Self-care vs laziness

For some reason, my titles are starting to tie in more with the content of the posts… Eh.

I think, over the course of this blog, I’m going to post about this again and again. And if you get sick of reading about it; I’m not sorry. This is important. And if it keeps coming up for me like it does, then it clearly needs to be talked about.

“Get up, finish that essay, ride Sam, work Immy, go to work. *nod decidedly*”

The reality was get up an hour and a half later than the alarm (that was still before 6.30, but not the 4.45 I’d been aiming for), feed horses, open essay, scroll through Facebook, yawn, feel depleted from placement yesterday, shut down computer, watch hoarders and eat toast.

And the guilt only flickered across me for a moment. I’m super proud of that. Every week, I’m making decisions based on what’s best for my mind, body and spirit. Sure, a horse ride would do me good, but there’s no reason I can’t ride tonight after work. And sure, having that essay submitted would be cool this morning, but it can also be submitted on Saturday. What I can’t put off is rest, recuperation and self-care. If I need rest now I need it now. Most things are flexible. Most things can be rescheduled. What I’m starting to realise, is that it shouldn’t be rest and self-care that keeps getting put off. …

I’ll find/make time to ride, I’ll push to get the essay finished, but I won’t push to get a nap in or take some relaxation time. That’s not “a priority”. WHY!? Why isn’t it a priority!? How do I expect to be able to carry on without proper rest!? I can’t help people if I’m not helping myself. You can’t pour from an empty cup is becoming my daily mantra. A constant reminder to listen to my body and care for it.

So now I sit in trackies on the couch, under a blanket, watching hoarders and eating Nutella toast and it’s not even 8am. Here’s to a morning of recouperation after a heavy day counselling yesterday.

A panic attack in prose

Last week I had a pretty severe panic attack… One that made me question whether I had a hold on my anxiety or whether it had a hold on me, even though I knew logically and rationally that I’ve been doing awesome with it…

I was at placement… during a staff development/student free day and after pulling on a facade of calm, I sat quietly at the back and wrote…
I intended to share it immediately after, but lacked the courage to be that vulnerable… Now, as I prepare to transcribe it from pen and paper to interwebs, I’m left wondering if it will even seem half as dramatic as it felt at the time…
The point of me sharing it is that while it might not feel like it at the time, panic attacks, anxiety, ocd, depression etc are nothing to be ashamed of. They happen. Sometimes you can calm yourself through symptoms, sometimes you can’t. But they do not define you and they absolutely do not make you a less valuable human.

——

“I’m writing to try to take my mind off a panic attack.

I feel so watched.

This one has been long
3 hours
I’m already exhausted as if I’ve done a 16 hour day… In 3 hours…

Everyone is a familiar stranger.
I know everyone but no-one’s name…

I’m trying to pay attention.
Met with conflicting emotions about a Christian Sermon.

What we think about God shapes everything that we do”

Well that’s not untrue, I guess…

So contrived… A mask… A costume… A gang colour…

I moved my chair to a secluded place but now I’m surrounded.
I can feel everyone’s buzz pushing on me…

I’m just exhausted.

3 hours. “Good work will naturally serve others” 

I’m starting to blank out now.

I spent my drive here not hearing the radio.

I split myself in two but it wasn’t even.
7/8ths silently screaming for help, for peace, for stillness.
1/8th tiredly saying to breathe, to pull over and recite numbers, to recentre heart and mind, to clear chakras.

How far is a 7:1 fight? It’s not.
Never
How am I ever supposed to believe that that is going to end favourably for the calm, rational side? The panic is so powerful. So relentless, so unforgiving. SO convincing.

When you’re in the throes of a panic you start to question whether you’re ever calm, whether you were ever on top of your anxiety or if you were just kidding yourself.
It’s always there.
But it’s always surprising when it hits you again.
And I’m not going to pretend it’s a gentle knock on the door and a polite request to enter your life again…
It’s a tank. Armed. Unstoppable. Unreadable and destructive.
Devastatingly destructive sometimes…

That moment- because it IS a moment, in the scheme of things- it feels like it’s all over, and you’ll never get a grip again…
And it’s tempting to throw hands in the air and give in to the dragon that is my anxiety
But in the calm wreckage that’s left after a panic attack- I realise that I’m ok…
I’m doing good.
They’re fewer and further between. I’m better at acknowledging them
And believe it or not, I’m getting better at managing them…”

——