What would we do if we weren’t afraid?
Hey guys. So today I’ve got a blog post that months I’d never have thought I’d be writing. This almost feels surreal. So today I’ve done one of my biggest achievements to date. This will probably not seem big to a lot of people but to me it is such a huge and terrifying thing that I’d assumed I’d spend my life avoiding. But today I’d stopped avoiding it.
So like I’ve mentioned in a blog post a while back I’ve been suffering with an Eating Disorder and OCD for nearly 2 years now, along with severe anxiety. My eatingdisorder developed first as far as I’m able to remember (but I’ve apparently suffered with anxiety a lot longer than anybody realised). My eating disorder meant that I’d lost a scary amount of weight and was often losing consciousness and it was getting dangerous. I’d got taken to hospital and haven’t been back since. After getting out of hospital and starting recovery, my OCD really started to kick in. To me, being in school caused me to be so paranoid with how I’d looked, and so scared of being judged. This is kind of how my ED started (even though it’s never that simple). So basically my OCD developed after that. Starting to recover is scary and for me it got me so scared of falling back into my disorder. That meant that my school and recovery life were completely separated. Like clothes, hair bands anything was put away because it got me so scared of being ill again. It continued like this for five months then half a year. This also meant that it prevented me from speaking to friends for over half a year. For many months it meant no contact at all.
So today was scary because it involved me meeting with one of my best friends, Annie, and my OCD went crazy. It wasn’t sprung on me and it was an idea that started off on Therapy, and was arranged. We had been messaging and initially it was supposed to be with another friend but she was unable to get there which was bit of a disappointment but half of me is kind of glad because it was probably a lot simpler with one person.
So it was all arranged and my anxiety was going crazy today. We were meeting at twelve and that gave me a few hours to panic about it. To be honest it wasn’t worst anxiety I’ve ever experienced purely because it was expected andId been given a lot of strategies to deal with this sort of anxiety by now. That best way to stop that anxiety today was to take a bit of time on my make up and hair.
So after getting ready Id driven there and queued up in a Starbucks, and got myself a smoothie. Honestly, this was probably my most anxious and OCD moment. Waiting for Annie seemed to last about an hour when in reality it was only five minutes. Thoughts went through my head like, ‘What if she’s changed’ ‘What if it’s super awkward’ ‘What if she doesn’t like me’ ‘What if my anxiety goes crazy’. In those five minutes I’d gone through every possible scenario of which one included me having to set of a fire alarm to escape and then getting arrested.
In reality what actually happened was that she walked in and we both screamed and got some seriously shady looks from a lot of people, and then sat and talked for an hour. Not having seen each other for over half a year means a lot to talk about. One of my biggest anxieties was that our conversations would feel forced and everything would feel awkward. But it felt perfectly normal. It honestly felt like we had seen each other a week ago. We laughed about everything, and it was honestly amazing. My OCD disappeared for 3 hours which is such a relieving thing. It amazed me how we hadn’t really changed at all, and how we talked like we had been together a few days ago. But that’s true friendship isn’t it?
After that we went shopping which was as simple. We both have similar tastes and both wanted to go in similar shops so there wasn’t that really dull waiting in JDs for a few hours sort of thing. Another massive achievement for me was actually eating with her. This was something that seemed impossible, but once she asked if we could get something to eat, it was a simple choice. Calories didn’t matter and being so close to somebody from school didn’t phase me at all and as a reward for such an incredible achievement Id treated myself to a Chocolate Milkshake.
We actually ended up going over time. My therapist had told me that it had to be a minimum of two hours so being that anxious worst case scenario thinker, obviously I’d imagined that once we hit two Id race off screaming I’m free. But to my surprise we stayed an hour and a half over my time limit. Let me just repeat that. THREE AND A HALF HOURS ALTOGETHER.
Ok, so it was scary. Let me rephrase that it was terrifying. But having had a lot of experience Id known that after a few minutes that anxiety would die down and once we were both there it would completely disappear. Which it did.
There were a few times in these past few weeks that Id considered backing out which has happened before. But it was one of those situations where Id thought about what my older self would regret in twenty years time. Abandoning my friends was quite near top of that list.
But if it was simple it wouldn’t be an achievement so there would be no point? To anybody reading this who is scared of something please just try it. It’s that only way it will allow u that power of kicking back to your anxiety, OCD or ANYTHING and eventually free u.
So today was where Id taken a big step towards recovery and gaining my life back.