Jibber-jabber at dawn #5….

With a semi successful sleep behind me, I stir from my slumber with a minor headache but a smile on my face. Today shall be a productive one.

The garden still with plenty to do, is always a task to look forward to. Shrubs need trimming, borders need tidying and a dismantled shed needs breaking down into usable and unusable. I’ve lost a little momentum with the garden but I’m hoping to build a swing seat out of the decent wood from the shed. I can see it now – birds tweeting, bees and butterflies aplenty, pots and trellises in bloom, and a swing chair to enjoy it all. T’will be amazing…

Today is also a gym day. Forty minutes on the bike has become something I look forward to, a necessary evil turned unexpected joy. And it’s leg day, my favourite! Some may ponder whether I’m being sarcastic here, but as with cardio, I’m loving leg day!

A new found vigour courses through me of late, a want to get things done! I’m giving more 100% at the gym and I’m hoping I can find the same intensity for my gardening again! Building this chair and seeing the success of tidy borders and shrubs will no doubt spur me on no end.

Never giving up and always searching for little victories and enjoyment in life is something I firmly believe everyone should work towards. Yes, you may lose a little momentum or even have completely shite days but there is always something to look forward to. Whether that be a major life change or a minor victory, find what makes you happy and hold on to it….

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A lifted fog….a muted thunderstorm….

To say I’ve fixed a problem would be bold. To say I’ve conquered and surpassed it, even bolder. To say I’ve found a sneaky shortcut may be a cocky and assured notion, but I think this is as close to a description as I can get.

I’m talking about anxiety. A fear of people and crowds is that of deep and hateful torment. Noise and commotion a trigger. I’ve never been one for socialising or even conversation. As much as I’ve come to accept attacks, they’ll never be okay, never a delightful experience. Always a terrifying ordeal and something I never want again. But a sense of ‘it’ll pass’ seems a new undercurrent to the anxious fog and thunderstorm.

After playing around with the times I take my medication – with the psychiatrist’s okay – I’ve found that a sense of control has snuck it’s way in.

This, however isn’t the sneaky shortcut. I’ve found that during an attack, music is an escape from the situation I find myself in. Earphones in, music of any sort – from classical & soul to heavy metal & R&B – I’ve realised that the sounds from all around are a large problem for me, as well as all the people and goings-on.

So to effectively mute my surroundings, my frazzled mind only has to deal with the sights and atmosphere. Do I feel rude and ignorant having silenced any incoming voice or sound? No. Do I feel immense glee that I’ve un-fogged a miniscule part of my anxiety? Also no. But it’s a pathway to a possible future where anxiety and panic are no longer needed in my vocabulary. Giving me a chance to overcome each sense at a time.

It may be a little victory, but as I’ve said before, these are important. And I’m smiling. Smiling at my little accomplishment 😊😊

Jibber-jabber at dawn #2….

After writing a ton yesterday, reading it back to myself and hitting delete, I had a moment of emptiness. Just the thought of spending hours, wasting them in fact, cut a little deeper than expected.

I’ve written and deleted before, but yesterday was different. I thought I was on to something. What I was putting on paper felt right, it felt like I had something to say. On reading it back just once, I realised I clearly didn’t.

So I lay back, and had an argument with myself. Fighting the urge to delete everything I’d ever written. It was difficult. Who am I to think anything I’ve written, posted, or created for a novel is good and worthy of others to see.

I thought back to a phrase an old acquaintance once told me. I’m not a fan of it but I think I finally understand it. ‘You’ve got to know when to kill your babies’. The words themselves make you wide eyed and almost gasp in horror. But it relates to what you hold dear. Back then it was used by a sous chef, to a head chef…me. His point was that even if you’ve worked hard on a dish, if you’re not happy with the outcome, know when to keep going or get rid completely.

Thinking of this phrase with a similar horror at it’s words, I finally found relief in it’s meaning. Whether or not this piece of writing deserved to be erased is irrelevant. I wasn’t happy with it. In future I know I need to think more rationally. Take a step back, as my mum says, close down the page and come back to it. Then make that decision and be okay with it.

Know when to take a step back, evaluate and proceed. Sounds easy as I read it back. But it’s a sound piece of advice, one I hope I put in to action…..

Progression and regression….

Although change ultimately comes from within, physical change that others and the mirror can see will be the first to be noticed.

No matter how hard you may try, if the progress isn’t that of linear progression, a sense of ‘failure’ (I hate this word) will sit like a turd at the back of your mind….or even the forefront. This thought itself is where a pattern of little progress followed by regression can feed and grow. Regressing back to a former state, leaving all the hard work you’ve done to disintegrate as if it were a myth.

For me, this is a common occurrence. Appreciating growth and progress no matter the size or life altering consequence/benefit, an impatient and downright foolish mentality sucks the life out of something that will ultimately be beautiful. Whether it be massive or minor, progress is something to savour. Physical, mental or emotional.

Be proud of who you are, where you’re going and the progress you’re making! See the beauty in the simple things and give yourself a break.

Breaking points and breaking boundaries….

When does an achievable boundary become a breaking point? It all depends on how it is dealt with. Today I hit both, pushing past a boundary to stare a breaking point dead in the eye.

After pushing myself to get out of the house, away from this very screen, a trip to a friend’s eatery was an aim worth pushing for. A pizzanini was on the cards – pizza meets panini. After achieving this feat I was rewarded greatly. Sitting comfortably, even ordering for myself I sipped a cappuccino and slowly DEMOLISHED that carb filled goodness!

With pooch and mum in tow, I proceeded to eat cake! It was a success! With this being said, a boundary overcome, I went fishing for more mind building progress. To venture down the street has long been an absolutely terrifying prospect. Even before my breakdown I feared it, forcing my way through to hide this irrational terror.

All this jostling with boundaries and breakthroughs is surprisingly tiring. Exhausting in fact. The street was hollering to me, however, ‘conquer me and wave goodbye to your fear’.

This was where a boundary, an achievable goal began to slowly turn to a breaking point. With no option to turn back, eyes glued to the pavement in front of me, the counting of steps began. To reach fifty and still barely halfway, vulnerability was like a pitchfork to the head.

With 202 steps on the clock, a detour was a must. Between shops to a people free alleyway reduced the panic no end.

Before it got too much, my breaking point, I reached and surpassed multiple goals. Pushed passed fears. And ultimately, took it right to the point of ‘oh shit, what am I doing!?’ before I backed down. That is the achievement here, that is a victory for Smiley.

I’ve sat and soaked in fear of these breaking points. Terrified that if I get too close to one I’ll lose my mind again. I can’t bare think about that. But this success today helped me realise that, as said before, I control me. I know where that point is and I can face it, avoid it and even narrowly dodge it if needs be.

Don’t be fearful of what could happen. Be aware of who you are, every feeling and do as much as you can up to that point of vulnerability. In time this point will move further and further past where it started. And what could happen turns into a speck. An eye squinting dot in the distance.

I’m pushing to get to a place in life where fear is a secondary feeling, behind that of intrigue, nervous excitement and anticipation. Break boundaries, wave goodbye to breaking points and sayonara to all consuming anxiety!