None of this, ‘just take deep breaths you’ll feel better’. Sometimes, that just won’t work. When your head is spinning and your thoughts are racing at 100 miles and hour. Your chest is tight and your eyes are stinging, your hands are clammy and shaking, your legs feel like they’re going to give way, and your heart is going to beat right out of your chest. ‘Deep breaths’ might sound like a positive idea but it ain’t gonna cut it.
Doing ‘something productive’ might seem like a great distraction technique but when all you can bring yourself to do is lie on the sofa, wrapped in blankets barely able to muster the energy to blink…tidying the house from top to bottom might not cut it either.
‘Eat healthy foods and drink lots of water’, again… great idea but when your too anxious to set foot in the kitchen, or too tired of battling your head to even open your mouth and sip your drink…nope.
Sometimes, it’s ok for these suggestions not to work. People who don’t really understand anxiety might offer these to you and that’s great, support from your loved ones is one of the things that will get you through…But…when you are the one going through it, you know better than anyone else what will work for you, and that’s ok too.
Trust your instincts…
If you need three days of lying on the sofa watching TV shows about people buying houses abroad, or the entire box set of Gilmore Girls whilst living off soup and not showering for the entire time. THAT IS OK. It’s ok not to make yourself a super-food smoothie and do yoga until you go to bed. It’s ok not to go to the shops in clean clothes and freshly plucked eyebrows, it’s ok not to go to the shops at all.
You need to remind yourself that people glamorise this crap; because of course, anxiety is cute, quirky and interesting, and instantly cured by the power of pretty coffee shops and classic novels. You also need to be reminded that you won’t stay in this pit for very long. It might be hours or it might be days but you will come out of it again, just like you have a hundred times before. Just let yourself heal. Getting out of bed and brushing your teeth won’t always feel impossible, replying to your friends texts won’t always make you feel gut wrenchingly sick and going out in public won’t always reduce you to tears, but for now, it’s ok to recognise that those things do feel like that for the moment.
It’s ok… It’s ok not to be ok.