I suffer with anxiety.
The word “anxiety’, I feel, has become a flippant statement in the same way being “depressed” has. People using the word anxious to describe something they’re nervous or apprehensive about has watered down the strong, uncontrollable feelings that can debilitate some anxiety sufferers. This in my opinion has made it difficult for the majority of people to understand how crippling anxiety can truly be.
Luckily for me, my anxiety isn’t frequent – don’t get me wrong, it can creep up on me multiple times in a week but I can have long periods where it doesn’t affect me. This has probably made it harder for people close to me to understand. Whenever I have a panic attack I’m told – “something must trigger it, what’s happened?”. That’s the frustrating part of it – for me it can happen anytime, anywhere. Things that I have done many times can cause a panic attack – making them harder to predict and explain.
I’ve tried prescription drugs but had a bad reaction to them, so I am trying to find ways to cope without any medication. I am constantly pushing myself to do things out of my comfort zone, or what would generally cause my anxiety; I recently forced myself to travel in London (including on tubes) alone. Was I anxious? Hell yes – to the point I thought I was going to pass out from not being able to breathe, but I did it! I’m still here to tell the tale and nothing bad happened to me (just a few strange stares from commuters).
I’m aware that this will be an ongoing battle (cliche, I know) but I’m determined to not let anxiety rule my life as it has previously – I have too much planned this year to let it!