Time to Talk Day 2018

As the saying goes “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always”

I am a face of anxiety.

But you can’t necessarily tell who is battling their inner demons because they conceal it all behind a smiley face, a bouncy bubbly personality, lots of what seems like boundless self-confidence or possibly they keep it all behind closed doors, keeping themselves to themselves, however they deal with it, they are still battling and doing their very best…

As I’ve shared before I have been diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) so what is anxiety to me?

It’s being my own worst enemy and personal critic.

It’s the constantly feeling tetchy and irritable.

It’s the most mundane things making you fly off the handle.

It’s everyday things making you feel overwhelmed.

It’s the feeling of only being safe if you stay at home – but at the same time the mess of the house makes it feel like the walls are closing in and you feel claustrophobic but the idea of going outside makes you want to cry.

It’s saying “I’m fine”, “I’m ok”, “I’ll be alright”, “I shouldn’t complain”, “yeah, no worries”, “I’m just tired”.

It’s the worry of what people would truly think of you if they knew what actually went through your head.

It’s dealing with “don’t worry”, “let it go”, “others have it worse”, “you don’t look like you’ve got anxiety”, “it could be worse”, “what’s a bit of anxiety anyway?”, “you shouldn’t let it get to you” (like it’s a choice!), “you worry too much”, “don’t be silly/daft/stupid”

It’s the wondering what people really think about you or if they even like you.

It’s that little voice saying in your head “you can’t do this”, “this is too hard for you”, “you’re useless”, “no one likes you”, “you’re a fraud”, “why are you even doing this?”, “loser”, “give up now, you’re going to fail anyway”, “they all just think you’re a moaner”, “you’re going to let everyone down, again, you always do”, ” you can’t cope”.

It’s that incessant feeling that you’re getting it all wrong.

It’s the constant battle to keep things on an even keel.

It’s being snarky to those nearest and dearest to you.

It’s the not believing the reassurances of others, that they are here for you and they do care, and they do know you’re telling the truth.

It’s worrying everyone will see through the facade and realise you’re just winging it, and realise you’re a complete fraud.

It’s overthinking about literally everything and more often than not setting your focus on how things could go wrong.

It’s overanalysing and re-evaluating something you’ve said in passing or written in a post/text message, but now you’re worried it could be misconstrued.

It’s procrastinating over posts like this – wondering if people think you’re attention seeking. Worrying you’ve missed something out or maybe gone on for too long.

It can manifest as physical symptoms too – gurgling stomach and feeling sick.

It’s realising you need to see the doctor, but complete fear of being judged, or that your anxiety isn’t angsty enough and when will you find the time and what could it result in?

It’s the fear of failing and letting everyone down.

It’s wanting to rant, but not looking to be fixed – wanting to someone to just listen not try and solve you like a puzzle.

Even though I have now got amazing coping mechanisms in fitness and eating well, it can still go a bit wrong now and then. A trigger recently was being poorly over Christmas, which then provoked my IBS – which then affects my working out, which I am sure you can see then results in a vicious cycle!

For me, it most certainly follows my menstrual cycle, I go from feeling euphoric and that I could take on the world and achieve everything I turn my mind to. Then going to the complete other extreme, feeling completely overwhelmed and unable to cope with anything and finally succumbing to the unbidden tears.

It’s exhausting, draining and constant.

It’s also the feeling of victory when you face your anxiety head on and do whatever it is you wanted to do anyway, ignoring all the little voices niggling away at you, telling you’re not good enough and you’ll fail.

It’s falling down – but getting back up again and continually trying.

It’s finding something that helps you cope – in my instance that’s been regular exercise, eating well and sharing my story with my unpaid therapist (my blog).

I will always have anxiety, it will always be part of me, but I am doing my absolute best to not let it control me.

Sharing really does help, it makes you know that you’re not alone, because a lot of the time you feel you are – and then suddenly you know you’re not the only one who feels like this, there are others like you, and though it doesn’t fix it, it is certainly a relief.

But we need to keep the conversation going, it’s time to change, and end mental health discrimination – so who’s talking? xxx

Other posts, discussing anxiety, that may interest you…

Where’s the Off Switch?

Self Love

Hit the Wall

Be Careful What You Say

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