Anxiety is like an old mattress
Over the Christmas period my parents came to stay and despite my attempts to be a good hostess (I had a real tree and everything!) and allow them to sleep in my bedroom, my efforts were thwarted due to my apparently hard and uncomfortable my mattress….hello, what about my home made Christmas cake? OK if this was Trip Advisor, maybe my mattress wouldn’t get a 5* review, but I’d slept fine on it for the last, oh my 8 years!
Feeling slightly mortified that my mattress was approaching its 9th birthday, I took myself down to the land of Dreams – the shop by the way. If you have ever been bed shopping you’ll know that rolling around on mattresses, with your clothes on, in broad daylight, in front of strangers is an odd affair! Oddness aside, I laid on one mattress and knew straight away ‘I’d found the one’!.
Unfortunately you can’t just walk out with your mattress, so while I waited for my newfound slice of heaven to arrive, I had to resign myself to being back in my old bed. As much as it pains me to admit this, my parents were right….my bed does indeed resemble a plank of wood.
Now you might be reading this thinking what has this all got to do with anxiety. Well lying on my plank of wood got me thinking about anxiety, and how when someone has experienced feeling anxious for so long, it can become the norm.
Some of my clients have only recently started to experience feeling anxious. They are at the stage where they are still acutely aware of the anxious sensations within their body, their racing hearts, the inability to relax, the awareness of their mind which is on constant overdrive.
Other clients I have treated have experienced feeling anxious for many years. In some cases, for over 30 years. They know that they are anxious, but have got so used to living with the anxiety that it’s become a second skin. When the anxiety has lifted, they are amazed at how different life feels. It’s like seeing the world through new lenses. And it can take a little time to get used to this new feeling of freedom.
To some clients it can feel like they have achieved the impossible, because the contrast of where they are now from where they were is so great.
The analogy of the mattress reminds me of many aspects of life, mental illness, pains in the body and even relationships that perhaps you are simply putting up with or tolerating because you don’t realise that there is something else out there that can feel so incredible and freeing, and amazing.
When you are ready to ditch your inner mattress, book a session! As for me, I am literally a Disney Princess now!