As it is health awareness month I decided to reflect on the last ten months and my diagnosis of anxiety and depression. Upon reflection I have come to realise that I have neglected to work on my self image as well as my self confidence. So I challenged myself to do something different everyday for the entire month and so far I am winning. Everyday during the first week I made myself feel good by doing something new, positive and out of my comfort zone.So wether it is putting make up on, going for a walk or dressing up, I have done it to make myself feel good.
Week Two of the month and a friend asked me to look after her cat while she was away on holiday. I have done this many times before, however this time it had a bit more significance. As I drove to her home by myself for the first time in a few months, although I have seen her many times since my diagnosis and I have obviously driven to her house before, this time it was different. For the first time in months I actually drove somewhere other than on the school run. Yes I have been driving with my husband and kids, but this time I drove myself by myself. Driving to her home my anxiety kicked in, and I realised just how much of my confidence I have lost to this illness.
Previously driving somewhere wasn’t a problem for me and even driving to work wasn’t a problem because I had to. This time round It just felt different. My anxiety kicked in as I drove on the motorway, but the minute I reached her home and snuggled on the sofa with her sweet cat, it all evaporated. The significance in this experience was realising just how much work I have done in my recovery, but also how much work I still have to do. I have come to realise that not only have I lost my confidence in the process, but also my independence and sense of self. Everything I have done have always been around the interests of my family and with them, but I asked myself when have I last gone somewhere alone? That question I cannot answer. Prior to visiting my friends lovely cat, I have not driven alone unless it was to work or gone anywhere without having either my friend or my some of my family with me. Never alone for leisure. This is something I need to work on. I need to gain my independence back and maybe working on that will build my confidence. Maybe the two has some inter-dependence.
For most of the second week, I have not worked on myself at all. In fact I spent the week in bed not by choice, but due to a sudden case of tonsillitis. It hit me really hard. I had an dangerously high temperature and couldn’t eat for a few days. So although I wanted to get up, dress up and show up I physically couldn’t. I used the time to recuperate and reflect in between naps and feeding my friends cute little cat.This has made me realise how much I have under taken the past year. I took on more than what my body could bare and it’s starting to crack. Now I need to reduce my workload which may eliminate some stressors in my life, but also I have so much work to do to regain my confidence and independence.