Squeeze The Day 🍋🍸
Where Emma ponders mental health.
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It was World Mental Health Day at some point this week, perhaps it is indicative of the state of my mental health that I can’t pinpoint when this day happened. So what greater opportunity to add to the general noise than by writing even more about it?
Love me a bandwagon.
I have talked about anxiety here before in vague terms. A bit like opening a bottle of wine and drinking it before it really has a chance to breathe then eulogising about its qualities by reading the label out loud.
Let’s start at the beginning. I didn’t know I was riddled with anxiety until recently. Funnily enough, Parkinson’s has helped me discover this aspect of myself.
You see, I am a fairly gregarious sort. All my life I’ve; made friends with ease, had lots of relationships, travelled the world, been married, been divorced, had kids, painted, written, spoken openly about my life, done some pretty wild and ballsy things and I’m ok with ALL that stuff.
But catch up with some friends in a few weeks’ time…and I’m a gibbering wreck. I go through all the stages of anxiety:
It’ll be fine…make sure everything is organised so nothing can go wrong. (No sick kids/dog/house etc) Make lists, more lists, throw lists in waste, wing it, no don’t wing it, do I have enough time/money/lipstick to do this?
Dissatisfaction with the plans or lack thereof. Also, who else might be there? Will I be tracked down/spotted? Will ‘they’* find my home/kids/partner? Oh god no! Not ‘that’ location/activity….don’t change plans now! - there are only 10,000 millionty hours left.
I don’t want to go. Why? I mean they saw me last year. Also this pub/cafe/restaurant/home how do I know where the exits are? Should I check it out before I go? Wear clothes you won’t mind getting dirty if you have to crawl through the pub toilet window.*
(*This used to be my exit strategy in my early 20’s)
I’m an evil person and I will bring death upon them all. (I truly believe this in my deepest self - yes I’ve had therapy)
And round and round until I reach a point of not wanting to go largely because I’m utterly exhausted.
And here’s the thing I always end up doing it anyway and I have a great time. I’m just resistant to any change. Partly because I have built my little world to be free of the things that give me stress, or at least manage them. And partly because I am uncertain of how I contribute to my friends’ lives.
This is a recent development in the anxiety-hellscape. This is down to Parkinson’s. In keeping with my profile…I can handle Parkinson’s (sort of). But the worry of other people having to deal with my Parkinson’s …stuff that!!
Parkinson’s has made me aware of my anxiety and of course, contributes to it with nightly offerings of nightmarish dreams, and unbidden and unexplainable bouts of anxiety. They pop up out of nowhere, throwing my well-cultivated calm out of the window.
The thing is for me, talking about this stuff makes it worse. I know I am anxious I don’t want to summon it with chanting and candles. I know that having Parkinson’s means I cannot have the control I have been used to. BUT I don’t have to expose myself either.
So what to do?
«Buys ticket to Italy and wonders along pilgrim routes»
SO I am careful where I spend my energy. Twitter is my chosen social platform largely because the community I am with is kind, careful and loving to each other, but I am spending less time there. I have fallen into too much news…who hasn’t at the moment?! Time for more walks in nature, I mean look at those trees 🍂
This is where mental health awareness and action are important. People can get support and relief from the terrifying envelopment that any mental illness creates.
A little bit like with my primary Parkinson’s concerns, I would like a little respite.
«Pours a glass of red»
take care out there
I recognise those stages of anxiety all too well 😘😘😘