living with anxiety, the gritty honest truth!
honestly, i want to start by telling you just how hard it is to explain what living with anxiety is really like. but i promised the gritty truth, so here goes.
GO OUT THEY SAID. IT WILL BE FUN THEY SAID.
It’s a Friday night, I get a snap chat off my friend. “hey! we’re going out tonight, fancy coming, meeting at mine for 7.30? x” I stare at the message, what do i do? i bailed 2 weeks ago, i can’t possibly bail again! but i really don’t feel like going out tonight, the thought of it sends me into a panic attack. I shouldn’t feel like this, their my best friends! I just don’t think i can do it. I open a new message. “hey, i’m sorry, i’m gonna give tonight a miss. I know i haven’t been out for a while, but my anxiety’s really playing up and the med’s aren’t helping much. I miss you guys, but the idea of being out while everyone’s drunk, in a room full of strangers, random guys feeling me up at the bar, shouting crude comments thinking i will like it, it’s just not really what i want to be doing tonight. just the thought of it is giving me anxiety. hope you understand, maybe next weekend?” is what i would of said if i was going to tell the truth, but of course i lied, so i typed, “hey, sorry not up to it this weekend, been up all night being sick. think i have a virus! have fun though, i should be better next week 🙂 x”. I can feel the guilt sinking in, why did i lie? they will understand, their my friends! but.. what if they think i’m crazy? no i can’t tell them, its better this way! my phone pings, the message alert, i open the snap, a simple “ok. hope you feel better soon. maybe next time.” I know they think i just don’t want to hang out anymore, but it’s not like that. It’s really not like that. later i see the pictures and videos of my friends out having fun. why can’t it be that easy for me? I cry. I tell myself, maybe i’ll go out next weekend. but of course, I know that’s a lie.
NO ONE BELIEVES YOU. EVERYTHING IS IN YOUR HEAD. OR SO THEY SAY.
It’s a Monday morning, i have a doctors appointment at 11.20. I hate going to the doctors, they don’t listen. All morning i prepare myself for what i’m going to say. How i’ll tell the doctor about my stomach problems, the weight iv’e lost, how i’m still worried about that swelling on my neck. I rehearse in my head over and over again, as I get dressed, while I walk to the doctors, while I sit in the waiting room, yes I know exactly what i’ll say, i can do this. Then my name is called. I walk to the room with as much confidence as i can muster. This time i will make them listen. A young male doctor awaits me in the room. I sit down, and then he asks me the famous words. “whats the problem today?” I start to explain about my problems. He cuts me off, he looks at the screen and calmly states there is nothing wrong with me. “I can see you have anxiety and are being treated with medication. do you know that anxiety can cause weight loss? I think you are feeling things on your body that have always been there because you have lost weight, the weight loss is the anxiety, and the stomach issues are nothing to worry about.” I stare at him blankly, this is why i hate coming to the doctors, they see i have anxiety and automatically that becomes a reason for everything medically wrong with me. ” but I haven’t been feeling well for months, iv’e been to the doctors numerous times and no one is listening, please, listen to me, I just want to feel better!” I practically beg the doctor to hear what i’m saying, but he just looks at me like i’m crazy. He stares at me, pondering, then he pulls out a sheet, what looks like a questionnaire. “I would like you to fill out this form, i think you may be depressed, i need to know how depressed you are, answer the questions scoring them from one to five please”. What?! He can’t be serious, I take the sheet and look at the questions, how did i get to this? Reluctantly i fill out the form. The doctor looks over the sheet, hmm’s and ahh’s and then finally looks at me. “I don’t think there is anything physically wrong with you, but i do think you are slightly depressed, you will benefit from us upping your anxiety medication. I also want you to see someone about your state of mind. ” I wanted to scream, to tell him this isn’t my anxiety, that they can’t keep blaming everything on that, that did he ever think maybe i’m depressed because no one will listen? But instead i was silent, i agreed to up the medication, i took the number for the shrink, and left the doctors feeling even worse then i had before i walked in the door. I felt deflated, confused, angry, upset, tired, and honestly a little insane. I walked home, and felt myself giving up.
ASK ME OUT ON A DATE, GET STOOD UP!
Wednesday night, i get a text from an old friend. “hey, fancy meeting up sometime next week? I’ll take you out for dinner, have a chat, catch up? Been way too long! xx” I read the message, iv’e known this boys since i was 16, he’s lovely, it would be nice to catch up. I open a new message, “hey stranger! yeah absolutely. been way too long! plus we keep saying we will catch up and it just never happens ha! what day you thinking? xx” we talk for a few hours, deciding that we will meet up that coming Saturday. I open the next text “how about we call this a date then? you know i like you right? 🙂 xx” I stare blankly, i thought this was just a friend thing! oh no! I don’t know what to say, I don’t want to hurt his feelings. It’s ok, i can just say yeah sounds good and then just explain on the day that its a friend date? I text back “No i didn’t know you liked me, but yeah sounds good. talk soon! 🙂 x” I don’t know why i didn’t just tell him the truth, that i absolutely don’t want to call this a date, because it’s pressure and my anxiety can’t take pressure. The Saturday morning comes around too fast, i can feel my anxiety reaching new levels. I can’t do this, i’m meeting him in an hour and i can’t even get out of bed. I look at my phone, hands shaking, i open a new message, “hey,, i’m really sorry but i’m stuck at work, i won’t be able to make it today. I tried to get out early but its jam packed here. again i’m really sorry! hopefully see you soon 😦 xx” straight away i get a message back “hey! that’s a shame, was really looking forward to today, but its ok, not your fault, i understand. don’t feel bad we can do it another time. speak soon. xx” I can feel myself welling up. I hate myself right now. Hes so lovely and i really like him, why would i do this to him?
WHEN THE PARANOIA SEEPS IN, NOTHING IS WORSE.
It’s Thursday night, mum shouts me from the kitchen to tell me we have no milk and could i go to the shop to get some. I look out the window, its pretty dark out, I look at the time, 9.30 pm. I hate going out at night, it makes me nervous. Mum hasn’t been too well, I have to go, she can’t. I agree to get the milk. The minute i step out of my house, i feel my heart start to race, my palms are sweaty, i want to run back inside but i can’t. I make my feet move, the shop is only 2 minutes away, i will be fine. I get to the corner. What was that? I look behind me, nothing there. I keep walking, quickening my pace to almost a jog. I make it to the shop, i purchase the milk and begin my journey home. There’s a man on the other side of the street, he keeps looking at me. why?? what does he want from me? I continue walking, my heart beating out of my chest. I hear a noise behind me, i look around, still nothing there. I carry on walking, almost running now, only about ten houses to go and then i’m home. I keep telling myself this over and over, and then the man slows down, he begins to cross the road. I cant breath, what is he doing? why is he crossing over? why is he still looking at me? OMG he’s slowed down, what do i do? I need help, I can’t breath, everything is blurry, my body is numb, he’s going to hurt me, I call my mum, I beg her to come get me, I’m only five houses away but i can’t move, i collapse to the floor, my fear overtaking my bodies ability to help itself. The man turns into one of the houses, he had no intention of coming near me. I sit on the floor, crying, numb, unable to breath, until my mum came and took me home.
NOTHING IS EVER EASY WHEN YOU HAVE ANXIETY. OR ANY KIND OF MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION.
One thing that i find really frustrating about peoples views on mental health is how easy they think it is for the person suffering to just switch it all off. How easy they think it is just to calm down. How they think that everything is a put on rather then your own mind turning against you. The amount of times i have had people tell me it’s all in my head. or i just need to calm down. Or to stop over exaggerating, is honestly second to none. If i had a pound for every time someone said one of those things, well i would be a very rich girl! Those stories above are just some of my experiences with anxiety, and are not even a touch on what i go through every day. But i hope by reading them, you can see how much we suffer on a daily basis, with things that may seem simple to most, are terrifying to us. There is such a stigma based around mental health, and in this day and age i struggle to understand why. Anyone reading this who suffers, i just want you to know that you are not alone, i understand, please don’t ever feel you have to suffer in silence because you don’t! To anyone reading this who doesn’t suffer but knows someone who does, i hope this post has taught you a little about what it’s like, and please take it easy on them, they don’t need to be judged anymore then they are judging themselves!
#headstogether #mentalhealthawareness #youarenotalone