I suffer from severe anxiety… There I said it! Wasn’t hard was it? Yet why do I feel so ashamed? I’ve suffered with anxiety over the last couple of years, triggered in part by work but as I learn to ‘manage’ it I wonder whether it was always there, lurking, ready to pounce! I call it IT, because to me it is a real thing, its not always there but the thought of what happens to me when it appears out the blue to surprise me can fill me with terror. I’m ashamed to say that before IT came in my life I was full of prejudice against this sort of illness…Why can’t they just pull themselves together, they always look OK to me so they must be putting it on for an ‘easy life’. Well its not an easy life… Its the worst illness I have ever had. During bad attacks I can hardly breathe, I mean how can you not breathe!? Buts that’s how it feels and every breath feels so cold. In my head I always imagine I look like the people in the movies sucking on a brown paper bag…in reality I know I look a mess with my head in my hands, trying to control my breathing while shaking uncontrollably.
This illness isnt just about feeling sad, in fact the physical symptoms are by far the hardest and most difficult thing to acknowledge.
Having many a time been curled up on my bathroom floor, unable to move for fear of being sick (or other horrible actions!), I hate how pathetic ive become.
Frozen in fear at my local shopping centre, unable to get my thoughts together.
If you imagine that nervous feeling you get before a job interview, date etc thats how i feel 24/7, on edge, jittery, scared.
Ive learnt that this is called the fight or flight mode and that my body is in the state constantly.
It stalks me quietly, waiting for me to let my guard down and bang it appears.
I have such a loving and understanding family that have helped me through this but I get so ashamed at how I must seem to them.
Im learning to manage IT with CBT,accept it even and face it full on, cause thats what you do with all bullys…isnt it?
So this is my first punch at IT, admitting its there, but letting you know you wont beat me.