If you are anything like me, you will already know the answer to this question and it is……..everything.

However, I have been told this train of thought can change and I am currently investigating ways of making this happen for me. The last few days have probably been the lowest I have ever been and it began on Saturday with my ‘mini’ panic attack while out with the family. Then, on Sunday I had a full-blown panic in the morning and couldn’t function properly for the whole day. My appetite was waning and my enthusiasm for anything was on the drop too. Monday I had an appointment with the mental health team so guess what happened? That’s right, another panic attack.
But this one was different as it also brought with it the thoughts of being a failure and that everyone would be better off without me. I have had these thoughts before and usually managed to push them to the back of my head as nonsense but these ones stayed with me and made me scared. My counsellor saw my agitated state and sent off an urgent referral to the mental health team at the hospital. After a visit to the hospital and a very long with one of the practitioners I was allowed to go home with details of another referral, but this time to the anxiety and self-esteem therapy sessions that they run in town.

All good………….or so you might think.

On Tuesday morning I woke up again with a fear of something bad going to happen but this time it felt more intense. I was shaking, my head felt like it was constantly wobbling and I began to grab it forcefully as if trying to stop it falling off. My wife was calmly telling me to breathe slowly and deeply while holding my hand and stroking my arm. This worked to a point until she had to get up and help my daughter with her hair for school. Alone with my ‘wobbly’ head and thoughts running through my mind I began to scratch at my arm, each time getting harder and deeper until I broke the skin. 3 lines now leave a permanent reminder of what I have done. This was the first time that I had EVER done anything like this and it scared me again. I phoned the hospital on their crisis line and was put straight through to a practitioner on the ward. The gentleman had a warm and friendly voice and he calmed me down with very little effort and then began to talk to me about what had just happened. He said to me I have to think positive thoughts and challenge the negativity with questions such as “What evidence do i have that something bad will happen?”. I spent the rest of the day in a daze, nursing my arm and barely eating or talking to anyone. I went up for a nap in the afternoon and listened to my meditation apps to calm my nerves and catch up on some well needed sleep then made it downstairs for the evening to attempt to be sociable

Wednesday morning I decided to wake up with a difference. I sat up slowly and said out loud “Today WILL be a good day. I AM going to get better”. I felt a new wave of energy in me and a glimmer of positivity was beginning to shine through. I even ate a proper breakfast for the first time in 3 days. I got out my colouring book and started a new picture. I opened my new notebook and began to write random things in it. The sort of things that when I have a wobble I can look at them and remember what I have in my life that is good. These are accompanied by some rather crude drawings I have done to illustrate my point but it is my book and I don’t care. I even had a proper lunch and carried on colouring in the afternoon. Then………I left the house. Yes, I went outside. Terrifying as it felt I had to get some fresh air and my wife was talking our daughter to her swimming club so I tagged along to watch. I’m so glad I did as my daughter was asked if she wanted to move up in to the development squad to improve her stamina and speed skills. As soon as I got home I then made myself a proper dinner while my wife went out for a friend’s birthday. It WAS a good day.

Today I thought I’d try the same tactic. I said the same thing to myself when I woke up, went and had a proper breakfast downstairs and then started to occupy myself. This time, my target was the conservatory and the aim was to clear the chairs so that I can sit in there in future and chill out with a book and the radio. By 2 o’clock I was still in my PJ’s and the chairs were cleared but I now had another target, the fridge freezer needed defrosting!

It is now 10.30pm and everything is finished. I have folded the washing, dried the freezer and turned it back on and even cleaned the island bit of the kitchen.

Tomorrow I shall adopt the same principle and see what happens. I still have the fridge freezer in the kitchen to clean, the bathrooms to clean and some more washing to sort. Plus countless bags of clothes and toys that my daughter no longer wants need taking to a charity shop or two.

“Today WILL be a good day. I AM going to get better”

Watch this space…………………

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