Somedays, like today, my anxiety is so overwhelming it is crippling. It is a constant state of negative thoughts that whirl round my head and seek to control and catastrophise my every thought, movement and action.
Thanks to my OCD, I have been awake for most the night over analysing and repeating my journey to a training course that I have started today. I’ve spent the early hours considering in complex detail, how to find a car parking space at the train station, obsessing about not driving, or maybe I should drive, I could get a taxi, I could walk to the station, get a lift to the station, no, drive to a totally different station, or stick with my original plan and drive to the station, park and then jump on the train – it will be fine after all. So the lack of sleep, combined with my obsessive thoughts are the perfect partners to my anxiety and appear really quite delighted to have taken control after a seemingly long stretch of having everything under control. This makes me super sensitive, short of breath, and on the verge of tears all before 6am and I’ve not even left the house yet.
I feel like it’s swallowing me up. It’s consuming my thoughts, feeling and actions and I am clinging on. I’m so tired from trying so hard. Every single day is a battle, a slow heavy trudge through the day. Like I’m wading against the tide that’s heavy and unpredictable and trying to suck me in at every turn.
So it’s kind of ironic that on a day like I feel today, I started my Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructor Training. Yep, I’ve signed up to become an accredited MHFA Trainer, so I can deliver adult MHFA in the workplace, to all individuals, businesses and organisations who have a duty of care to ensure they support and promote positive Mental Health and know the signs and symptoms of mental illness and how to assist, support and signpost employees for advice and medical attention. It sounds rather wonderful doesn’t it?
To do that we have to erase the stigma around mental health and mental illness, which is why I share this with you and describe how it feels and explain what you don’t see. We all have mental health it’s just some of us are better and taking care of it than others, so we really need to look out for one another, look for the signs and symptoms and be willing to listen. One small action could change someone’s day or life in many more ways than you realise.
Read more about the MHFA here;