I’m doing something scary.
(Technically, living with anxiety makes lots of things scary, I guess. BUT this is actually terrifying.)
Quite often, I get asked “what should someone do after they realise they’re anxious?”
There’s no definitive answer to that question – every person and every situation is different, so it’s impossible to give one-size-fits-all advice.
But there are a few ideas which might help someone figure out the next step for them…
Here’s some advice you might hear if you’re dealing with anxiety:
“It doesn’t matter WHY you’re struggling, accept the feelings and focus instead on the present”
Sounds great. But, then, so does this: “we should confront and heal our past traumas so they stop bothering us in the present”!
And these good-sounding bits of advice seem to be contradictory..!
How are we supposed to know WHEN to confront past traumas, and when to let go and focus on the present?
(And I bet you’ve come across loads more of these seemingly-contradictory pairs of advice.)
Here’s an answer I often return to:
You might be interested in this talk I was invited to give recently at the University of Liverpool.
The occasion was “Working Conversations”, a conference intended to discuss what a better mental health service might look like.
I was invited to share my experiences with anxiety, some thoughts about custard, and to throw open a few questions for the ‘proper’ experts to consider during their discussions for the rest of the day.
Hopefully I did an alright job! You can see the talk via this link.
I’m very interested in your feedback, so please do let me know what you make of it below!
Super quick update today with two bits of news!
On Friday I’m performing at OneTrackMinds in London, an incredible storytelling night about songs that have changed people’s lives.
I’ll be telling a story with at least one joke in it, and a lot of vulnerability. OneTrackMinds Tickets available here.
Also, the wonderful Harriet from ‘The Scribble Bug’ has written the most delightful interview with me about Walking on Custard and what I’m doing next. Read the interview here.
[May be relevant if you feel as if the same problems keep resurfacing in your life without ever being properly dealt with.]
Imagine that you’re untying a giant tangle made up of many, many pieces of coloured string.
(I have no idea why you might be doing this. Presumably you’re very bored.)
This post contains excerpts from the early chapters of Walking on Custard. This version was originally published online over at Mindtank, an awesome blog for sharing mental health and anxiety stories. Do check them out and give them plenty of support!
Worrying has always been my primary way of dealing with the world.
For most of my life, I thought this was normal. (When I wasn’t worrying about worrying so much, anyway…)