Anxiety, oh how I hate anxiety. Although it’s something I had to accept, why? because I’d never have got my life back if I didn’t. Anxiety affects people in so many different ways, some it’s minor and only certain things will cause them anxiety but for others? Others who were in the same situation as me. It is strong enough to stop us from going outside. Socialising was non existent, my friends didn’t see me and my family didn’t see me. I didn’t even see myself, looking in a mirror was out of the question. Things were so bad I caused myself anxiety because whenever I looked at myself I was ashamed. I hated what I saw, it wouldn’t go away.
I was convinced at one stage that everyone was out to get me, breathing was a daily struggle. I believed I was being watched 24/7 and that there was always someone behind me. I was so paranoid I used to constantly be looking over my shoulder. I wouldn’t go outside and I would just sleep long hours every day. The only person who was still close to me was my sister, despite this close bond we had? She still didn’t understand. She couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t go outside alone, why I wouldn’t answer the phone to anyone and why I wouldn’t let anyone in.
Truth be told? It’s a time of my life that I barely remember. Anxiety caused me to have a lot of blackouts, it caused me a lot of anger and tears. A lot of people are under the impression that anxiety is easy to spot, it’s not. That person on the bus who fidgets constantly, the individual who is sweating a whole lot and they are sitting still, the person who is standing alone but looking around them or it could even be your best friends, family members or you. I went a long time without knowing I had anxiety, I used to try and convince myself I was just being stupid. There’s nothing wrong I’d tell myself on a daily basis, you’re fine. I wasn’t fine.
On this day I still do certain things that are triggered by my anxiety, I stay out of the way In certain situations. I don’t like being in big groups and I get very claustrophobic. I used to have a very large friend group, I had a great social life until my anxiety took over. My friends thought I was ignoring them but I thought they were ignoring me! I’d send a message and get very anxious if they didn’t reply at the speed of lightening. Instantly I’d have convinced myself well that’s it, they hate me. Time to fall back, not reply and keep to myself. In the end it was a case of i began ignoring them, they weren’t really my friends.
I have 3 of the original friends I had before out of 100’s. I was a right party girl, I loved being around people (I still do just in smaller numbers) but now I stick to smaller numbers of people. Once I stood back and realised I needed to focus on myself and I needed to get my life back, all these ‘friends’ dropped off the fact of the earth. It was hard times that identified my real friends, that’s always the case. It was very rare if someone asked if I was okay and honestly, that was so important. It is so important to just take 3 seconds out of your day and ask someone are you okay?
The feeling I feel when my anxiety takes over it’s like my chest is being tightened and pulled, trying to breathe is so difficult. I will become very irritable and restless and oh mamma I’ll sweat from the heavens! I often experience heart palpitations to which can be scary. My vision goes and in the worst case scenarios I will faint. Many people have asked me how I deal with my anxiety? I changed my entire lifestyle. That in itself is a whole different story! If you or a loved one have been confined to 4 walls because of anxiety?
Find someone who you can TRULY trust. Take yourself out for a walk if it’s 5 minutes or 10 the fresh air will help ease your mind, if you don’t like being alone ask someone to accompany you. Eventually you’ll find going for walks and going to the shop will become normal and you’ll be able to do it alone! Keep as active as you possibly can, it’s so much easier to sit on your bum I know! but sooner or later it does all become routine. Yoga, breathing techniques, the grounding method (if you get very irritated like me it’s not likely to work) general health can play a massive part! Medication also can be a massive relief. Never be ashamed if you have to take medication for your anxiety! There is nothing to be ashamed of. If you need it to function? You need it to function, it’s nobody else’s business but YOURS.
I could talk forever about anxiety.. I feel this post is long enough! 😂 however to end this post, I now have a very functional social life. I have my real friends and I am in control 80% of the time in social situations. My coping mechanisms, my breathing techniques well those are different posts! You are not alone, you are not a freak and you’re allowed to feel your emotions through anxiety. It’s scary but it will not last! OH and last thing I promise. It’s not always the best choice to fight against your anxiety, sometimes you need to let it happen for you to move past it and move on. Fighting takes so much of our energy, we need to remember to heal. Anxiety is still a massive part of my life difference being? It doesn’t control me anymore. I have my off days but we all do! It’s okay.
To be continued.. 💋