Living with Anxiety

When I think about panic attacks, I used to think paper bags and breathing hard.

One minute you are fine and mooching around the house, the next moment, the fear begins and I am routed to the spot. My heart is beating fast, tears flowing down my face and I am paralysed to the spot. Zero to 100 miles an hour in less than a second! WTF? That is generalised anxiety disorder. Living with this beast is fun and I learn to tame that beast.

No Paper Bag for me!

My anxiety attacks don’t look like that. One day I went for a walk with my dog, nothing different or special. I had the feeling of dread and literally sat down in the middle of a field, unable to think, move or breathe. This overwhelming crushing sensation of what I can only describe as being terrified. I am beyond frightened.  My order or my routine has changed and I simply can’t face people or do the normal things I used to do. I am not good at surprises any more as it may trigger the terror attack! These are my panic attacks.

Sometimes I feel better in company than alone, as my mind starts to act up. I can’t walk my dog. She suffers probably the most out of anyone. God forbid I get an invite to a crowded venue. The simple pleasure of walking through my own town is now my hell. Frightened to bump into people, anxious I might have to begin a conversation. I like safe faces and safe places.

It is good to write about  feelings.

I know I am not alone as I have learned to tell people about my anxiety.  My friends and of course my partner know what is going on and protect me. They move me out of situations, act as shields and hold my hand when the anxiety begins. Even that makes me sad. My life has come to this. I know I will get better but sometimes for no apparent reason, anxiety just punches me in the face.

You see we (I am) are still ashamed of mental health and the stigmas of not being sound of mind. Yes, I am on anti-anxiety medication, I think it is helping, in fact I know it is helping. I am also seeing a counsellor to talk through the stages that lead up to this time in my life. Talking is good.

But then again we simply can’t see into peoples minds.

My partner. suffers – he said he doesn’t, however, I watch him worrying for me. He has a strategic plan for going shopping, doing errands as I can no longer function alone with these normal tasks. My children are so brilliant too, my youngest daughter now holds onto my arm when we are out and about, as she knows I am feeling stressed.  I am grateful for the immense support I do get. These people know I love them.

You don’t like you have anxiety!

When I declare social anxiety, I normally hear a response such as “you don’t look like you have anxiety!”

Helen Tite showing off her new hair colour

Don’t feel sad for me, I am positive that this will improve. I have removed many of the triggers from my life (including some “friends”). Not just that, I helped myself with my diet, juicing, reducing my coffee drinking and even changing my activity on social media! There were lots of things putting me into the “sympathetic state”!

In my sharing over my own anxiety I have met new friends who understand where I am coming from. I have made positive changes in my life to help my recovery. I feel like that I am now on the right path and there is no way I could have shared this 3 months ago with anyone.

Don’t believe everything you think

Most of the time I am under control and do all the right things to manage my health. Recently, I had shingles and the medication exacerbated by mental health symptoms which in my head had set me back. Actually, I know what is going on and that is a good thing right? When feeling low, I imply need to let it pass and give myself time.

This is the stuff I stand up and give talks about. It overlaps into menopause. When I speak at events and women’s networks. WE ARE NOT ALONE.

I wish I wasn’t so embarrassed.

Getting over it simply isn’t enough! The battles are less and less and the war is still being waged in my head, even at sleep (when I do sleep). I use sleep APPS.  FREEBIE I have a lovey audio relax I would like to introduce you to.  20 minutes to relax. Simply click and play.

The spontaneous tears drive me mad, I’m no longer any good at wearing makeup (NOTE to self: invest in waterproof mascara). I have a “Showtime Game Face” . If you follow me on social media, you will probably spot it! I am all teeth and tits!

I have stayed strong for too long and something had to give. I have never dealt with anything as difficult as my own soul. It is time to unite with others, not in a shouting/join a group and beat our chests kind of way, but have a conscious attempt to be kind to others. To have consideration for others as we never really knows what is going on in their own lives.

Anxiety doesn’t stop me anymore. It has made me realise who is important to me. It has made me refocus my life, my loves, my happiness and all the brilliance and opportunities in this wonderful life.

I let the shit go, maybe my words of advice will be to let your own shit go?

I also have learnt that the human body is 90% water, so basically we are a cucumber with anxiety!

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