Here in the UK we have just had a four day weekend thanks to Easter!
For me it means extra time with my boyfriend and our families. This is a very honest account of how my Easter weekend progressed. I hope that if you also struggled with your mental health during the period then you can relate.
Friday 19th April (Good Friday)
For once we have lovely weather here in England for a bank holiday! My boyfriend and I embraced the sun and decided to bring out some summer prints. We may have clashed spectacularly but we did feel very summery. We’re on a budge this weekend and so we decided to use our English Heritage cards today and took a trip to Down House – the home of Charles Darwin.
I was really anxious on the drive there today and on a couple of occasions almost asked if we could turn round and go home. I’m not sure why I was feeling so anxious today but it spoilt the drive there for me. We very briefly looked around the house as I was still trying to settle my anxiety, in addition to this where I fell down the stairs last week my back was hurting if I stood still for too long. Unfortunately there is no photography allowed in the house. The upstairs houses an exhibition of Darwin’s life, with the exception of his bedroom. The bedroom was situated in the curved turret-like part of the house and boasted a blue velvet chaise lounge overlooking the garden. The downstairs was set up as the house would have been and we had the opportunity to see Darwin’s study.
Once we had explored inside the house we headed outside. By now I had managed to ease my anxiety and was starting my enjoy myself. The gardens were gorgeous and the weather was beautiful. We ventured inside Darwin’s laboratory and read about how the bees make their honey.
It was a little too early in the season for the gardens to be blooming but I can imagine how pretty this area will look in the summer time. We agreed that we would come back and see it at some point.
By now my back was really starting to hurt from all the walking. The cafe there was small and it felt as though everyone was sat on top of each other. I didn’t quite feel up to eating in that environment with my anxiety and so we decide to go elsewhere.
Our original plans had been to grab some picnic bits in town and take them to a nearby deer park. It was a beautiful day and we were looking forward to our picnic and possibly spending an hour or so sat in the sun. However, as we drove into town we realised that the huge queue of traffic was heading to Knole Park. We decided that we didn’t really fancy the idea of sitting in the traffic for ages and so looked up a local pub to see if they did any gluten free options.
They did, however it was £12 for a salad! We decided to grab a bowl of chips and a drink in the beer garden. Because of the crowds we were sat waiting for our food for around 30 minutes. My anxiety was quite bad as we sat waiting, on a number of occasions I came close to getting up and leaving. I didn’t but as soon as I had eaten we left. I’d done enough challenging for one day. The reason I avoid restaurants is because of the wait for the food whilst in a confined area and so at least here I tackled the waiting issue. It confirmed to me that I am in no way ready to tackle eating out in a restaurant yet.
Saturday 20th April –
Friday night I had a glass of wine with my dinner and so when I went to bed I was anxious. We stayed up late watching Line of Duty and so the tiredness combined with the anxiety from the alcohol meant that overall I had a bad night. To compensate for this we decided to take it easy and stay close to home. We had lunch before popping out to a local town. The crowds were all heading to the local beauty spots and so we decided the shops would be preferable to battling against the tourists. I wore this old ASOS polka dot dress with a New Look denim shirt over it. Needless to say I didn’t end up keeping the shirt on – it’s boiling here! Because I was tired the anxiety stayed with me all day, whereas usually after doing a few bits it tends to subside. We made the most of the day though – it was definitely worth pushing myself as I managed to pick up a gorgeous swimming costume from TKMaxx.
*As a side note, I don’t seem to be able to take a selfie without looking scared in it*
We got back from town and I decided to curl my hair and re-do my make-up. We popped over to my partner’s mums for dinner – my partner made a paella whilst I made some cheesecakes topped with raspberries. We didn’t want the food to end. We had a lovely evening catching up and then returned home to eat Mini Eggs in bed whilst watching Line of Duty (can you tell we’re obsessed?)
Sunday 21st April –
I woke up on Sunday still feeling anxious but I made myself stick to the day’s plans. We went over to my parent’s for lunch. We had a lovely time sitting out in the garden, getting sun burnt and catching up. However, my anxiety was at the forefront of my mind. Mid-afternoon I decided I just wanted to be back in the comfort of my own home and relax a little.
We went home and my cousins were still round. We played with them, hunted for chocolate eggs with them and laughed countless times. Whilst all this was happening we decided to treat ourselves to a cider. An hour later I felt the affects of the alcohol magnifying my anxiety. In hindsight I should not have had alcohol when I was already feeling anxious, but I was eager to have fun and enjoy the day. I ended up sitting in my room whilst my boyfriend made us some food to help elevate the tipsy feeling. I’ll do a post one day explaining why alcohol gets me so anxious (asides from the physical effects that it has on anxiety). I eventually got over the panic but the mixture of it, the alcohol and the sun left me feeling exhausted.
Monday 22nd April –
I woke up in a terrible mood today. I was tired, didn’t want to do anything, hated how I looked and just generally felt rubbish. I decided to push myself and pop out like we had planned to. I’d been excited for Monday as we had no plans with any family, it was just me and my boyfriend. We popped to the shops and had a walk round, nothing was helping to improve my mood. We had planned on getting some picnic bits and taking them to the park but the last thing I fancied was my usual M&S greek salad. I had a bit of a strop knowing that there would be nothing else vegetarian and gluten free.
In the end we just went home and I went to bed for a few hours. I felt terrible. Anxiety may be a mental health problem, however it physically takes its toll on you too. I had put so much pressure on myself to make the long weekend good, it backfired on me. On top of this I felt guilty for ruining my boyfriends last day off before he goes back to work. He told me not to worry, he didn’t mind, he was spending the day with me and that was all that mattered.
Eventually I got myself out of bed and we watched some more Line of Duty and had a take away this evening. I still feel terrible, and fragile. If I’m honest I’m looking forward to tomorrow for when normality returns. I’ll miss my boyfriend whilst he’s at work but it’ll be nice to just spend the day in doors working and having no expectations.
I hope everyone had a better end to Easter than I did! If not, know that you’re not alone.