The gift/curse of imagination

I’m a dreamer. I have been for as long as I can remember. I like imagining situations, making them the best possible version of themselves. In other words imagining the perfect outcome or what I wish would happen. This isn’t a problem when the thing that I am imagining is pure fiction (My favourite at the moment is appearing on QI (British TV show) alongside Stephen Fry and Alan Davis… I LOVE that show!) The problem comes when I imagine/daydream the best possible outcome for something that is really happening.

A year ago I was in a really bad place mentally. My anxiety was thrashing me, I had a bit of a breakdown and ended up leaving my job. I had no choice but to come out about my anxiety, up until then nobody apart from one close friend had known about it. Suddenly everyone knew and I felt like an outcast, an invalid. I dreamt about overcoming my anxiety but I didn’t believe I could. The only thing I did know back then was that I had hit rock bottom and that meant the only way was up. I started looking at ways of reducing my anxiety and eventually that led to me starting this blog.

I have come a really long way since starting the blog in January. I know that and I am proud of myself but it has left me with another problem. I used to daydream about being able to do things that scared me, things like going on holiday again or going to a concert or the theatre. I have done all three of those things now and that takes me closer to the big goal, beating my anxiety (or at least reducing it to a point that it doesn’t take over my life). Its fantastic that I am doing these things that before I only dreamt of doing but this is where my daydreaming turns around and bites me. Because as I said earlier, when I dream up these scenarios I come up with the best possible outcome. That’s only natural right? But it means that when something goes wrong it hits extra hard because the scenario I had imagined was so much better and it felt like I was so close!

I think that is why September has been so hard for me. I was doing so well and then something went wrong and it really shook me up! My perfect scenario was snatched away and old doubts and insecurities crept in. Add that to the fact that I was already trying to adjust to my lowered medication and its not surprising that I practically fell to pieces. My time out from Twitter and blogging has helped me see this more clearly. Once I stopped focussing on it and forcing myself to try to make sense of all this stuff, it suddenly became clear. Typical huh?

I like my creative/imaginative side and I always will but I can see that sometimes its unhelpful. From now on I’m going to try to keep my daydreaming purely fictional, like my appearance on QI or the time I helped Batman foil the Joker…

My point is in real life things rarely go the way you dreamt they would but that is what makes life so interesting! I am still going to look at things optimistically, that’s just me, but from now on no more daydreamed outcomes. Imagination can be a curse as well as a gift!

Take care,

Hayley x


3 thoughts on “The gift/curse of imagination

  1. I can tell a difference between now and January. Like you, I was the last to notice when people said they saw my change, but it is there no matter how long we feel we still need to go.

    My thoughts on blog, twitter, etc are just that they should be an extension of you and what you need in that moment. Dont’ force it, some days you need to “talk” more than others. Totally understandable.

    ((Hugs)) I am glad you took the time to find yourself and get centered again. Very good work, chickadee!

  2. I think it’s actually a good thing to imagine getting through your anxiety though I do understand what you’re saying. Sometimes in life things don’t go as planned and it can be hard when we become fearful to push through those times. However, on the other hand, it is good to imagine the positive because the other option is imagining the negative, which is never good. I think the key is imagining that you will get through our anxiety but also practicing to actually get through it.

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