I have been a long-term sufferer of anxiety, it all started around 10 years ago out of the blue when I went on a girls weekend away, I started feeling like I needed to get out of any bars that we went too or at least be near a door so I could leave quickly if I needed too…. how ridiculous is that! Then I thought it would be a great idea to have 2 hours sleep and then have 2 black coffees in the morning, even though me and caffeine go as well together as chalk and cheese. I was the designated driver and then we set off home… whilst driving on the motor way my heart started racing so fast and I had to come off at the next junction, we then got stuck for 4 hours whilst I tried to find a map (smart phones were not around then) to find a way of getting home on the A roads… to no avail I finally managed to get us home.
Since that day I have been on a rollercoaster of managing these anxious feelings every single day. I went through a phase of not being able to go into shopping centres because I felt like I couldn’t get out quickly enough, and then busy places as I would start feeling dizzy. I haven’t driven on a motorway for around 8 years now (I am fine as a passenger). It makes me feel weak as a woman to be so restricted with so many aspects of my life.
Going to the gym, shopping, restaurants, churches, going places on my own…. they all make me worry that I am going to panic. I get heavy legs, racing heart, sweaty palms, and generally feel like I am going to collapse or even pee my pants in public!
I have invested in the Linden Method, read books, read online articles and anything else available, all but taking tablets. I fully understand that anxiety is all in your mind, that it is an irrational fear and that it’s a learned behaviour…. but it sucks BIG time!
Every where I go I plan out the journey or event, make sure I always have a cereal bar or a banana with me, obviously in case my blood sugar levels drop and I collapse in a big scene in front of everyone, and that I have water, as I once read an article that a boy was playing football and he was dehydrated and swallowed his tongue… even more ridiculous hey!
I have good days and bad….. if I am hormonal that can trigger anxious feelings, if I haven’t eaten enough or have times of normal day-to-day stress that can make me not want to do things as sometimes its just easier to stay in and not have to battle.
It’s no way of life and I will never give up trying to deal with it, if there was a magic wand that I could wave it would be to eliminate this from ever coming into my life again. I always try to challenge myself however big or small, I even went on a skiing holiday this year.
It puts huge strain on my relationships because sometimes for no reason at all, I just have to leave wherever we are. It’s not nice for anyone to have to deal with someone who needs you to make them feel like they are safe. I am so lucky to have someone who understands anxiety and he knows how to calm me and make me see sense. But it doesn’t make it easy that sometimes he just wants to do something fun with no problems, and not every time, but sometimes that does not happen.
If anyone has a solution to this I beg of you to tell me, I am so open to learning new techniques to rid of this horrible trap I find myself in.
I am a confident outgoing person who has always loved socialising and going to new places and having fun. I try not to lose myself in this and see it as something that I can manage. Sometimes its just harder than others.
Do you suffer with anxiety? How do you deal with it?
Lots of love