I feel like this word, as well as ‘mental health’, instills a deep fear into people as soon as they read it. I hope that one day this will change but deep inside me I don’t believe that it will. I’m still too scared to tell certain people around me that I suffer from anxiety. Some people I don’t tell because they won’t care, everyone seems to be on anti depressants lately. What makes me so special? Others I don’t tell because I’m scared they’ll care too much.
The main part of my anxiety is worrying. Yet funnily enough, I don’t tell people so that they don’t worry about me. Funny, huh?
I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I remember, although it was only early this year that it got too much for me and I was encouraged to seek help. Since I was young I have memories of my anxiety. Silly little worries always plaguing the back of my mind that shouldn’t be there. My dad is exactly the same in this way. He’ll overtake a car at 8am, and come 6pm he’ll still be panicking about whether it was the right thing to do and if it was safe. It’s safe to say I am almost his twin. I’m that person who can talk to someone and utter a phrase wrong, and days later that scenario is still spinning round in my mind, haunting me and taunting at me. Telling me how I should have acted and what I could have done differently. This has been constant.
I never saw it as a problem. You know, everyone worries don’t they? It was just this year where it hit me that maybe it was a bit more than normal worries. I was trying to do a degree in education studies to become a teacher, but the workload was stressing me out so I had to drop out. In the phases of this I was volunteering at my local infant school, but I only managed a few weeks before I had to stop. And I did this in a cowardly way too. My brain kept telling me that I wasn’t doing well enough, that nobody liked me at the school etc. I also had stupid worries about whether I would be late or whether there would be a car parking space by the time I got there. These seem like such pathetic little worries which you probably read and go, ‘okay no parking, go somewhere else’ because that is the easiest solution. But my brain doesn’t let me see it that way. It got too much and I was freaking out on the Friday when I was due at the school on the Monday, so I had to drop out of this too.
It’s around this time my boyfriend encouraged me to go see a doctor. This was probably the best decision I’ve made in my life. I walked into that doctor’s room and I just burst into tears as soon as he asked how I was. The poor doctor didn’t even know the reason I had made an appointment, and the poor guy had to deal with me crying as soon as I walked in!
Now I’m not saying anti depressant’s and seeing someone is the miracle cure. Because it isn’t. I still struggle. I still have days that my brain refuses to let me leave my house. But for the majority of my days, my worries are clouded. They are in the back of my brain being muffled. The volume is on mute. But I can achieve goals now.
For example, today I went for an interview! Again, you’re probably thinking ‘that’s nothing’, which I understand. But my god with the brain that I have it took some work. For some reason my brain couldn’t comprehend that when I applied for jobs, that I’d have to go to interviews?! Who knew?
Now I still panicked. I still freaked out the initial phone call to arrange it. I still considered cancelling the whole time I was getting ready. I still worried about whether I would find my way there or whether there was parking whilst I was driving there.
But I did it.
And to me, that’s an achievement. And I’m proud of myself today. Today, for one little day, I beat my anxiety.
This blog post had no actual point. I started with an aim to discuss mental health and ended on a ramble about myself, oh well. But as a sign off point, you’re not alone. There are doctors, there’s family, there are friends. God, there’s even strangers. The best talks and advice that I have received when I’ve been at my lowest have been strangers who follow me on twitter.
The point? Reach out. Email me if you want, I’m always free believe me.