Trigger warning – discussing anxiety
The question is am I suffering with anxiety or am I just anxious?
For instance, when I have been invited to events or nights out, I have been that friend who cancelled at last minute, was it anxiety or was I just anxious.
Equally, it can also be put down to fatigue, as I have struggled with that for a long time too.
Yet I am also that person that jumped on trains on my own without a thought for anything, both for work and personally.
However, when it came to nights out and getting ready that’s when the anxiety would Kick in, most of it related to how I looked and what I was going to wear.
Getting ready for nights out
Firstly, it would be the clothes coming out of the wardrobe, they would be too small, too big, my legs would be on show, my arms would be on show, you could see my belly, my backfat was showing, basically I was uncomfortable in my body and any of the clothes I tried on would invariably end up in a pile on the bed, never to be worn again.
Furthermore, people would be looking at me and commenting, was I overdressed, was I underdressed, did I have too much on show, any insecurity there was to be had I had them all.
The result of this more often than not, ended up with me making a call or sending the text very last minute to cancel, hence I quickly became known for being unreliable and subsequently, friends stopped asking me one by one.
In particular, work-related anxiety always set my IBS off which resulted in me missing meetings and important events,
Consequently, I have turned around on motorways, well, exited junctions and come back on the other side, more than once, stopped at pub toilets in addition to getting halfway to London on a train and having to get off and catch another train home.
The majority of my meetings ran on buscupan and Imodium.
Certainly this is a where fear comes in because now I can finally hold my head up high about how I look, the anxiety is about whether I am going to go dizzy, whether my limbs will hold me up all day, will I end up with tremors or spasticity, will my heart rate increase and my blood pressure drop, which worse case scenario ends with a visit to A&E.
Indeed not too bad if I’m not far from home, however when you are 100 miles from home as I was here and it happens, you have to rely on friends and family to get you through it and home safely.
Subsequently, these thoughts all go through my head before I even leave the house, I don’t go anywhere now without tena lady’s, headphones, spare pants and a fan.
Where I live
I class myself as very fortunate to get allocated an adapted bungalow in a sheltered area, however, the anxiety kicks in when the neighbours see me in my wheelchair and walking with my stick because they are all older than me and have their own ailments.
Another is the guilt because the majority of the neighbours are still getting about without aids and at 53 years old I am unable to stand for long and need a wheelchair to go to the local shop.
Last weekend the Close held a gala, all the residents have worked tirelessly to put it on, my only involvement was to give them some clothes and bits to sell.
Because help wasn’t asked for, I assumed rightly or wrongly that I wouldn’t be expected to.
Subsequently the full day was spent with me getting up from the sofa every now and again and looking out to see what was happening, but not quite having the conviction to go out of the door and offer assistance, why you ask yourselves, because I didn’t want to show my vulnerability to my new neighbours.
Not wanting them to see how I have to stay sat down and of course, would have been unable to run backwards and forwards with bits and pieces from the hall to the green and once again my anxiety took over.
Finally, at 4 pm the neighbours were packing up, so venturing outside I hoped there were some cakes left for my tea.
As a result, whether it was banter or not, I heard a couple digs about leaving it late to come out and in particular being called a shirker, I was about to turn around and go back in the house in shame.
Thankfully my lovely next-door neighbour invited me to sit with them, however, I took my own drinks and didn’t touch any that had been supplied to the helpers.
How do I overcome this
Certainly without a doubt, this amazing little community is something I want to be part of, the ones who all went running when one of the neighbour’s lifelines was going off the other night.
So, as there is a coffee club in the hall on a Tuesday and Thursday my plan is to start attending on a regular basis, in the hope that I can integrate myself with them.
Above all my aim is to let them know my limitations, that I am not lazy and if I can help I will.
The next event is Halloween and having not got dressed up for Halloween for a number of years, I am looking forward to being part of it, just as long as they don’t ask me to climb ladders to hang spiders webs it should be OK.
Finally, the local MS Society Group has started back up after the summer holiday so my plan is to join there in the near future.
So, is it anxiety or am I just anxious?
Comments and thoughts welcome.