Mental Health | 15 Thoughts of an Anxiety Sufferer

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Now please forgive me if this post doesn't make sense. It was written at approx 2.30am when my brain went into overdrive. My posts on mental health act as a sense of release for me, and when I'm having a tough time, the best thing for me is to get my emotions down on paper (so to speak.)

It deeply saddens me that lately, anxiety sufferers have been accused of 'jumping on the bandwagon' and using anxiety as an excuse to be 'fashionable'. Anxiety isn't a fashion, it's a mental illness, that so many people suffer with.

Here's what it really feels to have anxiety:

1. It's wanting to get to sleep without questioning every life decision you've ever made. Until the clock hits 3.47am and there's a glimmer of hope that you might finally switch off.

2. It's wanting to socialise, until getting out of bed is too much for you. The thought process of getting ready, travelling and speaking is overwhelming so you cancel and remain enveloped in your own thoughts.

3. It's being a confident, outspoken individual yet crumbling at any opportunity to be seen as an articulate being. 

4. It's thinking your car is going to explode, any time you hear a slight off-putting sound. But you replay the thought, over and over again until you convince yourself not to drive. 

5. It's telling yourself it's okay because you're not the only one. Yet you continue to feel like the only person in the world suffering, due to the stigma of mental health.

6. It's questioning whether you even have a mental illness or are you just imagining it., and this isn't a classified illness. Or at least that's how society makes you feel. 

7. It's being in a crowded room and somehow believing that everyone is staring and judging you. Suddenly you're panic striken and need to leave. Or you think you're going to die. You don't know how but the panic consumes and paralyses you. 

8. It's needing help readily available. So you're on a 4 week waiting list with no promise of seeing a therapist. 

9. It's wanting to strive for a better career and quality of life, but being smacked by a brick wall laughing back at you. 

10. It's that voice telling you, you can't do it. 

11. It's being told, "you're quiet, you should really cheer up" when it feels physically impossible. 

12. It's becoming the greatest actor, allowing people to believe things are swimmingly well. But deep down, you know you're drowning. 

13. It's never being the person you long to be. You're a shell of the person you were, and you just want things to be fixed. 

14. It's wanting to ask for help, but being too scared of the reaction. 

15. It's being emotionally and physically exhausted daily, like you've played 17 football matches in one day, with no clear explanation as to why. 

Anxiety is not a joke or a fashion. It is real. It is painful and it is soul destroying. Just because you don't understand the illness, does not mean it does not exist. When you tell someone to 'get over it' or 'man up' it's more embarrassing and debilitating that we can't just continue with menial tasks. Please understand that people with anxiety, don't want to feel this way.

We understand our fears are irrational and we don't need you to tell us that. It's hard to control, and we often find ourselves completing tasks such a reorganising a wardrobe, or clearing out old rubbish we don't need, as an attempt to gain control over our lives - just let it happen.

We also understand that you may not know how to react, sometimes just a gentle reminder that you're there for us is enough. 

Here's another BuzzFeed article you should totally read, as these guys just say it how it is.

Oh and this BuzzFeed article has lots of graphs that will speak to you if you have anxiety. Fo' real.

For now,

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