It’s been a while. And perhaps it is in fact the monotony of lockdown that’s given me a compulsion to dust off the old blog. But in all honesty, I’m quite liking it. Not the crisis, I’m not heartless. But the lockdown isn’t something I find troubling. Not consciously, anyway…
I say not consciously, because sometimes your brain is harboring secrets. Sometimes, it’s getting itself all worked up like a parliamentary frontbench that’s on mute. It’s screaming and whirring away relentlessly, but you’ve no idea. You think the cortisol’s on annual leave, and the serotonin and the endorphines are having a rather pleasant, not overly excessive, time just chilling out. All is well in the world of my own head.
Well that’s a load of shit.
Tears. Anger. Confusion. Thought overload. Thought paralysis. Frustration. Confusion. Wine. Tears. Swearing. Frustration. Confusion. Desperation. Wine. Tears. Wine. Anger. Tears. Tears. Cheesy bread buns. Chocolate munchies. Bed.
Where did all that come from?
I’ve got lush friends. Friends who know I have suffered with health anxiety over the years. Friends who have sent me WhatsApp messages from London, or texts from Hull just to see if the whole Covid-19 thing hasn’t triggered a hypochondria relapse. No, I insist. I’m actually grand. I’ve checked Google a few times – perhaps a little more than Joe Bloggs might have. But it’s not interfered with my life. All is well. But thanks so much for asking xxx
Then that all too familiar yet historical feeling strikes. One that I haven’t felt this strongly for a few years. In fact, I don’t think I’ve felt it that strongly since 2015 – before I started taking Sertraline.
After much appreciated messages from colleagues, friends, family, the Twitter family (most of Twitter is actually lovely) and, of course, my wonderful husband, I realised that, whilst I might not have felt anxiety like this since 2015, the world hasn’t experienced anything as significant as Covid-19 since WWII. Jesus, woman, go easy on yourself. You’re in the middle of a global pandemic. A woman with GAD and health anxiety who hasn’t completely stopped working yet, but who is bobbing under the water from time to time is actually doing OK.
Who the fuck isn’t bobbing up and down on the water right now!?
Recalling the impact of my stress and anxiety in previous times, I called my GP. We upped my meds. I did a workout. I cuddled our new foster bunnies. I hugged a cat. And I watched Narcos S1 round 2 (it’s funny what works at times like these. Drug Lords and horrific scenes of violence…a distraction I guess.)
I realised that, whilst I might not have felt anxiety like this since 2015, the world hasn’t experienced anything as significant as Covid-19 since WWII.
Did it all work? I’ve no idea. The day after the meltdown was a bit better. There were still tears. And frustration. And confusion. And snapping occasionally at my other half. But it was, indeed, a bit better. Is it the increased meds? Very much doubt it. I sometimes wonder if it’s more to do with having acknowledged something, taken control (of what’s in my control), accepting what I can’t control, and giving myself a break.
I have a feeling these days are going to be very up and down. And in reality, knowing how I’ve been in the past, there’s every chance I could make things worse. But that’s all part of it. The fear of what might come. Of how I might fuck up. Maybe if I accept it, it’s less likely to happen. Because that’s one of the little balls of worry I’ve eliminated. That’s one less nasty knocking around in my skull.
I’m not writing this as an expert. And I’m not reflecting on it. I’m living it. It’s more a note to self.
What if…it’s not as bad as my catastrophising mind thinks. There’s a real possibility of that.