Awake with a headache.

It’s not easy living in the 21st Century. Of course, there are many inventions which have eased the day-to-day: clean, running water, Netflix, central heating, disposable sanitary wear, Facebook, instant coffee, scented candles, Pokemon Go! (if it is still relevant) and electric toothbrushes to name a few. However, many of these everyday household objects do not ease my anxiety. In fact, they often make it worse (especially the coffee).

I’m a twenty seven year old teacher who, for the past two years, has been dealing with anxiety and depression. So far, so predictable. Teaching is known to be a highly stressful job due to the workload, constant dealing with teenagers (who aren’t always known to be the most level-headed of creatures) and pressures to achieve results. You might therefore assume that considering it is the very middle of the Easter holidays (day 9 of 17 to be exact), I am awake, at quarter past one in the morning, battling my anxiety by starting a blog. Oh, what a mess I have become.  

I am taking control (she yells inside her brain at the anxiety monster – I think it is a pulsing red in colour tonight) and blog my way through anxious moments. I may well be the only person who ever reads this blog (even though I really am not used to not being listened to #selfcenteredteacherproblems), I hope it brings my mind some peace and quiet in the small hours when it is at its most noisy and uncontrollable.


Tonight I am awake. Michael is asleep, snoring as usual and hopefully hasn’t noticed my absence as whilst I am on school holidays, he has work at 7am. Once again, I snuck out of bed and came downstairs, heart pounding so loudly I could hear it ringing in my ears. The cause: a headache. I have had a headache for 6 days – this gives me reason to panic as I clearly have a brain aneurysm.  My brain is under immense pressure and is swelling to engorged size which means I am going to have to get Micheal to drill into my skull (just like in Saw 3) and release the overwhelming pressure.

Of course, this is rubbish. I know it is. And yet…

It began on Tuesday after spending the afternoon with my best friend. She is a beautiful, caring, fiercely opinionated woman whose been my closed friend for nearly 12 years. She is slim, tans easily and a constant bundle of energy and perfection (essentially my antithesis) and for this I both love and hate her in equal measure. The headache began after spending an afternoon with her, consciously trying not to eat quicker than her, being hyper awake of every roll of fat and hyper-analysing every word I uttered on the car journey home and all evening. This should not be the case with your best friend and yet I compare myself with her and only ever notice what she has and what I haven’t. To top it off, she is having the wedding of the year in August. Beautiful location, beautiful guests, lots of money. This is where the headache began…

On Wednesday, I went swimming with my mum. My wonderful mum who in the past two years has dropped 4 dress sizes and now swims over a mile 3 days a week. She 30 years older than me and 30 times fitter. I compared myself the whole time and my goggles were too tight. The headache continued…

On Thursday, I stayed in and worked on school work. I felt tired and lethargic all day and completed very little which of course, added to the headache (although Ru Paul’s Drag Race season 8 soothed this massively). When Michael came home from work, I was loathed to go for a walk with him however, whilst walking, my headache was barely noticeable. Endorphins and distractions work. I know this and yet do not always know this at the crucial moments (although to give myself credit, the gym is not open at night). I went for dinner with three close friends. We had  a real laugh and my head did not hurt. Distractions work.

On Friday, I went swimming again despite sending a text to my mum saying I wasn’t going. Managed 30 lengths before the goggles tried to suck my eyeballs from my skull. Did ten more backstroke and then had to lay on mum’s sofa for an hour to ease the pain. Head ached all day despite making tasty Cornflake egg nest cakes. Michael went out in the evening and stayed out until 2.30am – you can imagine how this affected the headache…

Yesterday, Michael and I slept in but the headache was there about 20 minutes after I woke up. We pottered and then decided to walk to the next village, have a picnic in the field and play mini-Golf. It was lovely and the Rocky Road ice cream was a calorific dream. Headache was barely noticeable the whole time and yet, on the walk home we got to discussing my best friend and all her wonderful luck and opportunities. The headache returned and was only mildly alleviated by wine…

The headache was very mild this morning. We decided to drive along the coast and go for a walk and have another picnic (the weather is unseasonably mild). It was beautiful (the sunburn on my nose and wrists, however, is not!). I felt very sleepy this afternoon and slowly, as the evening progressed, and I remembered I need to try and get a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to discuss anxiety medication, the headache took full hold.

So here I am. Awake. Paracetamol in hand. Some dreadful night time news channel on the TV. A thousand tabs open on Google ‘back of the head pain’, ‘anxiety headache’, ‘types of headache’, ‘death by head pain’… (Google is my worst enemy during the worst of my anxiety).

I hope this blog will be an outlet. I hope to discuss things with my doctor tomorrow. I hope my headache eases. I hope my brain does not explode. I hope, I hope…

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