My recovery was a long eighteen months combining so many actions on a daily basis to keep my head flying higher than the flamingo. What did I do?
Talk the Talk
I talked. As much as I could. Papa Bear would get a daily report of how I was managing my day and if there were any episodes or situations which I took control of over the anxiety. Talking to him helped to keep myself focused and on track. Eventually, the conversations were shorter and less.
Oddly I found it much easier to laugh during these anxiety ridden days which I wouldn’t have expected. Laughing helped immensely since it gave me something positive to focus on.
Reading. I read more blogs, stories and books about postnatal depression and anxiety, about mindfulness and meditation. I stumbled across some brilliant postnatal depression and anxiety bloggers who I could relate to so much. Knowing you’re not the only one to go through this helps in a way.
I used to spend hours meditating when I was younger, and I relearned this skill, although as Momma Bear, I rarely had much time to do it. Five minutes here and there was enough though, and all I could ever manage in reality with two kids. It helped to clear my mind which I needed most days, even now. Saying goodbye to the negative and suffocating thoughts this condition can bring was almost essential to feel like I had a grip on my own life.
I found a good counsellor and without her I’m not too sure where I would be. Mindfulness is one thing, amongst others, which she kept coming back to and while it takes a little bit to get used to and understand, mindfulness is a way of keeping tabs on you and your life and bringing you back to your centre, your peace of mind. In other words, live for now, appreciate now and be in the moment. It’s about you. Finding you, keeping you and balancing you. Recognising what you’re going through and accepting it or letting it go.
When I was having a panic attack, the earth closed up around me, pulled my chest tight so I couldn’t breathe, it held down my body so I struggled to move, and flipped me upside down as though I was going to fall. Mindfulness teaches us to focus our mind and pause. If we can calm ourselves from within it’s possible to ease the panic and refocus the moment away from the attack. It is by far, not easy. It takes time to learn how to focus your mind above the stress, pain and panic that physically takes over your body. It took me near enough six months to find a way to calm myself through panic attacks and anxiety with mindfulness. Eventually, the more I was mindful, it became second nature.