I had an anxiety attack the other night for the first time in about 6 years.
Anxiety attacks come in different forms, it can be completely freezing, unable to move, colour draining from your face, sweating profusly. It can be completely withdrawing and unable to open your mouth. It can be your whole head feeling light and feeling your heart pounding in your head.
I had the classic chest tightness, heart pounding, every time I exhaled I felt that I wouldn't be able to inhale again because the pain felt so heavy in my chest. Crying and feeling dizzy.
I don't want to go into the ins and outs of why I took an anxiety attack. But what I will say is that it was the build up of the past year of planning a wedding, working my ass off, completely my nursing revalidation portfolio. Co-ordinating visits to see the boyfriend (now husband). Dealing with difficult situations.
Then something happened the other day that came to a point in my mind that I couldn't do anything any more.
It had been getting me down for a few days, losing sleep, napping during the day and waking up afterwards grumpy and irritable.
I spoke with hubby about it and we chatted about how I was feeling and that is when it happened. Kyle was amazing about it, he just cuddled me and told me that it's ok to feel anxious and just let it out.
I feel really uncomfortable writing this because it is exposing my vulnerability.
The truth is that we are all vulnerable and have been taught to hide it.
Something I realised during this, was that I felt angry at myself for feeling anxious. Which if you don't allow yourself to feel something without restraint it only causes you to stay stuck and not healthily process what it is that you're trying to express emotionally.
If you're family tells you as a child not to be or act a certain way, you're more likely to do it. Not necessarily out of an act of rebellion in the way that you might think, but in a "but this is what I want to do" or "this is how I feel" etc.
Then later in life you find yourself hating those parts of you or trying to convince yourself that you need to let go of those bad traits that you have. You're essentially doing the thing that you're parents were doing by telling you not to behave or be a certain way.
That's what I realised when I spoke to Kyle about this.
It's so important to just feel the feelings that you have bubbling, don't try to change them or manipulate them. Just feel them and let them serve their purpose at the time. Because when you start trying to change yourself, then that's when you start finding that you can't move forward.
I found this Buddhist Prayer that I thought tied in extremely accurately with what I'm saying and summarises it quite well.
I'll be honest. I don't really feel like writing today, I have a cold and feel a bit like I should just sit and feel sorry for myself haha! But I will because there is a small part of me that wants to.
I have been meditating for 20 mins daily for the last nearly 40 days. Which is pretty huge for me because normally I dabble in meditation.
Especially when I lived in Northern Ireland. I always gave myself too much to do, visiting people, working, taking on extra shifts, planning a wedding, visiting now husband/then boyfriend. So I only meditated when I felt overwhelmed or if I actually made time for it.
Now I'm married and settling in to life in England, I'm getting myself into some really good habits, it was initially in order to help me improve and become a better person. But now I'm realising that it's helping me to become more at one and at peace with myself. Now how "hippy like" can ya get?! Haha!
What I mean is, I have realised how many attachments I have had to various people and things in life. Anxious habits that I've accumulated and anxious mindsets that I had accepted as "me" but hadn't looked into or investigated why I do them or what causes them.
I think it's ok to have attachments to some things from time to time. Humans create bonds with things, people and other beings. However I've now realised that it's when you feel that you cannot live without these bonds and attachments that problems arise.
Appreciation for what you have and for what you call comforts, luxuries are great. But when they become unhealthy necessities, then it's time to re-evaluate priorities.
Why do you need a certain person? Why do you need the approval of others? Why can't you make a decision yourself? Why do you need to comfort eat? What are you suppressing?
There is a real freedom in letting go of those attachments, and even if you cannot let go of those attachments. There is a real sense of freedom in accepting and acknowledging that this is where you are at this stage. Don't get frustrated at your inability to let go of something because that only adds fuel to the fire. Look at your attitude towards the issue that you feel you have.
Sometimes you need to delve deep within yourself, sometimes even to the dark corners of your mind that you've been purposefully neglecting and brushing under the carpet. Even if you can't, forgive yourself and just watch the journey unfold.
Accepting yourself wholly, accepting the things that you love about yourself, accepting the traits that you absolutely wish you could change in a heart beat.
Get on your own team.
Have you ever tried the Irish Delicacy that is "Potato Bread"?
Well if you haven't, you have never lived. It is THE best thing since sliced bread. Literally!!
Since I moved to England a month ago, I very quickly realized that they don't sell potato bread here. My heart was broken. So I decided to learn how to make my own. Through trial and error I've now mastered it!
So you can try this yourself and see how you like potato bread and you can thank me later. Haha!
You will need:
- 4 potatoes
- 130g of self raising flower
- a table spoon of salt
- 55g Pure Olive butter or any dairy free butter of your choice.
- Olive oil
- Soya Single Cream *Optional*
Boil 4 potatoes, how do you know if they're done? boil them until you can poke a fork or a skewer into the middle of it easily and it's nice and soft.
Step 2, next you're gonna want to mash the potatoes
Step 3: You want to add the self raising flour to the mashed potatoes and mix it in well until it looks like this. The ideal look is for it to be very thick.
Step 4: Dust your surface with flour
Step 5: Knead your dough gentlly and roll out using a rolling pin to about 1cm thick. (I did not have a rolling pin, so I used another cutting board haha!
Step 6: Cut your dough into triangles (the reason we want the dough to be thick is so that it peels off the surface easier)
Step 7: Oil the pan with the olive oil on a high heat. Throw (not literally) your dough into the pan when it is hot, turn down slightly to a medium-hot heat. Allow 3 mins MAX for each side until golden brown. And finally Bon appetite :) :D
Let me know if you've tried it, what you think (of course you'll love it. Sure who doesn't love tatty bread!) and if you had to tweak your recipe at all. :D
I am a 25 year old nurse, who is trying to find herself. This blog will contain epiphanies I have, my yoga progress and other such things. Enjoy. :)