|I won’t let this beat me.|
I’ve come quite a long way since this time last year – and I want to take a moment to reflect on that. I have no idea whether this post will go live or not, but I think typing out the self-evaluative-thoughts I’m cultivating right now will do me the world of good.
I’ve made a lot of changes recently.
I eat much better now. Food is no longer an ‘outlet’ for me – I do slip sometimes but quite frankly, it won’t go away overnight. But I’m so much better in managing that side of my life its having an incredibly positive impact on my anxiety. I’ve switched a lot of my favourite comfort foods out for healthier alternatives – but I do keep a bag of Malteasers around because I’m not depriving myself entirely. That just wouldn’t work for me.
Because I’m eating better, I’m exercising. I’ve started off pretty small, doing 50 (girly) push-ups, and 50 crunches per night. After a week, I began adding 10 to each of those. Once I’ve reached 100 (10 lots of 10 as I do each exercise in 10’s) I will drop back to 50, then add another exercise such as squats – adding 10 each night and so on. I let a friend in on my fitness journey and together we’ve created a Pinterest Board to keep us motivated – each night we tend to WhatsApp each other to get ourselves onto the fitness mats. It works for me!
Thanks to eating and exercising, I’ve noticed my frame is changing. That’s feeding my confidence, and thanks to that I’m moving away from the black wardrobe I had acquired and into more adventurous things. Last year, I’d have never thought of wearing a dress – this year, that’s all my dressing rail contains. It feels good to me. To have people compliment me on how something looks or ask where I bought something from?
At first it was uncomfortable, I’d be very insecure and think that they were being sarcastic. But over time, its come to feel.. Well, nice.
Socially, I did one major thing. It wasn’t easy. It didn’t just happen overnight – I faltered, I let people down, I cried a lot. But it gets easier.
I started saying yes.
Yes, I’d love to meet you for a coffee after work. Yes, I’d love to go to the pub to celebrate her birthday. Yes, I’d love to go to Bingo with you. Yes yes yes yes. Overcoming those situations – no matter how uncomfortable it may have been – helped me gain the thought strategies to overcome the next one. Going to bingo each Thursday with my Mother in law gave me the thought patterns to talk to people using small talk. Small talk helped me at the pub. Being at the pub waiting in line with the other girls helped me purchase things from a server. That allowed me to take charge in a restaurant with ordering for friends.
Each experience fed from another experience, like each one was a block in a giant wall. It might be a wonky wall with a few holes in it, but its sturdy and now I’m sat on it waiting for the next brick to add.
Because of all the changes I’ve slowly incorporated, my anxiety? Its not gone. Its still there, biting at my when I’m not expecting it – but its easier to change my thought pattern to something else. Instead of thinking “I don’t want to walk in there, people are there..” I’m thinking “Tilly, last time you went into that room you had three conversations. You enjoyed yourself.”
It just won’t win. I know the battle isn’t over yet – but it’s just that. Its not over yet, I’ll win this.