Anxiety is the true crux of my life, and I very much doubt I’ll ever be without this debilitating beast, but I sure am working on how to tame it. There are times when the world falls down around me and I feel utterly hopeless, but my focus is on learning to cope with these times and getting through them as best I can.
When the World Falls Down #Anxiety
This weekend was very exciting, I joined Warren in Sheffield to support him at a competition for his band Ravenbreed. Even before I’d left Cardiff my senses were heightened and I felt on edge. I didn’t pick up on this straight away, but as the day went on I felt tired, a little overwhelmed and on Friday I hit my final hurdle.
Apart from memories of the past bubbling up to the surface, I was a little unwell Friday morning, plus I was missing/worrying about the kids, plus we were in a new huuuuge city (compared to Cardiff) and I just began to feel completely overwhelmed.
Aside from some physical symptoms (of which I’ll discuss soon in another post!) my anxiety had begun to surface and by Friday evening I was in full on panic attack mode.
I was at Warren’s gig and suddenly the world was spinning around and all I wanted to do was run and hide. Instead I locked myself in the toilet and hyperventilated. It was horrendous and I still feel absolutely crazy because I couldn’t leave the cubicle. I text my Mom who text me back, I counted to 10 and back down to 0 and each time the door swung open and I heard the rush of loud rock music I felt my heart speed up and my breath catch in my throat.
Eventually, thanks to Nanny Kim’s message (‘Do whatever feels right’), I dried my tears and left the toilet. I stood and faced a wall, feeling the swell of panic whilst I waited for Warren to be near. As soon as I saw him I told him I had to leave.
I needed to breathe.
We went outside and my hyperventilating ebbed and flowed and eventually we headed back to the hotel.
That’s where I am as I write this. Sat on the bed watching Top of the Pops 2 and crying. I’m crying because of so many things I can’t even tell you. That’s anxiety (and depression) I guess. There’s no one reason, there’s no one way to fix it, there’s no one answer.
I can’t control it. I can’t even explain it. It’s like tiny little ripples that build causing a massive tsunami and no one can stop it. I’m crying as I write this, which is actually normal.
You see, I’m writing this for those who might not understand the shitty side of mental health and anxiety. I’m writing this for those who suffer, maybe in silence, or maybe gloriously in front of the general public (yes, that’s me… mascara stained face and all!). I’m writing it for those in need or those who want to understand…
Because, deep down it’s so hard to actually ‘get it’ if you’ve never experienced it. And it’s so hard to feel comfort when you’re in it. I have spent most of today wanting to cry and I can’t give you a particular reason why.
Was it the photograph I saw in the art gallery? Yes.
Was it the rude man at the gig? Yes.
Was it the loneliness? Yes.
Was it the fear? Yes.
Was it the lack of smiles I saw today? Yes.
Was it the beauty of the clouds in the sky? Yes.
I could go on. It’s a multitude of everything and nothing all burying me in sadness. And I know I’m not alone, but I feel oh so alone…
I want you to know you’re not alone either, I want to tell you that these feelings are normal when you’re a sensitive soul. Sensitivity isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a heavy weight to carry.
I want people who ‘don’t get it’ to know we’re normal. We’re just processing the world in a very different way, and all we need is empathy not judgement.
I want to tell you you’re loved. You, who can’t control the tears, I am here. I am the same as you and I know how much it hurts. I know the fear.
To you who tries to ‘fix’ it, as wonderful and kind as that is, you can’t. You can only help us in the healing process. And it can be a long one. If anxiety is impacting your life you might consider working with a therapist to help you learn skills to improve your mental health.
To the family and friends that think we’re crazy, perhaps we are, but maybe (just maybe) we’re just in tune with our hearts and the world around us and therefore we end up broken from time to time. We are chipped and rusty from the trials of life and this vast, vast world and we’re trying to live with them and it hurts. It hurts oh, so much.
To the ones who want to give up, I know exactly how you feel. But we mustn’t. We have this love and passion, sincerity and sensitivity, hope and wisdom to give to those around us. We have a gift. But sadly, it’s a gift in disguise.
So to the emotional and unsteady ones, I hold out my hands and I embrace you. I want you on this planet for as long as possible, because it’s you, my dear friends, who will change the world…
EDITED TO ADD: I feel incredibly lucky to have a husband and a mother I can turn to. They just ‘get it’. And if you have no one to turn to, you can turn to me. I truly mean that. xxx