Anxiety is a funny one, isn’t it? Why spend your time worrying, feeling uneasy and apprehensive about something when you don’t have to? Ha, if only it was that simple. From those that cannot relate, I have frequently heard “Well, just don’t be anxious about it as there’s no point!”. Yes genius, you think I don’t know that?
So now, as I go about my days trying to work on regaining some form of a ‘normal life’, whilst still battling with my pesky neck and shoulder headaches, I have come to realise that I am actually more anxious now than I have ever been.
You think after coming all this way that this would be the easy part, right? You know, integrating into society again, doing all the things that you used to do pre-illness? Well, it’s proved harder than I thought, however, this was until I recently discovered the key to overcoming this beast, once and for all.
This all came to light after a visit to my Physiotherapist. He is without a doubt not what you would call a normal Physiotherapist, and for all the best reasons. Not only does John look at what’s physically causing me pain, he delves deeper into what’s going on in my subconscious and how my mind is influencing my physical body.
After explaining to John how much I long to do ‘normal’ things like completing more than one task in a day or even just being able to sunbathe (yes, ridiculous I know when I live in the flippin’ desert and it’s sunny 365 days of the year), he stopped me in my tracks and asked me why couldn’t I do these things? To be honest, I had no valid answer to give other than they simply made me anxious right now.
That being said, John challenged me to adopt his approach which he likes to call exposure therapy. Simply put, this means basically overcoming what it is you are frightened of by facing it head-on (excuse the pun). So off I set, feeling even more anxious about what I was about to undertake but deep down I knew this had to be done.
If I have learnt anything along this journey, it’s that great things sure don’t come from comfort zones.
On return from my session, I actually sat down and made a list of all the things that currently made me anxious and then set about to tick them off one by one. My first challenge was sunbathing and not shadebathing for the first time in forever. With frequent dips in the water and of course my trusty hat, it actually felt damn right glorious to finally soak up some rays.
Next I tackled having a group of friends round for a BBQ, something we hadn’t done in so long. It went so well that the whiskeys were still flowing at midnight (obviously not mine) but I made my way through seven hours of hosting! My other small victories included going for a beach walk in the sun before breakfast with my friend, lunch in a busy cafe and I know it sounds small but even just staying out during the day without coming back to the safety of home.
Of course, attempting these things made me anxious but by overcoming these small feats has taught me that I CAN do more than I think and gives me the confidence next time to push myself even further.
Remember friends, you are only confined by the walls that you build.
#Physiotherapy #Headaches #Anxiety #HealthCoach #MyJourney