Depression is hideous but the anxiety that’s left after an acute bout is something that gets worse each time and I’ve never been able to escape it.
No one really ever sees; they see this chatty person who smiles, talks and functions like everyone else. What they don’t see is the effects…. at nearly 40 I’m looking back now and realising anxiety has
Made me leave jobs, made me afraid to apply for other jobs, lost me friends as I can’t pick up that phone or go on a night out, left me exhausted as awake all night overthinking and over analysing,caused many fights with my partner, and has stopped me from chasing dreams or doing things I love. The physical shaking, knots in stomach and genuinely paralysing fear is not seen as I hide myself away from everyone when it gets that bad!
Anxiety is something I’ve learnt to believe is part of me forever: I just have to deal with it until this week. 2 things made me realise I need to start fighting back.
1. I talked myself out of doing the only hobby I have recently found and I truly love all because I had no one to turn up there with. I knew others doing it but my anxiety and confidence wouldn’t let me go there alone. I reassured myself it was because I was tired, (it would have rejuvenated me) and it was expensive (it was only £5). Anyway I wake in the morning to find pictures all over fb of this event. It looked magical, once in a lifetime setting and the memories would have lasted for a longtime. The instant regret and hating of myself started. I keep looking at the photos to remind myself I can’t let anxiety win and take away yet another thing I love. I genuinely would have loved every second of that evening.
2. My son….. he’s 8; throws himself into everything, befriends everyone, gets overexcited about everything, wants to be part of everything whether it’s sport, parties, drama, school lessons. He wants to help everyone and will standup for all those who need standing up for… This boy has not been sleeping, has become quiet and admitted he’s sad at school for first time ever. Why?? Because he doesn’t trust his feelings, he doesn’t know if people are being nice or laughing at him. One boy called him one name and it ruined his whole day. One boy made a comment he didn’t understand and rather than question it he let it ruin his day. For first time since he started school he’s asking not to do certain activities, and is starting to chose clothes that make him conform and blend in rather than be individual. He’s turning into the me.
Seeing this totally destroyed me. We want our kids to have our best traits, not copy our worst. I should have been learning from him, and his confidence; not have him pick up on my anxiety. I realise I need to change for my kids.
It’s not going to be easy, I’m shaking writing this, but this week has shown me I need to fight. Which is why I’m writing this down as a reminder. Every evening I will look at this, look at my children and look at the photos of yet another evening lost and just hope the next day I will fight my anxiety and start to win the battle.
Anxiety has stopped me writing anything like this before; my dream used to always be a writer, but a parent laughed at that idea, so I stopped.
Today for first time in over 20 years I decided to write this. Worst case scenario I’m the only one who sees it? Does that really matter? Will the world end? Ultimately it proves I’m trying and have made a start to win!
Me 1 – Anxiety 0.