13 November 2014

Feeling caged...

Those of you who are following my blog will have learnt by now that I am currently suffering with Anxiety. I am pretty new to the disorder and as yet am trying to find my own way of dealing with it. My current strategy - taking it one small step at a time.

After days of being cooped up inside I took it upon myself to venture to the shops.  To those of you who are living without Anxiety, I'm sure you are thinking 'no big deal'. To those of us suffering with Anxiety it seems we make it a big deal. Here is how my afternoon went....

I woke up this morning feeling positive and my usual chirpy self. I decided that today was the day I was going to move my sorry self off the couch and back into the outside world. I got dressed with more gusto that usual and settled any underlying nerves with a nice cup of tea.

The Anxiety is bad enough but mix in the fact I have Ulcerative Colitis and it is the perfect storm.
So I am all ready to set off and this is when my mind starts wondering all by itself. Nothing has yet happened to start the ball rolling, I'm simply getting my coat ready to face the world. My mind is going 'maybe you should hang on a little while... go in another ten minutes time'.
So I have a frank word with my brain and reassure myself that I am being silly and to just leave now. I will be no longer than ten minutes, if I'm not feeling great I can just turn around. This is when my Ulcerative Colitis tummy kicks off, I get a ball of butterflies in my belly and funny phantom niggling pains that were no where in sight when I was previously sitting idol on my couch. Now that I am wanting to face the outside world...my tummy is playing tricks on me...but so is my mind.

The rational side of my brain knows full well how silly I am being and that my thoughts and feelings are exaggerated... but that makes no difference. The longer I prance back and forth in the house going 'I'll just grab my scarf', 'I'd better take extra money with me' the worse I get- these are all stalling tactics. I am fully aware that I am behaving like this and the rational side of my brain finds it exhausting!!

By now I am angry, frustrated, annoyed and in a wobble.  Am I still going? Will I get there before the shops close? Will I put it off for another day?! NO I'm blooming determined to get out of this sodding house.
I drive (with company in tow) trying to distract myself with the job of driving. I am going 8 minutes down the road and I can easily turn around if my Ulcerative Colitis decides to smite me! I worry the whole way there, I'm thinking 'I'm going to need the bathroom or I'm going to get caught short', 'I should have stayed home'.

I get to the first shop, still with everything playing on my mind. I race through the store at super sonic speed, just fast enough that I don't attract funny looks :) By the second shop I am too busy searching for what I came out of the house for that my niggling tummy pains are all but gone. The dread of needing the bathroom without much notice is still sitting at the back of my thoughts, of course it is, it is always there.

Now I am feeling better knowing that I am on the home straight. By this point my biggest worry is needing a cuppa and my deepest fears are long gone. Instead all of those annoying silly thoughts are instantly replaced with 'see it wasn't that bad!' 'You're a plonker' and 'I'd forgotten how much I rather like the outside world'. I jump in the car and arrive home before I know it. Back to safety and the comfort of my pj's.

I'm feeling happy that I got somewhere and proud that I didn't let those niggling worries Anxiety causes get in the way. I came so close to turning the car around and if I hadn't had company present I probably would have legged it! Up until a year ago I had never felt like this, I would simply jump in the car and not have a second thought. Anxiety is draining, frustrating and a damn right pain. Though today it did not win, I did :P

This routine usually happens each time I aim to leave the house, I can't explain how exhausting it is! The rational side of my brain knows I am acting silly but yet turns my legs to jelly anyway! I'm please to announce that the shaking, crying & all out panic that I once mentioned HERE when the Anxiety first started have now vastly calmed down but still I have a long way to go at working on my relationship with this unwanted Anxiety.

So there you have it folkes! Anxiety.... the bit that's usually overlooked by the medical staff! Turns out Anxiety is not uncommon amongst those who have Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis and when you think about it it's pretty obvious to see that a lot of Anxiety comes along with having Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Victoria 1 - Ulverative Colitis & Anxiety 0.


  1. But you made it out! I'm proud of you!

    I remember when I'd have to use the bathroom 2 or 3 times before even setting foot outside. Exhausted is right!

    1. *High five* to kicking Anxiety's ass! Woohoo! Xx

  2. Yet another fantastic blog post, my dear. Have I told you today just how awesome you truly are??? :-) xxx

    1. Hmmm nope, I think you need to tell me a few more times :D Xx

  3. I am really inspired by your blog. I am a thirteen year old with severe ulcerative colitis. I was wondering, have you tried enema therapy? My doctor has said I should try it, otherwise it's onto Biological Therapy...I am so scared and the stress seems to be making it worse. Please tell me, is it as bad as it seems?

    1. As hard as it is try not to worry, like you said the stress is said to make things worse. I haven't tried them myself but I'm sure it's worth giving them a go. There are good days as well as bad days with Ulcerative Colitis, just take things one small step at a time Xx

  4. I've just came across your blog and this one really stood out to me. I'm 20 years old. Only been diagnosed with colitis for under a year and a half now. It's finding its way to be more and more difficult the past few months. I think back on things I've previously done and I can't wrap my mind around how I ever went out for long periods of time. Or went on buses. I relate to this post 100%. It's nice reading it and not feeling like I'm the only one. I would never wish this disease upon anyone but it sure would be nice to be able to sit down with a family member or friend who felt the same things I'm going through. I want to be able to do things in my life like simply getting up and going to the park for a walk. Without worrying that there are no bathrooms. Or there's only one but it may be too far from where I am when I need to go. Sorry for my little rant haha. Your post brought out some thoughts.

    Thanks for sharing your stories :)

    1. I'm so glad you stopped by & found some comfort in knowing that we face the same kind of troubles. Sending hugs Xx