When I’m struck down with my anxiety it fuels my depression and I find myself unable to cope with life in general. Waking up and getting out of bed in the morning is extremely tiresome and can consume literally every ounce of energy I have. Mundane things like brushing my hair, having a bath or shower, getting dressed or even opening my window dressings become too difficult to do. The fear of people seeing how I feel stops me from opening the window curtains and blinds and even leaving my home. I cling to the safety and familiarity my home provides. So as part of my recovery I have made myself what I call my victory list. I aim to complete at least one per day. Whether I achieve just one or all of them in a day, I feel elated like I have conquered my very own metaphorical mountain. Yes, man has done many great things. Man built the Great Wall of China, some climb actual mountains everyday, others run marathons, but for me beating my anxiety one victory at a time is all that matters and within each of these victories lay my strength and my greatness.
To give you an idea of what my list may include here are a few of my daily goals:
0. Get out of bed
0. Have a bath/ shower
0. Brush hair
0. Put makeup on
0. Get dressed in something other than Panama’s
0. Take a short walk
0. Sit in the garden
0. Have something to eat
0. Read a page or more of a text book
0. Play with kids
0. Invite a friend for coffee
0. Meet a friend for coffee away from home( away from familiarity)
0. Greet a stranger
0. Go somewhere different even if it’s just a different part of town.
0. Say something positive about myself
0. State one thing I am grateful for
The above mentioned are just a few things on my list. Some days I am able to achieve them all and others I’m not able to achieve any. I have learnt not to beat myself up when I don’t achieve any of the things on my victory list, but I am elated when I achieve even just one. Getting out of bed in the morning can be mentally and emotionally draining when anxiety is at it’s worse, however having said that the positive emotions that accompanies getting out of bed is what motivates me even more to have that bath or shower. The feeling of the warm water running down my skin is so cleansing, as if it is washing away all my fears even just briefly. That leads to me picking up a hair brush and getting dressed in clothes other than pajamas or loungewear. Once I have done all this I am overwhelmed with positive emotion because I have achieved more than my daily target and this leads to me completing even more tasks. As you can gather one small step leads to giant leaps!
It is so much easier crawling back under the covers and staying in bed, but I am very competitive and although I do not compete with others I compete with myself and I always want to beat the amount of steps I have completed the previous day. My desire and determination to get better and beat this is what drives me daily to achieve as many of the goals I have set for myself in my victory list. Some days I am perfectly capable of reaching the goals, but I don’t and they can be due to several reasons out-with my control such as the weather or friends being at work. I am now able to recognise this and not beat myself up when things out of my control are the reasons for me not achieving my goals. Sometimes the progress I make is slow and can be frustrating, but as the saying goes slow and steady wins the race right?! I will win this race one victory at a time!