The first 40 days of my 100 days no booze challenge rolled around rather easily and with that came a smug feeling of complacency. Ha, I have this sober curious gig nailed, or so I thought. I was unprepared for the fact that my anxiety would rear its ugly head.
I don’t really talk about my anxiety on here or with anyone else in my day to day life. Mr C recognises the signs even before I do. He has been there before and he can notice the hulking juggernaut storming down my motorway. I normally detect the faint rumbling of it in the distance and I then put my self-preservation plan into play and go into lock-down. This might include taking myself off social media or going for long walks. In general, I spend my days desperately seeking the joy, trying the starve the anxiety. More often than not it works. I am much better at dealing with my emotions nowadays.
However, we are only human and sometimes it doesn’t work. I thought that I had dealt with my anxiety; what I didn’t realise was that the juggernaut was still steaming towards me and it was threatening to squash me flat. Now, it wasn’t the lack of booze that was causing this reaction, it was a whole chain of events and then the trying to move house that was causing me to feel anxious again.
Last time we moved house I thought I had my anxiety under control but I was completely unaware of the fact that I was picking the skin around one of my nails, a habit – or should that be compulsion? – I’ve had since childhood. I picked away the skin so much that my nail became infected and I lost my nail. It did regrow but it was a reminder that I am still often in the grip of anxiety, even when I think I am not.
This time my anxiety is coming out as I sleep. I am having terrifying nightmares. I don’t remember what I do but I remember the black shadowy figures that come for me. The people banging on the window who I am convinced want to get into the house. The faceless people who stand at the foot of the bed watching me as I sleep. I have been having them night after night. I am told by Mr C that I have been sleepwalking, sleep talking and shaking him awake begging him to help me. Mr C knows that when I’m like this he can’t reason with me because although I might be talking and walking, I am asleep. It is incredibly frustrating for him. No one wants to be woken up, night after night, by a mad woman shouting that someone is trying to kill her.
Reaching For The Wine
It’s times like this that I would reach for a glass of wine to try and unwind me, I would have a glass in the hope that it would stall the frantic whirring of the brain. I would have a glass and hope that it helps me to sleep. However, thanks to this challenge I haven’t been able to do that. Hot chocolate doesn’t work, the endless baths haven’t worked and the many, many books that I have read haven’t worked. That’s fine though because deep down I know that the wine wouldn’t really work either. I know that it’s only a glass, but I don’t want to turn to a glass of wine when I have a problem, when the anxiety rears its ugly head. That glass of wine might work short-term but I don’t want to get to the stage where I am depending on it. Where I go to it any time I having some sort of crisis. Wine is a very poor plaster and sooner or later it will fall off and I will have to deal with the wound that hides underneath it. Therefore, I am not sticking the plaster on it, I am putting it out there and I am sharing it with all of you. I am writing about it and I am blogging about it, I am trying to work my way out of it. I am hoping this will help me get it back under control. That the anxiety will soon slink away and I will be able to get a good night’s sleep again.
This is just my body reacting to events out of my control and I just need to get better at managing them. It’s a temporary setback. On the whole I worry a lot less, it’s just extenuating circumstances causing this blip. I will sleep again but for now just send me coffee!
*Update – I wrote this post before we moved house and now that we have moved I am feeling loads better and I am sleeping again – huzzah. I also haven’t lost any nails this time 😉 *