Saturday, 20 February 2016

My Struggle with Anxiety

My Story With Anxiety:

I was always a shy child growing up, no doubt about it. Making new friends was something I found so difficult. I always knew that I was more than shy though. I felt breathless while asking a shopkeeper for help and self conscious while eating in front of people. My heart would race rapidly in my chest, as I asked myself why I couldn't just be normal.  I was convinced that this wasn't normal, that I was alone and the weirdest person ever. This strange horrible feeling for four years of my life had no name. I thought I was so weird and so different to everyone else. That was when I found out that this was actually called Anxiety, I watched a couple of videos on YouTube about social anxiety, which made me realise that I wasn't crazy! It made me realise I wasn't alone. Also, one of my all time favourite YouTubers Zoe Sugg (Zoella) has social anxiety as well, she posted a video on anxiety which is how I found her account! Thank God for that!
Anxiety is something a lot of people struggle with and I feel like it's not talked about enough.
Zoella has a blog post on Panic Attacks here if you need more information! This blog post is incredible and explains everything in so much detail! She is so helpful and so inspiring! I honestly don't know where I would be if I didn't find her YouTube or her Blog. ( I can't get this link to work for some reason, if it doesn't work for you just google search 'Zoella panic attacks', after you've read this of course ;) ) 

I was one of those children who had that incredibly awkward pre-teen stage. I was the most awkward person ever. When I was about eleven or twelve I went to hip-hop dancing with my sister (who wasn't as eager as I was) I loved dancing regardless of the fact that I was terrible, so we were brought to hip-hop classes. I was so so nervous. I was in a class with these girls that were probably fourteen and fifteen at the time (they certainly acted like it anyway). The majority of  these girls were so mean. I remember the first class, I didn't understand a dance move so I asked the dance teacher, and she was lovely about it and she showed me, however she asked me to show her the move, to know that I knew how to do it, I got it wrong and the girls laughed at me. It was from that moment that I never asked for help in that class, and I started to hate going. I remember one time, my sister stopped going so I had to go by myself, I walked in and I was so nervous. I couldn't breathe properly.  The girls started mocking me, and laughing at me and I couldn't take it anymore, and that was the last they saw of me. I loved dancing and I gave it up because of some stupid girls (going off topic a little) but I just want to say that if you are doing something you like, do not let other people ruin it.
It was from this point that my anxiety started to take over my life (at this point I didn't know that it was anxiety).

Another intense panic attack I had was from last year. I was in school and the majority of the boys were gone to a football match, so in this certain class (not going to name for obvious reasons, if you go to my school you will immediately know what class this was)  whenever people are absent we play games or something, to my delight (sarcasm). This certain game we were blindfolded and spun around and we had to be led by people talking (shouting more like) to you through two bottles (that is the worse explanation ever I'm so sorry). I remember saying to my friend "I'm not doing that, I can't". Low and behold the teacher asked me to play the game. I declined and that was when everyone encouraged me, and there was no backing out. So I reluctantly accepted. The minute the blindfold was on, I knew it was going to be horrible. I could barely breathe I was so nervous. Having so many people shouting directions at you (in a language you barely understand) is the worst. I hate people raising their voices anyway (I don't like loud noises). I cannot begin to explain to you how horrible it was, thankfully I managed to get led into the bottles. I remember feeling so anxious, to the point I felt like fainting.  I could barely breathe. When I took the blindfold off I remember the room was literally spinning. I wish I had said no, because it was something I really did not want to do. But in a way I am glad I did it, yes I felt horrible, but it taught me a lot.

What annoys me the post about having anxiety is the overthinking. In some cases, I could have thought my day went well, that is until I am alone with my thoughts and when overthinking comes into the equation (this isn't maths related, I don't know why I said that lol). I think about how my day went, and then no matter what I will think of one thing that I screwed up during the day. It will replay in my mind, worse then 'whip my hair' (sorry). Then I begin to feel guilty and question why I did it, and it's horrible. Or, it can be if I am going to somewhere I will think of possible scenarios that could happen, this is the worst because then I am reluctant to go. It creates so many problems that weren't there before.

Tackling my anxiety:

When I think about how I am supposed to tackle my anxiety the first thing that comes into my head is to stop going places that can make me anxious. However, this is not logical I can't just stop going places because I feel anxious. This is letting anxiety take over my life! There is no way I am letting that bitch do that. Also there are some places that I do have to go ie school. School is one of the biggest reasons for my anxiety attacks. For example, I have mocks next week whereas I'm writing a blog post instead of studying (I wouldn't be studying anyway lol). School is where I am most anxious and sensitive and just emotional. I really hate going there. I love the idea of being educated, but not to the extent that our education system offers. Students shouldn't have to be so stressed that they cry at night. (A topic for another day). So in order to get my anxiety under control, I have to try and tackle it.

Challenging your anxiety:

You can feel anxious at any time. Whether you are someone who suffers from the different types of anxiety ie social anxiety (which is what I have) or if you're someone who only gets anxious from time to time, being anxious is a horrible thing to deal with. I feel like, everyone gets anxious from time to time, however some people suffer more than others. If you're someone who has anxiety and feels anxious from day to day you know how truly horrible it can be. Whether it is your heart beating for ten minutes after speaking out in class or your shortness of breath it can be nasty. One thing I constantly tell myself is that it will pass. That sounds incredibly vague, but it is true. I remember times that I've felt so anxious that I worked myself up to the point that I thought I would die from not being able to breathe properly. That sounds quite graphic I'm sorry. If you have anxiety you may know what I mean: but it all being okay afterwards. Anxiety makes you worry about everything, it's like a little voice in your head that makes you think that everything you do you will fail. It can be something that as simple as opening a door. It is so prominent that you can have a panic attack from it. Anxiety can make you feel like you are good for nothing, and that is where it is wrong.  Yes I will admit that I let it win sometimes. Sometimes doing something as little as getting out of bed in the morning can be such a difficult task to complete heck, even talking to some people has me in bits! However, I am a warrior and YOU are a WARRIOR. If you do the task that you thought was impossible to complete ie getting out of bed, you just DEFEATED it. And that my love is amazing!

I like to challenge my anxiety. It has made me think that there are certain things I can't do because I will feel anxious. However, I and you can do these things, maybe it may take a long time and a lot of self persuasion but we can.  At least once a day I try to do something that is outside of my comfort zone. Whether it is talking to someone I feel intimidated by, going to a disco or asking for help. I will admit that while I am doing these things my heart is beating like crazy  and I will be incredibly nervous, but after I have done it I feel amazing! It tells me that I just did something that I thought I would never be able to do, and that feeling is the best feeling in the whole entire world! It makes me believe that I can do anything if I set my mind to it. By doing this, not only are you tackling something that terrified you, but you are getting more comfortable with it. Also, you are getting accustomed to the idea that it is not so bad.

Write it down:

Whenever I feel anxious I like to write down my feelings, strangely this helps.Sometimes I bring my journal, and write it in there or I write how I am feeling on my phone I use notes or the Anxiety Reliever App, this is really good! You can say how anxious you are (on a scale from 1-5) you can write very descriptively on how you feel, and if you want you can even record yourself. There are 'Sessions' that you can listen to. Three of them are free. This app is free, however there are extras that do cost money! To unlock all of those costs something like €30 which I think is quite pricey, I'm sure it's worth it, but for me for example I don't have the money to be spending that! There is a second way of paying, you can pay monthly! Which is a really nice feature! I love this app other than that though, because during the day you will get notifications saying "How are you feeling today" I personally think that is such a sweet gesture! This app has helped me alot!

Anxiety Reliever 
Just incase you want to find this app quickly. 

Listen to calming music:

I think this is so important, when you are anxious the last thing you need to be listening to is fast music. I listen to Tchaikovsky I find classical music so relaxing. It will help controlling your breathing and immediately relax you.

Get some air: 

I don't think I can stress this enough. Getting some air will immediately relax you, go outside, go for a walk just do something that will clear your head. I know when you're at school it's quite limited, but even if you need to get out of the class room ask to go to the bathroom. Get the air that you need, that will hopefully allow you to relax.
I look like an idiot, but I'm just going to roll with it. 
You might be happy to know that those jeans never made a 
comeback into my life. What was I thinking lol. This was like two
Years ago! 

 That is everything that I do when I feel anxious! These things help me alot, and I hope they help you too!

I think talking about anxiety or anything as personal as this is really daunting and terrifying. It is one of my struggles that only a few of my closest friends and family knows about, and now you know.
Posting something like this is terrifying I will admit. However, if this can help even one person and help that person realise that they are not alone that makes everything so worthwhile.

So if you take one thing from today, know that you are not alone and that it will pass. You are in control of how you feel. You've got this. You are an amazing person, and do not deserve to feel like this! You my darling, you are a warrior an incredibly strong one! You are not alone, you are loved, you are an incredible person.
No matter what you are going through if it's anxiety, depression or anything you are in control! And you can do this!

"Believe in yourself and you're already halfway there"

Lots of love,

                       Fiona x 


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