‘Sorry, I can’t meet up then, I’m busy’, I reply as I delve deeper into the depths of the internet to find a cure.
I’m the type of person who regards friends as family – so why am I afraid of them?
Don’t expect to learn the cure to anxiety within this post, but hopefully if you are someone who experiences this, you will feel less alone, and if you are someone who just wants to understand the epidemic that seemingly ‘everyone has nowadays’ and has not experienced it yourself, congratulations – I really am happy for you, that you got to live to this point in your life and not just have to survive, to not have to try and make it one more day without feeling like your going to breakdown and for whats left of you to fall apart.
Almost every human on the planet has experienced being nervous at some stage, you might fancy someone that makes you get that ‘butterfly feeling’ in the pit of your stomach, or you might be getting your first tattoo – your excited of course but also nervous. Or you might have a presentation in college that your a little nervous about.This is normal. This is not anxiety.
Now I’m not saying your average person never experiences some form of anxiety, however what I’m talking about is the kind that debilitates you. That leaves you irritated, useless, hopeless, unable to perform tasks that should be easy to you.
To be honest I’m actually finding it kind of hard to even explain.
It just feels like your being consumed with this big dark buzzing fog that makes you feel constantly on edge, like your mind has a million thoughts running at once, like your heart is literally ready to jump out of your chest, like your legs are just about to go from under you,at least for me its like this.
I get dizzy and clammy and my face tightens up which is one of the worst symptoms for me. It literally stops me from being able to control my own face.
I know this all sounds very dramatic and over done but I promise you, the way I’m depicting this is only a small percentage of the tip of the ice berg when it comes to anxiety.
For me, secondary school was the worst years of life when it came to what was going on in my head. I missed countless days of school, being kept awake until all hours by the thoughts that I would have to face people the following day, that I would have to talk to them. And god forbid I was asked to read aloud in class or walk in to class late ( even though this was an often enough occurrence).
The thing is I didn’t even know what this was called, I just thought I was some sort of freak and I couldn’t tell anyone about it because if I did I would most definitely be put in a straight jacket for the rest of my life. It wasn’t until I was in maybe 3rd year that I found out about a thing called SAD or Social Anxiety Disorder, and I almost fell off my chair with how well it described how I was feeling. Now of course I know its not always a good thing to google symptoms or self-diagnose, but I just knew immediately that’s exactly what was happening to me. And to be honest it was one of the best things I did, it meant that other people had gone through this too – way more people than I could even imagine, and there were things I could do to help it. And there began my journey of learning how to deal with anxiety.
Now were around 6 years later from when I first discovered what anxiety was, and I still deal with it on a daily basis – but I can manage it. I do what I can to be able to function like a normal human being but sometimes it still overcomes me.
Some of you who read this might be wondering why I mentioned above that I’m ‘afraid’ of my friends, well I’m not – Áine is not, I love all of my friends, I love when we get to go out and get into random conversations that keep us up chatting until all hours, but a hell of a lot of the time, the actual me, who loves meeting new people and could talk to the wall, is trying to fight this other part of me, that is riddled with fear and anxiety, that makes me say no to new experiences. It makes me come up with excuses not to meet people, especially if its one to one. And I fucking despise it.
Which brings me to my next point, how do I deal with it?
There are so many things you can do to help with anxiety, but to be honest the most helpful thing I do, to put it bluntly – is do things that scare the absolute shit out of me. To put myself in a position where I feel extremely anxious and to force myself to function. Sometimes this method does fail me, but a vast majority of the time, I’m leaving that situation thinking ‘fuck yeah I did that! I survived!’, as silly as that sounds.
Along with doing that I do take medication to help with my anxiety. This isn’t for everyone,however if you feel like your in a place where you or your doctor thinks that it would benefit you to try medication for a while then its nothing to be ashamed about. If someone has a physical illness they would have no problem taking a pill prescribed by the doctor nor would society shun it, so why should someone with mental health issues not take medication to help them.
I would also recommend researching cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation and how food and exercise can affect your mood & behavior. Something I am a huge believer in is how important it is to surround yourself with positive people and things in your life. If your constantly feeling down after you meet up with a specific person then maybe it would be better to lessen your contact with them. You would be surprised at how much someone else can affect you.
I am one of the lucky ones that doesn’t get anxiety attacks a whole lot nowadays, and for every person who does experience them on a regular basis I just want to say that you are fucking amazing – you are still here, living and fighting to overcome one of the worst feelings imaginable. And if you can do that – I honestly believe that you can do anything.
And for those who still don’t quite get it, I want you to imagine you worst fear, whether it be spiders, clowns, being in a haunted house in the middle of no where waiting for something to appear – well multiply that fear, and imagine feeling like that 24/7. Welcome to anxiety. Its shit.
The most ironic thing for me is that anxiety riddles me with overthinking and over analyzing everything but then depression comes along and I couldn’t give a flying fuck about anything, being totally honest. Its most certainly not the most favorable mix.
I know that this a very random post for me to write, its weird for me to even share this much of me with everyone and anyone because for so many years it was like my dirty little secret. But now, I don’t care what anyone has to say about it – this is my experience, I lived it and I’m surviving. No one is in the position to judge anyone else or dismiss their experience because they did not live it.
Anyway, thank you to the small few who actually read my blog haha, Also, I know its a long shot but if anyone has any topics they find interesting to read about then do let me know, I’m definitely up for writing about all sorts so fire away!
I also just want to throw it out there that if your feeling like you need help immediately I have some helplines linked below and please don’t hesitate to contact a professional or a friend etc.
Here is a link to another article on how to describe anxiety to a person who does not experience it.
1800 247 247