This weekend was most definitely a good one. I got away with zero housework, travelled across the country for a lovely afternoon with a dear friend, and then spent Saturday morning horse riding, bathing the horses and cleaning tack. The afternoon involved attempted napping.
(one very soggy Buster)
All good stuff.
Now. What most people I’ve told about my weekend don’t know is that Saturday didn’t start out quite as planned. I was a bit nervous about all the travelling (~6 hrs on the train in total, 6 hours of germs confined goodness) but got myself up, washed and fed, and just as time to leave approached, I realised I needed some sunscreen. Now. As I mentioned, I was a bit on the anxious side, so with every drawer ransacked and every box furiously emptied onto the floor, panic started to seep in, like a vengeful possession wherein all I wanted to do was smash up everything around me. So, still having a modicum of self-restraint I did the only other thing possible and just broke down in tears, freaking the fuck out about acne from other sunscreens, sunburn and skin cancer, and missing the train, and disappointing my friend and catching the plague from the London underground and then, something both amazing and utterly horrific happened. My body reacted to this most acute anguish by seemingly stabbing itself in the abdomen repeatedly. I don’t know if it was meant to be a distraction or what, but it didn’t fucking help, I can tell you that much. So with tears streaming down my face and clutching my belly in agony I thought long and hard about if I could really do this. If I was even capable of taking the reins of control away from anxiety and riding the day out in peace.
After much wincing, ouching and short breaths, I continued rummaging the instigating sunblock was located, and was liberally applied. I was theoretically ready to leave but by now I really wondered if this pain wasn’t something serious. I mean, it really fucking hurt. Like gastritis and ibs x a billion, so it was almost certainly Appendicitis, and what if it burst in the train?! My significant other coaxed me like a timid animal to the car and calmly drove me to the station, he let me out to walk a bit to see if the pain was in retreat, and to my amazement it was. I kissed him goodbye, and headed for the station, took a deep breath and didnt have a single twinge of anxiety for the whole rest of the day. (except maybe that bit where I was running through a storm brandishing a lightening-attracting umbrella…that wasnt exactly chilled,I’ll let myself off for that one though)
This may not read like a good story, but it reads to me like the novel experience of being able to look back with satisfaction, knowing that no matter what anxiety does to my body, I can make it through, and sometimes when anxiety is dead set on ruining your day, sometimes you have to just give it the finger.
For anyone who doesn’t know much about psychosoma, I would like you to know that the amount of pain someone feels does not depend on the source. Abdominal cramps from anxiety or food poisoning both have you crippled in pain, and just because one was triggered by an internal process rather than external, doesn’t make it less real. If you know someone who suffers from psychosomatic symptoms please remember that although the cause isn’t a deadly disease, the symptoms can be uncomfortable or even debilitating, and telling them that they are making it up or faking it just makes you an arsehole.