Sunday, 19 April 2015

Being fragile



Today was a big day. It might not seem like a big day for most people but it was for me. For the first time ever, i went to a blogging event on my own where i hadn't met a single person there. I drove the two and a half hours to the event by myself, walked into the event by myself and i managed to talk to lots of people and sit next to two wonderful bloggers. But i nearly didn't do it. I have awful anxiety and the thought of meeting strangers and being on my own is terrifying to me. I have never been to a place before on my own where i don't know any body. I have always said no or had someone with me to hide behind. I have never been confident enough to say yes. But for this event i did. I excitedly said yes because it was weeks away and i didn't think it through too much at the time. 
I spent yesterday feeling sick with a tight chest and i kept telling my husband that i needed to cry. I felt that lump in my throat the whole day and couldn't shake off the feeling. I woke up this morning, got in the car and started the drive. I felt positive and even a little bit excited but as i drove, the tightness in my chest came back. I started to feel really sick and shaky and i ended up stopping at the services and having a panic attack in the toilets. I sat myself down and breathed through it and i was ready to call Gilles and tell him i was going to turn around and come home. I really didn't think i could keep driving. The night before i had gone to see one of my favourite singers, Kate Rusby at the theatre and i bought her new album. She performed a song called Ghost and it made me cry so i got in the car and put on that song. I turned it up really loud and started driving. I was battling with myself for the next hour as i got nearer to the City. I kept the song on repeat and breathed slowly. The song is so haunting and beautiful and i just allowed myself to be vulnerable and to feel the way i did. I allowed myself to cry a little and to see saying "oh my god!" over and over. I told myself that i was going to write this post and that if i didn't go through with it, i would disappoint myself. I kept imagining what i was going to say and i was telling myself out loud that i can really do this. I got to the City and parked up and sat in my car for a few minuets before giving myself another talking to and going to the venue. I walked in on my own and instantly found another blogger who was in the same boat as me. We stuck together and i found my confidence. I talked to other bloggers and i kept reassuring myself in my head that nothing bad was going to happen. After the event, i felt so overwhelmed all the way home. I was so proud of myself and when i got back to my husband, i explained about how i felt and he said he was really proud of me too.

I think for people that don't have anxiety, it can be hard to imagine how difficult it can be. I have an intense fear of failing, being rejected or being judged. I find it so hard to talk to strangers and i am constantly worrying about what they think of me and when people don't talk to me, i think they must hate me. It's irrational but it is real for me. I have worked so hard on overcoming these feelings and taken huge steps to become a better person. This time last year, i wouldn't have been able to do what i did today. I would have cried or freaked out and would have gone back home to my comfort zone. Pushing myself to get out there today has opened up a whole new world. I won't have to say no when i am asked to events now like i have always done. It won't be completely easy for me but i know i can do it. 

Looking back at the drive to Bristol today, i am actually glad it happened. It was such an intense feeling and normally i have the girls or people around me and i just bury my feelings and try to forget them but it was just me and allowing myself to be fragile and stripped back allowed me to deal with those emotions. I hardly ever let myself get sad or upset because i try my hardest to always be positive or always show happiness around the girls. Now whenever i listen to that song, it will be with a smile on my face. I achieved something i thought was impossible for me to do. 
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40 comments

  1. (((Hugs))) I think you are marvellous to go ahead despite your anxiety. Being fragile is hard but also very beautiful, it may make the world seem like a scary place but it reveals the magic too. Congratulations on making the event, and thank you for writing this honest and lovely post.

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    1. Thank you very much Sarah. It can be beautiful and i am glad i went through the experience even though it was nice at the time. I feel a lot more grateful for it today x

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  2. WELL DONE! I am so proud of you! And what an inspiration you will be for your little girls, as they grow up with a strong and determined mother. You dug deep and found your inner strength, you carried on, despite the doubts and fears. You succeeded. You prevailed.
    You inspire me too!
    And I love you! XX

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    1. i love you too Aunty. Lots and lots and more than you will ever know x

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  3. What an achievement... Overcoming fear is one of the toughest battles to face! So glad your were able to do it!xx

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    1. Thank you. I am so glad it pushed through. I am very thankful today for my strength yesterday x

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  4. Well done. You are so strong and brave even if it doesnt feel like it. What you did took huge guts and its ok to be vunrable, truthful like this post and still be strong. So excited for you now you can start to say YES to things. The world is your oyster xxxx

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    1. Thank you Louisa. Yes, it really is! I am attending another event this weekend and i am an exciting event in June that i am going to :) x

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  5. i still have not even been to one , too busy and never any near by, x

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    1. I think that is a big problem too. I hope you get to go to one soon :) x

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  6. I'm so glad you found a friend! I have very similar experiences in new places. It's so easy to just run out the door sometimes. It's hard to not come across as aloof or unfriendly when really you are just freaking out!

    Also, I love Kate Rusby too!

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    1. Thank you! So glad you like Kate too :) I feel the same. It makes me more anxious thinking that people will think i am rude but i am really just shy and anxious! x

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  7. Ooh, I love a bit of Kate Rusby!

    On a more serious note, well done - that was a massively brave thing you did and here's hoping the next time it's a little bit easier.

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    1. YEY! She is amazing. Have you heard her new album "ghost" AMAZING!! xxx

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  8. keri, i'm so proud of you! things like this absolutely make you stronger. i used to have awful, awful social anxiety and would never even leave the house. sometimes i'd just open the front door and have a panic attack. i thought i'd never get over that, but i did. this sort of thing takes time and patience for sure.

    i'd had loved to have met you if i was able to make it! if i'm ever up your way it would be so lovely to meet :)

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    1. Thank you Laura. It would be so lovely to meet you too, shame you didn't make it. I would have grabbed you and stuck with you ha! Thank you for sharing your experience. I just know it can only get better from here x

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  9. Feel so proud of yourself for this, it's an amazing thing you did. I feel the same really, I actually got the courage to book blogtacular, my first blog event ever and I'm still thinking should I have done that.. But the answer is yes! Feelings like this can hold us back in life so much and I think the biggest leap is when you try to take control and feel so much better for it :) xxx

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    1. Thank you Natalie. I have been thinking since Sunday about Blogtacular as i really want to go. x

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  10. Ah well done lovely, it can be so scary to go to events like that at first but now you've done it once you won't even think anyone of it next time! xx

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  11. Such a shame that I couldn't meet yoou but I'm so glad you made it to Bristol to attend the event! It can be so daunting and suffering from axiety can be crippling so well done on your achievement. x

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    1. I get you meet you on Saturday :):) x

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  12. First of all a very big well done to doing this on your own - I have and still do occasionally suffer with anxiety which can be pretty debilitating when it does hit so I can totally emphasis in how big this is for you and I really wish I could of made the event over the weekend - it would of been lovely to see you

    Laura x

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    1. Thank you Laura. It would have been lovely to see you too. It is so hard isn't it to battle through those feelings x

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  13. Oh you just explained my life, especially the intense worrying of what people thing of me and the irrational fear that people don't like me without even meeting me (so many of us are in the same boat)! That is amazing that you took this big step, you should feel very proud!

    I just re-discovered your gorgeous blog and you seem like an incredibly lovely and creative person (I am super jealous of your talents!) and I'm sure that shines through when people meet you.

    Keep on being amazing. Best wishes from Australia x

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! You are so kind xxx

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  14. Oh Keri-Ann, really well-done for getting the courage to do this on your own. And you've explained it so beautifully on your post <3 I too feel like that some of the time, and feel very self-aware in social situations (and after!) so really appreciate just how difficult it is to get through. It's one of the reasons I wanted to go on this trip of ours, to open up, to relax more and be less afraid of the unknown. Would love to meet you one day, you seem like a wonderful person to be around xx

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    1. Thank you Maria. It would be so lovely to meet you too. I really hope our paths cross soon xxx

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  15. This is amazing, well done. It must be really hard coping with anxiety, and I think you should be really, really proud of yourself for going to that event alone :) xxx

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    1. Thank you Fiona. I am so proud of myself x

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  16. Well I wouldn't have guessed! you looked relaxed and I could see you chatting. Well done you. I hope this is the start of more events and a step towards less anxiety.

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    1. Thanks Gemma. It was lovely to see you! I really wanted to make the experience as positive as i could for myself and just forced myself to be open and talk. x

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  17. How amazing that you did something you wouldn't have been able to do a year ago? That is what you call progress. I know anxiety is far more than just feeling shy and overwhelmed - I have a brother that has suffered from it for years. Well done for going and even more so for writing this post. I can relate to lots of things you have written as I was very shy growing up and just hid behind my siblings. I wrote a post about it that you may (or may not) find helpful - http://inside-outandabout.com/2015/02/18/on-being-shy-and-getting-over-it/ xx

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    1. What an amazing post! Thank you so much for sharing darling. It is so hard to get past and i really feel i broke a tiny barrier. It can only get better from here on in x

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  18. Hello you darling girl!
    Wow reading these comments for your amazing and honest post is a revelation to me, that so many people feel these things too.
    I think you are amazing to have completed your journey, emotionally and physically. Well done... you go girl!!
    I am so pleased I met up with you on sunday and am so impressed with your beautiful blog and your awesome photographic talent.
    lots of love Ashley xx

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    1. Thank you Ashley. I am so glad i got to meet you. I am so glad you love the blog :) xx

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  19. Well done, you should be so proud of yourself, it is a massive achievement. And now you have done it once, you need to keep reminding yourself of that, that you have it in you, and you can be strong x

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  20. well done you! Events can be terrifying if you're not arriving with friends whether you suffer from anxiety or not. I'm so sorry we didn't get to meet x

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  21. Well done, a major step and you have every right to be proud of yourself!
    Our 8yr old son battles with anxiety, as a parent it's a constant balance between supporting who he is and encouraging him to try to step out a step at a time.

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  22. This is lovely. I am the same. I always say no to things because I don't want to have any humiliation. This inspires me and it is just amazing that you did something so big xx

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