That anxiety makes you feel, think and do crazy things.
But often you don’t understand that what’s making you feel, think and do crazy things is anxiety.
You think it’s because of what’s happening TO you rather than what’s happening IN you.
Last week I took my 4 kids camping on my own. My sister joined a couple of nights later, but the first night some tremendous storm appeared out of nowhere. Like massive winds, rain so hard we couldn’t hear each other in the tent, the canopy we’d just put up was flapping like crazy.
Once we finally got in to bed a few hours later, I lay awake:
- Feeling like something was going to happen and what would I do on my own…. Yet I don’t know if you’ve ever been camping, but truly the loveliest and most helpful of people go camping and someone would have helped me should I have needed it…. I was NOT on my own
- Thinking that the tent and gazebo would blow away or be shredded…. this would never happen… and even if it did… so what… there’s way worse that could happen…
- Googling the weather obsessively, checking how strong the wind would be for the remainder of our stay and matching it against wind guidelines for tents, going out in the rain to check on the guide ropes, finding a new proper camping gazebo that was windproof and making my sister pick it up on her way up like something awful would happen if we didn’t have it (at a cost of £110) which was totally fabricated in my head
Now I knew it was anxiety that was doing this to me because I understand anxiety EXTREMELY well and how I work internally. I sent a message to my husband saying this exactly with no heightened emotions but clearly and calmly ‘I’m in anxiety mode and I need to do things that will help me feel safe’.
Years ago these kind of things would have had me packing up and heading home or just leave for me for days in a state of hypervigilance. I was so imprisoned and fearful by things going on in my head. I spent my life constantly thinking, overthinking, overthinking again. I would wake up at 3 am going round and round and round things in my head looking at everything through crazy viewpoints.
I know this happens to my clients too.
- A friend doesn’t message you back or doesn’t invite you to something – you believe they’ve fallen our with you
- You make a mistake at work – that’s it – you need a new job
- Social engagement – you need to cancel as it’s just too much
- Have a spot on your breast – you immediately think this is breast cancer
- There’s miscommunication with your husband – you believe it’s the end of your marriage
- Go on holiday – catastrophise that there will be an awful accident
- Buy a new washing machine – spend 30 hours researching it
And you lie awake at night:
- Feeling vulnerable about the situation
- Thinking, overthinking, overthinking again the scenario
- Googling stats, buying things you don’t need, cancelling/changing plans
Most of the time, what you don’t realise is under all of this – isn’t the scenario and what’s happening in the situation – it’s anxiety that’s making you do this.
And it comes down to a feeling of not being safe. The thing with anxiety is it does things to create safety yet often that safety doesn’t happen, you just end up feeling imprisoned in your mind and in your life.
Last week when I was camping – it wasn’t the storm causing anxious feelings – it was what was within me and how I was interpreting the storm and repercussions from it that was making me anxious.
Luckily anxiety DIDN’T take over the week. I had a truly amazing week with my kids and felt such a deep sense of freedom and confidence. The anxiety I felt had minimal impact on me (couple of hours lost sleep, some in depth research and a new gazebo which I love). I knew what was going on and what I needed to resolve it. And part of it I would say it was normal – having never camped in storm type conditions and doing this on my own… I’d say it would be normal to feel a bit wary and uneasy. This is exactly what I’d say to a friend. This is exactly what I said to myself. It was a rational reason to feel anxious.
My mission is to help women with overthinking brains get on top of all the noise in your heads so you’re able to manage your mind quickly and easily and live your life freely.
There’s a new week long challenge coming out soon, Fear to Freedom.
I also have one space starting 6th September on Wednesday afternoons for one to one support. Get in touch for details.
Much love, Tricia xxx