it’s ok when you slip up every now and again; it doesn’t mean you’re a failure!
I could feel it.
The niggling little feeling in the bottom of my stomach. A pressure rising up my body.
And the fidgeting. Restless energy.
I knew what was coming and I didn’t like what it was.
I quickly excused myself from the dinner table shared by the seven other members of our camping troupe, and legged it to the bathroom where the pressure that had been rising spilled out in a heaving sob and waterfalls of tears.
Anxiety had visited me again. And brought an unwanted companion, panic attack.
No, no, NO!! This can’t be happening again. You’re so stupid, why did you let this happen! I berated myself harshly, angrily swiping at tear stained cheeks. You’ve come so far why does this still happen? Why? I thought I was stronger.
I made a tearful call to my Mum (who had stayed home) who told my Dad via text and then he was there embracing me and then my brother was there trying to lighten the mood. I just cried into the phone and Dad’s shoulder for what felt like ages because the anxiety pressure had just built up so much there was nowhere else for it to go except out.
And the out was a panic attack. Followed by a heck of a lot of tears.
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I wanted to share this experience, which happened to me recently on a camping trip I took with my family. Because I wanted to let you know that even though I have come so far I clearly still slip up. Old fears that I thought I abandoned have come back into my mind. Unwanted of course but it happened.
While I was in that bathroom all I could think was how ridiculous I was being. Logically I knew that there was no reason to be panicking or anxious. I was surrounded by family and good friends, we were soon to start a fun camping trip and the experience was going to grow me in a positive way (learning more about effective camping methods and chalking up another separation anxiety win).
BUT I have found that my logical brain can be easily overridden by fear. Which is why I ended up in the bathroom that night. Panicking, anxious, annoyed and disappointed in myself. And forgetting all the methods and things I knew to do that would help.
Once it was all over and my Dad had calmed me down and administered appropriate medication (which is only used in extreme situations such as this, I never use medication at any other time) I started feeling a little better and my mind cleared a bit. So after a time I began to think about those angry words I said to myself. I realised that it probably didn’t help at all in that situation and of course made me feel worse. And really, was it so bad that I had slipped up? Yes, I felt foolish and, while extremely grateful to my family for once again showing me that they are there to help, annoyed that I had put them out in the first place.
But I think it was actually okay. I definitely know that there is a lesson to be learned each time there is a slip up and that I’ll come out a little stronger each time! Family is there for you through everything as well and are there to help – something I keep forgetting!
More than that though, realising that a slip up does not make you or me a failure or ridiculous or weak in situations like this is important. Because we are only human! For me, I was frustrated at the fact that I had been going along so well – little to no anxiety and I’d traveled rather well to the USA twice! Surely these experiences were enough to ‘cure’ me completely of separation anxiety!
Like I said above though, and in this post, I’m only human and I forgot that eventually my strength will fail. And when that happens that’s when the irrational fears take over. The trip ended up being a great reminder that I can’t rely on my own strength, I NEED to fully rely on the never ceasing strength of God. He is the one I can lean on at anytime and His might will be able to sustain me. And you, if you will let Him!
So, I guess in summary, what I learnt from the trip and this experience is that it’s ok when you slip up. Because…..
- you’ll probably learn something from the experience (either about yourself, others around you, etc)
- it’s a good reminder to stop and think if you’ve really been relying on your own strength and not God’s
- this can be a good time to also take stock of how far you have come in your journey!
- you are NOT a failure for letting anxiety/fear/etc get to you, remember we’re all only human!
And something else I had a thought on – I can’t go through life thinking or pretending that hard and difficult times or slip ups aren’t going to happen anymore because I’ve reached a certain point on my anxiety journey. Life, myself and circumstances are constantly changing so if it’s not one thing it will be another. That’s where fully relying and trusting in God’s strength and awesome love come in. Because even though I know there will be tough times ahead (and this is true for anybody, even if you don’t suffer from mental illness) I can rest with the knowledge that God one hundred percent has it covered even if at the time or during a situation it sure doesn’t feel like it!
outfit details – striped shirt | Target (sold out – see similar styles linked below!) rip jeans | Target (similar here) rust/orange sweater | Banana Republic lace-up sandal heels | BETTS tassel earrings | Forever New lip clutch bag | Colette
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Thank you for reading friends. Hoping it all kind of makes sense. I wrote 80% of these words straight after that panic attack in the bathroom so these thoughts are coming straight from that.
You’ll also notice that this post includes a little product line up underneath the last picture. That’s there to make my life and yours easier! If you see something that you like that I’m wearing in the post I’ll be including that item (or similar ones) that will link directly to the site. It’s now just in a more visual way. I love it because I am such a visual person and I think some of ya’ll might appreciate that too.
Anyway, have a fab day and remember….it’s ok when you slip up! You did not fail, you will learn and grow and become stronger.
Until next time lovelies!