Earlier this year I started sweating a little more than usual. For example, I’d be sitting in a meeting, and my pits would literally start dripping sweat. Or I’d be running late for an appointment, catch a quick glance of myself in the mirror and see beads of sweat on my nose. And there was the time I watched the latest Avengers movie at the cinemas and after a particularly stressful fight scene, I looked down to see rings of sweat forming under my armpits... That was when I realised I needed to address it further. This wasn’t normal sweating. I’m used to a little bit of sweating during times of nervousness or anxiety - but this was a whole new level. Turns out it was anxiety-induced hyperhidrosis.
At first I found it kind of comical. I thought “Seriously - I’ve overcome my fear of blushing, but now I SWEAT?! Is this my new fear? The new issue I need to be ashamed about?”. Oh boy..
I recently started a new job and I’ve been even more aware of it, and have been feeling particularly self conscious. Does the sweating make me look incompetent? Can anyone tell I’ve got sweat running down my arm? Will the seat have sweat marks when I stand up? FUARK.
Despite my holistic health and life coach training and all the tools and techniques I now possess, this is something I’m currently navigating. Despite the self development work I’ve done over the last decade, the healing treatments I’ve had and practitioners I’ve visited - I still experience anxiety. That’s been the hardest thing to accept over the last few weeks. I felt like I had already been through the hard yards, I had already overcome my challenges, I had already done the work, god dammit! But alas, I’ve since realised I still had some letting go, learning, clearing and issues that needed addressing.
I will say things are different this time. What made my experience with anxiety so debilitating in my early twenties was the shame I had connected to it. I was so ashamed of it, I kept my struggle with anxiety a secret for years before I had the courage to tell anyone.
I’m not repeating that story. This time round, I’m challenging myself to be honest with my feelings, to share my experience with my loved ones, to learn to laugh at myself (sweaty pits and all!) and to seek support.
If you or someone you know is currently experiencing this, here are some things I’ve done and am still doing to support myself…
I had an RTT hypnosis session with lovely Rachel from Rock & Co. This was a two hour hypnosis session and I’ve got a recording to listen to for 28 days + action steps to complete
I’m sharing my experience with my husband and friends + challenging myself to be vulnerable (I feel if I share and talk about hyperhidrosis first, it loses its power over me. There’s no getting caught out because I’ve already openly spoken about it)
Channeling my inner child and not taking life too seriously. This includes seeing the funny side of my current predicament! Trust me - there’s been some funny moments! :P
Staying firm on my morning routine because it makes me feel good and sets up my day. Mine includes a cup of warm water with a dash of apple cider vinegar, journalling a quick meditation and if I’m doing well on time - walking Milo around the block. I’ll also listen to a podcast or my audiobooks in the car on my way to work. Getting 8 hours of sleep each night has also been really important.
Honouring my progress and showing myself compassion for where I’m at (especially if I’m not as far ahead as I’d like to be!).
I also recommend seeking professional support whether that’s in the form of your local GP or psychologist. You don’t need to do this alone.
Despite the uncomfortable nature of hyperhidrosis and the embarrassment and self doubt I’ve experienced, I also know I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. I’m learning lessons I needed to learn, becoming more self-aware, more confident, more vulnerable and shining more of my light - even if I’m sometimes scared shitless.
There’s a beautiful print I spotted on Morgan Harper Nichols website recently and it says…"You don’t have to be fearless. Doing it afraid is just as brave."
And that’s where I’m at right now. Life is wonderful in so many ways and sometimes it’s not - it’s challenging, messy, exhausting and beautiful. I feel connected and sometimes disconnected. Confident and on top of the world and then stuck in self doubt. Laughing so hard my cheeks hurt, and then feeling embarrassed about sweating through my top in a meeting. Feeling authentic and vulnerable and so ‘me’, then feeling like I’m hiding, walls up, pretending to be someone I’m not. That’s where I’m at. I guess you could say I’m human AF... Afraid, but still brave.
Lots of love xx