I want to talk about anxiety. So many people have it and deal with it everyday, it is the most common mental health issue around yet no one seems to actually talk about it in that much depth. It seems we are all suffering from our neurosis in silence but quite frankly, silence just makes everything worse…at least for me it does.
I have suffered from some form of anxiety for as long as I can remember. My first memories were of confusing panic attacks stemming from a fear of death. I was seven..I never understood what was happening. I just remember this all encompassing fear that I couldn’t shake.
As I got older it stayed with me, manifesting itself in different ways. In secondary school I became convinced that I was going to get breast cancer young, my friends would laugh at me for being a worry wart. It wasn’t until I went to university that it really started to take hold. Every slight health issue kept me up at night, I searched symptoms endlessly online and always convinced myself the end was near. I lived in London and developed a fear of the tube, so much so that I paid for taxis everywhere. I ended up leaving that first university as it just wasn’t right for me at that time, I moved to one that made me a lot happier but unfortunately my anxiety followed me.
I’m happy to say that I have become a lot better since being at university, I sent myself to a counselor who taught me that I am not alone and gave me many coping techniques but I am beginning to realize that it will never truly go away. If you have anxiety you will know that triggers are everywhere. For me a major one is a terrorist attack, it can shake my whole being and affect me for weeks to the point that I will be scared to go out. It can be anything and can come out of nowhere however if you have ways of coping it is easy to overcome them.
The difference is that now I know that I am not alone, at university I met so many people that suffered with some form of anxiety and although it is usually not talked about in great depth, it is talked about which is an important place to start. I met people that I would have never in a million years considered anxious, who were some of the most anxious people I have met.
It is important for me to say that I don’t think that the anxiety I feel is anything that other people don’t feel… (just on a much lower scale) but what I do feel is that I am sensitive to life, I am scared of it and amazed by it and constantly aware of how precious it is. If you met me you might not even know until we become best friends that I suffer from any kind of anxiety at all. I don’t let it stop me from doing things
(usually) and I always come through it.
If you suffer from any kind of anxiety or even if you are a chronic worrier, I urge you to talk to someone about it: friend, partner, parent or there is always counseling. Just remember that you are not alone, you are not crazy or abnormal. You are human with natural fears and worries that may be elevated from time to time but it’s nothing you can’t come through.
Talking is the best therapy and when you have anxiety it really helps to ramble out some of the confusion..even if it’s just to yourself…
Stay Strong People xoxoxo