Today started out much like any other Monday. In the words of the song… just another manic Monday. Help Dino Boy finish his homework, despite the fact that he’s had a week off school, get kids off to school, do food shopping, put washing in the tumble dryer etc. etc. etc. So why was today different?
Today as I wandered around my favourite bargain shop, I looked at the Betty Crocker strawberry icing in my shopping trolley and was not anxious! Yes that’s right, I was not anxious! It was a short lived moment of serenity amidst the chaos of shopping with twins but still, it was there. Now, before you think, “what? Is she crazy?” (Yes I am!) Let me explain.
Twelve months ago I wouldn’t have been able to even put this in my trolley. I would’ve contemplated it, but questions like, ” what if people can tell it’s a shop bought icing?” and “what if (person’s name) thinks I can’t make my own icing?” and even “what if it’s not good for my kids and they get cancer because I get into the habit of using convenience foods”!!!! Yes that was/is how my brain worked/works.
A few months ago I would’ve bought it and then left it in the cupboard, unable to face the major consequences of using shop bought icing. I know it sounds silly. It’s hilarious and yet also quite embarrassing to read this back to myself. This is the strange and very suffocating reality of suffering with anxiety. I have a tendency to over think every decision I make, big or small, significant or trivial.
So what’s changed? Well, a couple of things have happened in this brain of mine. Firstly, PERSPECTIVE! I have gained a little bit of that in the last ten months. I’m learning, in baby steps, that some things are just not important right now. I mean, when life is less chaotic and I am in a better place, shop bought icing vs homemade icing can have a place in my life. For now though, if I feel like making it myself I will, If I don’t, I won’t.
Secondly, thanks to my counsellor, I’m starting to recognise the passengers on my bus. One of the loudest passengers is the one that tells me I’m not good enough and whatever choice I make, I’m doomed. I can ask myself (out loud if that voice is filling my head) “is this actually useful?” I’ll be honest, it sounds hippy dippy, but most of the time it works. (Check out the video).