Day 5 and they still don’t know I’m pretending….

that my stomach isn’t in knots and I feel perfectly fine!

Here I am on day 5 of my new job and so far things are going really well. I feel like I am settling in well and everyone seems really nice. But my stomach has been in a knot the whole time and I have had an upset stomach twice. Part of me feels like I am failing at thriving because of it but first of all, I shouldn’t be telling myself off, and 2, I am thriving because carrying on like nothing is wrong and “pretending” is part of the process of learning to thrive. Calling it “pretending” is not the best term. It is more about mind over matter and getting on with things despite felling rubbish.

I also mustn’t worry that I have gone backwards because I have felt a bit of panic from my tummy being in knots or that I have worried about being sick a few times. I’m not even sure it was a blip completely. The other night I woke up because my stomach hurt so much and I got a bit panicky. I did manage to stop a panic attack and actually fell back asleep. But the panic wasn’t that I was going to be sick because I was scared, it was that I was going to be sick and would then have to be off sick on my first week at work. I think that is quite a normal thought really.

I have felt a bit worried about my stomach being bad at work (will they be able to tell and make fun of the smell if I go to the loo), or will I be sick? So that is a bit of a blip but I am handling it and just feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I even just managed to use the bathroom for a ‘cough-cough number 2’ despite being worried what people will say.

I am challenging myself by changing jobs and I am processing it in an internal way. It is a good thing that I have exposed myself to this. I can tolerate it. The more I do, the quicker the churning stomach will go away!

Out of my comfort zone

I’ve been comfortable in my job for three years now and was putting up with going to London but it became to much when I found out I would have to go to London five days a week in the near future. I knew I needed to change jobs but was thinking I would probably start looking in six months to a year as I knew they wouldn’t close my office until at least the autumn 2018 (although my job was already based in London really). The perfect opportunity came up so I took it. 
I started yesterday and everyone seems really nice so far. But of course my stomach is playing up as I am out of my comfort zone and I can feel my social anxiety showing its ugly head. But I am going to process this in an internal way. I decided to make the move to make my home life better so I wasn’t spending all my time on a train home from London. I am going to make this job my own and make this my new comfort zone. I can also handle the nervous stomach and feeling out of sorts for a while because I can cope I will be myself and I will thrive. I can cope with the acid reflux. 

On another note, I have also let myself touch door handles and cold taps in the kitchen without washing or antibac’ing my hands after. I am not going to let the monster scare me!

Laziness – is there such a thing?

I once read an article that says there is no such thing as laziness. If you come across as lazy, there is usually a reason why you are avoiding something. I have been known for most of my life as having an excuse for everything, but what deep down is the reason why I don’t do the things that I know are best for me?

Pretty much anything that takes me out of my comfort zone makes me procrastinate and find thousands of reasons as to why I can’t do it. This never affects me at work, (where I thrive on a challenge) but when it comes to doing something that will make my life better (such as exercise!), I just shy away from it. If I don’t get instant rewards and gratification then I will avoid doing the task required, or at least not carry on if I ever manage to actually get started. Take losing weight for instance, I have a really good week and only lose 2lb. For me, I struggle to see that as a good thing because my stomach is still larger than I want it to be or my trousers are still too tight. So instead of getting the fight in me to carry on, I take the flight option and run away from the task. Whilst I know there is a reward in the long run, if at the time the reward seems low and there appears to be a low risk to my life if I don’t do it, then I simply won’t do it. I struggle to see the reward as it is far in the future and it’s a difficult challenge so I just don’t do it. At work I get the satisfaction of having completed something difficult and, at my current job, the gratification of my boss and my colleagues. But the only person who would be grateful if I lost weight is myself. The only person who loses out if I don’t, is me. Same with challenging the black and white thinking and working through the avoidance and safety seeking behaviour list. I am the only one who will benefit and I don’t praise myself for doing the little things. (side thought – perhaps I should allow myself a reward like a spa day or something once I achieve a certain weight or a certain number of things off the list?).

Perfectionism is a big part of it too. I don’t want to purposely make myself feel uncomfortable. I want to feel perfect all the time, in fact my anxiety disorder and my life has been about making sure I feel perfect. I know in the long run it will make my life better but from this side of things, it all just seems difficult and scary. Doing these things I am not very good at means risking failing. They are a huge task to me and so why would I risk doing something that could make me fail when I could do something else instead? But then I am not being perfect by not doing it which makes me miserable!

There are some tasks that I (and everyone else) just don’t want to do. Things like cleaning the toilet or doing the washing up. But you do it because otherwise it just won’t get done. But when you have someone around who will do those things if you don’t, (in my case my husband), then you are never going to do them! I tell my husband this all the time. If I have done some cooking or something and haven’t done the washing up straight away, I will get round to doing it as there is no way I am going to leave it there. But he gets impatient and so huffs and then does it for me. I know he thinks he is helping but he is also the person who gets annoyed that I don’t do it and calls me lazy. I am never going to be the type who gets up and does chores straight away but I will do it if I have to!

The final reason that contributes to my ‘laziness’ is just being so damn tired. Everyone has every day struggles that make them tired but add to that the constant battle to try and control everything and you have a sleeping machine! My husband says I am lazy because I struggle to get up in the morning. But honestly I am in such a deep sleep that I don’t hear alarms and it takes me nearly an hour to wake up! It’s not because I am lazy, it is because I am so tired all the time (even when I go to bed early), that when I am finally asleep, it’s hard to wake me.

What are your thoughts on laziness? I think it is a term used to describe a lot of other things going on that make you give up the fight. I’m not trying to make excuses for the fact that I don’t do those things, I just know that if I treat the real issue rather than the symptom (being lazy) I will get better. I think labeling myself as lazy is also very external. Understanding the reasons I make myself lazy and doing something about them, is very internal.

‘You’re just OCD…’

This sentence annoys me so much. OCD is something you have not something you are! You can’t be OCD. Would someone say the same with a broken leg, ‘you’re just a broken leg!’ What about diabetes? ‘You’re just diabetes!’ Not of course not. That doesn’t make sense. What people are actually saying is, ‘you’re just obsessive compulsive disorder!’ See, that doesn’t make sense either! 

I got the below off the Facebook page End the Stigma. #endthestigma

Isn’t life confusing?!

Isn’t like confusing?! I am just coming out of a period in my life where I have been in limbo. My job has been shifting from the small town in Surrey to having to work in London and that is not something I want to do. It has been good for challenging my emet but not good for spending time with my family and trying for a baby (both stress and being too tired when I get home!). I like stability. I like to know where I stand in life and what is likely to happen next. I am risk adverse. I want answers to everything in life. I need a reason why. Now this is a typical thought pattern of someone with anxiety. My main issue is not being able to predict things and not being able to accept that some things are grey, not black and white!

Just recently I was offered a new job that would mean I wouldn’t need to commute to London. I was so excited and accepted it as soon as I could. However, my body decided to play tricks on me and I was six days late for my period! My husband and I have been trying for a baby for a year but decided when I was offered the job that, providing I was pregnant that time, I would take the job and we would have a break until I have at least passed my probation. So naturally, I got stressed about needing to come on and so it was late. Bring on days and days of knicker checker and peeing on sticks! It wasn’t until I decided that I would take the job either way and just deal with not having statutory pay that I came on. Anyway, I digress. My point is I spent the whole time looking for the answer and getting stressed that I wasn’t getting one, which was only holding the answer off even more!

Why do I do this to myself?

 

Why do I do this to myself?! Why

Party season or vomitting season?

I wrote this in December but it didn’t post… grrr

It is this time of year when I can feel my anxiety starting to creep its way up on me. 

Those stupid adverts don’t help either where they say about germs being spread on doorknobs etc. 

With stomach ache at this time of year anyway I can’t help but keep wondering if I have the bug as well even though I know it is my IBS and the worry making it happen! I think I can control my desire for control by knowing that eating healthy and washing my hands before eat is going to give me a strong immune system but also that this is something that I can’t control but I will have the strength to deal with it if it happens. Anticaptory anxiety is much worse than the actual thing anyway. But I can’t help having the thoughts that I have avoided it for so long because I antibac my hands etc. 

I think it is quite normal to think that every twitch etc. in your stomach is a bug when you know it is going round. Charlene told me that as her daughter has been sick, every time she gets a feeling in her stomach she stops and thinks ‘uh oh’. But then it goes and she gets on with things. She doesn’t sit there worrying that it might happen and what she can do to stop it. That is the difference. 

If I am sick I can cope. There is no point trying to control the uncontrollable.