Prioritising Me

I’ve been pretty good lately, my mood has been stable, there have even been moments of actual joy, happiness and hope. I know, get me! I feel more in love with my family every day and they bring me so much happiness and light, but with light there is always dark.

Today my anxiety peaked. It’s been a really busy month so far with Christmas preparations, doing my usual freelance work, blogging (Blogmas anyone?) and I’ve got a part time job in a small, independent and extra lovely toy shop. The downside of all this busyness is I’m not getting much time for me, my head needs a bit of breathing space sometimes, I need quiet, I need time just to recharge and refresh myself, this hasn’t been happening.

December has been full of lovely things to do as a family and as well as numerous nice trips out I’m busy literally every evening. My days are full, my nights are too and I’m dying for a few hours to myself where I’m not working or prepping something or getting ready to go out. I don’t want to sound ungrateful for being busy, I’m not.

My anxiety kicked off today at a really stupid moment. Sat in a room full of bloggers, some of whom I know pretty well, the low level anxiety I had that morning suddenly ramped up and I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t speak, move or make eye contact with anyone, so I picked up my phone and made myself look really busy. I wasn’t, but it was better than sitting there staring into space hoping the chair would swallow me up,

It worked temporarily and then I was given a craft task, so I got on with that, focussed on the small details I needed to complete what I was doing. Folding, cutting, sticking, curling, sewing, all of that, it pulled me out of myself a bit, gave me a focus and all was ok.

Session over, I got the bus home. The anxiety started tightening in my chest again, a voice in my head telling me I’m bad, useless, a terrible, really terrible person, I’m not, I just need the world to shut the hell up for a bit. So I turned my personal Twitter off my phone and I won’t switch it back on until I can breathe again.

I love Twitter, it’s often been my lifeline, but now, tonight, tomorrow probably I need a break. The social noise needs to stop and I need to look after myself, nip this in the bud, it can be done, I know it can. I can’t stop the busyness, but I can turn off some of the social noise for a while and I can snatch moments of quiet here and there. Most importantly I can be kind to myself, something usually way down on my list of priorities.

So I’m sorry friends if I let you down this week, I will try my best to be everything you normally expect of me, and be the places you want me to be. But right now I’m prioritising my mental health, because I absolutely refuse to ruin another Christmas for my family. I hope you’ll understand. It’s not you. It’s me. Sorry.