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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Sunday, 17 March 2013

The drugs DO work!

'Throw us another Prozac, Jeeves. there's a good fellow'
Take that Verve, you miserable one (well, two, at a push) hit wonders!

I can scarcely believe this even as I'm typing it, but I'm writing to you from the heady and unfamiliar plains of wellbeing, happiness and contentment! The shiny blue Prozac (blessed be its name) has finally kicked in, and I FEEL BETTER THAN I HAVE DONE FOR YEARS. Honestly. I genuinely think I feel like my old self again after four long, painful years of struggle in the wilderness. It's like I've stumbled across an oasis of peace and normality in the middle of a vast, parched desert. Where the hell am I?! What is this strange place of certainty, equanimity and tranquillity?! Have I been catapulted into someone else's mind?!  

I feel resilient, I feel capable, I feel cheerful. Seriously. I'm able to count my blessings - I feel deeply, humbly grateful for all the wonderful things in my life. I'm looking forward to things to come.  I'm able to laugh at things that would have had me sobbing two months ago. I'm not questioning every single tiny decision I make. I'm cheerful in the face of adversity, and am actually counselling my boyfriend out of a post-holiday slump! I'm happy for him to go away and leave me alone in the house. I don't feel scared. I don't feel afraid. I feel calm, I feel peaceful. I'm not perpetually thinking of death and disease and destruction (the three Ds?) and I FINALLY feel up to the task of living the life I've been given. I of course have still got enough natural pessimism and anxiety to immediately think 'A-ha! This will be exactly the moment Mr. 'I Love Irony' God will choose to strike me down!' BUT I don't fear it. I don't mind it. 

At a very basic level, I feel able to breathe again - both literally and figuratively. It's been weeks since I last felt like I couldn't get enough air, and even when I did last get a twinge of that, I knew that it would pass and I scarcely noticed it.

I feel like the world is a miraculous place. I'm struck by the amazing things all around me. I'm a born-again, Woody Allen-shaped butterfly emerging from a cocoon of horror and darkness! It makes me realise what a struggle my life has been for the last four years - a desperate, daily struggle to even hit the baseline of okay-ness. Each day felt like a fight to stay alive against overwhelming odds. 

But now it's as if a miracle has occurred - honestly, I want to write to the inventor of Prozac and swear my unwavering allegiance and eternal gratitude to him or her. I lay awake in bed last night feeling blissful in my own body - feeling safe, not worrying that it would stop, or break, or that I would stop breathing, or that something terrible would happen. I just smiled to myself, in the darkness, and thanked the universe for finally throwing me a break.  

Okay, so I get you're just never, ever going to read this blog again if I keep on in this saccharine vein (my favourite miserable songwriter starting writing crap songs as soon as he got married and thus happy), but I just wanted to let you all know that THERE IS HOPE! The drugs DO work, no matter what your paranoid-of-the-entire-medical-establishment hippy parents tell you, and they are bloody MIRACULOUS.  

You know how I know I'm not absolutely 100% cured? Because somewhere in the back of my mind, there's a little voice saying 'maybe you're having a weird reaction to the Prozac - maybe it's chemically-induced euphoria! Maybe this is a psychotic, manic swing and you're going to tumble right down into a depressed slump! Maybe you're going mad!' All of which reminds me that I haven't had a personality transplant, and a tiny, freaked-out, hypochondriac inner Woody Allen lives on within me. But there's a confident, blissful, brave, peaceful lady who completely dwarfs him, and I really, really like her a lot more.  

* My boyfriend wants me to add a footnote - he thinks it's important to make it clear that it's not all the drugs; he has just reminded me that I've done a hell of a lot of hard work to get to this point, and the drugs have just allowed me an easier context to put some of that into practice. I'll accept that. Now if you'll excuse me, I've just got to add another shiny gold relic to my glorious Prozac shrine... 

I don't understand! What is this sensation of warmth flooding over me?! Is this...could this really be... is this really how non-anxious people feel ALL THE TIME????!!!!'

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Gone fishin'...

'Hey girls, is this what real relaxation feels like? My heart is almost not racing!'

Hey chaps.

So sorry there have been tumbleweeds rolling across this page recently. I've actually been on holiday (yes, you heard that right) for two weeks and now madly trying to catch up with everything. 

So lots of things to come once I've sorted myself out and written some stuff down, but suffice to say, a certain little panicker managed to get a verrrry long flight without panicking, and is feeling very proud of herself right now...

Hope you are all well and laughing in the face of the anxiety beasts.


V xx

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