Many of you know that November is a crazy writing month for me, as I partake in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This year I chose to write the first draft of the final book in my young adult trilogy. On November 17th, I wrote my 52,000th word and declared myself a winner! I adore this competition; it is the perfect platform to keep me one hundred per cent motivated on my writing projects. If only I could be this motivated all year round!
So as I uploaded my manuscript and watched as my word count was validated, I began to think about my blog content and the topics I want to look at over the coming months. Confidence, organising your life and looking after yourself are the themes I will be exploring over December and into the New Year. But, to write about confidence, and being organised, and before I can attempt to look after myself, I needed to do it, live it and become it.
Back in the summer I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety; I’ve spent the last few months putting myself back together and using the tools I’ve learned over the years as a holistic health practitioner and tutor to help me. My anxiety prevented me from leaving the house and so my confidence took a nose dive. As a normally active and social individual, this was particularly hard for me to deal with.
Over time, I have worked through this anxiety and pushed myself into situations that would make me uncomfortable. A simple night out with friends could cause a string of physical symptoms to flare up. Popping to the shop turned into an SAS mission done only under the cover of darkness. My home became a haven where I could lock the door and hide away, but this wasn’t helping my situation.
So, what did I do? I had to start small. Pushing myself to get out and about began as a coffee with a friend at home. Then I worked up to meeting friends at a local coffee shop. My sister-in-law together with my good friend, Caroline, arranged a girls night out once a month where the three of us went out for dinner. It began to work and my anxiety depleted.
Last weekend, I took my three teenagers to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Tour in London. This was a full day of trains, buses and busy venues. I was so proud of how I coped with everything, even having to stand up for the two hour train journey home, as we were all packed in to the carriages like sardines!
The Harry Potter Tour was truly magical, and it was as I wandered around the film sets that I realised how much fun I was having. I’d let my anxiety and depression control me instead of me taking control over it. Of course, it’s not always easy to turn your emotions around or switch off from the low feelings, but I now realise that I’ve come a long way. The wondrous power of a caring family and supportive friends has been amazing too, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped me over the past few months.
The magic of Harry Potter seeped into me as I flourished my newly purchased wand and vowed to allow myself the occasional time out. Revitalising your soul, chilling out and going back to the beginning are important things to remember when you feel the need to be MIA.
So, I won’t hang my head in shame; I will relish the experience and be grateful for the darkness because it’s only when we live in the shadows that we can appreciate the magic of life. Harry taught me that!