So its a Friday, the sun is shining and I am sat here listening to a new singer I have discovered, Sinead Harnett. I have always found music so healing for me especially soul/jazz /rnb and she is fab! Today I feel calm and positive and happy. I am holding on to this feeling because there are days when I don’t feel like this!
I live with anxiety and panic attacks as the main symptom at the moment. This can limit my life in a lot of ways and its something that I want to break free from. I am very much a homebody but I also love seeing my friends. My anxiety can creep up and sometimes I don’t feel able or have the energy to see people or venture outside alone. Its difficult.
I did a questionnaire with my therapist last month which indicated that I do have some symptoms of PTSD but not the full blown disorder. This manifests as wanting to keep myself safe- in safe places and with people who are deemed safe in my head (won’t judge me badly, won’t ask difficult questions etc). I find it hard to do things alone as well- which I would love to change (things like going for a walk etc).
Keeping myself safe began as something to protect myself after the traumas of being sectioned, losing my mind in psychosis, being sexually assaulted and having to live in hospital for 4 months (and injected with medicine when very ill), with a further 4 months in a hospital day recovery unit. The life I knew was under threat and my anxiety was so high- i was flooded with adrenaline and there were times when I couldn’t sit still, I didnt communicate with anyone and turned my phone off, i went to bed at 8pm each night during that time- I was traumatised and unable to cope.
As you know, I have been working on my recovery from that bipolar episode since 2015. I am a different person and my medicines ensure I do not become manic in psychosis (believing a false reality) or severely depressed. I engage in therapy too. However, lately I have been noticing that I have been placing some limitations on my life that I need to work on.
Sometimes leaving the flat can be challenging. Sometimes meeting up with other people is hard. Blood tests, doctors surgeries and hospitals trigger panic in me still due to past trauma. I was able to get my Covid jabs with support, but I find anything medical really really hard because of what I have gone through. Its hard to trust people and put myself in environments that remind me of past trauma (in hospital i had to have weekly blood tests to check my lithium levels).
I am only 33 and I am a work in progress. Healing is taking longer than I thought it would… but my husband, friends and family (and our guineapigs) all help with that- as does my therapist. Having a purpose daily and working with my Body Shop Team- Team Hope, fellow manager Leyla and my upline Sarah is incredible and they all give me so much joy.
I don’t want to keep looking back- I want to feel my life with positivity, sunshine and happiness. However, sometimes fear can be strong. Sometimes i get scared or things effect my subconscious mind.
I am starting to realise that that is OK. My confidence will improve in time and I will continue to work on it, to grab life with both hands instead of taking shaky steps. Writing and blogging is always so therapeutic and I am to work on more projects too 🙂
I am learning its alright to be a work in progress but to reach out for help to change my life and overcome fear.