Wednesday, 10 February 2021

How I stopped my anxiety. Or Boris Bike Down. You decide: My next YouTube video

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Which video should I shoot first?
How I accidentally answered the question: How can I stop my anxiety?
(or how I somehow managed to suddenly stop my anxiousness)...
or the whole story about how I came off my Boris Bike in London and what happened next...?
Vote now, thanks!

How I stopped my anxiety. Or Boris Bike Down. You decide: My next YouTube video



I have shot this video five times and I don't know why but I can't seem to finish it, so I’m going to ask you to help me.
I’ve set up this poll and the link is in the description.

These are the videos that I really want to make and for whatever reason there's something stopping me from making them.
So I’m sorry to put this on you but I’m hoping that you can get me through this.

What video should I make next?
So the first one on the list is “how I stopped my anxiety”.
Ever since I was a school kid I’ve had this anxiousness.

I can only describe it as a ball of anxiety in my stomach.
It's just there all the time.
It just flares up and it flows down, I just felt that I would give a fight or flight response to everything.

That anything that was occurring in my life, anything I was thinking about, my stomach would react to it.
It's the only way I can describe it.
It's like a omnipresent ball of... a knot of anxiousness that was just there all the time.

But on top of that I was also getting really random panic attacks. 
Sometimes I was in quite stressful situations and I’d know it because my body would... would let me know, but sometimes it would just flare up for no reason whatsoever.

It was 11:58 in the morning and I’m with my writing partner in London's trendy Hoxton.
We're running down the streets around Old Street in London.
It's a place with lots of design and advertising companies.

We had a meeting that started at 12 and we just could not find this office at all.
So we're running around trying to find this this loft warehouse office among a sea of loft warehouse offices and I had to just stop dead I suddenly stopped dead and I said “it's gone!” 

He... he thought I was talking about the meeting.
I just noticed in that moment - I remember it was May 2016.
My anxiety had completely gone. 

It was gone.
He said: “Are you okay?” 
I said “No. I usually have that ball of... uh anxiety in my stomach I have that... the knot, the knot’s gone. My stomach feels completely normal.”

And I think he was a bit angry because I was kind of making this even later for this, this meeting.
I just had this weird feeling in me where everything... everything had gone.

The anxiety that I’d been living with for decades was just completely disappeared.
I don't know why my body isn't reacting to it anymore, so what happened?
Something happened.

It feels really weird talking about it.
I haven't really talked about it at all - just in real life let alone as a YouTube video.
Should I tell you what the two things are?

I mean there are lots of things that I’ve ruled out like getting older... my circumstances changing...
But if anything I think my, my circumstances have become more... more perilous and more likely to cause anxiety!
But it's gone. It's completely gone.

I think I know exactly what stopped my anxiety and I want to share that but I’m worried about sharing it because firstly it might not work for you if you're looking for a solution to how to stop your anxiety...
And I guess I’m scared that it might not work even though I’m not offering it TO work.

The funny thing is, this situation I’m in right now being in a park with a camera held in front of me just walking and talking with people around me that would usually trigger my anxiety response.
It would it would just really set off that feeling of horribleness.

I did two things and I... I continue to do those two things and the anxiety has completely 100% gone.
I, I almost miss the anxiety.
I almost want it to come back just to prove that I wasn't imagining it in the first place.

I can tell you the two things now, because that might help me to make this video.
The two things are: I fixed my sleep. 
Uh, it turns out that I uh... that I have sleep apnoea [sleep apnea] and I was given a machine to fix that.

But the anxiety stopping happened about a year and a half after going onto this machine, so I think getting my sleep fixed was the first step.
And then the second step was doing a thing called morning pages, where I get everything out of my head out onto the page.

I did it in a concerted way using a book called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.
I’d always done morning pages but I’d never hand written them.
This ball of anxiety, the panic attacks, the fight or flight response just went after literally three decades of feeling like this.

Three decades of this being just the way that I reacted to things.
It stopped. It stopped dead and it didn't come back.

Now I don't know why I don't want to make this video because, you know, on one level I’d think it would be really kind for people who might be suffering anxiety.
But I think I’m scared.

I’m scared that it would come off as a bit... I don't know, a bit smug? 
Or that I’m uh offering a solution that might not be appropriate to everyone or even anyone?
The next idea is how I got this scar.
I don't know if you can see it.

Don't know if that's in focus.
In December 2011 I was on a Boris bike.
I think in New York they're called citibikes but back then they were they were known as Boris bikes.

Anyway see... I’m already trying to talk the conversation away from what I should be talking about which is that I... I came off my bike and I... I don't remember a thing.
The five hours of my life that I, I don't remember.
It was Holborn Circus which is basically a roundabout.

I always found it quite tricky because when I turned off - they've changed the layout now - I’d always have to look behind me to make sure there wasn't a car behind me.
And that's the last thing I remember.

And then the next shot in my head, if it were a movie the next shot in my head would be a cut to just me looking at the ceiling.
I could see this hospital ceiling.
I didn't know his hospital ceiling, so one minute I’m on my bike the next minute I’m looking at the ceiling.

And it felt nice and warm and I realized I couldn't move... I couldn't turn my head because I had this massive plastic brace around it.
Just with my fingers, my hands, I felt around and I noticed that all my clothes had been uh cut off me.
Removed from me.
And it must have been quite a bad accident because my first instinct was: 

I’ve got to tell my boss.
So my phone - the nurses have very kindly left my phone by my side - I was in a corridor but I could feel under the covers. Got my phone, so I phoned... phoned my boss.
And I think literally verbatim - word for word - my message that I left on his machine was “Accident... hospital... uh head... uh damage... might not be in tomorrow.”

Didn't even occur to me to... to phone my long-suffering wife and family.
And then the second thing that came into my head was... 
“I’ve got to take a picture of this!” 

So I lifted the phone up over my head and took a selfie, and this is the picture!
I think if I go into the properties, maybe I could see the... the time of day that this was shot to get the exact time.
But the best thing was that a policeman had helped me throughout.

A police officer who happened to be male had helped me, and I... a week later I managed to get in touch with him and I want to make this video and tell the story of my accident and what I heard happened and what wonderful thing... that you think London is quite a cold place but actually quite a few people came to my aid.

And I, I think it'd be quite a positive video to make and that is how I got this scar that looks like either like I’ve got some food on my face or that I have uh that I was born this way.
But it wasn't, it’s just from where I uh hit the road.

So that's it, those are the ideas that I’m working on for the next video but which one should I do next?
There's a poll in the description if any of these ideas trigger any kind of response why not leave a comment below it'd be lovely to hear from you, but it's really helping to get them out of my head and out onto here so I guess it's one step closer to actually making them.

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