I’m sure there will some People who don’t have anxiety who assume that people who suffer are irrational or even overly dramatic but please don’t judge us it’s not a word we use for no reason we have to live a life where these feelings impact on every level of daily existence it’s unpredictable and at times uncontrollable. When I am in the grips of anxiety I feel like I’m suffocating, like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff waiting to fall and the world starts to close in and all I see is black and all I feel is terror.
My anxiety is based on something I have no control of, death. I fully comprehend that it’s irrational this does not make it any less real to me. When I look at it from a outsiders point of view I have realised the total lack of control is the reason I suffer, it’s the one thing in existence that is innevitable yet it is completely beyond my realm of acceptance . I like things to be just so, I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak but I like to know I am the controller of my own fate.
I remember the first panic attack, at the time I didn’t even know what was happening. I was walking to work and it was snowing, I wasn’t thinking of anything inpaticular, from what I can recall, all of a sudden I started burning up and sweating, my chest was tightening and I couldn’t catch my breath. I honestly thought I was having a heart attack, rationally I told myself it couldn’t be and got on the bus to work. I got to work and by that point I had gained control. I explained to someone what had happened and they made me aware that I had just experienced a panic attack.
Losing people close to me and the sudden insurgence of mass tragedies at the hands of other humans has hightened my anxiety to a new level.
Social media has brought us into an age where we know and see everything, as it’s happening. I watched the news live as the mass shooting in the Bataclan in Paris was happening, while the towers of the world trade centres fell, while innocent children were slaughtered in school and most recently the shooting in terminal 2 of Fort Lauderdale airport. The use and the availability of dangerous weapons add to the unpredictablity of people with a grudge or ‘mission’. Everywhere we turn our lives are filled with story’s of human tragedy to the point we often and far to easily overlook the good and positive atributes of our race.
I am also not good with moments of uncertainty and with the future unclear globally my brain has been working overtime (I am fully aware that I personally cannot change the outcome but rationality does not compute along side my fear when I am in the grips of panic). Here in the U.K. We face a life in which we are becoming a lonely island without the support and security the European Union by our side. We joined the EU in 1971 amongst fears that we were becoming politically isolated and my generation know nothing of life outside of this united body so we have no idea what effects will be had on our day to day lives. America are in a scarier place with the political shift of president with the elected head being a uber rich television celebrity, a business man with a quick temper and a poisonous tongue but never a proven politician. Trumps opinions which have no political filter appear rash, judgemental and from a place of hatred rather than acceptance. What’s not to get anxious about with a man like that sitting in the greatest seat of power!
As humans we are predisposed to feel fear, it’s what keeps us safe in our day to day existence but for millions like me it also serves as our own worst enemy. The birth of my daughter also heightened my fear and I think it made me face my mortality in a way I hadn’t before.
Living with anxiety manifests itself in so many forms from person to person and how we deal with it is different for everyone .
I try to not let myself fall in front my little girl not because I am ashamed, I am defiantly not but because I need to personally deal with my fear live for her and minimise the impact it could have on our Relationship.
Mental health issues are something I will always campaign and something that should be spoken about on a open and judgement free platform or the stigma will never be overcome. Speech is freedom and If even one person reads this and sees these issues differently I will be one happy camper. I am a strong woman but I am also a trembling ball of flesh and bones so when fear sets in and the panic attack rears its ugly head I have to remove myself from the thoughts. It’s not something I can change but it is always working on living with it.
Remember, there’s no shame in facing your issues, speaking out and seeking help. Don’t ever feel you are crazy, you are human and never alone you are in a club of millions and we are all here to love and support you through the dark days. You only have one life so do what you can to make it the best one you can. I just need to learn how to take my own advice.
Signing off with love and lipstick,