What am I doing? Is this a good idea? What will people think? These are a few of the hundred questions I asked myself before starting this blog. I ask myself similar questions every day. I ask myself these questions because I suffer from anxiety, and it’s probably about time I started talking about it. World Mental Health Day seems like a good place to start.
Even typing that out feels like signing a confession. I feel exposed, as if I’m admitting to a terrible crime, but in reality it is just the truth, and the real danger lies in not talking about it at all. It is hard to admit to suffering from this illness because there is so much stigma and misunderstanding surrounding it. Anxiety is more than just worrying, it is less than “crazy” and is a bit like having a superpower you don’t always want. Living with anxiety is like having a supersonic sensitivity magnet hardwired into your DNA. You are always conscious of other people’s feelings, and often end up sacrificing yourself to help save someone else from being beaten by the bad guys.
Since I was a child I have lived with anxiety. It has been a part of my identity for as long as I can remember. It is something I spend time with from the moment I brush my teeth in the morning to when I drop off at night. And as much as I would love it to be Prince Harry, Adam Levine or Chris Hemsworth, anxiety is the thing I spend most of my time with. But unlike spending time with a a dishy royal, a Maroon 5 musician or a heavenly Aussie actor, having it around feels more like being in one of those dreams when you’re frozen on the spot, but add some flying monkeys trying to attack you while you need to save humankind from a stampede of dinosaurs, and must simultaneously cure world hunger and win the Nobel Peace Prize in six inch heels while blindfolded. That pretty much covers how I feel at some point on most days.
Most people know that I get flustered easily, I am a worrier, a panicker, but even my closest friends and family can’t truly understand how I feel when I’m having a particularly bad day. My circuits can be hotwired to this frazzled state by the most ridiculous thing – from public speaking, talking on the phone to dancing on a night out, to even thinking about public speaking, talking on the phone and dancing on a night out.
It can be pretty exhausting using up more energy than a small country on a daily basis frantically worrying, but it’s a part of who I am. I want to help explain what a bad day feels like and share some thoughts on how to support someone who can sometimes feel the way I do. But I also want to show that anxiety doesn’t define me. I’m hoping to document all of my little feats through to my big wins to prove that I can kick anxiety’s backside and use it to channel my alter ego as a badass magazine journalist.
From here on out I’m hoping to share my story to raise awareness of the realities of living with anxiety and hopefully use my superpower to share some tips and tricks to help keep the flying monkeys at bay.
That’s all for now.