Ever since my early teens I’ve suffered from some form or another of anxiety. I remember suffering such bad panic attacks I genuinely thought I was dying. This then turned in to sleep paralysis around about the age of 15/16? (This potentially could be linked in with my Temporal Lobe Epilepsy), and now in my 30’s I’m on tablets, but I still suffer from Anxiety and generally worry about everything.
As a personal rule, I go by the theory ‘Fake it till you make it’. Just like laughter therapy, which tricks your brain in to producing endorphins. I faked being an outwardly confident person so much that for the most part, I am!
If I’m having a hard day (seizures, illness, aches, fatigue) this can mean that there’s no amount of faking anything to make anything. So I give in, have a nap, drink some hot coco, read a book or have a little moan to the ever understanding Clive.
I hate having to put people out of their way giving me lifts, helping me in anyway shape or form. So even when people offer their help, I am more inclined to refuse it.
So these are the general tips I live by to me feel more independent and more like myself before epilepsy came and ruined it!
Self care! Oh my goodness, this has done wonders for my self-esteem. Spending a day doing face masks, nails, deep hair conditioner, and sleeping until I naturally wake up is amazing. As I have seizure activity during my sleep just having one day a week to be able to rest completely really does help in the long run as I work full time, and if I have to get a bus both ways this means I am out of the house for just under 12 hours.
Actually leaving the house when Clive’s at work. I’ve only done this twice so far on a Sunday. Once was to Tesco, a 20 minute walk away, and once to town where I got the bus, did some shopping and tried not to panic when I was sick on the bus full of strangers.
Saying no. This means when I’ve arranged stuff in advance and I know I’m going to be ill, cancelling the plans or rain checking them. I worry a lot that this is going to mean that people are going to stop wanting to see me/make plans with me as they will eventually get fed up with me constantly bailing.
Weirdly, tidying the whole house. I feel like I’m totally in control of everything then. I get to choose what my bedding is going to smell of (I have a lot of different laundry detergents), I get to blitz the bathroom and making sure everything is nice and clean. Zoflora comes in to play ALOT when cleaning and doing the washing, so my house constantly smells of flowers!