Originally posted via- The Anxious Blogger
I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful it’s Friday! I had a little bit of a meltdown on Tuesday at work, it’s safe to say I wasn’t having a great day. The combination of having to make a few phone calls (I have a huge phone phobia) and then going onto reception and speaking to people really drained me mentally and emotionally. However it wasn’t only the phone calls that did it, because even before that I was grumpy and spaced out at my desk, and the previous night I had been cooking jerk chicken and I spaced out completely. Have you ever had that feeling where you’re doing something but you aren’t really there? I totally forgot what I was doing and Sam had to help me in the end because I just couldn’t focus on a thing.
Anyway, that’s what I was feeling at work on Tuesday. So, I am VERY happy that Friday has come along and reared it’s happy little head… I needed it. Sam thinks I’m putting too much on my plate and not sleeping enough, which unfortunately is the case. But keeping busy keeps me distracted and that’s where I am at my best, so more sleep it is! Monday will be a new week and I can use these next few days to reset my mind. Have you had times like this?
Aaaaaaanyway… enough rambling, let’s get on to what I wanted to talk about today. Getting Support. This is probably the most difficult part of dealing with anxiety, and is also the best thing you can do. Telling your friends, family, a counsellor, your doctor… any help is good help, and talking is therapeutic.
Trust me now when I say how hard it was for me to finally come out and admit my issues, but it has made my life so much easier, because at those times I am distant, quiet or acting strange, my family understand WHY. They know, and they can help me, distract me or even just let me do my thing. That’s the kind of support that I need, and it helps me to concentrate on dealing with my emotions and feelings openly, which makes it a lot easier to handle.
I want to tell you today how I finally managed to tell me friends and family that I have anxiety.
Telling a Stranger:
When I was 15, and Sam and I had not long been dating, my anxiety had sky rocketed to a whole new level. I’ve had anxiety since I was 11, and this was the worst it had ever been, but I was too embarrassed to tell him. In our high school, we had a counsellor who would come in a couple of times a week to talk to students who had personal issues, and I remember one day thinking that this would be the only way I could open up about my feelings and help myself. So, I booked an appointment with her and waited. I received my time, and every Thursday in the second half of French, I would leave my class and talk to my counsellor. She was friendly and calm, and gave me tasks to do each week, such as writing down every time something made me anxious,and why, so we could talk about it next session. In total I had 6 sessions, and then I gave up, because although it was working, I just didn’t want to carry on going.
It was a few months after this that I opened up to Sam about everything, and told him I had been having counselling, and he understood immediately. I have talked more about how he is with me on my lifestyle blog in a post called My Comfort Blanket.
I found that talking to a complete stranger was the best way for me to open up,because I knew they wouldn’t judge me, and I wouldn’t really ever have to see them again so it didn’t matter as much. I took my own initiative to do this for myself, which I found much easier than asking a teacher for advice or my parents.
Telling my Parents:
I think I was about 17 when I told my parents about my anxiety, but I was actually a bit drunk at the time. I vaguely remember telling them, but I’m glad I wasn’t doing it sober!
The Second Time Around:
Now, you might be thinking ‘problem solved!’ because everyone knew I had been to see a counsellor etc… you’d be very wrong.
The hardest time for me was to open up about the extent of my anxiety. It’s all well and good that everyone knew I had issues, but the extent to which it effected my life wasn’t really seen until I was 20. Yes, 20. It was my final year of university, and I was having a mental breakdown to be honest. University level Chemistry was pushing me to my limit, over that limit, and forcing me down flat on my arse. I spent most of my third year only attending labs, and only going to the first lecture of the day, then bottling it and coming home. My anxiety was the worst it had ever been, to the point where I din’t know what I wanted to do with my life anymore. After falling behind on my work to such a point that i knew I wouldn’t be able to complete my coursework, I went to our Student Information Point and asked to speak to a counsellor. I needed help more than ever.
They agreed to push back my work a few months, and I worked my way up to telling Sam and my parents what I had really been doing all year. I text Sam, because I wasn’t brave enough to talk to him. And for my parents, I wrote a note and gave it to my mum, then she told my dad.
It was the hardest but the best decision I ever made. They didn’t understand fully, but they supported me. I visited the doctors and got myself put on pills, although I didn’t use them for long because I was adamant that I wouldn’t depend on pills, I would manage this myself. I took my exams in the August, failed half of them and decided to leave science behind for something new. I love chemistry even now, but I think everyone has their limit and I had pushed mine too far. I am happier than ever now because I have changed industry entirely, and my stress levels are becoming much more manageable.
A Bit of Advice…
If you’ve just read all of that and still don’t know how you’re going to open up, here are a couple of tips:
- Tell a Stranger- If you aren’t able to talk to the people closest, talk to someone else. Whether it be on a blog, on the phone or in person, getting things off your chest is the first step.
- Write it Down- If you can’t say it, write it. As long as you open up, it doesn’t matter if you don’t open your mouth.
- Don’t overthink it- When you begin to think too much about it, you’ll end up talking yourself out of it. Just act first, think later. Trust me.
Most of all, don’t be scared to tell your family and friends. They love you, and all they will ever want is for you to be happy.
And, as always, here’s my positive thought for the day…