Driving on to the RAF camp showing my ID to one chap whilst another holds his rifle in both hands as if its an accessory. For him his duty is nearly over and he can go home for the evening. For me…..boom!!!!! My heart beats faster, my throat tightens and my mouth waters as if im about to be sick…..I could not wait to get away from the gate and didnt see the speed bump ahead. Ouchy said the front of my camper!!!! It never leaves you no matter how hard I try…
I now suffer from severe anxiety and panic attacks as well as other things since returning from my last tour. Anxiety is affecting me every day now and at times it has been so severe that I have found it really difficult to even leave the flat! Some days I feel I’m making progress and then something triggers it and I’m there again. For someone who has been used to going out and about its awful being in this place, I just feel like screaming until I have no breath left..
As a lot of you now know I have been trying to build up my confidence again by attending a comedy workshop. I have been using public transport to get used to being out again socially and although I have struggled I felt great being able to do.it. Some of you might well be saying “well that’s ok then, your doing ok” but I am on some days. Other days just aren’t that great and I have to get used to managing them. I volunteered my services to the Women In Comedy Festival in Manchester but the closer the event gets the more anxious I become. I don’t like letting anyone down but as someone has just told me I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I have to be kind to myself and accept I need to give time and patience to move forward. I am gutted to be letting the guys down but I can’t make myself worse. The problem is there are so many triggers and memories associated with various moments and although I can prepare to some extent, others take me completely by surprise and I cannot risk anything happening in the centre of Manchester, especially at night. I know logically in my mind it’s ok and nothings going to happen but my body and brain does something different and I just can’t control it. My life is being severely impacted by my anxiety and mental health and it frustrates me so much. I feel I am missing out on so much and I’m letting people down in the process. I truly hope I restart my sessions really soon because this is really getting me down. I can’t really open up like this outside of my session’s, how on earth can I expect anyone else understand it if I can’t understand it myself?!
I had my first resettlement interview today and it was a massive reality check and a smack in the face all in one. The lady was brilliant with me and provided lots of very useful information. It has been driving me crazy not being in work but I often wonder how on earth I would get through some days so how on earth will I keep a job!!
I’m going to try to live my life even with this and I will find a way through it I’m sure. I feel so isolated and lonely even when I’m around people because I can’t escape these demons. I may look ok on the outside but on the inside I’m in turmoil, not all the time but a lot of the time for sure. I think those closest to me are beginning to sense when the good and bad moments appear which is a relief to me.
I made one positive move today though. I have decided to build on my current knowledge and do some home study. It would be great as it will keep me occupied and I can be flexible with my study time. I am writing this blog to help give me an outlet but more importantly to help others identify with what I’m going through warts and all. Some days will be good, others not so much but I remain focused on the goal of living with this and not merely existing.
Please forgive me if I plan to do something or turn up somewhere yet cannot make it when it comes down to it. Sometimes I will make it, other days unfortunately I won’t but please be patient with me and don’t give up inviting me ok. My life is being severely impacted by my social anxiety and triggers but I will keep trying I promise. This may be a small thing but I really miss a proper big shopping day!!!! I used to love going in and out of shops and used to spend hours in supermarkets going down every isle. I still drag myself out but it’s quick and I have to be focused on exactly what I’m going for and go when it’s quiet rather than busy periods. Internet shopping has become my outlet, the postman has actually joked about me running a dodgy mail order job!! So if you guys fancy getting together I can definately cope with nights in with people I know (at yours or mine), bingo (yes bingo), local social clubs and quiet places. I will try to attend where and when I can and in fact the next big thing for me will be the comedy stand-up night for charity. Just please be patient and give me time ok, I will get there.