter. So, Wutumn. An awkward transition where the weather seems just as confused as we are. It seems even trees experience the same fashion dilemma as to what to wear at this time or rather what leaves to drop. Even TV adverts have got their months muddled up with new Instagram filtered Christmas ads coming too early that for me the truth of it all seems hidden under a pile of Frozen wrapping paper and M&S food.

I have been thinking a lot. Yeh over-thinking is my thing. Of what to write. I have everything and nothing to write about but, I was getting anxious (spoiler there). And as they do all those mean bean thoughts bunched together and formed a mob against me in my mind. Alone I hosted a pity party where I just drowned in these thoughts. Let the guilt build and build to the point when it too became fuel for the nasty negatives.

 So, today I went for a walk. The same usual walk I take. Nothing too adventurous. To what all we humans seek to do: which is to find inspiration. So, as I took my jumpy jumpy dog around a small path, I saw a golden leaf (one of the few left) rocking like a cradle side to side before it hit the ground. You say it’s just a leaf. I know and I will get to that in a minute. Something struck me about it but, before I could tap it into my iPhone notes my dog decided it needed the loo. Not the best timing, but still I remembered it. Not that you really wanted to know the whole loo situation of course, sorry!

Well as I looked at this blank screen I began to think. Again with the thinking. We are the last leaves to fall – off the tree. Fall in this metaphor does not mean death, but that does not mean that we can’t believe it to be. See it as this instead. We are the leaves on the tree. Use your imagination here (imagining bugs life) – it can be any tree you want as long as it has leaves. Instead of the fall being death think of it as an opportunity. But, with all opportunities there is the unknown. So, we wait watch the other leaves fall before us time and time again. We cling on and on until the tree finally forces us off. What is the moral here? 

Well for me it is this. We who get anxious more than others like not just to wait, but sometimes to hide until it is the inevitable. Where there is no longer a dark corner to sneak into or a door to run out of. We are scared of falling. Likely have visualised all the horrible things, every eventuality other than happy ones like a dramatic film trailer in our heads.  But, what if we didn’t consider it as falling but flying. Floating through the air has got to be a metaphor for happiness, right? For that leaf I saw  had a gentle landing.

Perhaps we need to fall in order to pursue are dreams. Although to us fear can mean different things if not an overgeneralised everything. We fear change the most. That is natural. But, we can’t control it. Just like how the tree or the leaf has to change with the seasons or adapt with the climate. Like the protagonist in a story there is always a realisation of something. It is time for us to float in the air, after all no-one likes being the last one to fall. It’s pretty lonely. Trust me I know.

If you liked today’s post or think it might help someone else please give it a sharey. I have a new instagram account which is _hello_anxiety. I will be posting frequent inspirational quotes to get us all in the mood and changing those anxiety driven minds of ours.

Hope your day has been swell and anxiety free. If not so great here is a virtual hug (   ) and well done for getting through it!


#Tip 4 To find a path we first must climb a tree and see the view

Hello Anxiety,

“Hmm decisions…decisions?”

Life is often made out to be a list of decisions, stacked high and ready to be ticked off. Even the word itself “decision” has become as monstrously daunting and heavy as trying to go to sleep after watching a horror movie (which you told yourself not to watch) or hopelessly attempting to carry all your groceries (which you know you can’t) by running madly to the door before the weight keels you over.

As a teen, ‘decision making’ has been thrown, stuffed and flung down my throat **cough university. Not only that, but now there feels as if there is more pressure to make snap (couldn’t resist to click my fingers) decisions. It’s hard. And lets face it social expectations for not just us bubbled up teens, but for kiddies and the grownie ups too, seems to be coming to a boil.

Here is where you get your violin out… no I’m joking. What makes my decision making so hard for me personally is my anxiety. Which I hold my hands up and don’t doubt has affected everyone at some point. Whether that be trying to avoid that certain someone that has awkwardly blocked your path. Knowing whether to go for it and just ‘smile and wave’ or to quickly shuffle your butt out of there before they have a chance to see your face.

For me throughout my life so far there has been a clear line between my ‘aspirational decisions’ and my ‘anxious decisions’. How I see it is that you have the things that you would ‘in theory’ like to do if it were not for that tedious anxiety. And then pretty much all those anxious decisions that build a wall of avoidance we hide behind.

For sure anxiety has clouded my path. Now I can’t see the sign that should point me in the right direction. Perhaps others have passed me on this path, but I have been too scared to ask for their help so I am left here.

Feeling anxious of being judged has left my brain “confuzzled” (yes I like to blend words). It is mainly the bad narrator of my mind that makes me procrastinate, make excuses, literally doing anything, but come face to face with that decision.

It is like I’m or we are lost in an endless wood. We are tired, confused. We are all scared. What should we do?  The answer is this… to find a path we first must climb a tree and see the view.

#Tip4

Tip#2 Fight back

When I was little I came up with a crazy-not-so-crazy notion. Something which kiddies with their daring and sometimes giggly imaginations often do. As a 4 year old, I thought that people saw a different me than the one I saw in the mirror. Of course, I told myself that clearly all the other small people would see a far prettier version from what I saw. That thought has stuck with me (I mean that thought that I thought – gosh if only I believed this could be true! Could you imagine, I would practically be floating on a cloud).

Yes, this thought might have been fanciful. Perhaps you could even say that it was more fantasy than reality. STOP. Let the thought sink in for a minute. Then ask yourself, is it really all those things?

If you described yourself and then someone else did (whether that be your chums or your families), would you say the same things? Err no, not likely. In fact you will probably find that you have either done one of the following or more:

1.     1. Made an array of umm and err’s to make it sound as if you are coming up with something… buuut you can’t really think of how to ‘start’.
2.   Spotted features – I have a nose
3.      Frowned at yourself in an attempted Harry Potter move to become (waves wand) Invisiblo.
4.      Labelled yourself as something or other i.e. tall – lanky – short – stubby and the list goes on and on.

But, something that we know we all have done is pick out the negatives first or perhaps just dumped them all on ourselves. Like how it is easier to draw the negative line than the crossed plus sign. We take the easier way out. May be we don’t even want to say nice things about ourselves, because we feels it crosses that barrier between confident and just plain obsessed with yourself. But, you are not.

For whatever reason the way the world works is that good things always seem to be much harder. Whether that be trying to attempt a non-chocolate diet and pile on the veg or trying to push out a few positive words. It just seems that the bad thoughts seem to come more easily to us. However what you need to remember is that the good is always more rewarding.

 The great thing is this. I wouldn’t see you the same way as you would and vice versa. Think of it this way. Those nasty nipping thoughts you told yourself are still just thoughts. Like I have realised, just because you think something doesn’t make it true.

It’s like today when the cooking didn’t go my way. I’m a failure. Just as black and white as that. I can’t cook. I can’t do this. And suddenly your mind is not yours anymore. Why do I do this? Because I always feel as if I have to do things perfectly. If I don’t, I have failed.

I know. I know. This is not true. And that is my point. It also leads to my next tip which is to fight back. Slap that one crappy thought with a better one. I’m not a failure, because I still managed to cook a nice meal…

Now is the time to get in the ring with your thoughts. Stop taking the blows on your face, learn how to block, dodge and thought punch your way to the winning bell. 

Throw away those thoughts

By the time I think of how to put this into words I will have finished the tube of Smarties that are sitting at my desk. Perhaps it’s my kiddish side thinking that with each time I’m not typing or thinking about thinking that having a ‘smartie’ will give me a smart idea. I can’t quite decide whether this ideology is right or wrong, either way I’m typing this down.

Yep the Smarties have now officially gone – I’m sorry you should have asked if you wanted me to save you one. Anywho, I have shredded my anxiety. Literally shredded. Like it has been torn into little tiny shreds in a monster machine that has gobbled them up. And I’m not going to lie it was a bit of an anti-climax. There was no-one singing or a rainbow shooting over my head, but it still felt pretty darn good.

So, it all came about when someone decided to give me a message in the form of a little reading. Believe what you will, but it felt like there was some reason that it caught my eye. Funnily enough it talked about casting off your anxiety, do you see the irony now? Well, not only did it talk about throwing away your woes, but seeing your common worries as if they were an annoying mosquito. And what do you do when you see that mosquito? You normally slap it off as soon as your brain has registered the beady little thing that it was you were staring at. It told me, this is how we should view anxiety. When in the scenarios such as the mosquito or in fight and flight, we don’t spend time doddling about in our thoughts, we deal with instantly. Just like when we touch boiling water, our instinct is to jump away – not to think. Therefore, that is just how we should treat anxiety.

Too often we tip-toe around ourselves in an obvious game of hide and seek. Too many times do we try to shove what we fear to the corner of our minds like quickly closing the doors of a wardrobe that has too many clothes in – then running away. We know what is going to happen. That the clothes are going to fall out and everything is going to be a mess. But we choose not to face it. We say not now and do not look back. However, now you realise if you had dealt with the wardrobe in the first place, if you took some of the clothes out and dealt with them, you wouldn’t be faced with the seemingly bigger problem later.

I suppose it is like the time when you know something is going to fall out the fridge when the next person opens it. But, you don’t have to deal with it – so you close the door quick. On the day this happens to you, you are the one who has to clean it up. Just like with your mind. If you keep putting your worries aside. If you keep giving them fuel by not dealing with them straight away. Then you, yes you are the one who has to clean up. That milk carton has spilt everywhere and now instead of putting it somewhere else you have to clean up and perhaps bin some of the food it has leaked over.

So today I got a piece of paper and wrote numbering all the thoughts and worries I had. Once I had done this – read them aloud. I realised just how silly some of them were or how blinkered I had become. It made me feel selfish and ungrateful to read these things. This in itself made me realise that they were wrong. It put my thoughts in perspective rather than let them grow further. Then at last I did the deed. I shredded it. My thoughts were wrong. They were not me. Now do the same. You might be relieved to get some revenge on those nasty thoughts!

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