Today I thought I would touch on a very delicate subject, but one that affects a lot of people, a lot more than we tend to think sadly. Now I know that this is a very personal subject, maybe too personal for this blog, however I really do feel that it is important to talk about anxiety, as maybe it might help just one person out there – which is good enough for me…
I have always been a bit anxious, especially with small things like ordering my own food, walking into a place I don’t know, or meeting new people. Those things I guess are what a lot of people may struggle with, but don’t over think it.
However to me, those things slowly caused problems. I was very, very shy and found it extremely hard to speak to people who I didn’t know very well, which I’m sure made me look very ignorant, which then led to me becoming more anxious as a result. It was pretty much like a circle and I couldn’t really find my way off it and head in a straight line of clarity.
The worst point of dealing with anxiety was when I was laid off from a job with no warning, 2 years ago. This then meant that I had a lot of time to think..and thinking became my worst enemy.
If I’m honest, I don’t like talking about how I felt at that point and I’m not going to go into detail because that is too personal. However, the main culprits were over thinking and the fact I had put on weight from the contraceptive injection (I will do a separate post on this if people are interested about my experiences with it?). I began to slowly but surely get myself into a rut and suffered with a serious case of self loathing.
My daily routine basically consisted of negative and quite frankly depressing thoughts running around my head…round and round and never-ending. I basically, felt that I was such an unlike-able person that even my friends didn’t like me and that is a horrible and very lonely place to be.
It got to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore and even though it took a lot of courage, I finally went to a doctor about it. My mum and my Dad had both previously suffered with depression, so I started to think that is what I had. I knew though, that whatever happened, I wasn’t going to take any medication, as to me that was a dangerous route to go on that I might never have got off.
I chose counselling and it helped me dramatically and made me see things from a different point of view. It made me realise that it wasn’t my fault for feeling that way at all and it was if anything, normal for it to happen, given the circumstances.
I cannot stress enough to you how important it is to talk about how you are feeling. Don’t be afraid to go to a counselor and talk about it all. Don’t be afraid to tell your family or friends, because they are there to help you and please realise that you are not alone. I know that I felt like a freak sometimes for feeling the way I did and that I wasn’t normal, but the sad thing is that lately it is becoming more and more normal to suffer with anxiety or depression.
I was told that I was a “jumping to conclusions” thinker – which basically meant that I would think “she hates me” if she didn’t reply to a text, or “why hasn’t he called, he doesn’t love me anymore”. If you find that you think like this…please realise that it is YOU making that up in your head and it ISN’T real no matter how much you think it.
In fact, when you feel like that, write it down and then write down a rational explanation for why they haven’t replied or whatever the situation is. You will soon start to realise that you are “jumping to conclusions” and it will help you to see things more clearly. Just remember, that when you do start to worry or feel anxious, tell yourself you are jumping to conclusions and if there is no solid proof of what you worry about, then it probably isn’t true at all!
Something else that helped me, so much so that I don’t struggle with it half as much anymore, was to stop ignoring it and trying to fight it away. If you fight your worried thoughts and anxieties, you end up storing them away in your brain and this then means they can come back out to play havoc! If you give yourself time to observe what is worrying you, you can then think about it from an outside perspective. Try and think how you would help someone who was dealing with it and what would you say? This usually helped to calm my worries and make me feel more at ease.
Make sure that you make it a priority to get enough sleep, because feeling tired just increases the anxiety you feel. When I sorted my sleeping pattern out, I felt a million times better.
Always make sure to think positive too and this is one of the most important points I have to make, just tell yourself positive things and think about things with a more positive outlook and your brain will slowly start to learn to think that way naturally and banish those persistent and horrible worries for good!
I feel a lot more happier now and that is due to me taking control and doing something about it. Being more active and social helps a lot, so don’t lock yourself away even though that’s all you want to do, please go out and enjoy yourself, think happy and realise that you are not alone in your thoughts! Even just going out for a walk, or to an exercise class can help dramatically. Just be happy..even though it seems like a million miles away, you will get there, as long as you grab it by the horns and kick its butt!
I hope this helps you and I’m so sorry for such a long post. I didn’t want it to be too personal to me, I just want to bring anxiety to peoples attention and hopefully help.