It seems fairly clear to me is that there’s often a gap between “what we have” and “what we want”.
If I were to accurately model this gap using Science(TM) and Art(TM) it’d look something like this:
The Big Lebowski is one of my favourite movies.
I could go on – at length – about why. Although I’m not going to, so this GIF will have to suffice:
One quote from the film that’s always stuck with me is “compulsively and without joy“.
I’m not sure why, perhaps there’s just something about the wording. For whatever reason, the phrase wiggled its way into my brain and has lived there ever since.
And I’m pretty pleased about that, because it turns out this particular quote is useful.
Now that I’m (mostly) successfully managing my anxiety, everything should be great forever… right?!
Obviously life isn’t magically perfect. (Though of course “less anxiety” is a huge improvement!)
This is fine. I never expected perfection.
But something else I didn’t expect was that managing anxiety better could itself cause problems.
You may remember that aaaaages ago I gave a TEDx talk about anxiety and custard.
Since then I’ve been asked “when is your TED video up?” approximately… a lot of times.
Finally, I can answer that question. (Although you’ve probably guessed.)
It’s up now.
It contains me. Silly doodles. Stupid jokes. Honesty. Ideas about being less anxious. A malfunctioning slide clicker. And custard.
Watch it! (If you want.)
Hope you like it!
There are words in it!Anonymous
I have finally arranged to do something properly about my anxiety issues. Your Ted Talk was very much the start of the process… thank you.Louise
I like the stage layout, that background is really lovely.Someone, probably
I’m fond of planning. I’m a Plan Fan, a man who can plan. I plan, er…
Inner critic: Hello reader. If you don’t respect anyone who can’t think of more than three rhymes for “plan”, you might like to turn away now.
Anyway. I like looking ahead, you might say. But if I get too caught up in long-term thinking, I end up struggling.
Recently I got a haircut. And, as you might expect, nothing particularly surprising happened.
But, as I was paying, the hairdresser asked a question. “Do you have 50p by any chance?”
Immediately I sprang into action. I searched rapidly, poring through my wallet, tipping coins into my hand and picking out the right change for her.
She whispered something to me I could barely hear. “Relax, no-one’s throwing you out!”
I laughed and smiled and gave her the money. I hadn’t been feeling especially anxious, so I assumed she was joking.
But as I walked away I realised she wasn’t joking. More than that… she was right.
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…)
Update: The talk is out! Check it out here after reading the story below.
Saturday was a huge day for me!
I’ve finally made the switch to almond milk, and reduced my dairy intake. It’ll be interesting to see what effect this has on my morning digestion.
Also, I gave a TED talk at TED X Leamington Spa!
My talk was all about anxiety. And custard, naturally.
I had ambitious plans for it. I wanted to get across the importance of openness about our struggles, both for our own benefit and for others.
I wanted to paint an overall picture of the journey from anxiety to less-anxiety, while sharing some mind management strategies.
And I wanted it to be as funny as possible, while not detracting from the seriousness of what I was talking about. Easy, right?