It’s my birthday in less than a week! 5 days to be precise. I can’t believe it, I literally can’t. Where has this year gone? It feels like I’ve been 28 for about five minutes. So much has happened this year that I can’t even begin to reflect on it all yet, but that’s not what the purpose of this post is. You might have seen that I wrote a post recently about being depressed. Well it’s not just about the depression for me – I am also quite an anxious person. I never thought I was, but as I’ve grown up through my twenties I’ve definitely become more self-aware and I can see now that there are some things I’ve always been anxious about.
One of those is my birthday!
I love my birthday – it’s one of my favourite days of the year. Call me self-centred, call me what you will, but I just absolutely love seeing my family and friends, reflecting on a year gone by, thinking about what the next year will bring and of course getting some super amazing presents!
But it’s also the time of year that the pressure is really on me to entertain. I feel an indescribable pressure to perform, to host the ultimate party and make sure everyone else is having just as good a time as me. But the thought of making other people as excited about my birthday as I am just stresses me out.
What if no one comes?
What if people don’t enjoy it?
What if people want to leave?
What if everyone blames me for hosting the worst party of the year?
All of those thoughts course through my head as I try to decide whether to arrange some for my birthday or not. This year, I’ve been super busy so I just whinged at Andrew until he told me what to do. Then really if it all goes terribly wrong, then I have someone else to blame, it takes the stress out of the decision for me. Turns out there are fourteen of us going out for a curry and it’s going to be amazing.
So what was all the stress about?
Well that’s what anxiety and depression do to you I’m afraid – they surface the worst thoughts in your head and tell you that they’re the truth. They make you worry about the stupidest of things and blow things out of all proportion. I’ve always been hugely self-critical and my anxiety and depression remind me of that every day.
That’s why I titled this post Everyday Anxiety.
People assume you only get anxious about the big things – the wedding, the job interview, the house move – but actually it’s just as often the little things in life that freak you out.
I got anxious yesterday because I thought I might miss my train. But actually there was an hour and a half until the train I had a seat booked on was leaving, I just had it in my head that I wanted to get the train an hour earlier. So I put huge pressure on myself to meet that goal because I’d decided in my head that’s what I had to do. There was absolutely no need to get so worried about a train. There are bigger things in life, that’s for sure. I guess it’s good that I have goals and want to achieve them, but there’s also the need for a bit of perspective.
And there’s nothing like a birthday to give me a bit of perspective! I am such a lucky person, I am blessed in many aspects of my life and I aim to never lose sight of that. I’ve made a lovely list of goals for the future that are aimed to not put any pressure on myself. That will be going live on my birthday so stay tuned!
Soon I’ll be writing a post about some of my coping methods. In the meantime, I would love to hear some from you too.