Anxiety is something we live with on a daily basis, some days are more of a struggle than others, but before I go on, I would just like to say that everyone will have some form of anxiety at some point in their lives, it is a natural emotion, if you didn’t feel anxious from time to time, then I would be slightly worried about you.
Before I go any further into this, you’ll notice that I NEVER use the term ‘SUFFERS WITH ANXIETY’ why..?
Just because you are more anxious than the average person doesn’t mean you have to suffer, just means you have to learn how to live with it in your life & learn how to manage your thoughts & feelings in a different way to most.
Everyone is capable of leading a happy life & by saying that someone ‘suffers’ with anxiety just adds to the stigma around mental health & makes the people that do live with it believe that they have no choice but to ‘suffer’, when actually with the right tool & practices in motion, they can live a ‘normal’ happy life, the reason I write ‘normal’ like this is because, what is actually normal?
We all have our own interpretation of normality.
I’m not going to be writing about how you can help yourself if you live with anxiety, but I am going to be writing about having someone in your life that you really care about, that lives with anxiety, because it isn’t easy for the person living with it, or the people in their lives & it can be really difficult to cope on a daily basis yourself even though you’re not the one that has it.
For me, I have two people in my life with anxiety, the two closest people to me, my partner & my best-friend, in some ways it’s a good thing because they have become extremely close & they have each other for support, they ‘get it’, they understand how the other person is feeling.
But it can be extremely difficult for myself, even the simplest of tasks can be so difficult, eating out, going shopping, going to appointments, meeting new people, family events, or even just a small change to already made plans or a daily routine, or even telling them something that your unsure of how they will react, the things most people do without a care in the world, because to them it’s ‘normal’.
Everything & anything we do has so much thought behind it & god help me if there is a last minute change, even going to eat out, I have to make sure the place we’re going is quiet, that they have their menu online so they can check it first, even then, once we get there this is generally how it goes down…
- Sit down,
- Look at the menu again,
- Can decide what they want to eat,
- Too paranoid of trying something new incase they don’t like it,
- Order the same thing they do everywhere,
- Order food,
- Anxiety starts to get the better of them,
- They feel sick,
- They spend the next 30 minutes to an hour in the toilets or outside,
- I’m left sat on my own to eat my meal,
- They return to the table,
- We leave
It has honestly got to the point where I just don’t even bother suggesting it anymore, but they know they have got to do it, because if they don’t how will they ever overcome their problems. FEEL THE FEAR & DO IT ANYWAY!
The moment we walk out the door, all I’m thinking about is, ‘I hope they’re okay’, I keep looking at them trying to tell what they are thinking, I see the worry in their eyes, I see them looking around at everyone & I can see them feeling like the world is closing in on them, I can see them start to get the tremors, I can see them holding their chest because it’s getting so tight they are struggling to breath.
That for me is the hardest part of all, all I can do is reassure them that there is nothing to worry about everything is fine & hope that they listen & can calm themselves down.
All I want to do is take their pain away.
In some ways I am lucky though, because they both realise that they can have a better life, they don’t have to feel this way & they are willing to do whatever they can to improve themselves, although it is heart breaking when they tell you that they feel like they are holding you back from all the great things in life, to me, the great things are them!
I’m so so so proud of my best friend, she use to drink EVERYDAY!
Openly admits she was an alcoholic, but it was the only thing that would take her anxiety away and make her feel ‘normal’, then she made the effort to change that, she went to rehab because she is in control of her life, her life is not controlled by her anxiety, now she has been sober for over 2 years & her life has completely turned around, obviously she still has the daily struggle with her mental health but she now sees it all with a clear head so she is more on top of it than she has EVER been, words can’t even express how proud I am of her for managing to do that.
I’m also so proud of my partner too, we had our son in July 2016 & he has been the best daddy I could ever imagine him to be, he just gets on with it because he knows that it’s all for Dexter & he fights with himself everyday to make sure Dexter is having the best possible life he can, since I drafted this post we have completed our family by adding a baby girl to our family who is now 18 months old & called Skylah.
Anyway, the reason I really wanted to write this post was because when I try to speak to people that don’t have someone with anxiety in their lives, I feel like I’m completely misunderstood, I get frustrated with their responses sometimes & people just don’t seem to ‘get it’, so I wanted to let those people that are out there, trying their hardest to support someone they love living with anxiety, that actually you’re not alone, there is other people out there going through a similar experience to what you are having.
There is still such a stigma attached to mental health, but we have come so far in the last 50 years, it only gives me hope for the future.