TRIGGER WARNING: This post covers the topic of anxiety. If this is something that upsets you, please don’t feel like you have to read it.
As you may have guessed, the theme on the blog this fortnight is mental health, which differs slightly from the other themes we’ve covered so far! It’s still a very important issue, though, and one that perhaps doesn’t have as much recognition as it needs. For my post, I will be sharing some of the submissions we received regarding anxiety, including different ways of coping.
The first submission is from Pip. (You should definitely check out her blog because she is lovely!):
Anxiety for me has never just been about worrying.I mean, worrying is obviously a huge part of it, so is fear, but when someone says “Oh, anxiety? That’s just like worrying, right?” No. It’s not. It’s actually incredibly hard to describe anxiety to someone who doesn’t have it, but I’m going to try.Everyone’s experience with anxiety is like a snowflake or a finger print; completely different, and anxiety levels can vary day to day. Some days I wake up and feel totally at ease with the world and I have a perfect, anxiety free day. Other days I wake up and I don’t want to leave my house or show my face to the world.Anxiety, to me, is messy. When I feel very anxious and on edge, its like all the feelings I’ve ever had and all the thoughts that match these feelings whirr around in my head like the fastest setting of a washing machine and it all just gets too much. Your palms get sweaty, your breathing quickens and you hear your heart beat in your ears. Luckily, I’ve learned to deal with my bad turns and panic attack, and I have a lovely people who I can talk to about what I’m feeling.But anxiety is something that can crop up in moments you would never imagine if you have never experienced it. For example, if I went to a restaurant with my family I would have to order last, and I’d have to rehearse what I was going to say over and over and over again in my head, petrified that I’d mess up. I’d think that the waiter is judging me, even though that’s obviously not the case, they just want to take my order. Even though I was only talking to one person, I’d feel as though I was on stage in a stadium asking for food in front of thousands of people.Anxiety, for me, has also triggered self image and confidence issues within me. I’d like to think that I have it under control, but sometimes the little voice in my brain telling me that I’m not good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, in some way, shape or form gets a bit too loud. This leads to me feeling anxious or just plain upset, but these feelings always pass and I know that the next day I’ll feel so much better about the world, and more importantly, about myself.My anxiety is at its worst in the night time. When the distraction of the day’s activities has gone and I lay alone in the quiet, contemplating my life and thinking about the day, as we all do before we go to sleep, thoughts begin to creep in. I’d think of mistakes I’ve made, cringe worthy moments, moments I’d rather forget, and small things that make me feel bad within myself, like the time last week when the lady behind the till in Easons gave me a fiver more change than I was owed and I didn’t notice until I got home and I felt guilty about it for days. (For some reason, Easons lady, if you’re reading this, I bought two books from Easons yesterday, consider that a reimbursement. Sorry again!) Basically for me, my anxiety is triggered by intense overthinking. Thinking about everything, thinking way too much about things that are insignificant, thinking about things I have no control over.Like I said before, my anxiety comes in waves. Even though it makes certain things exceedingly difficult for me, I refuse to let my anxiety or my occasional lack of self confidence hold me back. I have people in my life, my family and friends specifically, that I can talk to. It’s like that old saying, “a problem shared is a problem halved.” Talking about your feelings can be beyond daunting, but once you’ve said how you feel, you feel so much better, instantly. It’s only by talking about your problems that they can be solved.My advice is that you need to assure yourself that you are in charge, not your anxiety. Acknowledge the fact that you feel sad, or anxious, or scared and work through it. Don’t push the feelings away. Accept that you feel that way, and let the feelings pass. Talk to someone about how you feel, make a cup of tea and give yourself a break. Don’t let anxiety hold you back. I know that its hard, but with support from loved ones and with time, you will learn how to deal with your anxiety. There are millions of people who feel just like you, so rest assured that you are not alone, There is no reason at all for you not to do what you want to do. Good luck, and take comfort in the fact that I believe in you!
This next submission is from a friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous:
It affects everyone differently. For me it sort of sends me into a panic mode where i can’t think straight and end up feeling very ill. My heart starts to beat really fast and my head starts to feel like I’ve been doing a handstand for too long. Sometimes my arms will shake and I’ll feel really uncomfortable.I helped myself by watching Zoella’s video on it but I’m sure there’s other ways, and as for my experiences I’ve had a few.
MASSIVE thank yous again to both people who submitted things for this post! Feel free to leave your advice to help with anxiety in the comments, as it could help someone!
This link has some helplines for different mental illnesses.
~ Elly x