Anxiety – How does it feel

It can feel different for everyone and can feel different each time you experience it. If you asked me what the word anxiety means to me….

  • Restlessness
  • Fear
  • Stress
  • Nervous
  • Racing thoughts
  • Panic
  • Over-thinking everything
  • Worrying about every little thing
  • That constant lump in your throat
  • Pounding heart
  • Waiting, constantly waiting, every second feeling like a minute
  • Doubting, even the things you are certain of
  • Avoiding – You avoid everyone and every situation
  • Isolating
  • Over-whelming
  • Sleepless nights

The list is just exhausting looking at it isn’t it, so it’s no wonder it feels as big as it does. I have never known a feeling like it. You could be sat as still and comfy as possible, in front of your favourite tv show, blanket, cup of tea in hand. Nice imagery isn’t it. But what nobody sees are the thoughts racing through your mind. The way you are playing out tomorrow’s work day in your head, because you’ve just realised you didn’t action that email. Oh my god, what is that going to mean, I feel dreadful, I’ve let someone down, I’ve caused that person more work, that person isn’t going to like me now, that person isn’t going to trust me now, that person is going to tell other people I didn’t action it, they are going to think I’m useless too, my manager is going to find out, she will think I’m useless, she can’t trust me now, my appraisal is coming up, I’m going to get a bad review, I’m going to get a warning, I’m getting the sack.

Yes it escalates that quick! Your mind is full of negativity and worry, now here comes the lump in the throat, the racing heart and yes open the flood gates because the tears are about to fall!

I never really understood what anxiety was until it attached itself to me. Yes I’d heard other people talk about it, I’d read about it, I’ve scrolled past those Facebook and insta posts describing it, but I never really took it in and never had the compassion I do now for anyone that suffers with it. It isn’t just a little feeling of worry that everyone has at sometime or another, it’s crippling, it’s heart breaking, it takes over and is often un-seen or un-noticed. So for everyone out there suffering, I see you, I feel for you, I stand by you and I extend a virtual hug to you. Stay strong.

Love Laura

The diagnosis

I was diagnosed with anxiety in May 2019. I had always been someone that was nervous in crowds but this feeling began intensifying. I became more and more anxious in crowds, began panicking, feeling sick and having an overwhelming feeling of needing to escape.

I stopped taking my normal route of public transport to work as being squashed flat between the door and someone else’s armpit sent me spiralling from worry to panic to tears. So I took the longer route, not easy for someone who likes to be early everywhere and panics about being late but I felt this was the only option. I was constantly angry and wondering how I had got to this stage.

Children’s birthday parties – For me as someone who loved a list and a plan this should have been plain sailing. May 2019 had something different in store for me though. I stood in a supermarket armed with my lists to help me pull off my daughter’s themed birthday party and all of a sudden everything changed. I burst in to tears in the middle of the aisle and nearly vomitted on the floor. Everything felt overwhelming. The list of food, the list of decorations, the last of party pieces all became a huge mountain. I stood with my tear stained lists in the middle of Sainsburys in utter shock and despair. What was happening to me?

I booked an appointment with my doctor soon after this and was left gobsmacked when he diagnosed me with anxiety and depression. He talked though the symptoms and I protested that I wasn’t depressed and he agreed that my main issue was anxiety but he concluded that was causing me some depression as they can often go hand in hand. I had walked in the room looking for an answer, assuming it was probably some annoying hormonal type issue and left with a packet of anti-depressants and and uplift service number in my hand. My life was taking a new course.

Love Laura