Two days before Christmas he arrived. I hadn’t invited him, but then… I never do. I couldn’t believe it when I woke up on the 23rd and found him there, like COME ON, it’s Christmas, I had no room for him but he nudged his way in and made himself very comfortable, very quickly.
And now I would have to spend Christmas with my nemesis… Anxiety.
I could feel the worry build up and climb higher until it sat in my throat, I literally felt like I could vomit worry. I was so annoyed that it had chosen this time to turn up, I had ensured that Christmas was going to be as stress free as possible, I had no last minute shopping to do, I had prepped all the food I could ahead of time, I had even packed for the few days we were going to be away. So there was nothing to worry about, NOTHING, but here I was, fidgety and anxious for what felt like no reason.
But of course, anxiety needs no reason, once you suffer from it you soon realise that it slips in without there being any rhyme nor reason. My husband knows pretty quickly when I’m feeling out of sorts and he coped it straight away. He tried to get me to talk about it and verbalise my worries, but all I could say was ‘everything and nothing’. And that was exactly it, I felt anxious but couldn’t pin point any one thing, it was just a general feeling. I hoped that it was just a passing thing, and I’d wake up feeling fine the next day, but no no, it was here to stay for the holiday season.
I spent the entire Christmas and New Year feeling like shit.
I tried to relax and enjoy myself, I went to visit family and decided to have a few drinks, thinking it’d help, all the time knowing it wouldn’t, but I just wanted to be out of my head for a while. I don’t mean in an illegal drug kind of way, just in a drunk and not thinking kind of way. And sure of course I woke the next day feeling worse. But I knew that would happen, while the buzz of a few drinks might relax you for a few hours, it’ll soon bring the anxiety back and make it even worse. So I coasted my way through the days that followed, I tried some meditation and mindfulness and to be honest it helped, not ridding me of the awful feeling but easing it.
And then on New Years day I woke up and it was gone! I felt ‘normal’ again, whatever normal is. And that is just it with my anxiety anyway, it arrives and gnaws at my gut, it might stay a day, it might stay a week, it might stay longer, but it will pass and that is what I cling to in the dark days.
This Too Shall Pass.