It's all me, me, me...

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Vivre Sa Vie
London, United Kingdom
Well hello there. My name is Viv (well, it's not really), and, like a lot of people, I'm ever so slightly neurotic... I have panic attacks and anxiety (ranging from mild to pretty intense), on and off. I also have an amazing and quite high-profile job, so I'm choosing to remain anonymous on here. Not because I'm ashamed of the aforementioned neuroses, but because I don't want to be googled and for my colleagues to read bizarre posts about me breathing into a paper bag and popping lorazepam. I've worked for bookshops, mixed arts festivals and charities, and have met (and still meet!) a lot of famous, fetching and fantabulous people for my job. (See, anxiety doesn't need to stop you being AWESOME and doing what you want to do) Here's hoping you'll find some helpful hints and tips on here which will help you tackle the evil panic heebiejeebs... PS. I'm an Australian, but I live in the UK, and have adopted tea-drinking, pubs, Wodehouse, and a Welsh man.
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Friday, 11 May 2012

Drag your demons into the sunlight...

'SHUT UP!! No, I will NOT burn down their houses!'

Hi kids. Hope you're looking forward to a splendid weekend full of dandelions, gin and candy-floss - I know I certainly am.

The only thing is, I'm having glimmers of our old buddy the anxiety monster on the periphery of my vision, and it's worrying me just a wee bit.

I can trundle along for weeks or months feeling splendid, and then, every so often, I start to see these ominous black tendrils on the horizon. Like somebody's inky coattails just swooshed around the corner before I got in the room. It's as if there's nothing specifically wrong AT THIS VERY MOMENT, but I get a sinking, swooping feeling in the pit of my stomach, and my skin feels a bit crawly, and I start to feel a vague, undefined sense of creeping terror. As if there's some not very timorous beastie lurking somewhere around a corner up ahead, and I feel unsettled, and gloomy, and nervous, and unhelpable, and very, very alone. As if I'm wandering through a creaking, haunted house, and I haven't happened upon a ghost YET, but my bones and bowels know it's coming.

But hey, this is amazing (and genuinely unexpected, I have to say) - but I feel about ten times better for just writing that. Really. Honestly and truly. Literally, within seconds of having put that down. Bloody hell. That's amazing.

Maybe it's the power of summoning nightmares into the open, and revealing and naming them that takes the sting out their nasty little tails?

Oh God. I can't believe this. I didn't want to have to do this, guys, but I can feel it coming, and I'm powerless to stop it...

...It's like in the Harry Potter books (GARRR, I've done it - oh the shame!) when the kids have to confront the Boggarts. The demons turn into your worst, most feared thing, and have the power to really make you lose your shit.  BUT, if you call them on it, and pluck up your courage and imagine them in some ridiculous or silly situation, they dissolve immediately in a puff of smoke.

So maybe try this, as a weekend exercise (apologies for the sudden schoolmarmish twist): write down what you're afraid of. Put this nasty crap in words. Don't shy away from it, and see what happens. Maybe it will seem ridiculous when it's out, in black and white.

Let's name these bastarding Boggarts and get them in the anti-bacterial sunlight! Let's flush them out and scrape off the mould and festering cankers! Let's wash this shit right out of our hair! Let's have an exorcism, people!     



Tania Hershman said...

Thank you for this, it's nice just to have someone else talking about it. I'm feeling a little similar right now. I will try your exercise!

Vivre Sa Vie said...

Hi Tania - go for it!

I know it sounds ridiculous, but it genuinely did dust out some of the darkness and cobwebs in my mind to just get it all down. Somehow it doesn't seem so frightening when it's out, and not just rattling around in your head.

Let me know how you get on - hopefully we can scrub out some of that nastiness and you'll begin to feel better soon! V x

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