A woman sitting on her bathroom floor crying her mascara down her face. A man isolating himself from his friends and family because he is ashamed of his secret. Or a person who is unstable or psychotic...
If anyone ever mentioned the word anxiety I used to picture the above kinds of people. I imagined people hiding away a secret or feeling too ashamed to talk about it.
Would you have thought the same?
Anxiety is a actually a feeling of unease. Anxiety can be mild or it can be severe but we will all have feelings of anxiety in our life. It is also perfectly NORMAL!
In the light of mental health awareness week I wanted to share my story.
Maybe I've always lived with it, maybe not. But I have been diagnosed with anxiety and take medication to help me deal with it. This wasn't a decision that I came to lightly and it's taken almost 2 years (that I know of) of self discovery and battles with myself to get to the point where I can be open and honest about it. Not only to myself but to my friends and family.
Anxiety is silent. You would never have known I was suffering unless you had witnessed a panic attack which most of the time happened in the house. I used to think that these were the sign of weakness until I realised how much strength you actually need to get through one, never mind two or three a week.
I have a tattoo which reads "the best way out is always through". I've never quit at anything in my life. It's something that my mum would never let us do. Now I have an uncontrollable need to see things through and if I come close to failing I can feel the anxiety crank up a notch or two. How do you quit anxiety anyway? I really really wanted to give up at some points, just throw the towel in and admit defeat. It felt easier than having to fight. You might look at my life and think she has a beautiful house, an amazing husband, drives a nice car, has a gorgeous precious baby boy so what on earth could she be feeling anxious about? Anxiety isn't picky, it can effect anyone and everyone no matter what your situation.
In 2016 I had a miscarriage.
Trust me when I say that you will never understand what that feels like unless you have gone through it yourself.
I felt as though I had failed as a woman, failed as a mother, failed as a wife and I didn't feel like I could talk to anyone about it! The miscarriage wasn't the sole reason for the anxiety, it was the chain of events which followed (which is another post for another day) that caused it.
After that, trying to conceive was one of the most stressful unromantic things we have ever done as a couple.
I felt as though it had left me alone for a while until recently where it has been popping up in other places of my life. A bit like that person who you see in the supermarket and try to dodge but then they collar you off guard in the cereal aisle!
You: Face palm emoji...
So anyway, as soon as you become a mother your happiness and your well-being come after your baby's. In most cases it feels like mine tends to come after Teddy's, Lee's, the dogs, my friends, my family, the neighbours and the pigeons in my garden that my father in law wants to "get rid of" lol! What I am trying to say is Teddy's happiness is the most important thing in my world and to make sure he is happy I needed to make sure I was happy! I called the doctor and after some consultation she decided to give me some drugs! I wouldn't say that taking the medication is a miracle cure by any means but it has helped! I let the pills do the work which they do and I can get on with my life!
We need to stop hiding away from our mental health and be able to talk more freely about it. As a nation we are obsessed with how we look and our physical health but neglect time to be mindful. We take time to go to the gym but when was the last time you sat down in a room in silence and just took a few deep breaths? Lets slow down, go outside and unplug.
Peace and love,