Friday, 25 January 2013

Dealing with Anxiety

Just a warning, this post is really really long as its a very personal one and has been written time and time again.

Today I'm sharing a very different post to ones that I will normally post, but I asked on Twitter if you would like to hear about my story dealing with anxiety and the response was a resounding yes so here it is. Without sounding like an X-Factor sob story, I have found it very difficult to pluck up the courage to write about this, but I think it's important to share issues like this.

As a child, I was happy and outgoing, always wanting to do something. I think most people think that anxiety starts, or is rooted within childhood. That's not always the case. I was never unhappy as a child, my upbringing was great and I can look back and see some of the most amazing memories I will ever have. No-one in my family ever really had any issues either, so I honestly can't say it's been passed down over a period of time, although this circumstance has changed for reasons which I will go into later.

Going into my teen years and starting high school was fine. In fact, at the ages of 11-12 I couldn't have asked for anything better. But everything started to change when I was around 14. Like most teenagers, I had many friends. I remember going to sleepovers and constantly thinking about going back to my own home  the next day. A few months down the line it would get to the point where I would start making excuses about not going to stay over at my friends on a friday night, I just wanted to be at my own home. My mum would ask if everything was OK and I would tell her everything was fine. I then started to feel nervous at home. I would panic throughout the day about going to sleep at night. Something inside of me just panicked me that I would be laid awake all night and would get no sleep. I would literally cry myself to sleep some nights in fear of getting no sleep. It got so bad that I would worry all day, even on a sunday about going to bed that night. My mum and dad were starting to worry, and at 14 it was not normal that someone would have to sit by my bed whilst I went to sleep. Then one day, when I had an appointment with my asthma specialist he uttered the words that I honestly used to dread, "is everything else ok?", I turned and looked at my mum and she just burst into tears, then I did to. I was referred to a Child Psychologist once a month for 12 months, who gave me some breathing exercises and some word of wisdom. Honestly, this helped so much and within a few months I was back to "Normal".

For a few years everything was fine and I never experienced any feelings of anxiety for a while. Then when I was 17, I received the news that my Grandma was suffering from an inoperable Brain Tumour, a month before my 18th Birthday in august, The stress of my family caring for her, and starting at university that same year took its toll on me and my anxiety started up again. When she passed away a week before Christmas in 2010 I was at the lowest I've ever been. Then my Dad started suffering with anxiety attacks and my worry for him, my worry for my studies, my feeling of loss amongst other things really had driven me into a deep sense of loneliness and worry.

Some days even now, I feel so alone, and nervous, when in reality I have nothing to feel lonely or nervous about. My problem is that I would rather keep things bottled up rather than talk about the way I'm feeling. I've never had suicidal thoughts, I've never not wanted to be here, and I've never wished my life was different. There are just some days where I feel like I cant handle a normal day. Some days I would rather sit and do nothing rather than have plans and be excited. That's just the way it is. There are times when I'm filled with such dread and guilt because I know that those closest to me have seen the way I am when I'm filled with anxiety, I go quiet, I look down, then I answer with just one word answers, then my eyes would fill up and I would start to cry, even if I had nothing to cry about. I have to say I'm pretty good though. My parents rarely see me having a "down day" simply because I no longer live with them, and when I'm around my friends you wouldn't think there was anything wrong. The only person who really experiences this with me is my  boyfriend Olly. As I live with him, he understands when I'm having a moment and knows exactly what to do.

If you yourself struggle with anxiety, or know someone that does then there are a few things that can help. Solutions are different for everyone so if something doesn't work for you, then don't worry there will be a solution out there for you. For me, a good cry always helps, but so does talking. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to say "it's ok" and you can feel more upbeat. For other's a physical solution such as a cuddle is a great help to them. People who struggle with anxiety don't always require "special attention", it's just a case of asking how they are, if they have any plans, tell them about your day etc, as long as someone keeps the morale up then there are positives all round.
Picture courtesy of weheartit.

Apologies for the really really long post, but I hope that this has helped some of you who feel like you might suffer from anxiety or know someone that does. Remember it's always best to go see a doctor to be diagnosed properly, it's always best to have a professional opinion first.  
Remember, no two people are the same, everyone reacts different to situations. You're all beautiful, inside and out. 


  1. I suffer from anxiety too,if you ever want to chat I'm always here via email or twitter anytime hun xx

  2. Replies
    1. Its lovely that we're all here for each other x

  3. I also suffer! and quite similarly to you

    But I'm always here as well :) <3 x

    1. It's really nice to know that people have the same situation as me x

  4. What an inspiring post! I have never personally experienced anxiety, but have many friends and family with varying levels of it. One of my closest friends along with my step dad suffer really badly from it, and it was something that I have had to learn to understand. The more people that speak out about it the better, there needs to be more understanding for it, so that those around you (like your boyfriend) can help support those that suffer.

    I really enjoyed reading this, you are very brave :D


    1. Thankyou so much. I was hoping that by writing it I would inspire others to help those who are in a similar situation.


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