I hope that by sharing my ongoing journey I will help to raise awareness, assist people to understand what it is like to live with a mental health disorder or help someone find comfort in the fact they’re not alone.
My journey starts in September 2016 when I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (I was later diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder and Post traumatic stress disorder). My Anxiety Disorders are rooted from my childhood as well as events that have happened more recently in my life – I won’t go into any detail as I’m not quite ready to share just yet. I’ve always considered myself to be a ‘anxious person’ however this was different. I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything, without feeling anxious – it was constant. I didn’t know how to cope with how I was feeling and I was relentlessly searching for ways for it to go away. After a while I gave up all hope; my medication wasn’t working and I was dismissive of anything that was potentially going to help me. I was consumed with anger, confusion and sadness as I felt that my anxiety was taking away opportunities and who I was as a person. Every aspect of my life was controlled by anxiety, there was no ‘normality’.
My relationship started to break down due to the barriers that my anxiety brought and I was always over thinking/worrying that I’d be left with no friends as I was unable to go out and create memories with them. I felt like a burden to everyone. I didn’t want to be complaining all the time, I wanted to be the fun, outgoing friend/girlfriend. To this day, I still have occasional worries but my friends, family and partner have been loving, empathetic and caring towards me throughout and it’s made a huge difference to have such great support system.
I’ve lost a lot because of my anxiety – I used to hyper focus Into everything I’d lost instead of focusing on what I could do to help my anxiety. Having anxiety disorders has made me venture into some very dark places. Even though people were there to support me i still felt so lonely. Eventually I came to realise that wishing away my anxiety simply wasn’t going to work and that I needed to change my mindset (thinking positive) in order to get my life back. So, Instead of being dismissive towards my anxiety disorders, I accepted them and I also accepted that although my route had changed direction, it had changed for the better.
I started to think positively and searched into ways to reduce my anxiety as much as possible whilst waiting for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). I’m currently still waiting for my CBT however I’m much happier now. I’ve learnt my triggers, I know that some days will be more bearable than others but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve also learnt that baby steps is the best approach (I’m not a patient person so this came with time). I’ve come so far from where I was at the beginning to where I am now, it’s taken time and hard work, but it’s so worth it. I still struggle sometimes, I still suffer with my anxiety disorders but I refuse to let it shape me.
If you’re reading this and you suffer from anxiety (no matter how big or small that anxiety may be) or any other mental health disorder, It’s important to know that although you may feel that there is no way forward and that this is you now, it isn’t. Don’t give anxiety the power to control your life, you’re so much more than your anxiety. Your anxiety is a small part of you which will always be there but it doesn’t have to be as present or debilitating. You’re not alone – there will always be something out there that will help you, but, only you can make that first step into making that change. Seek support from your: friends, family, partner but if you don’t feel like you’re ready to seek support from them yet, contact: ANXIETY UK or MIND.
Everyone is on their own individual journey and I hope you found this post helpful. I didnt realise how hard this blog was going to be to write and if i was to have gone into greater detail it would be a small novel. I’d love to hear your journey and if you’d like to share it with me please comment or contact me.
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