Anxiety and Trauma, what a topic right ? I’ve never written a piece like this so please bear with me if babble on a bit. I’ve always believed you’d have to take me out for dinner of some sort of meal before you get to see my dirty laundry but I am trying something new. Apparently, it’s called opening up, it’s meant to make you feel better and be a better version of yourself or something, lol.
Since the break-in I’ve been a total mess and I know you’re thinking it’s been almost two months and I should probably be over it, well I agree.
I know the last time I shared on ‘coffee talk’ , it was more of a rant and I didn’t give actual advice, that because I had nothing to tell but my story. I was totally out of my depth with all the emotions I was going through it would have been a disservice to you all had I tried to give any kind of advice.
The past couple of months have been the most challenging of my adult life. Moving to PE, blogging, getting a job then the break-in. Varsity can’t even compare and you all know Varsity is tough. Since the break in I have been suffering from what I have diagnosed to be slight panic attacks. I feel shortness of breath, waves of hot air flow towards my face, my heart pounds, I just feel so out of control and for a slight control freak this is new territory for me.
This doesn’t happen every day though just when things are happening that I cannot control. It happens when I find myself in a situation I am out of control off. I was raised by a woman who never cried in front of me, I kid you not I think I’ve seen my mum cry once or twice in my 24years of living. I guess she had to be strong for my brother and me. She had to shield us from whatever pains she would be going through. After all, she was all we had.
I guess that has stuck with me, I hate to have people see me cry, I hate being or feeling vulnerable, maybe its a lack of faith in humanity or maybe it’s a situation of “once bitten twice shy” but I’ve always believed when people see you at your most vulnerable they see you as weak, they will look at you and pity you and hate being pitied.
I guess the move to Port Elizabeth was really hard for me and before the break-in I hadn’t really allowed myself to feel it or work through just how difficult it was. After 6 years in one town surrounded by friends and community of people who cared it shouldn’t have been something, I took so lightly. Then the break-in happened and all these emotions manifested themselves and finally came out to play.
I am an emotional mess a lot of the time and what’s made it worse is having no-one to talk to except over the phone. A girlfriend to cuddle with, a group of friends to talk to about their problems or even just have a good bottle of wine with. I don’t know if you’ve ever been through it but it’s the worst thing in the world. To feel this overwhelming sadness, fear and uncertainty rise from with you threatening to break right through you. I feel like am back in high school, only I am the new kid on the block (lmao, see what I did there) trying to fit in when the whole school is made up of clicks. An outcast, it probably isn’t the way it is but that the thing about anxiety and trauma. I feel anxious, nervous, overwhelmed and sometimes grief-stricken.
I think what makes feeling this way all the more difficult is feeling bad for feeling that way. Feeling bad for wanting to hold on to someone and have them yank you out of it. To feel the need to be held and never let go off coz something in me, that scared little girl has registered that the world is a cold and dark place.
I am sharing what I have been going through because this past week has been a week full of revelations for me. First things first don’t feel bad for feeling the way you do. Give yourself time to adjust. Fear, anxiety and getting over a trauma are like being in a dark alley, even as you walk, even when you know there is light at the end of the tunnel the walk is still just as cold and difficult.
And ladies and gentleman CRY !!!! As opposed to telling yourself that crying makes you weak. It’s what I had taught myself for a long time. I told myself crying makes whoever has hurt me win. And so I would always avoid it unless I was watching a rom-com or at a funeral, I would never really cry. As far as I was concerned it gives anyone – a thief, the devil, someone who has betrayed me – power over me if and when I cry. But these days hell I am opening the floodgates whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, I am talking about my feelings, talking about my fears and I’ve realised it helps me because after all is said and done I have a clear view of what is bothering me and that helps. Knowing what it is you need to overcome helps me manage and it will help you too
Take it one day at a time! If you are going through anything similar I want you to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, its not going to happen overnight no matter how much you want to. You will wakeup one day and your sorrows and fears will be a thing of the past.
Be grateful for the small things. Focusing on the good things happening around you no matter how small will remind you of all the good in the world. It will remind you that life isn’t just a bag of BS. Remember emotional pain and sadness are a part of life. You are human.
Finally do the things you love and enjoy. Read a book, eat better, take a walk and sit in sun.
I am healing and I hope you will find your way too. Don’t give up on yourself or your happiness.
Thank you for listening. I hope my story will motivate and inspire you.