Living with anxiety
Some of you really don't understand what anxiety is like and hey... consider yourself lucky.
If I would get $1 for every time I got told: "just chill out", "think happy thoughts", "stop over reacting", "just be happy" I would be loaded right now.
I always like to describe anxiety as a job interview for a job that you really need. Imagine how nervous you get. Now.. Imagine those nerves for 80% of the day plus probably 4 times as bad. Day in, day out.
It is a constant battle with a little voice inside my head that tells me the worst possible scenarios.
The little voice is not even the worst thing. I am now well aware of the voice speaking to me and I recognise when the anxiety is talking. The only thing I can't turn off when I am anxious is my body. It usually starts with my hands and a weird feeling in my gut. My hands start shaking and it feels like there is a rock in my stomach. My vision turns in to tunnel vision and all sound around me starts to fade. It feels like you are stuck to the ground, no where to go.
I struggled with depersonalisation and derealisation for a long time.
(Depersonalization-derealization disorder occurs when you persistently or repeatedly have the feeling that you're observing yourself from outside your body or you have a sense that things around you aren't real, or both. Feelings of depersonalization and derealization can be very disturbing and may feel like you're living in a dream.)
I can now confidently say that anxiety doesn't rule my world anymore. I've got the best support. I am in touch with my emotions and I voice it when I am feeling anxious. I tell others what to say to me or when not to say anything at all. Unfortunately I do take it out on the people I care about the most, but those people also recognise it straight away.
When I walk in to a supermarket (this can still be tricky for me sometimes) and I can feel my hands starting to shake, I don't ignore it. I look up and see if there is any reason to be anxious and I start tapping with my hands. I press two fingers together. Unsure why, but this calms me down. It is grounding for me. I focus on my breathing and calm down the racing brain.
I have struggled with anxiety for over 10 years and have been with a psychologist for about three years. Mental health is really big this year and people are more open about it than ever. If you feel embarrassed or lost, please know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Read about it, listen to podcasts and try to understand why you're feeling that way. What triggers it. It is definitely a journey, but the rewards are worth it.
I never thought I would be able to be this positive in my life, even with everything going on.
You can always send me an email (email@example.com) with any questions you have for me. I am very open about my mental health and would love to share it with others if it might help them!
XOXO (Gossip Girl is on Netflix #addicted)