This morning I got up nice and early and headed into University for a very well organised and productive day. As I got all my work done and out the way I decided to spare some time and relax at home. When I got home I popped my feet up with a nice hot cup of tea and had a break before starting my day. I am not one to watch day time TV usually but today I was flicking through the TV channels and I came across Philip & Holly on This morning’s ITV. The thing that caught my eye was the fact they were discussing a topic very close to my heart. They had a trained psychologist live on TV with an open helpline for people to call up and discuss what anxiety issues either themselves, family or friends were suffering with. This extremely opened up my eye to the realisation that I am not alone. Since watching this I have felt so inspired to write about my experiences and see if I can help anyone out there feeling the same way I do.
What does it mean to be Anxious? The dictionary states ‘feeling or showing worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome’ but in my eyes it is so much more. Imagine feeling like this all the time in everything that you do in your daily life? After a while its not fun and it does nothing but mentally and physically drain you. I know this because I have been there and am still there struggling from day to day. Anxiety often links in with depression however this is not always the case for everyone, you can be the happiest person in the world but have anxiety over the most simplest of things. Whether thats something as simple as eating your lunch in a room full of people or something more in depth such as never wanting to leave your home and haven’t left your house in years. There are so many different reasons as to why anxiety and depression can occur but today I would only like to mention a few that are close to home.
Some of you, whom have previously read my mental health related posts will know but for the people who are new here welcome to my story. I would like to take five minutes of your time to share my experiences in the mental health sector with you as I think it’s extremely important to open up and share. Since the age of 13/14 when I reached puberty, I suffered drastically with my hormones causing me to become very anxious and suffer with major depression. Back then at the age of 14 I had no idea what I was feeling and what was happening to my body. Only now at the age of 21 do I fully understand my issues and even still on a daily basis I struggle. For me the whole reason behind my Anxiety comes from the pressure of needing to be perfect. But the truth is, “perfect” doesn’t exist, and although we’ve been taught “nobody’s perfect”, we still tend to obsess over this powerful word and find ourselves striving for that unreachable goal. Who get’s to decide what perfect is? No one has the power to do so and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Not only now at the age of 21 am I starting to understand this and this is why I am feeling happier within myself.
Over the past 7 years my anxiety has had its ups and downs however I have worked so hard to keep them as high up as I can. I am very proud of how far i’ve come and this is why i’m sharing my experiences with you today. I would be lying if I told you it was an easy journey because it wasn’t. As well as this you can see it’s not an easy process and it definitely did not happen over night. The hardest part for me is the lack of confidence that I have and I feel like this a big problem for a lot of people. I extremely struggle with my confidence which causes me to miss out on opportunities I know deep down I would love to be involved in, unfortunately due to my anxiety and depression I have missed out on far to much for me to even recall. Not only has this affected my social life but has played a huge part in my past relationship as well. There would be times me and my ex partner would get invited to parties and social events in which I would be absolutely buzzing with excitement for until the time came for the event to take place. I would get so nervous and scared at the fact I had to socialise with people I would have panic attacks and spend all evening crying in my bed, this took a huge toll on my relationship because in his eyes he didn’t understand and it held him back from the party lifestyle he craved. There is nothing worse than feeling so low and vulnerable like this especially when you know deep down you don’t want to be this way.
For me my anxiety issues and depression have always stemmed from the way I look. I have never been happy with myself and have always wanted to be everyone else other than me. There would be nights I would cry myself to sleep hoping and praying I wouldn’t wake up in the morning and I think that’s an extremely heartbreaking way to be. Not only now do I know life doesn’t have to be this way but I have also learnt it won’t change unless you work at it. It’s a long journey and a huge process that only you can take yourself on. Every single day off my life I am faced with scenarios that trigger my anxiety but with the coping mechanism i’ve learnt over the years, I help myself get through them.
Everyone has or will struggle with anxiety at some point in their life, and everyone has their own coping mechanisms. You’re not alone even if you feel like you are. Just know that in many places around the world there is someone feeling just like you. Whether you are that 13 year old girl or boy or you are a fully grown adult, you are important and you shouldn’t have to feel the way you do. If I could leave you with one piece of advice today, It would be to try and not assume the worst of every situation, remember your personal needs, and find tricks that can help you in the moment. It will be a long process but if you want something bad enough you can reach that goal. Hopefully with my help today you can reduce your anxiety and maybe even get rid of it. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about the way you feel you can’t help what goes on in your mind, our brains are very intelligent muscles we just have to try and fight against our thoughts and put it back on the right path, the path for happiness.