This is a weird one for me, and will probably be my most personal blog to date.
Anxiety is a huge part of my life, perhaps more so than I care to admit, and yet it is something I speak to no one (apart from the very rare few) about. Every single day, I think about it, differ from it, or make adjustments in my life in order to prevent or discourage it.
One of the reasons that I do not talk about it, is because I am embarrassed. I am embarrassed at how much control that it has over my life, and how much control I allow it to have. I find myself blaming my anxiety for things that I do not want to take part in, or throw myself into, and perhaps it is due to my anxiety, but it is also a very easy scapegoat.
I need to go back a few steps.
I had never suffered with any form of anxiety at all until the summer before I went to university when I was 18. I had my first panic attack whilst sat on the sofa, and I genuinely thought I was going to die. My chest seized, I had the sweats, I could not breathe, and it was truly horrendous. Until this point, like many people, I simply thought that a panic attack was a mental feeling, and I could not have been more wrong. It is so physical, it is petrifying. I was okay for about a week, not really knowing what was happening but then it hit me and I had about 2 weeks of not being able to leave the house, having multiple attacks every day and spending every second of the day fighting it. At this point, I did not think I would be able to go to university.
Well, I did go. I graduated in fact and have not let it hold me back from succeeding. However, it has never left me. I know people that have had bouts of anxiety and then are totally fine. For me, it has settled considerably but it is with me in some form every day.
I really do think (in a very patronising way!) that it is something that you cannot fully understand unless you have been through it.
I am scared that for my whole life I will be battling this and that there will be certain things (drinking, travelling, social situations) that I have to force myself to engage in despite freaking out inside.
I wish I could finish this post by saying that I have cracked it, and am fine , but unfortunately still looking for advice on this one!