That Little Rainy Cloud

Hello Anxiety…

I have been nothing but a grump today. Just simply a bag of nerves walking around in a human suit. Perhaps if you could see the anxiety and depression, I would be strolling around with a cloud spurting lightening over my head. Like a balloon it would be tied to me with a bit of string around my wrist to stop it from blowing away. Sometimes I wonder whether people can see it like some Vegas sign saying Look here! Look here! Gosh look how anxious she looks, she must also be depressed. 

However, the majority of the time this is just Anxiety Anne whispering in my ear like a school bully who wants to see me break and cry. Or those days when I don’t feel particularly up to pretending in once upon a times.Although, today it definitely feels more out of my control.

 For us anxityacs it is a constant battlefield of wanting to blurt out everything we are thinking or feeling a million times over or completely the opposite and don’t want anyone to know, but feel as if we are showing it. Like the balloon (SLASH) cloud thing we feel tied to anxiety. I suppose in some ways you can say it feels just about controllable as the weather.

Together we have tied that piece of string around our wrist, and at the end of the day we can be the only ones to sever it. We could take this further by thinking of the water cycle (which is the fuel/reason/habit for anxiety). Now I am not going to embark on a year 8 Geography lesson, but to create a rain cloud the first thing it needs is water. This perhaps is the reason we became anxious, the event or trigger if you will. It builds the cloud up and up until it bursts out with rain – you get the metaphor right? And then we do it again, we make rain from the same sea of anxiety – building and building till we burst again. Like the water cycle it repeats over and over again till we develop, traits and habits we feel we can’t get out of.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not into my summer days and sunshine – unless that it is cold enough to wear a hoodie. Though there was something about the sky today that made the sense of doom as I walked to the doctors even more foreboding. In honesty, I don’t  know what I expected to happen. I was still afraid.

You see to get better, we have to believe we are in control. Yes, anxiety can feel like the weather. It can come and surprise us, make us feel drowned and windswept. That doesn’t mean we can’t control it. Sometimes we choose to say it is uncontrollable, because it is harder (perhaps just initially) to challenge the habits its made. Its like the excuse we use  ‘it’s anxiety – I can’t control it’, is the umbrella that we use to shield our-self from the situation rather than put matters into our own hands.  I am in the same boat too. Together we need to say I control myself. It is me who decides how to react to something.

 It’s like going on a diet and someone buys you a chocolate bar. You don’t have to eat it now. You have the choice to save it for another time or to treat yourself. Being in control is also being able to say ‘no’ to things. I know that is one of my biggest problems. I feel this obligation to please others before myself. This makes my life harder than it needs to be i.e. saying yes to do more work and feel like you are juggling too much.

When we are challenging ourselves it is good to be a little selfish to think of yourself before making a decision you will regret or know you wouldn’t like. So, instead of trying to awkwardly shield yourself with an umbrella, try and cut that string loose.

Normal Is Such A Crap Word

Hello Anxiety…

I just want to be normal.

Normal is such a crap word. The definition may as well be a thing that doesn’t exist but we think exists. Normality is like trying to reach that last packet of Doritos at the top back of the shelves at the supermarket. You know you can’t reach it, but somehow still swinging your arms, going on your tip toes and generally looking like a loon helps. That may be a rubbish analogy, but you get it, right?

It’s that annoying game of piggy in the middle as a child that you soon gave up on and demanded it was time to change turns, despite it just being your go. Well at least that is what I feel about the word normal. In fact if you Googled it as I just have, you would realise it means conforming to standard, typical, expected. Ugh I don’t know about you, but the word normal seems to be as boring as eating the same thing all day every day for a year. Yet why do we crave a label that defines us as expected? How can anything be normal if things change around us all the time?

To you and me, we still just want to be normal. We say this, because we feel out of the loop and because we feel like our anxiety, depression or whatever it may be, stop us from what others seem to do with such annoying ease. But we forget. I forget. You forget. When we scroll up and down on Facebook getting our Sherlock on as we search through people’s Facebook lives (don’t deny you haven’t done it) or of course when we see someone in person and think – why can’t I be normal like them? Perhaps you may turn green with envy (not literally of course) or go into a misery coma of how their life is so much better than yours. But, how do you know there life is so great? If they are normal or rather if they feel normal? You don’t. Stop thinking you’re a physic with a crystal ball that can read into people’s minds. Or more sceptically we can’t read minds or be a fly on the wall to see what reality for them means. Remember everything is censored, just like films. U (you see what I did – film certificate *giggles anyway…) see only what people want you to see, especially on Facebook. A part from those embarrassing photos, you know the usual eyes closed in shot or being ruined by the flash. Anyway the moral here is, and I have been guilty of it is everything is not as it seems. 

Now I am not saying that person may have wanted to be like, has a double life where they do weird things like play dead (I actually researched this and there is actually someone who does this). However, satisfying and boosting that may feel, it is hardly ever that extreme. But you still get the gist.

When you feel like this (and I say ‘this’ because things can change and I mean optimistically), it is all too easy to get yourself tangled by normality. Perhaps to you feeling anxious, depressed or in pain is your normal or you simply feel divided by who you are and the group you call everyone else. This is why I like the quote be you because everyone else is taken. There is no one else like you. And no I don’t mean in the isolating or pessimistic way. In a good way.

Today bin the word normal. You are not boring. People don’t all look, dress, act the same. Get rid of the word normal because it stops you from changing for the better. It is the very thing that has you moving in that same anxious, depressed circle. It is that same voice that says you have to feel anxious and depressed because it’s normal. If you do the irony is that depression and anxiety will become your crutch. Without it to lean on you strangely become fearful of letting it go. This crutch then becomes your new normal.

 I know this, because I feel the same. Know that with you I will try to do the same thing. Set fire to the word normal and strive to be anything but. You can do anything. Don’t let yourself say otherwise.