Anxiety is a tough one to explain. It’s also something people aren’t very comfortable talking about. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been dealing with anxiety for a long time just like many other people. To a lot of people that don’t suffer with it, it’s very hard to understand, even as someone dealing with it I still don’t get it either.
My anxiety can affect me in numerous ways, and believe me it really isn’t an enjoyable experience. Like I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, last year wasn’t a great year, and from then on my anxiety just got progressively worse. Even the little things turned into such huge problems. My anxiety made everything seem worse than it really was. It made me overthink things constantly.
My anxiety can affect my relationships with people in my day to day life, I break a little when I think that someone doesn’t like me, and I know that’s not a healthy mind-set to have, I shouldn’t go out of my way to try and impress everyone because that’s not possible. I’ve changed who I am many times to try and fit in with everyone, because the thought of not being liked scares me to death. Before everything happened last year I really didn’t give a crap what anyone thought about me, or what I was posting on Facebook or Instagram or how many likes a profile picture got, I wasn’t bothered when someone didn’t text or ring back. I was so calm and not fazed by anything. Fast forward a year and a half and I’m the complete opposite. To a lot of people I know it sounds pretty stupid and I can totally see why but to me it seems like the biggest thing in the world. If I text someone and they don’t reply I automatically think ‘what have I done wrong?’ ‘Do they not like me anymore?’ I will start getting myself into a state where all I can think about is this text. Hours can pass and I’ll still be focused on why this person hasn’t responded, I’ll go over previous conversations to try and get any explanation from it, everything soon starts to revolve around this one message. I never used to be like that, and it’s awful to think that my mind has turned into something like this but unfortunately I have to deal with it, some days its a lot easier to handle and other days its harder, but anxiety isn’t something that can disappear when you click your fingers, it’s a day to day struggle.
One of the main struggles that today I still face, and is one of the hardest things, is the fear of being left alone. I know that probably sounds quite silly and even writing it seems a little stupid but my anxiety can build up to a point where I think everyone hates me.
During points in my life I’ve been left to deal with stuff alone, I’ve been left at my lowest times and it sucked. Big time. But somehow I managed to get through it, but with that came the fear of being left alone. I’ve never been the type of person to need someone else to make me whole, or need someone to be happy, I can do that perfectly by myself, but the thought of being in a situation with someone, or a friendship/relationship and being left, terrifies me. It will get to a point where I will try and do everything to make that person stay but results in me just pushing them further away. My anxiety will make me think so many things are wrong so I have to act on it, because it obviously must be true if my anxiety is telling me that it is…I have pushed so many people away because I’ve reacted to stuff that didn’t need a reaction, because my mind was telling me it did. I think I was so used to people leaving that I almost expected it when the next person came along, I thought I knew what was going to happen and I just started counting down the weeks or months until this one just got up and left. I thought this was a healthy way to handle it, because if I constantly prepared myself for them leaving, it wasn’t going to hurt that bad. I was anxious at every argument if this was going to be the one to make them leave, I was anxious at every time I would see them, would this be the last time? I still struggle with this, but I always take each day as it comes and try to be grateful for each day I spend with the people I love.
I love being around people, in big groups, gatherings, parties and the rest of it. But in this last year sometimes big crowds can make my anxiety hit the roof. I’ll have to get up and leave and try and find somewhere alone. Don’t get me wrong I love going out with friends and enjoying time with them, but at the same time I also love spending time alone, which I don’t think is a bad thing. Sometimes my anxiety will be a lot worse on some days and I won’t want to go to the party or see my friends, I cant really explain it but I just have to be alone. I don’t really want to talk or see anyone. I just want my own company really. Especially now I’m in a happier place I love being on my own. I’ll read, or write songs, or play the piano, or watch stupid videos on YouTube, or write blog posts! 😉 I think it’s healthy for people to spend time alone.
I’m also a very anxious traveller. I’ve never been that great at travelling anyway, but if I know I’m going on holiday or somewhere with a long distance travel, my anxiety goes crazy. I will start freaking myself out before we’ve even set off, and most of the time once the journeys started and settled I’m normally okay, it’s just the first thought. It’s worse when it comes to flying, I don’t trust planes, and I’ve watched enough air crash investigation to put me off for life. I think it’s the fact that I can’t get off, with a train, bus or car you can get off as there are stops or you can just pull over, with a plane you can’t really land it when you need some fresh air. The thought of being trapped in a small space with lots of people makes me sweat just thinking about it. I’ll try and do everything to calm myself down but normally my anxiety doesn’t let me. So travelling isn’t really a fun experience, but as I’ve said before I take it step by step. I’ll try and do things to distract my mind so it wont go into overload.
My anxiety is not just awful for me but for the people around me, and I don’t think I realise just how much it can effect them. Some days I just feel really anxious for no particular reason and just want to stay on my own, but to some people I think they find it hard to grasp that if nothing particular has gone wrong then why are you in a bad mood. I wish it was easy to explain, but I literally have no answer for that, some days are bad days and sometimes there isn’t a reason why. I have to try and be patient and understanding of the people around me, because it must be a nightmare trying to deal with me. But at the same time they also need to be patient and understanding because you are constantly struggling with it, you need to meet half way.
If I’m ever feeling anxious and need to leave the situation or whatever it is I’m in, I’ll normally go and read. Reading helps calm everything because I’m not focusing on me, I’m focusing on this story. It’s a great way to spend some time out. Another way to calm my anxiety is going for a run. Running is a good way to clear your head, I almost feel like when I’m running, I’m running all the anxiety out of me. I think it motivates me even more.
I struggle with anxiety every day, and I know people can be embarrassed or afraid to talk about it, which is understandable. It’s not something that is easy to talk about or easy to explain, but it’s something that is so real to so many people.
More people than we think face it, and just taking it day by day and doing things suited to you will make it easier. If you ever feel anxious don’t force yourself to do something, have some time out, because anxiety is basically…a proper bitch. Do what feels comfortable for you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! I don’t think anxiety is talked about enough, so I just wanted to give my side of things!
Anyway until next time…
Lots of love,
One thought on “Suffering and Dealing with Anxiety…”
Well, thank you for talking about it, I admire your courage. I deal with anxiety too, although it affects me in different ways, especially as I also have Attention Deficit Disorder, I can lose large chunks of days if I go into an anxiety tailspin. I totally get the running and reading thing (gardening helps for me as well) and being alone. I hope you’re patient and understanding with yourself as well. One gentle suggestion I would make is that I find it helps not to think of it as ‘my anxiety’. I believe that, while I’ve always been a bit of a worrier, this is a condition that’s passing through, it isn’t part of us, it doesn’t belong to us (although it’s up to us to deal with it while it’s around). Allow it to be there and it will pass through, as all emotions do. One day we’ll both look back and think “Woah, glad I’m not dealing with that any more” and maybe reflect on what it taught us. Just remember, the world needs people like you, with the courage to be vulnerable and God knows we all need more music!
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