This one is a little different from my normal stuff but hopefully you guys will get something out of it as I surely will from talking about it 🙂
Nerves and anxiety have always been a factor for me one way or another through my past and present, which got progressively worse for a time when i got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 2 years ago. As when you factor in the extra things you have to do to stay well, it weighs on your mind so much more and you can’t help but withdraw a little from activities you normally would have no trouble in doing.
And that’s happened in a big way lately where I was seriously thinking about giving cricket the heave-ho to try to avoid any additional anxiety and depression that I might put on myself by playing it. The nerves got to me in such a way where I would cripple myself and not even entertain the idea of playing, or doing much in general to be honest. I would shrink away and ultimately keep to myself and almost become a complete recluse. Of course I wasnt making myself better, it only served to keep me as I was, trapping myself in that vicious cycle where anxiety would force me to run away from everything, as if I didn’t do anything then I wouldn’t get anxious, was the twisted logic I used to rationalise it to myself at the time.
So this all came a head for me during the last two weeks and im happy to say i am now coming out of the other side in a much happier and confident state, but let me start at the beginning of that fortnight period.
It started to come on strong during the week leading to the first game of the cricket season, and I had said yes to playing but as the day got closer and closer (games are on a saturday) I was getting increasingly irritable and very nervy and anxious, and really I hadn’t been that bad for a long time as I had previously attended anxiety and stress management courses and they did help. But I guess the prospect of playing that sport which I have played all my life so far, was a more daunting thing than I probably realised. Confidence was a big issue, could I still do it to a good standard, would my fitness hold up or would my diabetes/blood sugar play up and id be forced out that way?
And that’s how it gets you, if thoughts like that creep into your mind without proper control then your mind takes them and spins them out of control, which does happen to me on occasion (Back when I was younger it used to happen quite a lot) and this is what happened to me during that first week. All those poisonous thoughts ran through my head and I got myself into such a state that I just had to cancel cricket and I stayed at home all day on my own. Which of course didn’t help me in the slightest but it was something that helped calm me down, and when you get yourself worked up or into an anxiety attack you’ll take that as a welcome bit of relief, know what I mean? Then of course if you do that too much, you being to rely on it and it becomes your only way of coping which of course is not right, unless you plan on being a lonely hermit your entire life.
So after that hard weekend I definitely had to steel myself for the next week as I had volunteered to do some basic one on one Computer/I.T tutoring which my dad had volunteered also (something for him to do and also he wanted to help me along). Now, I.T and me go hand in hand, I know I can do it and I know I have a good knowledge base to lean back on. But again the nerves were there, ever-present during the day before we were due to start (its only a weekly thing). However I did make a conscious decision to just turn up and go from there, no over thinking things, no doom and gloom mindset, just go there and do the job I know i can do, and do well.
And y’know what? It was a lot of fun, granted I was bricking it before hand but once i had got there it was straight down to business and it was a good experience and very enjoyable. It was then that I realised I always put myself down to much and forget my positives and how good I really can be, as we were teaching people who had 0 confidence in using computers and often felt a burden to the people who were teaching them. And that spoke to me because I always feel like I should be including everyone or at the very least dont single any particular individual out because I know how bad that feels as I have experienced that on multiple occasions down the years, so, helping build their confidence up and being jovial with them helped give them that little flicker/spark that I think will help them overcome their own fear and continue their technical education.
So of course if I can help them do that, then why can’t I apply what I learnt to be able to overcome my fears, my anxieties and depression? And I managed to do that, as yesterday I stuck out my anxiety and nerves and made it there and enjoyed the feeling of being there with the guys again (as you can go a whole winter without seeing any of them) and it was good fun, granted the weather was appalling but you cant have everything go completely your way all the time 🙂 and it went to prove to myself that I can do it, that im never as bad as I think I am, and to not be down on myself because I proved I can do it and do it well which was a big fear as that feeling of letting people down was a heavy burden I gave myself, even though im technically meant to be doing this for fun!
It’s those victories that make you see that light at the end of the tunnel, that it’s not always sad, lonely and depressing, make sure you earn those victories and you will always feel better in yourself I promise you that.
Thanks for reading and well done if you managed to get through that lengthy post 😉