I set the bar high with the honesty thing and I’ve been fretting ever since. Every post that popped up on my Facebook timeline this week, had me second guessing myself. An article titled ‘What anxiety actually is, because it’s more than just worrying’, had me closer to pressing delete on last week’s post than ever.
There are people who suffer much worse than I do. Maybe I’m being dramatic. I’m such an attention seeker. What if I am just stressed? What do I know? What was I thinking posting that?
Before I go on I just want to thank the people who reached out to me this week with words of encouragement. You restored my faith, made me feel incredibly loved and I cannot tell you how grateful I am.
So, here we are. The post is still there and I’m taking a deep breath, flopping with a cuppa on one of our blow up chairs and I’m writing another one. If I’m being honest, it’s actually been a really good week. HOORAY.
Dave and I headed back to our parents’ houses last weekend.
Sunday was my Granny and Dave’s Dad’s birthday.
First thing in the morning I joined my mum in the kitchen. I sat on one of our kitchen stools, drinking tea and chatting happily away to her while she fried bacon for sandwiches. I was so happy to be back, to have slept back in my old bed, to see mine and Dave’s parents, to see the rest of my family, to have caught up with a couple of friends. I felt grounded again.
Mummy Maggs cooked a beautiful roast and we all had a slice of beautiful birthday cake and then my granny gave me a lot of invaluable advice on living on my own and cooking for two. (BIG TIP – Bulk buy meat, separate it into freezer bags and then freeze it in perfect portion sizes for defrosting and using whenever you like). She made me feel so much better about everything. I stole as many hugs off everyone as possible and then it was over to Dave’s to wish his dad a happy birthday and to join him and his parents for the EFL cup final.
Sunday night was when the nerves caught up with me again. It was time to face another week at our new flat. Monday was to be spent at home by myself again and I was to be stuck indoors because the BT boxes were being delivered any time between 7am and 6pm. Not only did this mean I had to sit by myself all day, but it meant I would be nervously sitting and waiting for the delivery man to buzz.
When the time came I made a complete muddle of the whole thing. I buzzed the door open for the delivery man, said I’d be down in a sec, chucked my shoes on and jumped in the lift. When I got to the bottom, he wasn’t at the door and it sounded as if he had started up the stairs. (Having only had to get the stairs because I’d stolen the lift of course!) I felt terrible. I didn’t want to shout, so I ran up the stairs after him as quick as I could and when I got back to my front door he was there waiting for me. I apologized and all was fine, but oh deary what a coffuffle.
That aside, Monday was actually a good day. Last week I’d let my perfectionism make me obsessive about cleaning. For the majority of Monday, I banned myself from housework, I sat with my lazy clothes on, watching films and successfully chilling out.
Tuesday my dad came over. He was a star. He got straight to work on setting things up for us before I’d even put the kettle on. He did lots of technical stuff and all I know is now all the light bulbs in the flat work, I can have a shower without the water going cold, we have TV and internet, we’re all set and I’ve started searching for and applying for jobs! My dad and I had a great day and playing the host made me feel more at home than ever.
Wednesday I made my first trip into town. I got horribly lost trying to find the car parks but managed to stay fairly calm despite the confusing one way system and all the buses I nearly collided with. Once in town, I was in my element. I bought a few bits and bobs we still needed, grabbed a costa coffee and then headed back home feeling accomplished.
Thursday one of my bestest friends came to see me. I spent the morning sorting and cleaning, had a proper breakfast and lunch for the first time all week and then embarked on a stressful journey to go collect her from the nearest tube station, in a place where it appears London drivers like to whizz round beeping their horns willy nilly. Once she was here, having her here made me so ridiculously happy. We made more travelling plans, booked our eurostar ticket and booked into our first hostel, watched gossip girl, caught up on life and then I cooked an AMAZING lasagna. The second drive back to the tube station was much less scary. It’s amazing what a little familiarity can do.
Nearly there, I promise…
Friday I enjoyed my first ever proper relaxed lay-in in my new bed and I knew I was making progress, starting to feel properly settled. My auntie came over for the day. We caught up over a cuppa, a maintenance guy dropped by to take a look at one of the windows, we headed into town for lunch and all in all, had a wonderful day.
This weekend has been Dave and I’s first proper weekend in the flat together. It’s been fab. We ordered takeaway on Friday night. Last night we cooked steak and made sweet potato wedges and shared a bottle of red wine. We did a food shop. We made a want/need list of things we still want/need for the flat.
All in all, it’s honestly good news. I am bounding forward into my new life and I don’t currently want to run back in the other direction.
1100 words later, I’ve already rambled on too long, but before I finish up I just have to say that the also honest truth is that good week, or not, I battled with anxiety every day. But that’s okay… For me, a big part of living with anxiety is accepting that it will be there with you every day for the rest of your life. That there will be times when it effects you more, or less, but it will always be present. I used to spend every day trying to overcome my anxiety all together and it always left me feeling disappointed and weak. What gives me hope right now, is that I’m here at the end of another week, smiling hugely, living on despite it, actually enjoying myself and feeling strong and proud for that reason.
What I’m saying is, if you fight a fight of your own every day of your life, be proud, stay strong and keep smiling. You’re a hero and you’re not alone.