Three Wishes – My Answers

I posted a couple of days ago, posing the question “What would you wish for, if granted three wishes?”. This is a follow-up to share what my wishes would be. There were a few replies so I’m very grateful and it’s beautiful to see a lot of selflessness in the wishes shared. It’s also interesting to see that a few people would wish away their pain or the equivalent thereof as I would be inclined to do the same. I’ve thought long and hard about this and finally come to a conclusion on my three wishes. I will tell you what they are and go on to explain why I chose each one.

1st Wish: I would wish away my anxiety and depression. This is a bit of a selfish opener from me but it would be the top of my list just now if I’m being truly honest with myself. The amount of time I have spent being anxious, scared and ruminating over almost 38 years of life is obviously immeasurable but fairly vast. I’ve been hyper-sensitive since my childhood on account of my biological father being an abusive drunk and then being bullied really badly for years when he finally abandoned us. As self-centred as it is, I would not take away my past in any way, I would purely only take away the mental health scars and issues left by such events. I wouldn’t want anything else to change because it makes me who I am but I wish I could have lived a life without these things either wiping me out or lurking in the background, making me wonder when they’ll decide to jump out on me.

2nd Wish: I would wish for health and happiness for all of my friends and family. This is a little bit of a selfish and non-selfish wish this one. It’s selfish in the way that I am only wishing for health and happiness for people I know. While I want all this for everyone in their own lives, I specifically want it for my loved ones as they are the people closest to me and I would see them benefit from this. We all go through challenges in life and I think some of my family and friends appear to have been through more than most. That’s easy for me to say as you never really know what others go through but I just want the best lives for those around me. They’re the people that have supported me, loved me, cared for me and been there through all the many ups and downs. I feel like this is the best thing I could wish for in return for all of these things they’ve done. Health and happiness is more important than money or possessions, easily.

3rd Wish: I would wish for the entire world to drop ancient grudges, prejudices and hatred towards each other. This one is a bit of a no-brainer and also sounds like a bit of a corny wish if I am honest. I can imagine it sounding a bit like a Miss World contestant wishing for world peace but I don’t actually care. Carl Sagan, amongst others, made mention of how small our planet actually is and the important thing to remember is that we’re all from this world and we’re all made up of the very same things the planet is too. We should take care of ourselves and our world and work together to make sure it’s a place for our species to survive in for as long as is allowed by the cosmos. I realise that one day, the decision to survive will be taken out of our hands (by natural selection) but while we have a choice, the choice should be to work together in everything. Help your fellow human, spread “wealth” so that others may live a little easier and some less largely, be kind to everyone. We all go through so many difficult things in life and if we all pulled together, every impact would be softened in one way or another. Unfortunately, it seems like human nature to compete and aim to be the best on some level or another so I can’t see it happening organically. Maybe one day, the threat of impending extinction could change that but I don’t imagine anything else being a spark for this type of metamorphosis of approach.

So, there we have it. Three wishes for three very different reasons. Thank you to those who responded and to anyone who fancies responding after reading this, please feel free. I am always interested to see what people would wish for and I expect more selfless answers.

Three Wishes – A Question

I want to pose this as a question to anyone reading this, please answer in the comments – What would you wish for if you were given three wishes? I know it sounds a bit corny as it’s a fairy-tale kind of thing but when you really think about it, how would you choose what to wish for? I’ve been obsessing over this for hours today and I’m still struggling for a finalised three questions. Please leave your answer in the comments as I’m keen to see what people would ask for. I asked some of my friends and the answers were very different in some cases.

I won’t do any more leading with this, just feel free to tell me yours. Once I’ve had a few responses, I will post my final three as a follow-up. Be thoughtful and, most importantly, be completely honest!

Steve

**JUST AN UPDATE TO BUMP THIS AND SEE IF ANYONE ELSE WANTS TO ANSWER – MY RESPONSE IS COMING LATER TODAY**

Inertia

I often liken my anxiety to being like living your entire life on a roller-coaster, both figuratively and, in some ways, literally. Literally being the feeling that it has on your stomach, it flips your stomach like you’re pelting down a massive drop and then hitting a huge loop or something. This is constant over the course of the day. My mood goes up and down with the cars on the coaster as well, I feel fine on the climb, gradually progressing towards some semblance of normality and an intrusive thought or panic jumps in and I hit the down slope, my stomach hits my throat and my chest tightens, my head hurts and I feel absolutely sick. Imagine this on repeat over the course of a day and people are still somehow surprised when I say I’m constantly tired. My fear is, every time I hit a loop, so to speak, I have no inertia keeping me where I’m supposed to be. What’s going to happen if I fall out? I will hit the ground one way or another and I’m imagining that to be the absolute rock bottom. I’m hoping that it never comes to that though and that I can hang on in that car.

It’s like there’s a constant battle of “what if…” versus “I don’t need to worry about that” versus “this could happen” versus “I’m in control and I’m a good person”, raging on through my brain too. Consciously and subconsciously. I find myself going over every time I’ve done something wrong to someone, even if it’s the tiniest thing that is long forgiven. I assume most or all people are going to turn on me and hurt me one day, even if they say they won’t. I fear losing everyone and everything I love and my worries all end in me dying. The fight or flight kicks in, the adrenaline courses, I feel sick again and I just want it to stop. If someone could apply the brakes for me and end this odyssey of obsession, I’d be delighted and forever in your debt. If only I could escape my own brain or learn how to properly settle it, that would be fantastic. I’ve tried mindfulness, meditation, medication (all the m’s) and it still doesn’t stop the eternal over-thinking and ruminating. Where’s the ejector seat? The emergency exit? They don’t exist and even if they do, they are never the option to take. I’m here, I need to be here and people need me here.

I always try and pull myself back to that conclusion above. People need me here, they need me alive. I can’t imagine what it would do to my son or my mum if I left this world. My brother, my sisters, my nieces, nephews, cousins, friends – how would they feel? I’d be escaping the pain only to leave it with them. I’d leave a shadow of myself hanging in the doorways of their minds. They see a movie, hear a passage, hear a song that reminds them of me and it’d send them into grief. My son needs his father, I needed mine and he wasn’t there and I can’t do that to my precious boy. I can’t imagine him growing up thinking I didn’t want to stay with him and see him become a teenager, then a man grown. I can convince myself that most people would understand but I doubt that’s true but the little guy especially, he’d never understand and he’d probably never forgive me. Especially if and when he has kids of his own. He would feel the same connection where you know you need to be there for them and you cannot abandon them in any sense.

Cue the tears, the fears, the sickness. Again.

Coping (Not coping)

Coping. I’m thinking about what coping means as I feel like I’m doing a terrible job of it at the moment. I’ve been hiding how I’m feeling from those close to me and only really venting or being honest on this blog. I had a solid amount of sleep last night but it was littered with anxious dreams, nightmares and just bizarre thoughts and happenings in general. Dreams often jump from thing to thing and last night was no exception. I woke up shaking and my stomach was already churning and in agony. The physical pain and upset is nothing in comparison to the mental equivalents. I am trembling to my core again today, my brain is completely restless and my body is too as a result. I can see how people turn to using and other methods of coping as this is consistently draining and I’m not entirely sure I can handle it anymore.

I don’t know how to attack this or to manage it or to arrange my thoughts/feelings in my head to make more sense and to stop my brain from constantly sabotaging me and my happiness. I’ve returned to fearing that I’m going to lose everything and for it to happen in a nasty and probably violent way somehow. Terrifying thoughts of what’s going to transpire and absolute anxiety over being hurt by those I love (because they no longer love me in return) are running wild in my brain, both consciously and subconsciously. The breathing exercises, the grounding, the medication are all reasonably effective counter-measures but nothing seems to be dampening this burning fear and panic. I feel like dousing it with drugs/alcohol but I’ve never done this before and wouldn’t know where to start or what my body could/couldn’t handle and the thought of doing that brings a list of its own anxieties. I don’t want to hurt anyone or let anyone down with my actions so I won’t resort to anything of the sort.

I’m running out of ideas on how to break this down or fight it every single day of my life. It always leads me back to dark, awful thoughts of doing silly/drastic things. I’m tired, always tired. I put on a brave face and lie to almost everyone about how I really feel because I don’t want people worrying about me or not being able to understand what I’m feeling but pretending to. It’s selfish, I’m a selfish person. But I can never be so ultimately selfish in removing myself from this situation, no matter in what context that is. I cannot leave my son, I cannot put my family through such heartache. I’ll struggle on for them but the reality is, without them, I’d already be gone. That’s a hard thought to live and cope with but it’s absolutely accurate, I hate that I hate myself so much and I hate that I am permanently fighting a losing battle with my mind. Always hoping for a miraculous recovery though.

Grandparents

I would literally give anything right now to have my grandparents still with us. I’d love nothing more than to sit and talk to them for a few hours about life, how things were in their days and just feel them comfort me, even if it didn’t last it would still be worth it. My Gran was the nicest, gentlest woman ever. Softly spoken and her Devon drawl never left her, despite living in Scotland for over 60 years of her life. It just made her seem all the sweeter. Speaking of sweetness, she made the sweetest cups of tea ever and as such, I still find myself preferring sweet and milky tea. My Grandad, however, made tea you could stand the spoon up in or even tar the roads with. Super strong and a splash of milk, at the most, it was definitely tea for war veterans, as he was.

I can still remember the way the skin on their hands wrinkled and how Grandad’s knuckles seemed the size of snooker balls when I was a kid. He passed away almost 21 years ago now and I miss him like it was 21 days ago. My Gran survived him by some way, she was so strong for someone who appeared so soft and timid. She held the family together, she was the remaining glue and when she passed, the family split down the middle and there was a lot of bitterness and jealousy displayed. That made the loss even more difficult to take. I know they would both be devastated to see the current state of the family and to see how some of their children and grandchildren no longer speak to each other due to the arguments and, in a lot of ways, the pettiness. I want to ask them what their regrets were, what their perceived failures were as adults and parents/grandparents. I only want that because I have a picture perfect ideal vision of them in my head but I know they’re human and will have made mistakes. I wish I could borrow some of their wisdom and have them tell me that no matter how hard it gets, I can definitely make it through.

I’ve always missed them but, over the last year or two, that feeling seems to have strengthened for some reason and my heart aches at least a couple of times a day when they pop into my mind. The tears are hard to fight back as I write this, I’m wishing to have them back and I think that’s in hope of having some of my innocence back, as well as some of my security. The constant fear of not being safe makes me long for happier and safer times. Today is one of those days where I don’t want to be here, whether that means escaping somewhere and disappearing. Or dying. Today, I feel incapable of coping with what my anxiety does to me. Today, I’m wishing for no tomorrow. Let me rest with my grandparents, at peace for eternity.

Love you both, always.

Paranoia

There’s been a random pain shooting through the right-hand side of my head over the past 36 hours or so and it’s driving me up the wall and making me completely paranoid that I am dying. It lasts for no longer than a minute and doesn’t seem to have a pattern for when it comes on and I don’t know the reason, seems completely random. As I type this, it’s happening again. Feels like a sharp, straining kind of pain and goes as quickly as it comes on. It has happened three times in the space of typing this first paragraph but before that, it was at least half an hour since the last one.

I’ve done the worst thing possible and searched the symptoms on Google but was surprised to find that it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m dying! Usually when you search symptoms on Google, it’s something terminal and you’re probably on your way out. It was refreshing to find that it could be due to a number of things but death isn’t likely. That, however, doesn’t stop me from worrying about it. The reasonable side of my brain is believing it could be due to stress and anxiety symptoms taking a bit of a toll on me. Or maybe my eyes are strained through the lighting in this office. The anxious side of my brain is convincing me that the stomach issues I’ve been having is linked and I am riddled with cancer or have something else that’s equally serious.

If the pain persists, I will bite the bullet and see my GP. They’ll probably be sick of the sight of me at this point but that’s what they’re there for. I had a very quiet weekend and was trying to exercise some self-care and spend the time with loved ones to take the edge off the relentlessness of this recent bout of anxiety. It worked to some degree and I’ve been feeling slightly better but that is probably also, in part, due to being back on propranolol for the physical symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety. The word itself is starting to grate on me with how often I have to use/read it. Is it starting to define me? Is it part of me or am I part of it? Such abstract thoughts but they are ones that play on my mind when I feel like this.

How was everyone’s weekend? Peaceful? Painful? Did you manage to find some calm amongst the mental madness? In other news, the San Francisco 49ers progressed to the Conference Championship game on Saturday night so I’m naturally delighted, being a fan and all. A positive end to a negative post.