A pain in the arse, thats what it is.
I recently had a panic attack in front of someone who I hadn’t long met; I then had to attempt to explain to them what anxiety is and why I had just burst into an uncontrollable panic in front of them, not the easiest of tasks at the best of times, let alone in the circumstances that I was in. But in doing this I realised that despite mental health being much more widely spoken about, it’s still not a topic that everyone knows much about. It also made me realise how bloody hard it is to explain your mental state to someone without sounding crazy.
The actual definition of an anxiety disorder is “The feeling of unease such as worry or fear, that can be mild or sever”. The NHS compare it to that feeling of unease before an exam or interview, but for people with the disorder, its a constant feeling, that often affects their daily lives. Anxiety is a long term condition and it can often make you forget the last time you felt relaxed or at ease; because as soon as one anxious thought is resolved, another crops up, its a constant cycle – like a said previous a pain in the arse.
My Dad has been my biggest help when it came to my anxiety and he has always described it to me as that little brother that you can’t get rid of. We compared it to the brother that is constantly doing something to irritate you and what do you do when that happens, well tell them to do one. Unfortunately, you can’t tell anxiety to just, do one, not in the simplest form anyway. The way I look at it, is I can either let it consume me and make my life completely miserable, which I’ve tried and tested and it was god awful. Or I can do something about it, I can tell it to do its worst, make me feel as bas as it possibly can, then prove it completely wrong. Ya know, actually live my life and not let it consume me. I admit, it isn’t always easy and some days I will literally just give up trying with it and sit about feeling sorry for myself, but let me tell you I’ll always feel better if I put up a bit of a fight and prove it wrong, I’m quite argumentative when I need to be, which comes in handy here.
Anxiety is often co-diagnosed with depression, which is how I was diagnosed, I won’t go too into detail about depression because I don’t really like looking too far into that. I’ve always been paranoid, although since being diagnosed with anxiety (which explains the paranoia) I have learnt so much about myself and my capabilities. I guess in a weird way I have it to thank for making me realise how strong I am (cliche as it sounds), also how good I am at pulling myself out of depressive and anxious states. My anxiety is something that will always be there – there will be times when I barely notice it and I’m on top of the world, but then one trigger and it will be all I can think about. It’s constant ups and downs, realising that when I’m having a really rough couple of weeks, I will come up again, I think that is what has got me through the past couple of years, knowing it wouldn’t always be shit.
Like I said at the start, I have a very black and white way of looking at my mental health, which some people will disagree with, but I either let it consume me and make my life pretty crap or I don’t. I try to always choose the latter, I’ve found some amazing ways to combat my anxiety, which I have spoken about before. I primarily fight my anxiety with running and drawing, both these things let me escape for a while. I once saw a quote that said “running keeps me sane”, I think it was a joke type thing, but I honestly have running to thank for keeping me sane.
And on that note I think I’ll call it a day. Anxiety will always be a part of me, as much to my dismay, but its something that I am learning to control and combat day by day.