The dreaded anxiety once again came out of the shadows and attacked me again this weekend. I could feel it coming but I chose to ignore it and then fight it believing I was bigger and stronger that it was and I could beat it. But in the end it beat me again and I had to succumb to its relentless onslaught, admit defeat and move on.
But it hurts why it happened and it’s beaten me again and I couldn’t do more to beat it.
On reflection, the signs were all there. Posting endless messages to friends, pushing myself hard at the gym, overthinking everything and a head full of thoughts swimming around going nowhere.
But I did nothing about them until it was too late risking friendships and my health in the process.
Today with the anxiety gone I have had time to think about this particular anxiety attack and why it happened. And instead of asking friends to accept me and understand me I’ve decided to write down my thoughts about it in the hope I can begin the fight back against anxiety and beat it once and for all.
As I have written about elsewhere on my blog I competed in a tough fell race, the Trigger Race on January 15th and despite having to retire after 15 miles I am still very proud of what I accomplished that day.
I had 3 potentially life threatening experiences in 4 ½ hours on the Trigger Race and they were the type of situations which put you off doing something like the Trigger Race ever again or make you want more.
I want more.
And that is part of the problem. How do you recreate situations where you’ve pushed yourself way beyond what you thought you were capable of, cheat death 3 times and learn that you are tougher and stronger, mentally and physically than you ever thought you was?
But it’s the buzz that gets you. The buzz of having been on the biggest adventure of your life and come through a far better person? The answer is you can’t even though you might try. The buzz lasted over a week for me, an amazing feeling I wish I had every day. However hard you try though you can’t recreate that situation with those feelings. They are unique to that day and that situation and will be forever. Time to move on, remember that day but create new situations that give me a different buzz.
On top of everything else I tore my right calf that day which has resulted in around 4 – 6 weeks with no running. It’s not a major injury nor is it a long time off, but when running gives you your buzz, makes you feel good and helps you control your stress and anxiety it’s a lifetime. I can still keep fit but lifting weights or going on the spin bike at the gym just doesn’t seem to give me the same buzz as running over open moorland, powering up hills and flying down the other side.
So, my only option is to accept my situation and be grateful that it’s not as bad as some of my friends are going through and I can still go down the gym and keep fit.
And there’s the waiting for my masters course to start and other things to happen. All of a sudden I’ve caught up with pretty much everything and there’s only so much reading you can do in a day before your head starts to turn to mush and workouts at the gym become easier because you have more time to recover and time doesn’t matter. Friends have promised to meet up but they have their own busy lives to contend with so you have to wait until they are free. Boredom sets in as you begin to look for things to fill your day with and you try not to become an annoyance to friends and not bombard them with endless messages that they don’t have time to read. And you start thinking about anything and everything which quickly leads to overthinking which is not a good situation.
Try and relax and enjoy the downtime because it won’t last forever and quite soon you’ll be wondering how you can fit everything you want to do into the day, and respect your friends and the lives they lead because they are different to yours.
So all in all a series of events starting with the Trigger Race has snowballed and cumulated into sky high levels of anxiety and stress which have boiled over when they became insurmountable and lead to a mini breakdown.
There are lessons to be learnt in order to minimise the impact anxiety has on me the next time and maximise enjoying life and writing this blog is a big part of it.