"Managing your anxiety?"

This is a fascinating question for me - especially today, when I'm writing it (it's still April right now - oooh, time travel!).

Today I partook in day one of an outdoor activities course to relax and try to regain some mental stability. I recently had a bit of a wobble which reminded me that I'm not invisible - and let's face it, occasionally to get back on your feet, you need to shake things up! Just me? Okay. At least I'm getting some certificates out of the week!

One of the things I didn't expect to happen was to be given a blindfold, a helmet, and a white cane. Nor did I expect to then be sent into a cave.

If there's one thing I learned from that experience, it's how much I rely on my sight to manage my anxiety. Take away my sight (which also heightens sensitivity to sound), and I feel completely vulnerable, and absolutely terrified. Not only was my sensitivity to sound heightened, but when you're put in a cave you also get the echoing of 9 - 10 people talking.

So I was unable to distinguish where people were, identify where exits were, see when I needed to crouch or turn a corner...all things I've always taken for granted in managing my anxiety. It removed my control over the situation. Honestly, if I hadn't worked with the organisation hosting the activities in the past, I don't think I'd have gone through with it. I just figure that if they can get me down the side of a 300ft building safely, I can trust them to keep me safe in a cave whilst wearing a blindfold.

So, in conclusion, one of the major things I use to manage my anxiety is, quite simply, my sight. When I walk into a room, without thinking, I begin to identify exits, pick a point where I'm near someone who makes me feel at ease, try to get a feel for the people around me...none of which I could do whilst blindfolded. Today was a hugely enlightening experience, massive thank you to the two organisations who have given me the opportunity to participate this week!