This week I did something, that to most is probably not such a big deal or that out of the ordinary, I attended a childrens festival with my children and survived!
During my life I have lived with anxiety and whilst I can say that usually I am on top of it, there have unfortunately been times where anxiety has gotten the better of me, it has taken over and become my worst enemy.
Anxiety raises it's head in many forms, sometimes it's a quickening of the heart beat, a shortening of ones breath, sweaty palms, a feeling of nervousness, right up to full blown heart palpitations, a feeling of desperation and confusion, thumping headaches and suffering from nausea.
Not long after my second child was born, I fell into the anxiety hole and at it's worst I ended up using avoidance to help me cope, I would simply try my best to avoid situations and events that could trigger an anxiety attack. At first this was a wonderful tactic in helping me gain my inner strength to win the battle, but it was not always practical and left me feeling that in it's own way anxiety was still ruling the situation. With the help of a great counsellor, wonderful family and friends as well as a very dedicated and supportive husband coping strategies and techniques were learnt and put into place. Today that old "anxiety hole" is more like a shallow dip in the ground.
Armed with a new and stronger sense of inner strength, peace and harmony it was time I stopped avoiding a situation that I have long been holding on to: Fun For Kids!
This is a childrens festival held in my local town and truth be told the whole event has filled me with dread from the day it first came into existence. Lots of screaming noisy kids in one huge enclosed space, a sensory overload, lots of noise, heaps of background chatter (an anxiety sufferer's worst nightmare) and all too much for me.
But not this year.....
My two children and I went along for the day, it was loud, it was noisy and there were heaps of kids (not all screaming) and apart from having sweaty palms at the entrance gate, all went well, I survived and most importantly my children had a wonderful time with a calm and relaxed mummy.
Partaking in an ordinary event that to me had seemed anything but ordinary and to walk out of it having felt no forms of anxiety at all....is just well, plain ordinary, unassuming and simple which is all an anxiety sufferer ever wants.
Take that anxiety - I kicked your butt!!