Yesterday I had an appointment with my psych. Having managed absolutely fine last week it came as a surprise to find I was stupidly anxious and couldn’t make it into the building or stay for the full appointment – I left after twenty minutes.
Afterwards, sitting in my garden with a mug of tea and a smoke, I allowed myself a moment of self blame before analysing what had gone wrong. I realised I am guilty of being complacent – having had such a good appointment last week, I had taken my foot off the gas and stopped challenging the anxiety. I had, essentially, invited it back in to my life. I had also moved my goal from ‘turning up’ to ‘a full session’ which was evidently a step too far – attempting to run before I had fully mastered walking.
I took the rest of the day off for self care – the night before I had a horrendous headache which probably didn’t help matters – and vowed that, starting today and despite the forecast rain, I would be back to proactively kicking anxiety’s butt. I did go out for a stroll with my daughter in the afternoon, just to prove I could, and again in the evening by myself.
There is an advert on television for a toothpaste for sensitive teeth in which a dentist says he recommends it to his patients but they will later say the sensitivity is back. The dentist asks if they are still using the toothpaste but finds they stopped once the sensitivity was gone, rather than carrying on using it.
And that is exactly what I have done – with anxiety seemingly on the back foot, I stopped using my ‘bring it on’ attitude. Sure enough, it came back. So I must keep fighting it, constantly challenge it, and not be complacent again. I must make myself get up and out the door more often.
Because this is a fight I must win.