This story is one which happens all too often when you suffer from anxiety and depression. My parents have reached 60 years of marriage and it was a time for celebration. However, whenever an event involves looking back it brings back all the bad times life has thrown at you. Although I did not have a breakdown until my late 30s and was diagnosed then I wanted to commit suicide from my earliest memory as a child. So a time of looking back over my parents 60 years of marriage was going to bring me a fair bit of pain. So you have to factor in that it was not just the events that created my anxiety I was already under pressure from my depression.
My father holds the British Empire Medal for his services to scouting so my parents had permission to re-new their vows at St Paul’s Cathedral. The day started with a trip to the railway station as I live in the Midlands. My parents, brother and sister all still live in the south and they were travelling together on the train. I was greeted with an announcement at the platform that there had been a de-railment overnight and all the trains were running late. I had prepared myself for the worst in the day and this did not seem to phase me, in fact by some amazing quirk of fate my train was only 2 minutes late, whereas all the other trains were far worst. I settled myself down for a ten minute wait and played with my 1Pear (mini). A train arrived but this was the train before the one I was booked onto. In the past I would be so stressed I would have to get on that train as it was going to where I needed to go. I would never have the confidence to leave it and wait for my train which in theory would be arriving in 5 minutes time. The first success of the day for the worry beads and I.
My train arrived on time and I climbed aboard. The train journey was approximately 90 minutes and although I felt relaxed playing with me 1Pear (mini) my bladder started telling a different story. Whenever I have travelled on a train before it was always the same. The stress of missing my stop, losing my ticket or anyone of a thousand things would make me anxious. So not quite the success I was hoping for but I at least felt calm on the surface. Then came a real surprise to me. I decided that I would go to the gents on the train. This had never been done before, the stress that my seat might have been taken whilst I was away or I would forget to pick everything up and lose something meant that I would never leave my seat. I wandered down the carriage. Although I was not 100% calm I was in unexplored territory. I duly emptied my bladder and returned to my seat. I smiled on sitting down, how pathetic that I felt pleased with myself that I have gone to the toilet.
The train arrived and it was off to the tube and across London. Not easy to play with worry beads through this stressful period however I put my hand through the loop of leather and stroked my wooden pear. Another success! I must interrupt my story now to give a huge thank you to the young lady who got up, and offered me, her seat on the tube. I have an old ankle injury which means I need a stick to walk with and without hesitation she gave up her seat for me. Thank you just didn’t seem enough as it was not just my ankle that needed a rest but squeezed in with 200 other people into the carriage was not doing my anxiety any good either.
I arrived at Victoria my family being 15 minutes late however I occupied my time doing tricks with my 2Pears. The time flew by and surprisingly I did not feel self-conscious at all, even when I missed one of the pears and they went flying across the ground. They arrived and my mother as usual walked off to go where she wanted to go! My father became stressed but I carried on stroking my 1Pear (mini) that had returned to my hand. I smiled, nothing ever changes! A cab was found, eventually, and all five of us climbed aboard. My brother, the budding photographer gets out his huge camera and start clicking away. The two honoured guests although wanting the pictures do not want to play and an argument ensued. I carried on stroking my 1Pear (mini) smiling to myself. I took myself off into a world of “fly on the wall” and thought how ridiculous it all looked, another success for w2orry beads and I.
St Paul’s was incredible, I thoroughly recommend going there. The ceremony went off without a hitch and the chaplain was superb. The next challenge was my mother had booked afternoon tea at the Ritz. My mother is a complete snob, sorry I call a spade a spade, and I am sure she would not deny it. This was the high point of stress for the day. Even worry beads and my will-power were going to be tested. I went off to put my coat in the cloakroom and I turned around and my family had disappeared. You have to remember that I have a painful ankle so I am leaning on my walking stick and wearing training shoes. I have not been able to wear shoes since the re-build of my ankle after the injury. The Ritz has a central corridor on the ground floor with restaurants either side the whole length. I walked from one end to the other and then again, there was no sign of them anywhere. My anxiety flew up uncontrollably, I was a “fish out of water”. I reach for my pocket to get my 1Pear (mini) out and it was not there. I had left it in my coat which was now apart from me. I patted my pockets desperately hoping I would find a lump formed by another set of worry beads. To my relief I had my 2Pears in my jacket. It was not the place to do tricks but merely by putting them into my hand broken the chain of increasing anxiety. I sat down and thought logically. At my families’ table there was an empty chair, they will definitely going to look for me and I was much easier to find as I was sitting in the central corridor, than me continuing to look for them. Disaster was averted as my mother poked her head out of one of the restaurants. A wonderful time was had by all.
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