Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Anxiety; It's Different This Time - Two Months On

I have come to some sort of understanding with my anxiety; a change of thinking that I know will help me in the future.

I used to fear anxiety; loathe and dread the feelings that would consume my body and mind making the simplest of tasks challenging conquests.

But something has changed; I've learnt to accept that anxiety is an emotion, yes an extreme emotion, and often an unpleasant one, but as with all feelings I know that this one will come and go throughout my life and is not a permanent fixture.

I know the signs to look out for;
-loss of appetite
-heart racing
-hot flushes
-inability to sleep
-loss of confidence
-inability to concentrate
-ruminating negative thoughts

I have more  self awareness. I know my own body and I know when I'm becoming run down, tired and stressed. After seeming somewhat on top of things for four years since my depression, I've learnt that I can't become complacent with listening to my body, as alarm bells were ringing this time around wayyy before the anxiety kicked in, I just chose to ignore them and kept battling on.

I've learnt that it's okay not to feel happy and in control all of the time; it doesn't mean that your life is spiraling down the drain, it's just your bodies way of saying hey you, what do we have to do around hear to be heard; we're making your heart race, preventing you from sleep, sending your brain round and round in circles - listen up?!" Unfortunately were becoming less resilient to feelings of sadness because we only ever see happy images on our screens. Sadness, like happiness, will come and go through out your life - no one is happy and in control all of the time.

I've learnt to listen to my body.

I've learnt that I'm not invincible; even with my new found assertiveness since becoming sick, my self awareness and my knowledge and understanding of anxiety,  that sometimes,  just sometimes it can still creep up on you.

I've learnt that anxiety doesn't always lead to depression (this has been a HUGE breakthrough for me and one that I am so grateful for). I've learnt the difference between the feelings of anxiety and the feelings of depression. Even though anxiety is crippling, and makes day to day life tough, there is still hope when you have anxiety that tomorrow will be better, there's still glimpses of happiness and moments when you don't feel anxious and you still feel very much alive. Depression is completely different, well the depression that I suffered felt completely different to the anxiety that I have just experienced. 

In a strange way I am grateful for the things that I have learnt this time around as I now have the belief in myself that I can manage the feelings and make them go away without needing expert help, medication and spiraling into a great depression.

I am enough.

I am proud to say that two months on, I am completely anxiety free, and I did it all by myself, just little old me.


My best advice for others out there suffering would be to;

-Do a little research about what anxiety is; knowledge is power and understanding the feelings you are experiencing makes you realize that they are normal, and can be controlled.

-Have some tools in your bag for managing your anxiety; different things work for different people. This time around the "stop sign" really helped for me (whenever a negative thought what enter into my head I'd picture a stop sign - it helps your mind to recognize that it's a negative thought and to try and replace it with something more helpful).

-Don't be afraid to take some time off of work; you're not a failure, you're not ruining the company, and you're certainly not going to be fired, you're just recognizing that your body is stressed and needs some down time.

-Make time in your day for exercise. I'm  the worst person to preach exercise as I'm often caught thinking about it more then actually doing it buttttt after hearing that 30 minutes of walking, 5 times a week is equivalent to a low antidepressant I stopped making excuses. If you're experiencing negative thoughts then it's better to be thinking outside with the distractions of the natural senses rather then being curled up in a dark room; you have to create opportunities for happy thoughts.

-Be honest with how you are feeling with those around you - they won't think differently, they'll just want to help.

-Seek medical advice.

What has anxiety taught you?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

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