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

My Photo
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.
View my complete profile
Monday, 21 May 2012

So, you're having the worst day of your life...?

I just thought I'd put together some emergency self-care steps for those days/nights when you really have been wrestling with the hideous dark panic demons, and you feel so anxious and bewildered you could chuck yourself under a truck. You can't do anything, you can't leave your house, you're having panic after panic, and you don't feel capable of even the tiniest thing. You're terrified, sleepless, and at your wit's end.

These are basic, emergency care steps that will help you back on the road to normality (and most of them were told me by my therapist when I was in crisis, so have official psych sanction).

1. If you have one, take a tranquiliser. Just take one now. Don't overthink it, just do it. This is an extreme and horrendous day - and they are specifically made for occasions like this. They will give you a small window of peace so you can collect yourself a bit, and give you a few hours away from fear, which will break the vicious cycle of fear-panic-more fear-more panic etc etc. You probably haven't slept very well, and these will give you space to do that as well (which you desperately need).

2. Drink a huge glass of water before you do anything else. You've probably been crying (which apparently dehydrates you more than you think), and dehydration makes anxiety (and everything) a lot worse.

3. Have a warm shower, rub yourself down with some nice lavender moisturiser, and get into some fresh, clean, soft cotton clothes (pyjamas etc). These tiny things you would never normally notice can mean so much when you're at rock bottom. Sometimes the pleasure of clean skin and clothes is all you're going to get in a day.

4. If you can't eat, try and drink a Complan (Ensure) or a smoothie. Just get even half of it down. The body produces adrenalin when your blood sugar drops below a certain level, so getting anything down will make you feel so much less jittery.

5. (This one's courtesy of my Dad) Do something small that gives you a sense of control and mastery. It can be absolutely tiny - doing the crossword methodically is what I did when I was beside myself with terror. It's something to do, it's something you know you can do, but it's manageable.

6. If you're on your own, call someone - family or a good friend. If you're with someone, explain what's happening - don't be ashamed - and get yourself a big-ass hug.

7.  Do whatever you need to make you feel good, and don't censor yourself. Watch gentle comedies if you can sit still. Hug your favourite soft toy (and don't feel stupid about it). Read your favourite kids' book. Call your mum. Leave the light on if you're scared and you need to. Don't judge yourself for regressing a bit - you're at rock bottom and you need these things, but you won't always.

8. If you're at this stage, go for a little walk. Round the block is fine, to get a magazine from the newsagents is fine. Don't worry, you'll be travelling to amazing places soon, but for today, a walk round the block is all you can manage, and it's enough for now. If you can't - DON'T WORRY. You're not going to end up housebound - you are just looking after yourself indoors for a couple of days, and that is OKAY.

9. Know that THIS WILL PASS. I know exactly what this feels like, I've been there, but I also know that I'm not there now, and it passed. You have to hold on, you have to be patient, you have to grit your teeth and BEAR IT, just like you would have to bear some sort of physical pain.

10. Check out the anxiety heroes here, and remember how many brilliant, beautiful, brave people have suffered with anxiety and depression, and remember that you are not alone. You're amazing and courageous for dealing with this, and you will come out the other side stronger. YOU CAN DO IT!


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Blog Template by