An Anxiety Update

Last week I managed to queue in the local supermarket without a glimmer of a panic attack or even a slight wobble. I thought I was cured! If I could have high-fived myself I would have done. I was thrilled walking out of the shop…I should have known it was too good to be true.

My body decided to bring me back to earth with a bang when I met someone in the street and they asked me all about my anxiety. How it started, what symptoms I get, how I deal with it. I was floored because I wasn’t expecting it and was caught off guard. I’m grand typing about my problems but I’m not great talking about it. I know the person wasn’t to know and I had no idea I would react the way I would. I did hold it together but it was tough and I was a bag of nerves when I got back to the car. So just in case I should happen to meet anyone out and you think I’m behaving a bit strangely it’s just stress and nerves. I’m very happy to answer any questions by email as I feel safe behind my computer, I’m just not so good when I have to speak and I have nothing to hide behind.

Apart from all that things are good. I had the loveliest day on Sunday where I didn’t feel a bit stressed all day – a very rare occasion. A friend did my hair today and I feel so much better for trying to pay attention to my appearance and I’m thrilled with the new hair.

I went to my drama therapy session yesterday and it was amazing, it really helps to put how I feel into words. I managed to describe this knot I feel in my chest when the panic starts, it feels like a hard red ball and when it starts my whole body goes tense, it’s exhausting. My drama therapist is so kind and caring and things she said to me yesterday have already helped me immensely. I’m so looking forward to the next session.

I also went to counselling today, another really helpful session. I get so much out of it and in both places I don’t feel judged or paranoid which I do sometimes in ‘real life’.

I also feel like the medication has finally kicked in and I’m not a trembling wreck anymore – on the outside anyway! Inside is sometimes a different story. I describe myself as looking like I’m swimming gracefully but under the surface I’m drowning.

It’s a case of taking each day as it comes. Sometimes I’m OK to be out and about and even enjoy it. Other times I would love to just stay in bed and pull the covers over my head. It’s almost like having two personalities in one body.

The main point of this blog is if you are going through something similar hang on in there. You would be surprised at how many people are going through the same thing. If you don’t have anyone you can talk to feel free to drop me an email at I’m by no means an expert on any of this but I’m happy to listen or perhaps meet for coffee. Take care xx


9 thoughts on “An Anxiety Update

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  1. Delighted for you Val. Like most roads around here, there is more than the occasional pothole. And the scenery and weather is constantly changing.
    The important thing is you have begun travelling the road to wellness. It is inevitable there will be moments of panic interspersed with really good moments, and the good news is that the enjoyable moments will become more frequent till a day passes and then a second and third. It will be in a moment of reflection that the awareness of these now infrequent days will suddenly enter consciousness as oh weren’t the last several days lovely?
    This feeling of calm will eventually take root and oscillations between extremes will become rarer until they totally stop.
    The heightened state of self awareness and the feeling of being outside your body looking whilst viewing your own reactions will diminish and cease too.
    So in the meantime be gentle with yourself and try not to make too many demands on yourself either in terms of expectations or judgements of a moment negatively perceived
    You are getting better and this realisation not alone brings hope but ironically fuels the speed of recovery generating feelings of enhanced vibrancy and wellbeing. Don’t become disheartened by relapses. As with the seasons the process will have cyclical moments but as already said they will become increasingly infrequent till they disappear. Continue to surround yourself with positive people, life events and creative outlets as you are doing and like doing a jigsaw the pieces will fall into place in a natural unforced manner. And as with a jig saw, sometimes even starring at the correct piece, doesn’t guarantee recognition. Fresh eyes some hours later often recognise it immediately.
    I am so glad that you can see your own improvement, as this will give you so much hope and strength and an enhanced appreciation for the marvel of our complexity, fragility but ultimately our strength as humans.

  2. God bless you Val. If more people would be more honest about how they feel with anxiety stress and depression perhaps it would be easier to treat and have the person feel more at ease. Thank you for your honesty. I love your pics and stories. Your family is beautiful. Hugs from southwestern Pennsylvania USA. I’d love to share a cuppa tea with you! Don’t give up! 🍀🙏😊🍀

  3. Reading this new post made me cry cause it even seems that you’re putting in words thoughts and feelings that I had in my most difficult phase dealing with panic attacks.
    It’s been nearly 8 years and I tell you that every time that the sun rises it’s a joy but also a new challenge. I never know if it’s going to be a day that I’ll feel like going out to live and enjoy my life or if I’ll feel like needing to stay in bed in fetal position, in the dark and silence.
    I’m the same about writing about the way I feel vs. speaking about the way I feel. Sometimes it’s very hard at work when I’m not in a good day and someone comes and asks me what’s going on though they already know about my condition.
    Once that you reveal that you have a mental disorder you WILL face judgement, nonsense questioning and at moments embarrassment cause not everbody knows how to talk about this topic in a respectful and careful way.
    Therapy is so helpful! And you’re so lucky that you already found a therapist with whom you feel comfortable to talk to them and feel understood and taken in. I had to try 4 different therapists till I found THE one.
    You’ve made progress, Val. Keep up everything you’ve done. You mentioned the good sensation that the new haircut have you. Beauty rituals ALWAYS help me to improve my mood and self esteem too so that’s a 👍 positive. ☺

    1. Thank you Ally for your lovely comment.
      I’ve heard from a lot of people who have tried different therapists so I’m very lucky to have found two good ones.

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