Now that summer is finally making an appearance, I’ve gone into a reflective mood. It started a couple of weeks ago when I was on holiday, the change of scene and the fresh air gave me a strange sense of peace. On the second day I took a walk down the lane, past the horse fields (you may remember the photo lol!) to the coastal path which overlooks the beach. I sat at the top of the cliffs for a long time enjoying the view and reflecting over the last year. It was last June that things started to fall apart for me. As I watched the waves a lot of questions came to mind. Here are just a few of them…
- If someone had told me a year ago that today I would be on holiday feeling totally calm would I have believed them?
- If they also told me that I was in a much better state of mind now would I have believed them?
- Did I do the right thing when I left my job (due to anxiety)?
- Could I have handled things better with my family?
- Is there a way I can make my parents understand my anxiety?
- Am I making enough progress?
- Where do I go from here?
As I sat at the top of the cliff path I decided that the answer to the first two questions was the same. I would want to believe, I would hope that it was true and take strength from it. I have come a long way in the last year. I am proud of my progress, last year I was a wreck. But I know I still have a long way to go and as I watched the waves down on the beach, I felt a strong sense of confidence that I will make it one day. Sure, since I came home and back to “normal” life my confidence has been wavering but surely that’s to be expected?
I have still been reflecting, especially during the last week, although I’ve been trying to be as subjective as possible. The past is in the past so there is no point dwelling on any mistakes but if there is a lesson to be learnt then I want to try to find it. So here is what I came up with for the other questions.
Did I do the right thing when I left my job (due to anxiety)?
Some of you will know that I felt a lot of guilt about leaving my job last year. I loved my job but I was in such a state that I felt I wasn’t capable of doing it anymore. I got a lot of grief from my parents for quitting, they were furious and it left me feeling really low. I think that I did what I thought was best and that is all you can ever do! I just have to put it behind me now. Easier said than done when I live near the family I worked for and there are little reminders ever where I look! I’m working on it.
Could I have handled things better with my family?
I hid my anxiety from my family for years but last summer it all came out. It feels like a taboo subject. We don’t talk about it. I tried to talk to my mam about my anxiety a couple of weeks ago. I found an opportunity to slip my anxiety into a conversation we were having. She walked away. I don’t think she meant to but it hurt. Maybe it would have been easier for everyone if I had found the courage to tell my family before my anxiety reached breaking point. Maybe that’s a lesson I can take from this, I should try to be more open in the future.
Is there a way I can make my parents understand my anxiety?
I can’t really answer this question right now. This is my biggest sticking point. I feel frustrated with my family for not understanding my anxiety but how can they understand if I don’t talk to them about it? I want to but I’m scared they won’t listen or will just dismiss everything I’m saying as daft or silly. From a young age I have heard those two words when I have admitted to being anxious about something, maybe that’s why I started bottling my fear up. I think my biggest fear is telling my parents about the things that make me the most anxious, only for them to say “Well that’s just silly.” I couldn’t bear it.
Am I making enough progress?
I have been thinking hard about this one and I think the answer is YES. I’m being impatient but I have been doing well. I am doing my best and that is all any of us can ever do!
Where do I go from here?
I guess I just keep doing what I’m doing! I have my bucket list and my monthly Little Steps posts to keep me on track. I think the main thing I have to do is learn to be more patient!
If you have any experience or tips about talking to loved ones about your mental health I’d love to hear from you. I have to be honest, I’ve been feeling really down about that area of my life recently. If you have anything to add, please get in touch =)