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"Life is like a box of chocolates"

As a film junkie who has a habit of quoting films like some form of dictionary. I like the classic Forest Gump saying Life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re going to get [in a thick Southern accent]. Of course you have heard of this film. If not – how can you not have watched it? They have repeated it on Channel Four like a million times.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure if this were true, I would have devoured the whole box by now. But, what if I kept getting that chocolate that no-one wants. You know like the Milky-Way or Snickers that are left in the Celebrations tub at Christmas (if it even survives till then). Everyone else having beaten you and nabbed all your favouriteones **Cough Malteasers. Darn it next year we should just pick out all the best ones and hide them. And if you are one of the few heckling me over Snickers and Milky-Ways, stop moaning at least you get them all to yourself! Well, at least in my house you would! You waited too long, letting everyone else take that sweet opportunity. Now you are depressed and have no chocolate to stuff in your gob.

So, back to the point. What is my point? Oh, well I suppose if you think about it the quote explains us. Life is unpredictable – you can’t always get those pack of Cadbury milk buttons which are so – yummy… dreamy… mouth is watering…

I know what you are thinking. This quote is a bit inaccurate. Come on, the little menu on the inside of the box. Hello! The menu that everyone hogs for about a few seconds – hmming and harrring reading a bit of the description before finally picking. Then the next person snatches it from you – outraged you have made them wait so long. Granted that is true. So, think of it as a pack of Revels or better yet a big bag filled with all kinds of different chocolate – this time you’re blindfolded. Don’t cheat you are not allowed to peak, just pick one.

This time you can’t predict what you are going to get. I suppose as anxious people we like to think we know the menu. To us we know that having the bite of the hazelnut chocolate is going to send us nutty or the toffee keeping our words stuck in our mouth. But, sometimes they can surprise you perhaps the one that looked disgusting had this lovely chocolate centre.

Therefore, I can conclude that life is unpredictable. Unpredictability being the true nemesis for people like us with anxiety. The rules of the Chocolate Box SLASH Life game goes as follows:
1.      Don’t wait and let someone pick the chocolate you wanted and then get jealous. Go for it first!
2.      Go for something different. You might find your new favourite chocolate – a better and knew thing in your life.
3.      Fight the urge to get your crystal ball before taking the chocolate dip, chances are you could be wrong. And no you pessimistic creature it could be for good things too.
4.      Never let them expire. It is never good to let a good chocolate or opportunity go to waste.

They say chocolate should only be eaten in moderation. So the chocolates you pick out act as the big events in your life. Or rather screw it, you deserve to have a chocolaty life! Write down your goals or the chocolates you want eat (this figure of speech) and eat and enjoy them all. Why shouldn’t life be a sweet treat you get share with others, but this time try not to give everyone the ones you don’t like. Yep, I saw that. Every once in a while it is always nice to let someone else have the Malteaser one (or other that is your favourite).

Your life is in your hands

Hello Anxiety…

It’s just turned 9 o’clock or if you’re being specific 9:03. Before I sat at my desk to look out the window which was holding the brisk blue morning outside, I was nearly exploding with ideas to write. Now that I have had a shower and sat down, you have guessed it – they have gone. But, here is something I wrote some days ago when it just felt like everything was crumbling over me…

Is this ever going to end?

I can’t cope anymore. 

I am trapped here. Stuck in this nervousness by the tense walls of my body. Each muscle is fringed and pulling away from me. I don’t think I can take this much longer. I feel sick. Oh no – I feel sick. I feel sick! I am so afraid. It’s getting worse! Stop making it worse. Calm DOWN. 

Perhaps I can’t. What if I can’t calm down? 

I am not going to calm down. Another sloshed wave of nausea hits. I panic. I don’t know what to do. Why is this happening to me? I want it to go away and never come back. Gosh, why did I have to be like this? 

Too soon I become aware of every negative thought. It numbs me, controls me. Stops me from wanting to fight. I took punch after punch. In the ring in my mind anxiety was winning. I couldn’t get up. Just lay there on the floor taking blow after blow, thought after thought. I was bowing in submission. I felt too weak with the tension which has plagued me for weeks. Memories of anxiety relentlessly flashing in front of my eyes, trying to make me feel as though I was reliving the same moment. It was at night. It’s night now etc. I had enough of always feeling this way.

In some way it was like I was predicting my own prophecy. A prophecy that in reality or written down was warped, distorted and blurred by something other than myself. Where can I go? 

Somehow you feel like you are scrambling in a pit slick with mud. You are trying to reach the top, but you keep sliding down. Last night was not the best. But, it was not the worst either, however tempting it is to say so. I managed to control myself. Even though right now there is a voice in my ear telling me I didn’t. But, I did. 

So ok everything wasn’t suddenly sunshine and rainbows – though I would love to have that any day. Simply by playing with my dog, taking a shower, reading, watching some funny TV (not depressing TV – keep in mind it has to make you laugh) did help. Now if you are anything like me, you are sceptic. Or maybe it is that voice telling you as it did me – nothing is going to work. Don’t bother even trying it. It is all about what is best for you – not me or everyone else – just you. I suppose trying is better than nothing. It is the hope that says we can get through this. At the beginning of the night I was at my wits end. It told me I wouldn’t survive this. How could I go on living like this? Having so much stress in my body. And although I am a bit shaken up by last night, I got through so can you. 

So, whether you are just having a really crappy day, woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or  really worried about the day ahead, try to find what it is you enjoy that will take at least the edge off.

You don’t always feel the same everyday. To me it is sometimes having these stretches of days may be more when ‘it’ has control of me and like a puppet I move with it until, I eventually break and fall like cascading dominoes.  Then after these times it is like a weird limbo. Everything you felt doesn’t feel as heightened now. And what felt like long anxious ‘I can’t cope’ anymore days have become a blurred memory you keep trying to get a hold of. This is not saying I don’t feel anxious, just not as scarily so.

But, even though I felt my body was going without me. I was tense all the time and confused as to how to stop it. The good thing is that I feel a bit better now. Because the reality is that my life was put in my own hands. Just like yours is. It was not put in the hands of your friends, your family, your bank, your job, your school or a bully. It was put in yours. Accept that it is going to take time to feel less anxious. But, remember that being anxious is up to you. Like it was up to me on that night. And although perhaps I still wasn’t the most relaxed, by trying to retake control I was taking one step out of many more.

So, as you head wherever you are going today. Try to take another step. Today is your day. Grab it because you can.