Am I Always on Edge?

It’s come to my attention, rather unfortunately, that I find it almost impossible to relax.

Yesterday, I spent the day with Jasmine. It was a fantastic day; I went to her house, and I might as well run through a quick summary of what happened.

I went to hers via train (which took about 50 minutes) and arrived at her house after she picked me up from the train station (she waved at my dad across the road, and I remember feeling horrifically nervous and rubbing my hands together again like a mad villain on the train). Her foster mum is still lovely as ever, and we hung out in the living room before going upstairs. As I said to a friend last night: “Shit happened, we went on the bus to get lunch, got back, shit happened, then we went home.”

Well, because I’m Elm, I’ll give you more of a rundown. We went for lunch in a place reasonably close to her house (I mean it wasn’t really lunch; we had it at 5:30). We arrived there an hour before the restaurant – a Chinese place – actually opened, and so we went to a cafe and had an oreo milkshake. If you guys haven’t had them, they are beautiful and the best thing to ever happen to my life. Well, not the BEST thing to ever happen, but you get the picture.

When we were having food, I still felt very free because it was just her and me, whilst we were talking. I mean, I could barely eat much, but I was having a day where food wasn’t sitting very well with me.

After we returned home, we watched some TV and sobbed with laughter, before going to her music studio. There we played music, sang, and… Oh god I have to talk about this, don’t I? This is the whole point of the post. Aaarghh.

Physical things happened. I won’t go into too much detail, but it was a lot; like my experiences on Wednesday, I felt entirely comfortable. No disgust, apart from a situation that happened before we went to lunch that is possibly the most horrifying and embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me. That’s one thing I point blank refuse to talk about, because no one except her knows and it’s just too horrendous; I still can’t think about it without feeling gross, even though she wasn’t annoyed or anything. Okay, that’s enough of that.

In the music studio and in fact, all throughout the day when stuff happened, I just… Couldn’t relax. It wasn’t that I didn’t WANT to do anything, because I did; it wasn’t that I hated it, because I didn’t. Over the years, I’m so used to tensing up for anything – I’m ridiculously unflexible, probably because I hardly ever stretch or do exercise. Before I get sick and disgusted with myself, I need to remember that I still have time to become more fit. It doesn’t stop me from panicking, though.

At one point I got so frustrated and upset, but I think she understood. I thought she was somehow upset with me, because we just sat there silently with the worst kind of fear and worry growing inside of me, with our faces close but not touching. I almost felt like crying, because I thought that there was something wrong with me; now I know that I was just tense. SO tense.

Ever since we ate “lunch”, she’d been looking at my eyes. Because of the blindness, I can’t control them very well; they do their own thing and it took me a long time to look to the left, or up, and actually keep my eyes there. I’m still not good at it. In the studio, or at points throughout the day, she’d say, “OH! You’re looking at me!” or “Hey, they’re syncronised now.” No one’s ever payed that much attention to them before; either that, or they just haven’t mentioned it to me, and I think it was fascinating to both of us. After I got angry and frustrated because I couldn’t seem to relax, we were sitting there (as I said) and she just whispered, “You did it again – you looked at me, Elm.”

I’ve never come that close to crying at something so insignificant. We spoke about how I couldn’t relax – on many occasions she said, “Don’t tense up – it’s okay.” and I made my muscles believe her.

Not being able to properly let myself rest is really bothering me; the situation with Jasmine just emphasised that. Though she understood, I didn’t: she said, “Well I’m lost,” on one occasion, which made me almost feel guilty that I COULDN’T loosen myself up. Why couldn’t I?

I’m so used to stressing. Pretty much every day, I find a new thing to worry about; right now, I’m worrying about me stressing too much. Yesterday, I worried that she hated me. The day before, it was holiday homework. You get the picture, and said picture annoys me.

It was about 9:00 then, when my dad came to pick me up. It turns out that he and Jasmine’s foster mum get on really well, causing me to feel incredibly bad about lying to him. Jasmine and I were in the living room whilst they were talking, just sitting next to each other (kissing occasionally but obviously not doing anything too serious). It made me feel like I was actually a good person, or that I was valued AS a person. I could tell that she really didn’t mind that I couldn’t relax earlier, but I was still worried about it.

Yesterday was a great day, and I laughed a lot, felt happy and got emotional because she actually wanted to listen to me speak. During our lunch and an impromptue shopping trip, I felt almost like I WASN’T blind, that I was”normal” in quotation marks, even though I know that normality is subjective. With her next to me, it made me feel that way. However, the stress was a low point.

If I never relax, where does that leave me? I can’t think of the last time I let myself unwind properly, just sat down and didn’t think of anything. That doesn’t really work for me, and now I’m becoming a little panicked. I need to find a way to de-stress, but whenever I think about that, I feel guilty once more as I always think there’s something I MUST do, and if I de-stress, I won’t give myself time to do that thing and I’ll worry about it later.

It’s illogical. In the long run, I’ll be MORE stressed and less relaxed if I do everything right now, because I won’t be able to do it as effectively. If I show myself that calming down, doing something relaxing and chilling out is okay, I’ll have a better mindset.

How do I do that, when I’ve never really done that in the past?

Today, I may go on a walk with my dad. To give myself a starting point for calming down, I created a playlist on my phone literally called “Relaxation”, which contain songs with no drums or shrieking guitars, so that I can listen to them quietly and sort of immerse myself in them. I’ll take 10 minutes out of my day to stop for a little while, not do anything and just breathe. Reading might be an option, too.

In addition, exercising could be good for me. Maybe that’ll make me feel like I CAN do something: going on walks, going rock climbing, swimming perhaps (even though I hate it).

I hope Jasmine will be able to help me, directly or indirectly. My friends, too, simply by being there. Sometimes, you just need a place to be yourself.

It’s a starting point. If I can stop being so tense, I’ll hopefully feel better. Honestly, everything about me is tense, even my hands.

Do you get stressed easily? What kind of things do you do to calm down, because I really need tips!

From Elm πŸ™‚

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70 thoughts on “Am I Always on Edge?

  1. When I’m peaceful I am one of the most chilled, unstressed people out there. My advice for staying calm is just having your happy place in the back of your mind and taking time out of your day to just empty your mind and slow your breathing down until your mind has nothing but a pitch black image in it. Stay in that image for some time and then you’ll be so calm that people will think you’re on drugs. Seriously I’ve had people think that!

    • Your advice is literally the best, Sav! πŸ™‚ Yeah, the pitch black is a good thing to do; I’d never actually thought of it like that before. And HAAA, what did you reply to them when they asked?!

      • I pretended that I was on drugs and I offered to buy some. Also just focus on the present moment and adopt a nothing is worth stressing about attitude. Judging by my chilled voice it always works to stay calm

      • You do have such a chilled voice, I’m jealous! HAHAHA I can’t believe you offered to buy drugs πŸ˜› That’s the kind of thing I’d do, to take the piss. Thinking about the present is a very good way of doing things.

      • It all stems from not stressing. I asked them sarcastically but because my voice naturally is sarcastic they didn’t notice

  2. for me, i can’t really relax through meditation and stuff cuz my mind’s just too busy. but i actually like exercising it really takes my mind off ish and i can just enjoy it, i mean it’s obviously not for everyone but i enjoy it. just find something you enjoy doing that requires just enough attention, if that makes sense. and if you’re having trouble with it, don’t get pissed at yourself cuz that’s just gonna make it harder. in those times you have to stop being critical of yourself and kind of just be. πŸ™‚

    • “Just being” is such a good way of putting it; I love it! Doing exercise may help me, but equally relaxing and just existing might too – I have to find the right solution for ME. Everyone works differently, after all. Thanks so much for the words of encouragement, Luna!

  3. I feel you, girl! I have no chill, whatsoever. I get so panicked easily, it scares me sometimes. T-T
    Usually, I count down to 10, in a slow manner, so that gradually, by the time i’m at 8, i can feel my breathing slowing down gradually, so that i can breathe completely. After that, i just draw and write as much as i can to distract myself away from it.
    Hope it helps! πŸ™‚

    • It honestly helps! Doing something like that – counting down from 10 – would probably calm me down. It’s all about working out new ways to stop stressing, or to not stress as much. Thank you SO much you fabulous girl! πŸ™‚ I’m glad you can understand me about the stress

  4. It’s okay, girl~ I have my stressed moments and then I have my way too chill moments haha. I also love how you call them “shrieking guitars.”
    By the way, I have heard that exercise can help you feel less stressed and more happiness, so that’s some exercise motivation for you, if you need it hehe. Showing kindness *wink wink* can, too. These things release good hormones, which boost your mood.
    But for reals for relaxation, I usually loop a calm song as I sit/read/do stuff until I feel happy and calm. For me, I often listen to Butterfly by BTS, if you wanted a song sample. It’s a song in Korean…but yeah πŸ™‚
    Good luck and I hope it helps! Hope that you have an amazing day~ You got this~ *fist pump*

    • Eyyy thank you so so much! πŸ™‚ Yeah, exercising would be good, as long as I can find the right exercise for me!
      Ooh, I hardly ever listen to Korean songs, but I’ll give this one a go! You’re really good at tips for relaxation, so thanks so much for that! Also YES, kindness is fabulous! πŸ˜›

  5. I can completely understand what you feel. It’s so hard for me to concentrate on one task because I’m always stressing about 1000 others
    I think the key here is to at least try and calm down first of all. I know, that’s a very subjective term, what IS calm?
    It’s impossible to NOT think about anything but I find it so much easier to try and convert the negative thoughts to happy ones. Instead of thinking about what you’re doing WRONG try to think about how happy you feel when you’re with Jasmine. She’s a wonderful person, I’m sure she will help you πŸ™‚

    • I really hope she will! Yeah, she’s great πŸ™‚ Thank you, Selfie; you always seem to be a voice of reason to me. Converting the thoughts, rather than silencing them, is probably much healthier in the long run to be honest. It means I have MORE happy thoughts!

  6. For me it depends on the stress and when it happens. Sometimes sleeping on it helps, but that doesn’t always work if you’re still stressing over the thing when you’re trying to get to sleep. I definitely find that doing exercise helps, even if it’s something simple like going for a walk to clear your thoughts. πŸ™‚

    • That’s a really good idea, yeah! Sleeping it off’s never really worked for me, because I always wake up still stressed. Walking or exercise would be good!

  7. For me, there are probably four great things for unwinding: exercise, as you mentioned (it doesn’t have to be shitty), walking away from the house and discovering new areas in your neighbourhood (this is especially fun with someone else who lives nearby and doesn’t mind walking!), watching comedies with someone else and listening to music alone. To unwind with other people, just breathe. Don’t think about anything else but what they’re saying; it works πŸ™‚

  8. this was such a lovely post, Elm. Jasmine seems so lovely. If its like long term stress I make a list of all the things in my brain, which makes everything seem less muddled and chaotic. Sleeping is also good. WALKING. Walking is so lovely in the countryside and any type of exercise just helps me to kind of ‘shake’ all the tense-ness off in my body. If you’re feeling stressed in public try to find a quiet place and BREATHE. Sometimes listening to music and murmuring the words helps me too. I also find that rubbing the insides of my wrists together helps me personally, but that’s a weird thing and maybe I just find that calming.

    Lots of love,
    Alex

  9. I get stressed at least one a week, but I found ways to calm down easily – I just need to be somewhere quiet and breathe. It helps me every time. I heard that walking is a great thing, listening to some quiet music, sounds of waves and rain as well. Personally, rainymood.com helps me a lot.
    Also, keep repeating to yourself “It’s okay, everything will be alright.” Most people find that useful. πŸ™‚

    • Ohh thank you, Anja πŸ™‚ Listening to rain would definitely help me, I think! Walking as well. I’m so glad that I’m not alone in stressing; it makes me feel a little better.

  10. In this occasion I usually spend a little bit of alone time in some place where there’s no noises, music or voices to just empty my mind. To set my mind into blank space with no thought or inner voices just white. I would recommend to do that but you know everyone has their different way of relaxing πŸ™‚

    • I think that’s a really good idea πŸ™‚ Focusing on a space or a colour, and emptying your mind of everything except that, is a great way of doing things. Thanks so much!

  11. It’s good that you’re finding a way to get rid of stress. Whenever I’m stressed, I take a long bath and read until I feel better than I did. And then I’ll go and talk to my boyfriend about it which really helps because he seems to understand. Maybe talking to Jasmine might help, I don’t know. I’m not very good at advice πŸ˜‚

  12. I have anxiety so the smallest thing can stress me out, i try to take deep breaths, just close my eyes and imagine myself in a world where i have everything i want, a happy future with people who appreciate me. Just please do yourself a favor and don’t turn to substance because its temporary – trust me getting high, smoking away your problems or drinking until you forget will be only a temporary fix – yet unfortunately when an oppurtunity presents itself i can’t help myself. I’m scared i may become a future addict which just stresses me more. So some relaxing techniques i kind of need too…

    • Yeah, I can understand that. Have a look through the comments on here; people have suggested some great things which might work for you too! Substances, like you said, are only temporary. If you can, try and withdraw from them: you want to put a bandage over the ‘wound’ so that it has a chance of healing better, rather than a plaster.

  13. Someone once gave me a tip to imagine the word “nothing” popping up in your mind in different fonts and colours, I’m not sure why :’) But it kinda works, also to imagine yourself in a completely blank space, with nothing and no one there, just you. I get stressed quite easily too, I don’t really know how I deal, if I get too stressed I just cry, or sleep. :/

    • That’s literally me hehe. That sounds like a fabulous idea, especially the nothingness! Thanks for the tips πŸ™‚ Crying’s not so good, but sleeping’s great!

  14. I feel like I’m the same, but I put it down to anxiety. I hate going to unfamiliar surroundings, especially other people’s homes and it just makes me so unrelaxed and nervous. It’s the same when going out anywhere but that may also be partially due to laziness ahahah!

  15. I was going to suggest walks and quiet, but looks like people beat me too it. πŸ™‚ Also, I am a religious person and that helps me more than I can express. I’ve got a touch of autism so I understand your struggle with stress completely.

  16. I completely get where you’re coming from with the stress and tenseness. I have this constant underlying feeling of guilt everyday mainly because of depression and paranoia and sometimes I find it difficult to be around people I care about in case they see me have an episode. Obviously I won’t pretend I know exactly how you’re feeling because everyone’s got their own demons to go through but I can say this- keep your mind occupied. It’s the only thing that keeps me sane; organise trips with Jasmine or friends, go dog walking, take up a hobby or even sit down and organise a blog post schedule. Yoga or walking is also a good idea or even exercise- getting out in the sun and moving actually creates endorphin’s to which increase your happiness. Like I said before, your posts are always a pick me up due to your positivity and you seem like a confident and happy person to be around. And if I can leave you with anything to stop you’re worrying it would be this quote from one of my favourite authors/ playwrights Oscar Wilde “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist that is all.” You seem like someone whose going to go far and do great things, so advice from a fellow worrier would be focus on the moment and stay in it, everything else can wait. πŸ˜€

    • You are so amazing and I do mean that πŸ™‚ Thanks for the advice. Hanging out with friends would be a great idea to de-stress actually, now I think on it. It’s lovely to know that I’m not alone, and you saying that I can go far in life makes me feel worth something. I hope that I can be confident and happy.
      You sound like a wonderful person. Don’t let people drag you down – use the quote you gave me, which was inspiring by the way, and live. You deserve to – everybody does – so when you feel low, remember that there’s a world and a half of experiences out there.

  17. When I’m stressed I love to create or play music and I know that you play music because I’ve heard you sing so beautifully before on a youtube video! Maybe you could write or learn a song? I find that when I do that, I’m focusing on the present but it also allows me to have a release…. also, Jasmine will understand everything and help you.. she seems like the sweetest person.. I know life can be stressful sometimes but I know you’ll be able to overcome it because you’re Elm πŸ™‚

    • Ahhh you make me smile so much! πŸ™‚ Thank you. Yeah, I hope Jasmine can help me. Writing or learning a song – YES, that sounds like a fantastic idea! Thanks again – you’re really good at finding ways to calm me down, especially because you know that’ll work for me!

  18. I totally get it! I’m not that easy to stress out, but when I do get stressed, it’s bad. Honestly writing is what keeps me sane. It gives me a chance to get out of my own head and into someone else’s, and I usually end up learning about myself in the process. But that may just be because I’m a writer at heart… The same principle would probably apply to reading. I also love yoga, (the pocket yoga app is amazing), and I listen to instrumental music or nature sounds sometimes before I go to sleep. Nature Space is another awesome app if you like that kind of thing! What mostly helps me is just stating to myself when I wake up that I will be calm and peaceful today no matter what happens. for some reason telling myself that makes me really want to stick to it. Sorry for the long answer… But hope that helped!

    • I always love your comments, Caitlyn! Are those apps accessible? πŸ™‚ Thanks so much! Nature is a great way to calm down – plus, I adore nature! I should really start yoga.
      I know what you mean about writing, and yeah – it can apply to reading. You can just step into a character’s mind, for a little while.

  19. Also, talking with friends is a third one I can give a shout out to. Its super healthy to talk to us because we love you and we are always here for you πŸ™‚

  20. I find breathing exercises really help, but I don’t get overly stressed like you do, so I’m not the best person to help πŸ™‚ I think being with someone like Jasmine should really help though, because she seems so lovely, and you’ll learn to trust her more and get more comfortable, hopefully! I really hope everything goes well with you two, she seems awesome (I just caught up on those posts with her!)

    • Ahhh thank you so much! πŸ™‚ Yeah, being with her is great because she helps me to de-stress and she really does understand, I think. Or at least I hope! Breatheing exercises would probably work for me, too.

  21. I get stressed easily and I tend to just take it out on myself… Yeah, don’t do that.
    Ummm wait I know: CATS. Cats are an amazing cure of stress.

  22. Gee, Elm, thats so cute!
    I have 2 moods-
    1. I am extremely bored and exhausted and can’t do anything whatsoever, and
    2. I FREAK OUT AND WRITE IN CAPS BECAUSE I HAVE SO MANY THINGS ON MY MIND.
    So I am the most unqualified person to tell anyone what to do to keep calm. πŸ™‚ However, for me, music almost always helps, as does walking in the evening. (Pfft. Personally,I am too lazy to do that daily.) And PUPPIES!!! I LOVE PUPPIES ❀
    πŸ˜€

    • PUPPIES ARE SO CUTE ALSO THOSE MOODS ARE LITERALLY ME!!! πŸ™‚ Thanks for your tips, I’m definitely going to set some time out for walking, and music! Music is amazing!

  23. Ughhh. I get you, Elm. Sometimes I have days where I think I don’t know if I can do one more task. If I get really stressed, I have a few solutions: YouTube (I’m addicted), usually music; reach out with my friends, who are awesome and make me smile (smiling also helps!); and just sitting on my bed and thinking about black nothingness and thinking of nothing BUT black nothingness. Ugh, that’s a lot of nothings I just wrote.

    • EEEKK HANNA that was a fab comment! Yes, the nothingness would make me think about nothingness which would make me feel nothingness whilst surrounded by nothingness πŸ˜› I love youtube and music so much. Smiling is brilliant, and smiling with FRIENDS doubly so!

  24. Hey I know you don’t do awards and challenged often, but I would like to nominate you for the 3 Day Quote Challenge! It’s honestly such an interesting one and I really want to hear your favourite quotes. They say so much about a person!
    3 Quotes Are Not Enough – http://wp.me/p7r8il-kc
    Please do let me know if you do it!

  25. Great post. And yes I can relate to getting stressed a lot too. Music can help or creating a special playlist. Exercise can be good to, just getting out in the fresh air and being around nature can be nice. Or being with a friend and doing something together, they’re great for making you laugh πŸ™‚ Also if things are particularly tough sometimes treating yourself to doing something you enjoy, watching a movie, having a big mug of hot chocolate or whatever is always nice and well deserved too! Sometimes talking it out can help too. I understand getting stressed is frustrating but I’m sure you’ll get through it. πŸ™‚ Also telling yourself something positive like ” it’s ok”, I can do this” can be good even if it’s hard to believe at first. Writing always helps me too. I hope you find something that works for you too πŸ™‚

    • Ahhh thank you; all of those sound great! πŸ™‚ I have a craving for a hot chocolate now haha! Doing something enjoyable would be a great way to relieve stress, as well as hanging out with friends; friends always make me happy.

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