I found myself wanting to write a blog post and sat here wondering what to write about. Writing about my own personal growth or recent realisations seems so insignificant. Most things do at the moment given what has happened this week. I have found that I still struggle to listen to or watch the news because of the way they repeat eyewitness statements in so much detail. And I think this is what I’d like to write about tonight. How the mind can conjure up so much crap and how devastating it can be.
I live about 25 miles from Manchester. When you think about the size of the whole country, even the whole world; think of what the chances are of a suicide bomber hitting so close to home. You see it on the news, and somehow you feel safe behind your tv screens. You know that the chances of being caught up in or so close to a terrorist act are extremely, extremely slim. So when you wake up to hear of one literally up the road; well the feelings you get are not anything you are familiar with. And even though none of my friends were harmed on Monday, I still feel like it’s more personal. Listening to Joel & Lorna on Heart on Tuesday morning just touched me so so much. These guys love Manchester, live in Manchester, spend lots of time at the Arena. They were deeply saddened, devastated actually. And the people that rang them to offer support or share their thoughts too. It was a nice feeling to be part of this community; but not a nice situation; very bittersweet. The community had already started coming together to offer their support; emotional, practical and financial. Manchester is a city I’ve grown to love. Lots of my friends live in or around the city; Wigan, Ashton, Leigh. In fact those 3 places were my primary location when I set up the Wigan No Secrets group; for people who self-harm and need peer support. I met so many amazing people; some will be friends for life. I grew to feel more comfortable with each place, the more time I spent there and the more people I met or worked with. I have been treated on Leigh psychiatric unit on various occasions. But still; the chances of anything like this happening, next to none; and I am sure the majority of us thought that.
When the 7/7 bombings happened it was un-nerving to say the least. I saw some awful footage of that day, just on the news alone, and it played so much with my mind; for years after. So I have no idea what eyewitnesses or victims of that day might have seen or how they felt. I gather dreadful doesn’t come close. And I still think about those people who were caught by the 7/7 bombings, hoping so much that they found somebody to talk to about their experiences that day. Worrying about the trauma they might still be going through now as a result. My heart aches for anybody who has experienced trauma; so much so I can often feel their feelings. Only, it’s not their feelings I have. It’s my own, that have been conjured up by mind; my own imagination. I have never been involved in any kind of explosion thankfully so I can only imagine what that must be like. So my imagination uses all those photographic images I have in my memory. Using things I’ve seen on tv; fictional or not, about how hot it feels, how loud it is, how dark it is, how alone you feel and frightened and dazed. And those thoughts then create physical sensations; feelings. Ears might start ringing, I’m shaking and petrified and breathing very quickly as if I am there right now in the middle of a bomb explosion. I may start crying and it can be very difficult to bring myself “back” into the room. My mind completely takes me somewhere else for a bit. And this, I hope, demonstrates how powerful the mind is. And I think it also demonstrates how anxiety attacks happen; although I am not sure.
I know this post is slightly all over the place… I just had to write without thinking about it. I would appreciate any feedback on this actually. I am keen to know if anybody else out there has ever experienced anxiety attacks based on imagining how a situation may feel should it ever happen to you? I wonder if this is something we all do, to an extent? 1 word; spectrum! You know I love the spectrum; the one that we are all on. Everybody. Including you. Is this something we have all done or still do, to varying degrees; hence all at different points of the spectrum? That’s gonna have to be my final word on this my eyes can’t cope with all the words; so tired. I look forward to hearing any feedback anybody has on this post.
Take care everyone and I hope you all have a peaceful night ❤