An Honest Chat About My Anxiety

I've been wanting to write a blog post on anxiety for such a long time but I've been putting it off for so many silly reasons. Then I thought, "Hang on. So many people suffer with anxiety. Why on earth am I putting this post off?"

So, Im finally going to write about anxiety and my very long, painful and confusing journey with it. Im going to talk about panic attacks too and depression so if you are triggered by that or just cant deal with it right now then please dont read this post. The last thing I would want to to is to trigger someone.

On the NHS website the description of anxiety is "a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life – for example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview." So basically its completely a normal to feel anxious and everyone experiences it in their lifetime.

My anxiety history is a very, very long one. I was always a shy and anxious child and I can remember having anxiety in primary school from a young age especially when it came to public speaking. I remember this one time when I was suppose to talk in assembly in year 6 in front of the entire school and I ended up getting so ill worrying about it that I ended up not going to school that day. That's just the start of many days off school due to anxiety. Anxiety eventually won and in year 10 I had to drop out of school and I was homeschooled by my school and the county. There were other reasons like health reasons why I left school but ultimately anxiety was the main cause. 

I remember having so many sleepless nights and crying soo many times to teachers and friends in school because I had such bad anxiety and at the time I didnt understand it at all. It got so much worse once I started secondary school and those years were the worst in my life and what breaks m heart even more is that I was bullied for it. Kids would be horrible to me because I refused to do presentations and take part in assemblies but I just physically and mentally couldnt do it. Kids can be so cruel!

I though my anxiety would get better once I was homeschooled but I was so wrong. It only got worse and at one point in my life I couldnt leave the house for weeks on end because I was that anxious. Then I started to struggle with severe depression. It was a very dark time in my life and I wish I could go back in time and hug teenage me. 

Often with anxiety you can get a million and one different symptoms like an upset stomach, sweating, trembling, dry mouth and one thing that can come along with anxiety is panic attacks. Panic attacks come in so many different forms that it can be confusing and often people dont realise they are having one. I remember my first panic attack so clearly. I was around 14 and it was in the car with my mum driving home from school and I just started crying my eyes out, shaking, I felt sick and I couldnt breathe. 

After that first panic attack came many years of suffering. Some days I would have up to 3 panic attacks and I would even have them when I was at home watching telly or trying to sleep at night but it mostly happened when I went out. I even had a panic attack in the middle of my 18th birthday dinner. Thats why for a while I didn't leave the house as a teenager and I suffered with insomnia and even OCD. It was really rough. I've had a panic attack waiting in the car for my mum, I've woken up having one and I even had one at a 1D and 5SOS concert. The 5SOS concert one was the worst. I had spent months looking forward to the concert and I ended up missing a chunk of it because I was in the first aid room with my best friend. I was so embarrassed and when my mum picked us up I just burst into tears. 

When I get a panic attack I feel very sick, I get pins and needles in my face and limbs, I feel faint and I have really bad shakes and chest pain. I cant even tell you how many times Ive convinced myself when I was having a panic attack that I was dying because in that moment you do feel like you are dying. I had a lot of help with my anxiety but nothing really helped. It just eventually eased and I learnt how to cope with it myself mainly with meditation and breathing exercises but it was a very long journey.

My anxiety and panic attacks eased a lot for a while once I hit 19-21 but unfortunately the anxiety is back in full swing. While I used to have diagnosed generalised anxiety back in my teens I now have anxiety because of my health issues and Im sure most people in my position can relate. If you follow my blog then you would've seen that I have M.E and fibromyalgia and now 90% of my anxiety is because of that. I often get these strange funny turns with those illnesses that make me faint and be sick and now I always have a massive fear of that happening when Im out in public. So now after all these years having anxiety I now have to learn to deal with another type of it. Its a never ending journey and right now its definitely the worst its been in a few years.

More people than you think suffer from anxiety its just not always something people want to bring up but I can guarantee if you speak to someone about it they have either had it themselves or they know of someone else who suffers. The amount of people who understand anxiety now compared to back when I was 13 has risen so much and its not a big "taboo" anymore. People now speak openly about anxiety and its such an amazing thing. The best thing in my opinion for anyone to do is to talk to a loved one about it. Having a support system is the best thing for anxiety. Make sure you have at least one person you can go to and be completely honest and raw with about your anxiety. Just knowing that there is one person in your life that understands can take a massive weight off your shoulders and even easy your anxiety. 

If you really struggle with anxiety and its ruining your life please go to your GP and ask for help.

I hope maybe this post gave you an insight into anxiety and if you suffer yourself then I hope you feel less alone. If just one person can relate and feel less isolated and alone then I will be so happy. If you'd like to see a post on how I deal with anxiety please let me know because Im more than happy to share what works for me. 

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