As I sit here typing, the rain is beating down hard outside, it is August, a Monday during the school holidays - we've just had a loud crash of thunder and I have put on a chunky knitted cardigan and the lights are on - I suddenly feel all cosy and I have said to the kids that when I finish my work I'll put Spirited Away on and get the blankets out.
It is times like this that I feel at my most content.
I have had some lovely comments recently from people who follow me on social media: "I love what you do as a family." I guess on the outside I have a very calm exterior - inside my head is a very different story.
Anxiety is something I think I have suffered from throughout my life (without really realising it) - possibly more mildly beforehand but I would say in the last 3 years it has gotten steadily worse. A friend of mine described the feeling perfectly. Before you are even fully awake in the morning, a rolling feeling of dread sweeps over you. There is no real reason for this other than my brain is going into a mild panic before my day has even started.
When I am feeling at my most anxious I break out in a cold sweat, my heart beats rapidly and I feel a bit sick. Sometimes it could be something as simple as worrying about getting everyone to school on time (we have never actually been late). A lot of the time I am worrying about work - sometimes I have overwhelmed myself completely by agreeing to take on too much, other times I am worried that I do not have enough work and bills won't get paid.
I have put off making phone calls as I have convinced myself that the person I need to call is in some way annoyed with me for not calling them often enough (stupid I know).
On my worst days (usually mornings) I find myself procrastinating about the smallest of tasks, some of which I could complete in about 15 minutes, I will pace about the room wondering what to do first - telling myself that I am not feeling creative enough today so I will put certain tasks off until the last minute.
I think my main fear is letting people down or upsetting people. I have said yes to so many things that I would rather have said no to - just because I didn't want to come across as rude or unreliable.
Then, I have days where I completely power through everything, I get all of my work done, tidy up, clean, do the shopping and sometimes even get a little decorating done. On these days of positive thinking I find that opportunities start coming my way.
I have even put my blogging last as I convince myself that every other task is far more important, when actually writing my blog is pretty therapeutic and if I concentrated hard enough - a good source of income!
People with anxiety often don't talk about it as they don't want to burden other people with their problems - we all worry, right? Why should we feel that we feel any differently to anyone else?
What I have learnt recently is that this can be controlled, positive quotes help, positive affirmations help and getting yourself out and about helps. When I am in this flat all day on my computer I stagnate. I live, eat, work and sleep in this one room - just a change of scenery can make a lot of difference.
As we all read all too often - it is okay not to be okay. Being an adult is hard, being a parent is harder. It is no longer just me - I am micro-managing the lives of 4 people. We all need to stop being so hard on ourselves and just know we are all sailing in this same boat together some days we are floating other days we may feel like we're sinking. But, we are all doing our best and that is enough.