Mum, moody, messy, manic. Retired musician and aspiring writer.
From dark, sordid, private journaling, this website became my greatest recovery asset for major depression and anxiety, and the eating disorder and self harm behaviours I used to mask them.
I imploded like a smashed egg, and from within I've found a fledgling bird, ready to spread its wings and fly.
I hope within these pages, you find a moment of connection, truth, revelation and understanding. This is my story. Perhaps it's yours too.
Hypervigilance - it's been around forever, of that I have no doubt. But it's not a word I ever heard mentioned in all my many years of formal education. For a more thorough definition, have a look here, but whether or not it's something you personally have experience with, doesn't negate the fact there are a lot of people out there standing on guard, waiting for the next blow to fall. I'm one of those persons. It's a bit unfun. For me personally, it's not related to PTSD - I haven't been subjected to military combat or sexual assault, and for that I'm very grateful. But for one reason or another my nature and nurture cooked up a little concoction that makes me hypervigilant - all the time. What does that mean? It means I'm always on guard.
There are moments - hours, days - when I feel overwhelmed with anxiety. Not nervousness. Not stress. Not worry. Not even depression. Just anxiety, with all its accompanying physical misery. Five years ago I didn't have anxiety at all - so I believed. I certainly didn't seem to experience the effects of anxiety. In fact I didn't really experience emotions at all. Which is why, I realise, that girl is never coming back.
Contrary to a vaguely popular (and really fucking irritating) belief, anxiety is not stress or worry - although stressing and worrying are part of anxiety. And it is most certainly not a choice. It's not a lifestyle. It's something you have - like chicken pox. Although thankfully chicken pox is a once (perhaps twice) in a lifetime affair. Anxiety on the other hand, can be a daily curse. Forever. And just like chicken pox, it needs to be managed.
Wanna know what my anxiety looks like? I had an unpleasant moment at work today, then later realised I'd spent the entire day on edge as a result of that one moment. For the whole day I was slightly teary, heart pounding, wanting to punish or numb myself, and counting the minutes until I could get out of there. I felt frozen to the spot and terrified of opening my mouth - just hoping the earth would swallow me whole. This is a scenario I am all too familiar with.