I've been sitting here in the mood to blog and not quite sure what to write about, but then a penpal gave me an idea and I decided to touch a little on anxiety again. I think sometimes there's a perception that if anxiety and/or panic attacks affect your life in a big way then you must be suffering all the time, must be bored, isolated, and not have much of a life.
For me, my problems are a lot better than they used to be, although a lot of that has been through self help, trying to make the most of what I have got, and I suppose in a way replacing what I don't have in my life with new things and distractions.
I work as a freelance writer, and while that may be in my home office, I am pushing myself in new ways professionally, and without writing I may not have got to know some music and media people in my local area and been to as many gigs as I have (on my own) in the last few years or so. It's not always win win though, for me it's good to come and go as I please, to not have to worry about anyone else, and to socialise with people I know when I'm ready, but yes I do feel the isolation etc that many others speak about.
One of my hobbies is crafting, and I sold for 6 months in a pop-up shop last year, met some new crafty people who I still see about sometimes, and sold quite a lot of my craft as well. It was a big push going in there, I was really nervous, but it has helped a lot and spurred me on to try and find more crafty opportunities.
What I'm saying is, mental health problems are not fun at all, I've still a long way to go, but I know you can find rich rewards despite everything else you are going through. I definitely have! I know some will disagree, but having motivational factors, even if they don't help with the bigger anxiety picture to me is a powerful thing, and one I can't help making the most of.
Yes there's a good case for anyone to point out I avoid certain things - such as travelling, big events, unfamiliar places, and I'm not jumping up and pushing myself to try baby steps towards these things every day, month or week. I wouldn't say it's right, but I don't think it's wrong either.
Maybe sometimes it's really good just to be happy, relaxed, and working on something else positive, and know your own limits. It's helped me in a lot of ways, but of course there are still times I think it would be great to just go and 'do', especially considering one thing I would love to do......
FLORIDA.... if you've read any earlier holiday type posts you'll know how much this has stuck with me since I visited when I was probably about 7 and 11. One holiday I would love to repeat, and I found out recently my parents would be up for going back if I was able. As a distraction in this summer weather I even picked up a cheeky brochure from the travel agents and have been on Google a few times. It will be a task though, and one I'm not sure how to make happen. I have no anxious associations with Florida, only happy memories, but I've not been away since I reached that age where I didn't want to go away with my parents (pre-problems). I'm not quite sure of the steps I should take, and would practically be able to take to help this, and whether certain things would make much difference to this end goal, it's all an unknown at the moment but it's something that could potentially happen one day, and although it's just day dream territory at the moment it's actually made me feel a bit more hopeful about the bigger stuff. That's Disney magic for you.
I shall leave it on that note, because if I can find small hope in something big, when big goals normally seem impossible, then I am sure you can too. I can't always connect the dots that will lead to achieving something anxiety related, but I know how much better it is with positive things to think about, do, and hopefully achieve in the meantime. Miss out in one way, gain in another!