Since it is World Mental Health Day I would like to share my story with you. I believe we all have more or less something we struggle with and today is an important day to remember that a mental illness is not something to be ashamed of.
I have an anxiety disorder.
For every time the anxiety hits me it is like everything falls under me and I am walking on shattered glass. It is like everything around me feels much brighter, louder, and faster. Like I am driving on this endless road and my heart is beating hundred times faster. I can feel things that I never knew I was able to feel. I can hear every heartbeat, every breath and I can see everything so much clearer. I feel alive, scared, asleep and awake at the same time.
2 years ago, the anxiety started to gradually build up inside me. I believe it all started when I moved away from home. For a few months, I was alone. I didn’t know anyone and I were surrounded by strangers and places I had never been before. I became anxious and afraid of what people would think of me, because of the past with bullying. Doubts did constantly making it’s way into my thoughts. Thoughts about that I could never be something, that I would never get friends and that I was not a good person.
It wasn’t until I met my boyfriend that I understood that I had a problem. In the beginning, I found it hard to admit it to myself that I was anxious and that I wasn’t okay.
I tried to tell myself that there were nothing wrong with me when in reality I was far from okay. I tried to tell myself that I didn’t have any struggles and that I was normal. I know now that I am not alone in having anxiety and that I am still normal, even with a disorder. Anxiety is, in fact, one of the most common conditions among men and women and so many as 15 million struggles with anxiety disorder.
I am one of 14 million.
Breathe. 1,2,3 breathe, remember to breathe. Once it hits me I stop, just for a few minutes, I stop breathing. My body closes down and I end up on the floor, shaking and almost unconscious.
I have experienced 5 bad anxiety attacks that have almost made me choke. It felt like my body just stopped functioning and when I woke up I couldn’t remember anything. Thankfully there have always been people around me when I have had my worse attacks, I don’t know what would have happened if I was alone.
I now take pills to help me deal with my anxiety and it has improved massively but it does not take it away. It will always be there, but I have found ways to make it easier for me to live with the disorder. I think it is important to address these things and maybe some of you also struggle with anxiety. I believe the only way to make yourself feel better is to understand that there is nothing wrong with you. Our body deals with things differently and get affected in different ways but it doesn’t make us weak.
Don’t be ashamed of admitting to yourself and others that you have a disorder. We all have more or less something we struggle with. Never be ashamed of being human.
Once you accept your struggles, that’s when you can work on them.
The best things that help for anxiety is breathing techniques and exercise. It is important to be active and not let it win over you. Anxiety is mostly just thoughts and fears that get build up in the body. You can detox your body from anxiety and replace it with confidence instead.
First, trust yourself and tell yourself that you can do this! Second, let your body rest and always remember to listen to your body. Your body is what is going to carry you for the rest of your life, be your own best friend. Third, take control over your thoughts. Don’t let your thoughts take control over you.
Every time you have an anxiety moment, pinch yourself in the arm and write down your experience and thoughts. Ask yourself, are these thoughts realistic? Why do I feel the way I do? What do I gain from letting these thoughts making me anxious? Is there any reason to be worrying?
The most important thing is to understand that anxiety is not something that can be healed overnight and will need to be handled with options that are suitable for you.
I hope this post helped in any way and that it made you less anxious.
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