Anxiety is such a common mental health issue, and people get anxious for a lot of different reasons. It can be that worried feeling on a Sunday evening before School or work on Monday, or that panic you get just before a job interview.
We all get anxious and yet no one really talks about it. I’ve never told someone when I’m having an anxious episode, I’ve always just got on with it the best I can. But isn’t that the problem?
Anxiety is already a silent, invisible and at times lonely mental issue. Without discussing it openly then it will continue to stay that way, it continues to be invisible and private, so people continue to suffer in silence.
I’ve often heard that ‘seeing is believing’, which is why I feel it’s important to write about this issue and to show that’s not always the case.
My worst moments of anxiety was when I was 19. I was working at Marks and Spencers and had to get a train to Bromley from my local station. My Mum offered to give me a lift and by the time we’d pulled up at the station I had gone into a full on meltdown, anxiety attack.
On this occasion I couldn’t even catch my breath. There was no air anywhere! I just gasped for breath and cried.
It had never happened to me before and took a good 20 minutes of deep breathing to begin to calm down. Thankfully it has never got to that level since, but anxiety still effects my life.
One of my biggest anxiety triggers is travel (trains, driving etc.). It sounds silly just saying it. If I’m going somewhere new I often find myself thinking about every aspect of a journey over and over again, never quite feeling content with it. Sometimes I will try to avoid the whole thing and on rare occasions I will change or cancel plans because I simply can’t deal with it.
If I’m driving to a new place I have been known to check out the place on Google maps (street view) first so I know what I’m looking for and where I’m going to park. Yes, I plan that!
I’ve even followed the entire route on Google maps before, if it’s somewhere near by. I did this for my new doctors surgery when I’d moved about a year or 2 ago, now I know it and don’t need to worry about it.
I’ve found better ways to deal with it, usually if I don’t give myself the time to think about things and just go and do it then I can sometimes get away with it.
The silly thing is I know it’s all in my mind, but that’s an incredibly difficult thing to overcome when you’re not sure what starts it and how to confront those anxieties in a positive and effective way.
The best thing for me is to go and take 5 minutes on my own and just focus on breathing.
Deep, slow breaths.
I know, sounds so simple!
I have read quite a bit about anxiety and panic attacks, including other bloggers experiences. In a way I’m lucky because although anxiety features in my life, I wouldn’t say it controls it, unlike so many people who have reached the point of needing medication and have to ‘fight’ everyday with it.
Most importantly I want you to know you’re not alone – I take comfort in knowing there are others going through the same thing as me, and people to talk to that know how hard it can be.
I hope this gives you some comfort. Keep going, you’re doing great!