Stress, anxiety, and the ‘Look’
Yesterday my mum told me, quite sternly, to stop frowning and that I had ‘that look’ again. I Immediately knew what look she was talking about. It’s the same look I had a couple of years ago when I thought my world was falling apart. It’s the same look my ex girlfriend would try and make disappear by placing her finger on my furrowed brow and tell me to stop worrying. I’ve never really seen this look but I know the feelings which come with it very well. My old foes stress and anxiety.
A month or so before I came home I noticed that a little area of eczema had returned to the left side of my face. I suffered from eczema on my face and body during my worst period with PTSD but it had been gone for a good 18 months now. Eczema is one of the ways my anxiety manifested itself. I didn’t understand why it had come back. I felt happy and I didn’t feel anxious but clearly I was and until now I couldn’t figure out why.
My mum told me about the look whilst I was sat in the dining room sitting at my computer trying to write a governing document so I can start up a 101 charity. Since I’ve been back things have been a bit crazy. Lots of things are going on which are all absolutely amazing but I’ve found myself becoming a bit overwhelmed by them all.
My mum is right to be frustrated with me. She wants nothing more than for me to be happy. I’ve just recovered from cancer for the second time so why am I getting stressed over these kind of things. She just heard me give a presentation to people about how I am trying to live in the present and be grateful for all the things I have in this moment. Emphasis on the word ‘trying’. It’s a lot harder than it seems.
It was only yesterday I think I figured out why my eczema had returned once I knew I was coming home. For a while I banged on about being ‘cured’ of PTSD but I realised half way through my trip that I was still very much a work in progress. When I knew I was coming home I think subconsciously I was worried I would get home and that I would return to being the same worry filled individual I was before I left. Was this trip just a distraction from the way I might feel for the rest of my life? I am determined to not let that happen.
This post started out as just me trying to make sense of my feelings by putting them down my feelings on paper but I’ve adapted into a blog post now. Ive had emails from people asking what it is that makes me stay so positive all the time. I may seem to have it all figured out but I don’t. I’m still learning but I’m getting there. I still have a lot of work to do but I can control anxiety a lot better now but they are still there and occasionally they try and take over. My mind works overtime which more often than not is a complete nightmare.
I don’t want ‘the look’ and the feelings that come with it back. I am determined to make the happiness and simple stress free life I have had on my trip a permanent feature of my life. I know only too well that all these stresses only exist in my mind.
I think what worries the most is the fact I’m worried about it! Ha! What am I like?!:)
As I write this I’m sat in the back of the car driving home with my parents after a lovely day with friends. There is a beautiful sunset directly in front of us, Marvin Gaye has just come on the radio and in this very moment all is well. I’m safe, I’m healthy and I’m happy. Hopefully one day I can stop telling myself these things and just believe it.
Life is good.
(I’m not sure this photo is ‘the look’ by the way. I just set the timer on the camera and carried on typing. I think ‘the look’ looks more like a Klingon from Star Trek. More frowning and wrinkles:)