It’s difficult to know what to write on things like this, how much to open up and share and whether to be completely vulnerable or not. But here goes, I’ll try to be as honest as possible.
Imagine being trapped. Well not trapped, but completely lost. That’s what it’s like, for me anyway. Anxiety is a silent ruler of my life. It has a constant role to play in everything I do. It doesn’t always attack though, it doesn’t bring me to my knees everyday but it does cripple me. It’s a secret illness that nobody really knows about. I look pretty with it on the outside & I am - I’d never make out that I was seriously ill because I can cope with life, but anxiety is actually on of the most horrendous thing that can happen to a person. Living in constant fear of anything. Finding a lump, hearing someone saying something about you, making a fool of yourself…the list is endless and it’s real. The constant feeling of dread or obsessing over things becomes a chore, you can’t get rid of it. People tell you to breathe or have a cup of tea (the latter of these is a real winner - but this does not cure anxiety!), but that doesn’t work. It may work once, when the anxiety really attacks but not when you’re living with anxiety. Anxiety is something which is prominent in life - it becomes part of your daily routine. But we don’t want to be labelled with a mental disorder - it brings back images of mental hospitals and white jackets. We shouldn’t have this stigma, we shouldn’t have to be ashamed. More people than you think suffer from it. You are not alone.
When you have an attack it feels as if you’re in a film, do you know when some revelation or something happens to someone in a club and the music goes dull and the camera focuses on the person … the world is still going on but it has stopped for them. You can’t breathe and you go deaf for a while. Your mind is in overdrive and you feel yourself falling deeper and deeper into an attack. The attack cripples you and for a few minutes (maybe even hours) you find yourself internally screaming trying to get out of it. This is the worst. This literally cripples you.
You need to talk to someone, anyone. Talking helps, do not keep it bottled up. No matter how many times people say it. Just talking does deal with it. Find someone who genuinely loves you or cares (there are people out there, be it over the phone) and talk, let them listen, let them help.
Anxiety shouldn’t be a life sentence