Anxiety Habits, Sunday Rambling + Sneak Peek

Image (c) Lou @ Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

This week seems to have flown by. We have started the Christmas shopping {mainly online hehe}, we have been lazy, i have been blogging, Friday was G’s birthday and i hope he had a lovely day. I wanted to have a ‘normal’ day and attempt to eat out somewhere as a treat for us.

Thing is i haven’t eaten in a pub/restaurant setting in over 18 months now, so it was a hurdle for me. I did it!! OK so it was only a bowl of chips, but i was brave and we had a family pub lunch. My issues of eating out are complex… it used to be about eating in front of others, in a setting with strangers surrounding me. These days my biggest worry is from a coeliac perspective, i am scared silly of being contaminated with gluten and find it so hard to trust others to cook for me.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the perhaps weird things or habits i have gotten into because of the anxiety. I feel they are normal but they aren’t, after 10 years, they become normal to me, but i still want to break those barriers down. I got chatting to someone recently, where we both said we did a certain thing… and i didn’t feel like a total weirdo for once. I am going to share the things don’t or do do below, with a little explanation. I am scared of this as it’s so personal, but i am hoping it will help others and me in the process. And i hope it to become a little check list for me to work through….

* I don’t eat out, only in Starbucks etc where gluten free food is prepackaged.

* If i go to the cinema i have to sit in the aisle seat, in case i need to leave.

* I haven’t travelled in a car, with anyone else, apart from G and A in YEARS. I especially haven’t let anyone drive me anywhere. I feel too out of control, and these are deep rooted issues due to an event that happened in my teens.

* For the past year i have been petrified at night. This is a complex and long story. But last summer there was a power cut, and it gave me my first ever panic attack. I was receiving therapy at the time and was vulnerable and it caught me out. After that, every evening for around 8 months i had anxiety attacks. I would sit in the living room shaking uncontrollably, needing the toilet, dry mouth, feeling sick, totally scared and out of control. I couldn’t sleep without my hypno track on my iPhone. I have got this under control now, but still afraid of a power cut in the evenings, in case it triggers this again. Because of this we haven’t had guests over in the evenings for well over a year and i feel so terribly guilty all the time over it. This is my main issue at the moment. But i am getting there.

* I don’t do public transport, i tried giving it another go in the past, but my recent anxiety issues have me very afraid. Going on public transport and being out of control is a no go for me at the moment.

* I don’t like to use public toilets particularly. If i feel poorly i will panic and want to rush home instead.

* The last time i stayed away anywhere over night was in hospital after having little A.

* In my head i have safe places i visit, i don’t like unfamiliar places.

{there is probably more i need to add here, i may do this as and when i remember them, wow i feel anxious now hehe!!}

I hope i don’t sound silly now hehe! I want people to try and understand why i say no, or don’t do certain things. I totally understand when others don’t, as it’s so skewed, my way of thinking, its irrational and out of my control… but i am building upwards all the time now. Saying no and letting people down is one of my biggest fears, and i want to beat this before little A is old enough to notice. I am so lucky to have such understanding and supportive family and friends around me.

How does it take one moment in life, one breath, to take away everything… yet it takes what feels like a lifetime to get it back?

Anyway… onto happier things :-)) Here is a peek of this week’s wedding gorgeousness…

Image by S6 Photography

Perfect yellow shoes :-)) Big Sunday love xoxo

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  • Hi Lou – what a brave post I’ve been following you for awhile but didn’t know the extent of your anxiety. I’m glad you are venturing out and coming out a tad more braver and baby steps is the way to go. I feel silly for asking you for coffee in my email a while back, not realising how much that would ask of you. I understand now. Have a fab Sunday and thank you for sharing your story big hugs xx

  • Well done Lou, so proud of you. We all have our quirks hun, you just have to learn not to be defined by them. And O M G an S6 wedding, my god do I love an S6 wedding!xxxxx

  • Hi Lou. I know that it must take a lot to open up so personally about yourself, but your honesty is very inspiring. We all have our little quirks that might seem strange to some people but I bet that most people can identify with some of those things you mentioned in this post. I’m with you on the public toilet thing! xxx

  • I totally get the safe thing…. When I went through my anxiety attacks I couldn’t sit in room with strip lighting when it was dark (felt too exposed), didn’t like going outside in the dark and needed to sit somewhere with an exit i.e. when eating out I needed to be at the end of the bench or table. You are doing so well and are so brave and write such a lovely blog and you are really not the only one who has had to deal with this, I can identify with every thing you talk about. I have come out the other side and there is light at the end of the tunnel for you :) xxxx

  • A very brave post Lou. I have some strange habits too. I count when I walk and I can’t stop on an uneven number. I check the oven and hob when I leave the house even if I havent used them. I can’t walk with the dog on my right she has to be on the left or else I start panicking that something will happen to her. I have many, many more and it’s nice to know that I am not crazy!!!

  • As everyone has said it’s so bold of you to share this. However, it’s also so important that we share a bit of who we are so people understand where we’re coming from. I have a friend who doesn’t go on the Underground. Initially, I thought she was fussy until she told me she once got stuck in a tube when the doors wouldn’t open.

  • Thank you all so so so much for the incredible comments, you have reduced me to tears. I was frankly petrified of sharing this, but i want others to understand when i say no to things. Also to help raise awareness of mental health issues.

    @Neda… please don’t feel silly at all lovely lady.

    Thanks to those of you for sharing your ‘things’ too, it’s lovely to know we are all in this together xoxoxoxoxo

  • Hi Lou, I just read this as I’m catching up on my blogs today :) As others have said, you are very brave for sharing your personal life with all of us. It’s very helpful for all of us to see we’re in the same boat sometimes and not just a helpless case. I frequently get depressed and anxious as my life has changed so much since I’ve moved to Ireland and started a family here (I’m from the States). For one thing, I’m stuck in a cold dark damp house most of the time (editing all of my photography and emailing, social networking, plus watching my two little boys under 5!). I really miss the States…the way of life, lots of sun, 4 seasons, my family, and so much more. When I get really down and stressed out about life, I’ve learned to take time out and enjoy the moment. Especially by getting outside and hanging out with the kids. I found a book that I read every now and then to help me get back in this frame of mind. “Stop Thinking, Start Living” by Richard Carlson. Yes, it’s a cheesy self-help book, but I find it really helps me. It’s so easy to over-think our lives away and forget about living in the moment. Thanks for your post!

  • Lisa, (((hugs)) and thanks for sharing your story, i hope you feel more settled soon. Anytime you want to chat drop me a line xxx

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