Thursday, 3 November 2011

Fear - We all have it.

The lovely Ashley over at Eisy Morgan has recently set up a wee blogging therapy group - a chance for us to all have a little chat about the things that cause us pain and worry and, maybe, to feel a little release after doing so. The prompt for today's session was 'Fear' and I felt an IMMEDIATE need to start clacking away at the keyboard. I'm not one for discussing anything vaguely emotional both in my life or on my blog and the main reason for this.... ? Fear. Fear of being judged, fear of saying too much, fear of making myself vulnerable. I was recently diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) both of which have completely taken over my life. I worry ALL the time about EVERYTHING. I worry that I'm not a good enough Mum but I'm too scared to talk to anyone about it. I worry that I'm failing as a soldier, that I'm weak for not being able to cope with the things I've seen and experienced but to highlight these worries to my bosses? What if they think less of me? What if, what if, what if. My biggest fear? Failure.

Over the last year I have become increasingly more isolated. I stopped eating, sleeping, socialising or leaving the house unless I absolutely had to. I worried people would stare at me in the shops, that I am constantly being judged and falling short. I worry that my blog is crap, that I talk crap and no one gives a shit about my crap. I worry that my clothes aren't up to scratch, that my hair will get laughed at, that if do make an effort people will think I've tried to hard. I worry that I'll never be as fit as I want to be, as slim as I want to be, that I'll never get to travel out of combats , that I may never get a full night's sleep again. I worry that I'll be single forever, that no one could possibly love me, that I am just too much like hard work. I worry. Constantly. And those worries turn in to fear that gnaws away at my stomach and stop me from enjoying just about anything.

I've recently started a long course of therapy and medication and I'm already much better than I was this time last year (when I was pretending everything was ok). And if there's one thing I've learnt it's that this fear has taken over my life. I'm being taught to ask myself 'What's the worst that can happen?' and this ranges from anything as trivial as 'if I wear a nice dress to the shops' to 'if I tell my boss when I'm having a really bad day'. This fear has stopped me from getting out and about with my wee one, from joining a climbing group, from going for the promotion I wanted. My therapist also makes me highlight the things I already CAN do even though I worry I'm not doing them well enough. For example I wear a UK size 10 and I'm 5ft 6. If I wore a smaller size I'd probably look ill so why do I think I need to be slimmer? I can outrun most of the boys I work with because I do phys every day. One because I like to work out and two because it stabilises my anxiety. So why did I think I need to be fitter? Who do I want to be fitter than? Everyone? No one.

The best thing I've learnt is to take each fear, problem and worry and break it down into bitesize chunks and then to deal with each little mouthful separately. And also to look at the bigger picture as highlighted above. I am slim, I am fit and my daughter is outgoing, happy, smiley and bright so I must be doing something right. It's just remembering to remind myself of this stuff EVERDAY so I don't lose focus. I still have much to work on but I'm gritting my teeth and getting stuck in. It's exhausting, painful and slow but I feel a little bit more like me each week so the struggle has GOT to be worth it.

Wow. Did I ever need to get that out in the open. Thanks for listening.

Linking to....


  1. Wow, Tids, I can almost feel your relief having let all this out! Good for you.

    I’ve often felt it easy to pour my heart into my blog because of my anonymity (due to my own fears). And, I suppose, because I mix mine with fiction and fantasy too. I wish I could be as open, brave and honest as you’ve been here xxx

  2. You are open, brave and honest. That's why you were my first blogging buddy. Beyond lovely to hear from you xxx