What is it like to live with anxiety? How I cope with my anxiety.

What does the word anxiety mean to you? For most, you probably imagine someone with anxiety may be a little stressed at times, or even overwhelmed. A lot of us can get anxious over big events (like an interview or first date), but having general anxiety is feeling like this over little things, and just life in general.

Anxiety is like that friend that will never stop pestering you, constantly reminding you of things you should be worried about. It’s that mate that you tell “I just nailed that interview!”, and they reply, “But did you really? You talked so fast and he was frowning at you most of the time. You probably won’t get the job at all. In fact, you’ll probably never get a job.”

It’s that voice of doubt that constantly lurks in the back of your mind, eagerly giving voice where it’s not wanted, needed or required. For people that have never truly suffered from anxiety, it can be difficult to understand, and even more difficult to accept.

They’ll never truly relate to why you’re up at 4am, sobbing for no reason in particular, or can’t even begin to imagine why you’re so nervous for your daily bus trip that you’ve done a thousand times. They can’t work out why you’re on the verge of vomiting at the prospect of talking to strangers, or why you obsessively write notes in every meeting so you’ll never miss a thing.

Whilst I can’t pinpoint the exact time in my life I first showed symptoms of anxiety, I know my cruel friend has always lingered in my mind. From my first date to the last time I drove my car, that small yet demandingly loud voice hurled unwavering doubts at me.

I like to think I’m a very open person, and I often Insta Stories about my experiences with anxiety. I’m extremely lucky to be surrounded by such a strong, fierce group of friends and family that understand. That listen. That support.

My Instagram family is a whole other source of beautiful support, and you all often give me tips, advice and get me through the hard days. The reason I’m writing this article, is because today I had a pretty intense bout of anxiety at work.

It felt like someone was standing on my chest, and I genuinely struggled to breathe properly for a few hours. I sat at my desk trying to slowly take large gulps of air, whilst my heart raced at a million miles an hour over a problem that just wasn’t there.

NOTHING was wrong. In fact, today was an extremely productive, wonderful day where I achieve more than I usually do. But for some obscene reason, my friend, anxiety, decided to rear his ugly head and play ball. And you know what? That’s okay.

It’s okay to admit you’re not feeling 100%, or struggling with work, friendships or life in general. It’s more than okay, and I truly encourage each and every one of you to speak out to someone if you’re feeling this way. I’m not a qualified counsellor, but I am someone that genuinely listens, reflects and helps. 

I’ve lost a lot of important people in my life to mental health issues, and feel it’s my responsibility to speak out. We all suffer at some point in our lives, and it’s OKAY. Next time you’re feeling low, stressed or just a bit off, tell your mates or your mum. Tell your neighbour or your boss. Just tell anyone who will listen - but never, ever keep it bottled up.

On reflection, this article is more of a personal blog that I’ve kind of word vomited on to my laptop…. But I’m still going to post it. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like no one will listen, and I am here to tell you all that I AM HERE. Whether you Snapchat me, Instagram or just message, I am here to talk to you. 

Thank you to everyone that has made an impact on my life thus far xx