Hello to all my lovely followers!
I know I haven’t posted in a while, and to be honest I have been going back and forth trying to work out whether or not I should actually post this. However, the last few days I have found a lot of comfort in blog posts like these and I decided that if I find comfort in reading other bloggers personal experiences then the chances are someone else might find comfort in hearing mine too. So girls and guys, brace yourself because things are about to get pretty damn personal!
Anxiety is something that I have to deal with day in, day out. That’s not to say that I don’t have a good life, a loving home and lots to look forward to, because I do. Anxiety also doesn’t mean that I am under confident or incapable, in fact I like to describe myself as the opposite. However, it does have its downfalls and that’s exactly what I am here to share with you today.
First of all let me introduce you to how it all began. I’ve never really been a nervous or anxious person at all. I’ve never hid away in my bedroom not wanting to come out, I’ve always enjoyed socialising and I love to do exciting things and live on the edge a little. I’m honestly not sure where it all stemmed from, but around the age of 16 I began to worry more than usual. Now, this could be put down to a number of things but I actually think it was a combination of things. Although I was slightly more concerned about things in general, it never got in the way of anything I wanted to do and it never actually affected me at all.
But, sadly that all changed and it happened very suddenly too. During this time, from 16 to the age I am now (nearly 20) I’ve had a few different jobs, all of which I’ve worked very hard in. My last job though, my first ‘real’ job in the industry I want to make it in, it all began to get a bit too much after the first initial 6 months. I found that my work enviroment was beginning to get me down. The money I was being paid was extremely low and it took its toll on me both physically and emotionally. The work wasn’t the problem, I love to sit at a desk and write all day, but it was the pressure I was put under and the enviroment that I had to work in that became the problem. I didn’t know where I stood and was promised things that never followed through. I felt as if I was walking on egg shells and believe me after a year and 6 months enough was enough.
During this time my Dad was also extremely stressed at work and because he works within the same industry we began to bounce our stress of off each other and although we always tried to help each other, when you are both in the same stressed state of mind it can be hard to help each other think positively.
All of this underlying stress began to come to a head. It started out with hot sweats. I had them for months and didn’t even know that they were related to anxiety until much later on in my story. I even got tested for thyroid problems I was so convinced that something was seriously wrong. After about a year I began to notice a pattern. I would get a hot sweat everyday on the way to work, on the way home from work, when talking to my boss or whenever I felt ever so slightly anxious – it would be a huge contradiction because in my head I would feel fine, but my body was telling me something completely different.
The real wakeup call was when I began searching for a new job. I had great success with my job search and it all happened very quickly. I had interviews lined up and I felt really excited about the future. Nevertheless, my body decided to do something completely different yet again. The night before my first interview me and Sam got into bed, kissed each other good night and turned the lights out. Five minutes later I found myself crawling out of bed, running to the bathroom and violently throwing up. I had just recently got over a sickness bug and realised that it felt totally different to a bug like that and then it hit me – “I’m sick with worry”.
On my way to the interview, I threw up again and the entire train journey was hell. I had NEVER felt so anxious before. I finally got to the interview with a lot of encouragement from my mum and I came out beaming. Everything went really well and there was absoutely nothing to worry about!
This was the turning point for me. Whenever I felt anxious I began to gag and feel sick and in the end I was throwing up every morning before work and would have regular panic attacks. I started to take days off to work from home and even had to start using flexi hours. It was like living in a nightmare. There was nothing I could do and I was filled with a feeling of dread constantly. Most days I forced myself to get on that train and get to work but by the end it just got too much for me to handle. I was losing sleep, losing my appetite and completely losing my spark and passion for a job I once loved.
After months and months of misery I decided to turn to NLP where my mum was able to suggest (and pay for) a close friend and colleague of hers. It helped to talk to someone and it is a very difficult experience to explain in short, but it is one I would certainly recommend. It didn’t magically ‘fix’ me but it shifted a few things in me and the outcome was something HUGE.
After much consideration, a lot of soul searching and some prescribed medication, Sam and I decided to move in together. It made a big difference and having Sam to influence me in such a positive way was a godsend. After the first week of moving in together my anxiety eased up massively and I began to find life more than bearable. In fact, life was good. Mornings still weren’t great, but Sam took me to the station every day and sent me away with positive thoughts. It helped to have someone who totally gets you and most importantly, has the time to make you and your health a priority.
A few months into the move we decided to take another big step and start up our own business. We both quit our jobs and got to work on our new self employed venture. Much to my delight, my anxiety COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY disappeared!!!!!!
Now, I’m writing this post today because sadly my anxiety attacks have reoccured after 4 longs months of total freedom and I feel as if I’m back to square one again. It came out of the blue one day (2 weeks ago to be precise) and just hasn’t left since. I was particularly stressed when it came on again but my worries have been taken care of and there is nothing I should be concerned about. IT SUCKS.
And on top of all of that I am now suffering with IBS (related to anxiety). I’m on a new gluten free diet and I am no longer mixing carbs with protein to help my digestion. Not only do I have anxiety, I can’t even comfort eat!
Although things are pretty crap now, I know that things will get better and if I’ve got over it before I sure as hell can do it again.
Last but not least, I want to say a special thank you to all bloggers out there who have posted on this subject before. It may not cure somebody from anxiety but it really does help to hear how other people cope with the same disorder. I also want to say a special thanks to everyone who has supported me during these hard times – I’m so lucky to have such a good family like I have and such understanding friends. I’ve even got what I see as an extended family now, so I have a lot to be grateful for!
What experiences have you had with anxiety? Let me know using the comments section below – it’s always nice to speak to likeminded people 🙂