Anxiety - The monster that's hidden within me.

It's no secret that I have struggled with anxiety the past year. I think a lot of people seem to struggle with anxiety wether or not they have been formally diagnosed.

After spending a fair few months in the dark and several breakdowns, I reached out to my doctors who told me that I was suffering with anxiety. I think that due to the unforeseen circumstances right now a lot of people are also suffering with anxiety and depression. There isn't a lot of stigma around anxiety and a lot of people find it difficult to open up. So i'd really love to spread some awareness. Someone once told me that if I don't open up and talk to someone i'm just going to dig myself a deeper hole until I become hollow inside.

So I'm going to explain my story just a teeny bit I won't go in too deeply because you'll probably just get lost inside my head.

I think it was around February time that I started to feel like my mind was drifting, I constantly felt upset, I had no reason to feel lost but I did and for some strange reason I would just cry and shout at the stupidest of things. Friends would ask me if I wanted to do something which I would make plans with them to then cancel on the day because I was too afraid of leaving the house or I'd never get back to them. When I would go to work i'd overthink things, i'd think that everybody was talking about me when in fact they probably weren't, i'd make myself believe that people were looking at how I was dressed and think that they were mocking me or making fun of the way I looked. I had become this insecure person that relied on my home to make me feel comfortable.

I read something on a friends facebook post the other day and It couldn't have been more correct.

"Clinically diagnosed anxiety is not just being a bit worried, you can't just "chill out a bit" or "get over it". It eats into your well being, your confidence, your health and your life and it is 24/7. When someone cancels, or ducks out, or makes a pathetic excuse please understand that it isn't personal, it isn't laziness, it isn't being rude. It's because they can't physically do it. When someone needs supporting/encouraging/ hand holding it isn't pathetic, it isn't attention seeking, it isn't childish - it's because they are desperate to beat it but can't do it alone. Anxiety sucks, being isolated and believing your friends don't care sucks even more . How many of you have had a night out planned, or arranged coffee or a beer with friends and suddenly the 4 walls you inhabit seem the only safe haven because it's the only place you don't have to pretend you are ok, so you cancel. Or when you are invited out you tell them how terribly sorry you are, but you're already booked up that weekend, when you are actually just really busy holding it together in your safe box.

So the first problem starts, all by itself. People stop asking you and the isolation that at first wasn't true becomes your only truth. Please don't give up on your friends. Ring them if they don't reply to a message. They really do want to talk, they just don't know how to say it some days. And in work every passing comment is a negative, you constantly do more to get over the feeling you are not good enough. The exhaustion from not sleeping because you panic all night over what you cannot influence means you make mistakes, you live in a fog and it is a vicious circle. "

After multiple breakdowns and several panic attacks at work, coming home everyday in tears because I didn't know what was wrong and I didn't want to get help in fear someone would say that I wasn't allowed to have Evie anymore. I feared the worse of ever having anything written on "file" so in the event of having another child I wouldn't be classed as depressive or having to have someone like a health visitor watch my every move.

I think after I had evie I probably had a bit of post natal depression but was too scared to say anything. After several talks with a friend who had been through a similar situation he actually kept bugging me to ring the doctors. I was being stubborn and continuing to work because I felt bad as I knew i'd probably get signed off with stress, Im one of these people who never think of themselves and just plod on through even when i'm sick I still go to work because I hate having to cause a problem. He messaged me the morning I said I was going to ring, I didn't! he messaged me asking if I had but I said no because I was too scared to even pick up the phone to ring them to get an appointment.

I ended up emailing the doctors to get an appointment because I didn't want to tell the receptionist what was wrong over the phone. Obviously upon speaking to my lovely doctor she assured me that I wasn't the only person that was struggling and that due to COVID many people were starting to realise that they had anxiety. This was obviously a joy to my ears to know I wasn't alone. I didn't feel as stupid.

I was signed off of work for roughly 6 weeks give or take but in that time I had spoken to my doctor pretty much every week with updates as to how I was feeling. I was put on medication and she gave me a little daily job to do to make me feel better. So every day we would have to get out of the house for at least an hour just so I didn't see the same four walls. Obviously my biggest issue was actually leaving the house which obviously started to have a massive impact on the way I was feeling. Something I loved the most was photography and because of my anxiety I had put that away and completely stopped using my camera.

So how am I seven weeks on?

I'm a completely different person, after having the support of my partner and my lovely bunch of instagram mums I can completely say I'm soo much better. I don't have a lot of friends but the ones i've met online have been amazing at supporting me and being there night and day when i've needed them. Having a walk and getting out of the house has been amazing and enabled me to see different sights that I didn't even know were there. I've managed to get myself into a little routine and ive started to get my instagram mojo back and obviously this blog. My photography business is slowly starting to pick up again and my new business that I started thinking about when on sick leave is slowly coming together ready to be announced.

So if you have friends that you love and cherish so dearly please just check up on them once a while because you truly never know what goes on inside someones head. Just a text or phone call once or twice a week will really help them and even if they say they are ok and you think they're not all you can do is show them that you care and that you support them in every way.

I really hope this helps some people and if anybody wants a chat my dm's on instagram are always open I will try and help out in anyway I can.


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