Honesty, it’s a difficult one isn’t it. How honest is too honest? How much is too much? How real is too real? These are questions which I ask myself often as I sit with my knees pressed to my chest in front of my big computer screen, writing the latest instalment of my life for all the internet to see. But I feel like I made this pact with you all when I started writing here, a pact that I would always be me, the real me. Blogging continues to change so much with so many glamorous opportunities presenting themselves which are exciting and totally not from a walk of life that I come from. I’m just me, and sometimes that is not that glamorous at all.
Admitting to myself that I wasn’t OK was hard enough, but admitting it to you guys was near impossible. I don’t consider myself particularly courageous but even I look back sometimes and think “fair play Lydia!”. Now I know what some of you may be thinking, sure, there appears to be this “trend” amongst bloggers at the moment where everyone and their dog is suffering from some form of panic/anxiety/depression related disorder. I’ve got to say that a Trend this is not. These disorders effect so many people, so many more than you can even comprehend and we are simply moving within a community that tend to be a lot more open and vocal about it, which really is the most wonderful thing. It’s a subject which presents it’s self more and more when I converse with other bloggers.
The biggest change for me came when I walked through the doors of The White Space Studio in Stony Stratford. I took off my shoes and placed them in the shoe rack, I waited in the beautiful reception with shelves bursting with incense, herbal teas and Madeline Shaw cookery books. I took in the smells before walking up to what would be the first Hatha Yoga class on my road to recovery. I would rush there from my desk, stressed to the backs of my eyeballs and I would begin the class with my breathing and heart running at 100 miles per hour.
I’ll never forget the day our instructor made us lay on our backs telling us to simply breathe, breathe deep, breathe long and breathe slow. She talked us through every breath and we lay there for what seemed like hours, to the point where I thought “am I really paying for this?”. In truth it was between 5 and 10 minutes maximum, but it suddenly dawned on me that my heart was beating calmly, my breath was normal and that frantic panic inside me was subdued. I held onto that feeling, I still hold onto that feeling because in those few minutes of breathing they gave me back my hope that I could over-come this.
It’s now almost a year since I first walked through the old monastery doors of The White Space Studio and whenever I sense that familiar feeling of panic within my chest, I simply breath, I breath deep, I breath long and I breath slow.