Sunday, 8 January 2017

MY TRUTH

Formerly titled 'The Truth', this blog post, like every other one I have written and will go on to write, is born from my own personal experience.

From a young age I have lived with a particular health issue and didn’t realise, nor did I understand it until I reached my adulthood. Suddenly the things I had accepted about myself and the situations I’d find myself in, despite knowing they were not necessarily my truth, began to make sense. 


This is definitely the most challenging post I have ever written/shared. Now is the time though; I need to be honest about this problem because, I now get it, am able to work with it [to some degree] and it's possible that there are many others who live with the condition with no idea how to manage it. God willing this post can help those without it to understand how it manifests itself and to be patient with those who have it, while also offering suggestions of how to cope for anyone who finds it difficult to live with.

For years now I have battled anxiety.

I can be anywhere, at any time, and like the flick of a switch I start to feel incredibly anxious. My chest tightens, my mouth becomes very dry, I struggle to breathe, my head spins, my body might even ache in places and just like that I’m having extreme anxiety and it can become a full on panic attack. Writing this particular post had me very anxious and I almost didn’t share it…

I’ve no idea what first caused me to have anxiety. I have never known however, it can affect my entire life in ways I have never before spoken about mostly because, I didn’t know what was wrong [with me]. Although I know it’s lying to me, anxiety will have me believe/feel in a split second that everything I know to be safe and okay for me to do, or be around, is no longer the case. Sometimes it stops me from leaving my home, it prevents me from being around family, or friends, it can get in the way of me going on a date I’d already agreed to, or getting on a bus, or train, travelling somewhere abroad, or even turning on the television. Anxiety will randomly make the decision to cripple my mind and hold my body ransom to those ill thoughts without my permission and without any warning. The difficulty is not being able to make it stop [straight away]. 

It doesn’t help that I also live with OCD [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder] and claustrophobia [again, both since I was quite young]. I am constantly having to tell myself to focus on aspects of my life that are positive, calming and happy which is a task that can quickly exhaust my mind and body. Hence why my weekly home spa experience is so damn necessary and important, as is meditation, exercise, music and being around folks with good energy. Wanting to overcome, or conquer these conditions, is the reason why I push myself far beyond my comfort zone.

Over the years, I’ve found living a healthier lifestyle has really helped with these conditions especially my anxiety. Panic attacks are less frequent and I’m able to do regular things more often without becoming anxious each time such as dining out with family, or friends, using public transport, being in [semi] crowded places, staying in the company of new people and hosting my own radio show. That said, the struggle is too real every single time! I rarely speak openly about anything that I struggle with because, I just don't like to feel as though I am a burden, or that nobody will be interested enough to care let alone [try to] help! However, I’ve realised that some people do give a lolly and do very much want to support me however they can and so, I felt that the time is right to share my truth; my reality. I'm also hoping the sharing of my story will be of some comfort and support to others who also have these conditions, or similar.

Anxiety [and the rest] is horrid! The worst part is not knowing why it chose me, when it will decide to pounce and why it won’t leave. While nobody should have to, it is possible to live a fairly ‘normal’ life with anxiety if you are being supported and are actively doing positively uplifting things on a daily basis. I’m so damn grateful to my mother who is the person I call straight away when I start to feel anxious – she is able to calm me down by talking me through breathing exercises and having me realign my focus to see that everything is okay. It’s really hard for me [it gets better not necessarily easier] and it must also be difficult for my loved ones. I’d not wish it on anyone!!

Next time someone around you appears to [suddenly] push you away, or it seems they do not want to meet up anymore, or they won’t answer your calls, return your messages, or they’re really quiet, or look to be agitated, or just cannot be still for too long etc, consider the possibility that they may be dealing with anxiety, or another condition they’re unable to control. Perhaps they realise, maybe they don’t but, you’ll be a massive help to them by doing your research to better understand the [sometimes] brutal beast that is anxiety.

Check out ANXIETY UK and MIND for more information on anxiety and panic attacks. 



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3 comments:

  1. What a great blog and big respect for sharing your experiences. I know someone who also experiences anxiety who may benefit from reading this so will share it with them. Thank you xx

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  2. It is great to see you share such a personal post. You are going to help many people with this one.

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