Have you found yourself worrying about the tiniest things, overthinking situations, beating yourself up about nothing and saying sorry for no apparent reason? Then you like me might suffer from anxiety.
Anxiety is something I have never actually ever been officially diagnosed with but is an issue that I am aware that I have been suffering from my whole life. Ever since I was a little girl, I was known to my parents as ‘miss panic stations‘ and ‘shaky leaf‘ because I used to panic about absolutely everything, and when I say everything I mean everything! It was as bad as if my parents ever went out for dinner I honestly believed they would never come back. Anxiety has always been a part of me and something I have found very hard to control.
When you suffer from anxiety, you do not feel you are properly understood by many people. At least I don’t! This piece of writing is a very personal one for me. But I want to share my struggles and tell anyone out there who may feel they are in the same boat, you are not alone! There is no point of hiding and being ashamed of this disorder. It is a common thing to suffer from, especially in today’s society that piles constant amounts of stress onto us! It is no wonder that anxiety disorders are so ordinary.
When I was younger I was always negative and fearful. I grew up in the happiest most loving family whom I adored with all my heart. It was the perfect little unit, the ones you read about in books, but my anxiety leads me to be constantly terrified of losing what I had. I always believed things would go wrong, and sadly for me, my worst fears did actually become a reality. My parents divorced when I was eleven which broke my heart, and what made it worse was that my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer around the same time. The ultimate bombshell for me was in 2015 when she passed away from terminal cancer because I lost my best friend. A part of me will always believe that the rollercoaster of hardships that I have faced in my life have lead to my ever existing anxiety.
So what do I get anxious about? The list is endless, but it all starts off with this critical voice inside my head that always tells me ‘you don’t look as pretty or skinny as other girls‘ or ‘you will mess this up.‘ This voice takes control of my thoughts far more than I would actually like to admit and frequently makes me feel not good enough and worried. When discussing my anxiety with a friend of mine, he decided that I should call this voice Brenda, and explained that I had to try to ignore her, because Brenda was wrong and always would be wrong. She should not be controlling my life, and I need to stop letting her!
Easier said than done right? Anyone who suffers from anxiety will know just how hard it is to switch off that voice!!! I absolutely hate struggling with this condition, it is so frustrating. It makes me feel so pathetic because at times I cannot understand why I feel as anxious as I do! I can go from worrying about upsetting someone when there is no reason to worry, to crying into my pillow feeling alone with all of my emotions circulating inside my head, and not understanding why I feel this way. I have been told by many people that I care far too much! Every day I try so hard to feel better and calm myself down, and hope that the day will come where I no longer feel like this. I would love to be a girl who does not over worry and who is not so negative and critical about herself. Life would certainly be a lot easier!!!
Ultimately I do not know the cure. I have been to see counsellors and psychologists, and have read countless self-help books, and also always try and push myself to face my fears and not be scared, but what I have found actually helps me the most are my family and friends. Without them, I really do not believe I would be even a quarter as strong as I am. I know that they cannot cure me, but their love and understanding is, in reality, all that I can ask for. I may suffer from anxiety for my whole life, and I will actively try and find ways of alleviating my worries, but deep down knowing I have such a strong support network from such amazing people makes things that bit better!
No one but you knows exactly what you’re struggling with but If you’re trying your hardest to get through what’s holding you back and if you refuse to give up on your goals, that’s what’s important! Just remember, no one can get inside of your head or cure you. Those of us who are anxious are like this for various reasons, and I certainly have my own, aside from the fact that I have always been a little worrier!!! My mum always told me I was her little star and that one day I would shine brighter than ever before. Believing that as someone with anxiety is difficult, but I certainly hope that I can prove her right. A worry free, happy life is what I am after, and I am determined to get there!