N is for Noise

I have a problem with noises. If I hear a noise, I have to find out where it is coming from. Also I jump at sudden noises. I know we all do, but I jump at every single sudden noise and most times will cry out in fear. Often I’m anxious for a time following the incident.

I have to put in a disclaimer and say that I have not been diagnosed with anything beyond, ‘anxiety with depression.’ I do intend to speak to my doctor when the NHS is not so stretched with all things Covid. Having read peer reviewed articles on line and some medical websites, it sounds like I might have some sort of Noise Anxiety or a form of High Functioning Anxiety Disorder. I am very happy to be proved wrong when I get myself checked out, but I do resonate with some of what I have read. I promise, I didn’t just look up Wikipedia 🙂

For many years I’ve had a fear of my home being broken into at night. It’s been with me since childhood. I rarely stay on my own at night, so if hubby is away, I’ll usually stay with friends, family, or have someone stay with me. On the occasions I have stayed on my own, I’ve stayed up until I cannot keep my eyes open. I check doors numerous times before going upstairs and make sure all doors are closed. This is all to do with noises. It so that if I hear a sound like a door opening, I’ll know it can’t be mine unless it was kicked in. If I hear what sounds like footsteps, they can’t be in my house unless the doors have been opened. I’ll watch tv in bed to distract me until I fall asleep. I won’t put on headphones or shower when I’m on my own at night, cos then I can’t hear if someone is coming.

I know it sounds weird. Writing it in the cold and safe light of day, it sounds weird to me. But alone at night time, my thinking is irrational and I cannot turn that off.

One of the most common things I’ll say to my husband, apart from, ‘I love you’ and ‘Where’s my phone?’ is, ‘What’s that noise?’ It could be him tapping. He is a tapper!!!! It could be the washing machine taking off. It might be a water pipe clunking. If there is a noise outside, I’ll always ask him if it sounds like it’s in our garden. We live near a big Tesco and we face the back of the building where goods are loaded in. I’m now used to the sound of the crash of the large entrance gate opening, and the various noises of goods being unloaded, but it took a while. Once I know what noise is I’m happy, but I have to know what it is before I can settle down.

So there you go. Ridiculous as it feels sitting here writing it, it is real and DREADful at the time. I do pray for God’s peace a lot and I trust him to help me. It’s just something I have to deal with…

Pushing forward

Thank you so much to those who commented and messaged me about my last post. It’s great to know you’re still happy to read my witterings 🙂 Having completed the plan I mentioned in that post, I was quite daunted by a year’s worth of empty spaces. But already I have most of January filled, either done or preparing to do. It feels good, after a year of sitting around not doing much at all.

My experience of anxiety and depression doesn’t feel like any I’ve read or heard about. Maybe each journey is unique. I’ve come a long way, there are some days when I feel totally normal but others when I get a wave of anxiety every time the house phone rings or my mobile buzzes. Though why I’m worried about calls on the landline, I can’t tell you. My Amazon account is fine thank you very much.

I felt I’d levelled off in my recovery, the two main problems being headaches and not sleeping very well. So I arranged a chat with the doctor, and we tweaked my medication a bit. Already I can feel the benefits. If we weren’t in lockdown, the doc said she’d be advising me to get out and about. I’m sure it would aid my recovery to visit nice places. Meet with friends, have coffee and laughs. Maybe a couple of nights away with himself. None of that is possible at the moment.

But I have to do something. I was on the treadmill this morning for half an hour. After falling and really hurting myself last year AND the year before, I’m still very nervous about being outside. Especially in this snowy weather.

I need to move forward. I want to move forward. but I’m going to take my time and go at my own pace. I’m so grateful to God for the time and space that lockdown brought, but I feel ready to start making my way back in to regular face to face contact, that is NOT on a computer screen.

One step at a time eh?