Elastic Band Day

Today I woke up feeling… Not very OK. So I thought I would post a bit about my own anxiety.

The title is simply a reference to my coping technique. I think I read it in a blog years ago, or saw it on TV, but if you put an elastic band or hair band on your wrist and then twang it when you start to think about the things that make you anxious, your brain kind of trains itself not to. Something like that. Look it up! Sometimes there is no obvious reason for my anxiety though….

I have had very slight anxiety for the last few years, but it was mostly a niggling feeling. After my mum died, it got much worse (I will keep coming back to that, because it was only 7 months ago and it’s still a big part of my life). I did see a doctor about it a while ago, he was mum’s GP and he was there throughout her illness, so he “gets it”. I don’t/didn’t want to use medication, and so he gave me a number for grief counseling. I have never called that number, because I just don’t want to discuss my experience with strangers (I may actually write it down here, but face to face discussion is not an option for me).

Anyway, so here we are, a few months down the line and I’m actually doing well. But it suddenly hit me again over the weekend. I was woken by the small person this morning and it was an instant feeling.

The overwhelming physical feeling is like something is inside my stomach trying to eat it’s way out. My body feels like it is buzzing ever so slightly. I can’t breathe in a regular way…I can’t get enough air… it’s hard to describe. And I can’t coordinate myself very well.

The mental side of things is equally exhausting. The constant thoughts of negativity. The inability to deal with the noise happening around me. As I wrote that last paragraph, the dog was barking and my daughter was asking for something and my brain had no idea how to process the noise that was coming at me, and that lead to me getting angry. Anger is a big part of it for me. I snap and then I feel bad, and that makes the physical side of things worse.

A few coping strategies that ease things a little are; the above elastic band technique, knitting or crochet, having a shower, or taking a walk. The best thing for it is to dye yarn. It’s like an instant release, my brain says “Aaaah, that’s better”. So if you buy yarn from me, you may have my entire heart and soul poured into that yarn. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing!

And with that, I think I have discovered something new that is helpful; writing it down. I feel a whole lot better for writing this.

I hope this goes some way to help people understand anxiety if they don’t suffer from it, or that it helps people feel less like it’s just them and they are alone. You are not alone. There are billions of us out there!

Deep breath. Signing off.

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