Anxiety and me…

Jun 17, 2020 | Health & Wellbeing

Over the past few weeks, I have been suffering with extreme anxiety… It then came to me as to why I was feeling so unsettled and a bit lost.  Being on lockdown hasn’t been easy for me, but I think particularly with being furloughed from work it has detrimentally effected my mental health and spiritual balance. Not having the normal structure that I’m used to, which is particularly important to me as an anxiety sufferer, has left me with far too much time to overthink, catastrophise and make decisions that pre COVID I wouldn’t normally have done.

These revelations have reminded me that I really need to reground and trust my unconscious feelings, listen to my body, and understand what is driving the emotions that I am experiencing.  I need to remind myself to be humble and grateful for what I have, and that I am absolutely worthy of love, happiness and peace.

Three months ago, I had a purpose.  I had a dream to follow and an outlet, and this gave my soul peace.  Through all of my uncertainty recently, I lost that focus and ultimately that emotional security that previously kept me strong.  So I am now redirecting my life back on that journey and allowing my Raw Eden lifestyle blog to become my focus, and I’m already beginning to love life once again.

Everyone’s past is the reason for what they do today… Thats how I try to justify my anxiety, but is justification acceptable you may ask? As an adult, should I not know how to separate past traumas and experiences to present ones?

I’ve always suffered with anxiety.  It can sometimes make you feel like you’re going a little crazy! In the midst of what I call an ‘anxiety spiral’, emotions are heightened and it can feel very confusing.  My mind will analyse everything about a situation and think the worse.  I start to question all the good things and get completely overwhelmed by the bad.  It’s like my emotions and my body are two separate entities. I know what the rational thought is, but I cant change how I feel, or how I might react in a situation. I am a sensitive soul, but it’s so much more than ‘being too sensitive’. The immense physical symptoms; tightness in the chest, unable to breathe, pounding in the head, nausea, the hysteria and tears of hopelessness.  Trying to calm myself until eventually it passes but leaving the aftermath of feeling empty and defeated. For me, usually a panic attack is how the ‘anxiety spiral’ ends.  I am then in search of something to replace that empty feeling…

Replacing that empty feeling with a focus on something creative can help.  For me, that is writing, being outdoors and exercise or focusing on self development and personal growth.  Initially, it can take some motivation but once I have a focus, I feel much more calm and grounded.  The mistake that I have sometimes made is focusing too much on romantic relationships.  Once I meet someone who I find a connection with and become intimate, my whole world will revolve around them and their happiness, and I can sometimes forget to consider my own feelings.  I have always had long term relationships, so have felt the joys but have also experienced the lows.

My last relationship was short, however, I would say it was one of the most significant ones.  For the first time, I met a man who was very similar to me, slightly introverted, quiet and reserved.  He gave me so much emotionally.  He fulfilled my needs; love, affection, intimacy and passion.  When he left, I felt abandoned.  I was heartbroken.  This was the first relationship that ended without my control, it was a new experience for me.  Time however was a healer, and I realise now that the gift he left me, was the realisation that I was worthy of being loved, to feel special and wanted by someone. These feelings I had never experienced before, which made it that much harder to accept when it came to an end.  Bitter sweet.

I am a people pleaser.  Especially when it comes to romantic relationships.  I avoid confrontation and arguments, usually at the detriment to my own happiness and well being.  It can be a huge problem for me in personal relationships.  I try to mediate arguments and keep everything calm.  This can have an adverse effect on my mental state, and I can become quiet and withdrawn.  However, please don’t mistake my kindness and sensitivity for my weakness.  I am patient and tolerable, but there is a line, and once pushed over the edge, I will walk away from a toxic situation or relationship completely, it just may take me a little time to realise this.

So I guess the anxiety will always be there, but it is down to me to remember that I am worthy and I can control the intrusive thoughts and worries by living in the present and remaining focused and to enjoy the life that I have.