If you have clicked on this I would imagine it more out of curiosity than anything else. Is going for a coffee on your own really a big deal? To many people probably not but to an anxiety sufferer in particular me it was quite the achievement. Back when Little Man was a baby I remember doing it. I sat in a garden centre cafe with my baby and my drink happy as larry for all of five minutes. What followed was a screaming baby, me feeling like everyone was looking at me and £3.50 of hot chocolate being wasted as I bundled him up and escaped to the safety of my car. I was a panicky flustered mess.
When you suffer from anxiety you can become a victim of association. You do something once, it goes wrong and whenever you set foot in the same place again to do the same thing your brain kicks in with horrific anxiety that the same thing is going to happen again.
Last week I decided to give it a go. You can tell it was a big deal because I messaged a couple of my closest people to tell them I was doing it. It was straight after the school run so it was quiet, I got myself a drink and me and Little Lady settled herself down. Unlike her brother she sat beautifully with me, the only noise being her shouting ‘hiya’ at the top of her voice. That was okay, people thought she was cute and I felt calm. A feeling that is still a bit alien to me even though it happens a lot more than it used to.
What was even nicer was that there was another mum there doing a similar thing, we exchanged a few smiles and some polite words. Mums get a lot of stick for being judgmental towards each other but actually sometimes we really pull together for each other without even realising it. There is a comradery that surrounds sitting in a coffee shop at 9am with your baby. You know the other one is probably tired and may have had a rough morning and a smile really does go a long way.
Recovering from anxiety is a long journey and little milestones like this really help to build up confidence and I’m so glad I did it. I know where my limits lie and I won’t ever push myself out of my comfort zone if I’m not ready. After all, I could end up doing more harm than good. But that morning I was in good spirits and I hadn’t planned to do it so I had had less time to worry or to build it up in my mind.
So I went for a coffee on my own and I’m really glad I did. So glad that I will be doing it again this week. This could get expensive!