Anxiety and what it means for me….
By now you have probably heard several people say that they suffer with anxiety. Fantastic! It means society is becoming more aware. However like most mental health conditions anxiety is many things and nobody, not one single person, will experience it in exactly the same way as someone else does.
So what does it mean for me? Well to be honest I’m writing this because I’m trying to work out exactly what it means for me. I’ve been on tablets for six years now and never really paid much attention to it. It’s an absolute given that I need medication, just ask anyone that knows me, but I believe that this is why I suddenly have a keen interest in delving into my anxiety and exploring what my triggers are because I have finally accepted that I have anxiety and this is not something I can ever get rid of.
Moving on though, this is what I know so far:
- I suffer panic attacks. For me a panic attack is an overwhelming feeling that something terrible is going to happen or has happened. When one starts, I cannot breathe and I sob. The earliest panic attack that I can look back on and for sure say ‘yeah that was a panic attack’ was when I was 14.
- Watching something on the TV or reading something terrible in the news immediately makes me associate it to my boys. For example I was watching a film where this guy falls from a height and injures himself and the next thing I know I’ve seen in my mind J doing the exact same thing.
- Interacting with other people causes me extreme anxiety. It doesn’t matter who you are or how long I’ve known you or even if I’m at your place or mine. As soon as we have parted ways I am replaying every aspect of our conversations in my mind. Going over it with a fine tooth comb, making sure I haven’t said anything that could make you laugh at me or better yet offend you.
- Mentally, I beat myself up- a lot. I worry about who I am as a person and that I am not good enough.
- I struggle driving at night time because I can never tell if a car is flashing me or just driving over a pot hole. Then because I am unable to tell the difference I start to wonder if there is something wrong with my car.
I’m sure that there is plenty more but I’m only just starting to work this out. The prime example of that is the fact that I could never work out why I get so emotional at films and it wasn’t until I sat here tonight and balled my eyes out that I realised exactly what it was about the scene on TV that was making me so upset.
So how does having anxiety physically affect me? Honestly a lot of the time through tears. I can cry at the silliest of things because in my head, the situation has escalated into epic proportions. It also makes me incredibly snappy, it makes me feel like I can’t breathe and it makes me depressed. That brings me onto my next point… a lot of the time having anxiety will walk hand in hand with another mental health condition. For me, however I know for sure that my anxiety is the main culprit and that I only really struggle with being depressed when my anxiety is at an all time high.
So why, I can hear you question, are you telling us this? Well other than the fact that writing it down helps me to work through it in my own head. I’m talking about it because having anxiety ties in a lot with how I perceive myself as a mother and I feel that this is important to recognise whilst I am trying to become a good enough mum for my boys. Till next time!