Friday 25 December 2015

Just Breathe

Merry Christmas everyone!

I have a present for you all, a little bit of insight!

Some where in the middle of July something happened to me. To which I have no clue, nothing traumatic happened, there's no explanation. I didn't realised until a couple of months later what I had. What I still have. I was feeling ill all the time, I wasn't going to work, and would often not call in sick as I hate making phone calls. Then I dodged calls from my work place as I had no idea what to tell them.

I was ill at least three or four times a week, having to live on shop bought medication so that I could try and get on with my life. I was constantly ill when I went on holiday to Turkey with my friends, I thought maybe I had caught a bug or something. I knew I was just overthinking things, and making myself ill so I tried to chill myself out, by sun bathing, swimming in the pool, and having cocktails with my friends. I started avoiding certain foods for fear that was what was making me ill.

But food doesn't make your heart beat out of your chest, and disrupt your breathing. I came to the realisation that I have anxiety. I was in denial and was hoping it was something more medical that doctors could sort out, but this is something within me. 

It's been about five months living with this. Almost everyday I have to take myself physically out of what I'm doing, going for a walk, getting fresh air. I get panicky about various things that are stressful; university work, going out with friends/family, going on holiday, days out where I won't be back home for a whole day. The were all things I enjoyed-maybe not the university work. I don't understand why these things now bother me and make me so ill and anxious? I have to partake in breathing exercises to calm myself down.

I never knew much about anxiety before, I usually only had temporary anxiety for a job interview, first day at school/college/university, or exams. But I have unexplained anxiety attacks, I can be sat in the comfort of my room watching Netflix, and I'll suddenly have to pause and breathe in and out deep breaths.

I just wanted to let anyone know who might be possibly reading this that you aren't alone, of course every always says that. But I felt alone when I didn't know what was wrong with me. Then I started opening up to my loved one's around me for some support and understanding. I actually found out that they understood and my friends and family are there for me now, not that I always tell everyone when I'm having an anxiety attack as it makes it worse to admit I'm in one to people around me. They ask me how I am, and check in on me, and I'm ever so grateful to have them in my life. I used to be closed off and wouldn't let anyone in and know my problems, but I enjoy being able to be open to people now.

In the new year I'm seeking further help with cognitive behavioural therapy, to hopefully try and find out what's at the root of this. As I've tried to put blame on various things, and help myself get out of this, but I'm too far into this now. I'm afraid of how long I will have to deal with this, how it will affect me next year; when I go on holiday, when I have deadlines at university and just waking up every day wondering when it's going to happen again.

Before I realised what I had, I found out that the YouTube vlogger "Zoella" has anxiety, and I think it's admirable for someone with so many fans and younger girls looking up to her that might have the same sort of issues, or even if they don't. That someone who's partially in the lime light still makes videos each week, can go to award ceremonies, and can have a book published that breaks selling records.

I'm obviously not in any sort of lime light and don't get invited to awards ceremonies, but I'm proud of myself for so far not dropping out of social engagements, I force myself to go. I'd rather go and not enjoy myself, than sit at home wondering how it was and looking at photo's of my friends having a good time. I go home earlier than usual now, I don't drink an awful lot, and I'm not my usual self on most days. I'm quieter now, I blend into the walls on most occasions, not that I was the centre of attention from the beginning. Anxiety has changed me, I prefer to stay in bed and watch Netflix than socialise, I love the days where I don't have to talk to anyone and I can just lie there and stop any anxiety attacks.

I know I haven't had this for very long, but it's taken over my life in more ways than I would've thought. I never had an opinion on anxiety before, as I've had panic attacks in my life but very rarely, so I guess I kind of understood anxiety a little bit.

I hope that next year will be a better year for me, and that there is a reason for the way I am, if there's no reason whatsoever this is a cruel world to go through this almost everyday. Overtime I open my laptop to do university work, every time I'm getting ready to go out to every time I even eat now.

I just wanted to reach out to others like myself, that are taken over by what they have. And to inform others of what it's like, as some people use anxiety as an excuse when really they are just being dramatic, the same with depression, some people just want attention. I hate having attention, I don't want this at all, if someone else wants it feel free to take it! 

I just want to be a normal twenty year old again.

Saffron x


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