"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).

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.

The Truth To Understanding Anxiety

The page is blank. It is staring at you, you are staring at it. You have everything and anything to say, yet the words cannot be found here. Your hand is not scrawling letters and your fingertips are not hitting the keyboard. Still you wait. Your brow deep in a frown, the clock barely moving and eyes blinking the same white. You wait some more.

You are frustrated. Why can’t I say what I want? Why can I not write? Are the thoughts, questions that go through your head. You need to get this done, you can’t get distracted now. No, distractions this time.

You must keep looking at the page. You have to keep asking yourself the same thing over and over until the first few words spring out and darken the all-white page.

What is stopping you? Is it boredom? Is it that TV show you are missing? Is it confusion or is it fear?
Fear stops us. First words are daunting, because it is the same as breaking silence only in written form. We are afraid to look in the mirror for what we imagine ourselves to look like rather than what we appear to be.

You have experienced this. I have experienced this. It is human.

Yet so many people don’t understand the same fear which drives anxiety? You say of course I understand anxiety, everyone gets anxiety. And it’s true, everyone experiences nervousness from sitting in an exam to being asked questions in your first job interview. Everyone gets anxious.
But what if that spike of nerves or that instinct to run hit you every day? Like the blank piece of paper you are always staring it down, because you can’t think of the words, you can’t find the solution or the cure to heal your fears.

What is it like living with ‘anxiety’?

It is obvious. Not easy. Imagine yourself not being able to go out the house, because when you go out you feel judged by others. It is like when you walk into the room where people have been clearly talking about you. It is that uncomforting feeling that follows you wherever you go.
It is feeling useless. You are told you are not, but you feel it anyway. Because you have told it to yourself a thousand times that you believe it.

Anxiety is limitless. It is unique it is you.

It is the label tied around your neck that makes you feel different when you are similar and similar when you are different.

It is an excuse, but it is also a truth.

It is fueled by doubts, dominated by question and powered by fear.