To be honest this wasn’t going to be something I blogged about but… I think not to acknowledge this recent ‘incident’ would be a missed opportunity and something I may later need to draw upon in the future by which I mean touching upon anxiety. I am very conscious that this is an issue that tons of people are discussing and I would hate to appear like I am jumping on the bandwagon for the sake of joining in on something topical. But then again on the other end of the spectrum, it’s good to know I am not alone and that what I am currently experiencing isn’t abnormal (far from it), and for you guys you can see how something like anxiety takes on many different forms with many different people in as many different situations.
So, let me explain the unfortunate incident of the Mr Whippy.
Last Friday it was the annual Hartley Wintney vs. Hampshire twenty-twenty match on the green and although Ian and I have now moved away from the area, we’re unlikely to not continue to go to this each year while we can.
We’re a couple of hours into the afternoon, the game is in full swing and Ian asks if I fancy an ice cream. To be honest I was prepared to wait another hour or so but if he was going to get one himself as well, then why not! A few minutes later he returns with one giant Mr Whippy (because for an extra 50p you could get an extra scoop –fair play). The additional factor I forgot to mention was that it was a hot afternoon but for some reason no sooner was the ice cream purchased, it began melting so by the time it got to me it was a dribbling mess.
*Let me just interrupt proceedings here and quickly highlight that what was to follow was by no means responsible of Ian, it was just an unfortunate outcome to what was otherwise a very innocent and well-intended situation and he knows this*
So why this became an unfortunate incident is because I went from happy and content (watching the cricket) to stressed, embarrassed and anxious instantly. Why? Because if it was just Ian and I it would have been ok but it wasn’t, we had a couple of acquaintances with us who (as anyone would) were laughing. If Ian had got an ice cream as well and it was also melting, then the situation would have been funny and shared. If the ice cream wasn’t a double scoop, then I wouldn’t be sat there noted for eating a big ice cream and wouldn’t have had to have dealt with the scale of melting that was happening. When you have something like an ice cream, or anything that you don’t have very often (if at all), you want to enjoy the experience and savour it, not have to rush it owing to things out of your control. The situation became quickly embarrassing for me which made me anxious as I had too much attention for the wrong reasons. Also, like thousands of other people, particularly women, I hate attention drawn to me when it concerns food. If people are commenting on something amazing I have ordered that’s fine. But if it’s because the portion is too big (or bigger than average) then that’s not good and it stresses me out quite understandably. So I am sat on the edge of the green trying to quickly devour a double Mr Whippy while it furiously melts and being laughed at… then I am afraid it was one drip too many and I threw the rest of the cone into an empty plastic beer cup and walked away, refusing the offer of tissues. Fortunately there was a pub just opposite so I headed there to wash my hands and get away from the situation but I was upset, I needed to get away and calm myself down and I went for a quick walk around the block afterwards before heading back but even when I sat back down I had to keep my sunglasses on to cover my tears. Silly isn’t it?
On reflection I can now see the funny side but I can also see how badly I am reacting to certain situations and environments right now. I say right now because I have only recently become really aware of it, I have always suffered with a bit of insecurity but on the whole I would say I am (was) a confident individual who actually quite enjoys my own company but lately not so. I find myself feeling nervous, mostly when I realise I am quite exposed and by exposed that could be me just walking to Asda and back on my own. I like anonymity; I like running my errands and having a coffee in Costa with a good book unnoticed and for the most part I am never disturbed or even seen by someone I might know. But sometimes, depending on where I am, the thought of being randomly pounced on gets the better of me and this can apply even to the phone. I hate unplanned conversation which sounds totally bizarre and to be honest it’s stupid but it’s how it is. If my Mum calls me out of the blue, absolutely fine but if someone says to me, “I’ll call you later” that freaks me out and puts me in a panic as no matter who it is, I worry about the conversation and struggling for things to say. How often though do I struggle for things to say, like really? I don’t.
So do I suffer with anxiety? I guess I do, but like I said earlier, anxiety affects many different people in many different ways for as many different reasons so although I don’t get panic attacks (yet), this condition still feels quite debilitating and something I have to learn to deal with and get over.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this and your own experiences so please do share them.
Until next time x