Part of my therapy session series – I’m writing things down to make sense of it all and publishing in the hope that my words may help others. This will be in the past for me & I only publish once I feel comfortable with doing so. Obviously as with anything regarding mental health, the content may be a trigger for some people & if this is something you need help with then please visit some online resources, such as Mind.
Death means that time has run out. The idea of death brings up feelings of regret – why didn’t I live life to the full? Why was I constantly worried about what other people thought of me? Why didn’t I complete x, y or z?
I cannot put my finger on what is causing it either. There are certain aspects of my life which are not great but to be honest, I have been blocking them out because I cannot control the situation or other people. I have protected myself by explaining boundaries which is what my therapist has previously suggested and have gone on to take a back seat so this has not been bothering me.
I have been getting sick feelings right in the pit of my stomach and throat. Very much like acid reflux/indigestion. Due to my already strained anxious state, I honestly believed that I was dying for a few days.
I went to the GP and then went back for a second opinion [because clearly I think my google knowledge is better than their however-many-years-at-medical-school knowledge!] but things have not been improving. I have even demanded a full blood test [which I didn’t go to in the end because life took over].
I went along and we sat and discussed my anxieties at the moment. To be honest, I was plucking things out of the air. I didn’t really know what was making me anxious so I started with the thing that gets most people stressed – work.
My work doesn’t stress me out like ‘work’ used to. I work for myself so choose my own hours, I take on the work that I want, I also stress if I don’t have any work on [because you know, I need to earn money and eat!]. We discussed my organisational skills. The old ‘work’ me was incredibly organised. I had to be. People were breathing down my neck, I had targets to hit [I actually loved that part but that’s my competitiveness coming out], I knew that any mistake I made would be pulled up by the company because it would cost them money. I also worked four days a week so I needed to be organised enough that if my clients needed advice on my non working day, it would be easy for a colleague to pick it up in my absence.
That issue doesn’t exist anymore because I am available most of the time. If I am on holiday then I can be available, if I’m ill or caring for a sick child then I am still available. I have to be. Hell, I’ve even worked when I’ve been on the loo! [must stop that actually, it’s going too far!]
On the flip side, my private life has always been disorganised and now that I am my own boss, working from home, in my own space, I have found that my work life is quite disorganised too.
That hasn’t changed actually. I have always worked that way – jeez I did my university dissertation in two weeks when all my peers had started it months before. It’s possibly arrogance but also I love that feeling of working to the deadline – of potentially not meeting it but always winning.
It gives me a thrill, knowing that I could fail but don’t.
Working like this is more difficult now. I am the primary carer of two kids and given my working situation, it makes sense that if either one of them are ill that I take on the caring responsibilities. Work takes a back seat. This also means that I need to ensure I am organised which is hard. Gone are the days of working to the knuckle because leaving it to the last minute could mean plans are scuppered and clients let down due to something completely out of my control.
The problem is that I am not really accepting of this just yet. I need that thrill in my life.
Hence why death is so prevalent in my thoughts at present.
My brain is using death as a metaphor. It is trying to get me to do something. There are things deep within me that I have been thinking, even dreaming about for a while now and I have constantly been putting them off.
I’m scared. Pure and simple.
I am scared of failing. Trying something out that is extremely personal to me and then realising that I am crap at it or do not reach my full potential. I am terrified of failing so instead of trying to learn from that failure, I take a step back from it.
I have done this as far back as I remember. From acting to law, I have not taken the final leap needed to really excel.
It has been ten years since I have done any professional work so I need to get back to acting classes and hone that skill. I need to explore whether I could still get back into that professional world that I turned my back on a long time ago.
Acting is extremely personal to me. It is also very painful because I see those who were friends at university doing amazingly well and I put myself in that position and think “what if…?” This has been holding me back for too long. Much like looking and obsessing over people on social media platforms, it’s unhealthy to be too influenced by another person’s journey. You need a big dose of JFDI [Just Fucking Do It] and take the leap.
This is what my brain has been telling me to do. Go for that audition, get those classes booked. If I was given a death sentence tomorrow I know for certain that this part of my life would be the part that I would regret not doing. There is a big part of me that physically aches to be back on the stage, to sing, to act, to laugh and cry as a different person.
I thrive on acceptance and rejection and I am not getting that buzz elsewhere. I live for that thrill and nothing else is fulfilling me in that way you get when you are about to go on stage. You watch the audience sit down in their seats from the wings, you get the five minute call and you think you are either going to be sick or wee yourself. That is what I am missing and I just need to throw caution to the wind and step back into my acting shoes.