My Anxiety – Let’s get honest
Anxiety kicks in at the completely wrong time!! It’s taking me a lot of bravery to post this, as it is a very personal matter of mine. I find it embarrassing, and most of all, I feel like it shows I am weak, but I have had enough of feeling like this now and I need to get it out there! Maybe some of you will relate to this!
I’ve suffered with anxiety for years now, but it’s getting progressively worse. It all started off with my emetophobia (fear of vomiting). My anxiety would only flare up if I felt sick. Then when I’d not long had dinky, we moved to a house, and it got really bad, I don’t know whether it was the fact motherhood and the fact I now had a tiny precious being to look after had finally sunk in, or whether it was something else, all I know is, I dreaded being alone, especially at night.
After me and Dinky’s Dad split, I was referred by my doctor to cbt (cognitive behavioural therapy) to work past it. The therapist identified the key behaviours I was displaying when I felt anxious which were:
- Chewing gum
- Sipping ice cold water
- Excessively deep breathing
- Getting away from the situation I was in (for example, if I was out and I had an anxiety attack, I’d go home, because it felt safer)
How I’ve dealt with it before
She then suggested that every week I try and cut out each of these methods, to challenge myself, using those techniques may have temporarily got rid of my anxiety, but the next time I had an attack it felt worse. She explained to me that anxiety will only get so bad, and then you will calm down, and if you could ride out the worst of it, you will feel better in the long run, and as time goes on the length of the attack would become shorter. She also told me to ask myself every time I felt anxious “what’s the worst that could happen?”.
When I thought about it that way I couldn’t give an answer, all I could say was something bad, so I used that technique every time I felt anxious. The first week I decided to stop myself escaping the situation, which, if I’m honest I found quite easy as that was always my last resort. The next week I cut out the water and the deep breathing, which I found a challenge because that week I had one of the worst attacks I’ve ever had, I spent the whole night trying to ride it out, and my therapist was right, it did go, and in the end I was fine. So the next week I confidently stopped chewing gum altogether, and every week from there on I felt stronger and more able to deal with it. I can honestly say after the 6 sessions I felt like a new person. She also recommended I use self help sites and the best place to start is www.nhs.uk
So what’s going on now?
It never went away but I knew how to deal with it, and now, nearly 2 years on its back, and with a vengeance. It mostly occurs at night, and the slightest thing sets me off. I still use the calming techniques, but they don’t really help anymore, I can’t help but feel like something terrible is going to happen, my heart races, I feel sick (which is awful especially when dealing with emetephobia), I shake, I feel faint and I sob my heart out. Mr pie is amazing at dealing with me, he tries to take my mind off it and most of the time it subsides pretty quickly, but there’s the odd times where I feel like I need to just get out, go somewhere, anywhere. I’ve started feeling like I’m pushing the closest people to me away, because I hate being seen that vulnerable, I like to show that I’m a strong person, and I loathe the thought of people pitying me.
So on a Thursday my boy goes to his Dad’s and me and Mr Pie go to the pub in the evening and chill (everyone deserves a break right?!). Normally I’m absolutely fine and I relax easily, but tonight for some reason I’m struggling to be here, I’m trying to fight it and keep my mind off it. Weirdly writing this post has calmed me down. I’m sure you’re all thinking “why not do what you did before?” – my answer is, I don’t know, it somehow feels harder this time.
Even though I know anxiety is a common illness to suffer with, I feel like I’m the only one who ever feels this way. Am I being crazy? They say it’s a battle that can’t be won, but I’m determined to because I’m so sick of being like this.
I’m really interested to hear from anyone who suffers with anxiety like I do, I’d love to hear any tips because honestly, I feel so alone.
Much love xxx