BLOG TAKE OVER
I am so glad that I have opened up my blog for you to contribute. Writing has helped me massively with my mental health and this gives others the opportunity to write and share their journey from a different perspective. I am truly inspired and encouraged by what I have read. I have no doubt you will too.
**Please remember local and national support services are available if help is required**
Thank you EL for your openness in ‘take over 6’
Before generalized anxiety disorder, the word anxiety was not in my vocabulary. I don’t even think I had ever used the word to describe how I felt about anything. I would not have been able to tell you what anxiety was, if you had asked me. I had never had a panic attack. I would not have even recognised one if I saw it happening to someone else.
After an operation that went wrong, anxiety and all that was associated with it became my whole life. I have never been an overly emotional person, but anxiety literally broke me down into a ball of emotions. Literally overnight, tasks that I once carried out without a second thought became difficult, my daily routine was suddenly so hard, and I struggled with life. Sometimes I did not make it through my working day without a panic attack. Sometimes I did not make it to work at all. It would take me three hours to leave the house on the weekend. The panic attacks were dreadful, but the constant anxiety I felt was just as bad. I was never relaxed. I couldn’t sleep. And I was constantly worried about everything.
At my lowest point I have felt suicidal. The sheer mental pain of feeling anxious and not being able to deal with it or fight it off is like nothing you can ever imagine, unless you have been through it. I was so overcome with fear, I felt like the anxiety would either kill me or I would have to commit suicide.
During my wait for CBT, I had counselling and read up on anything anxiety related to try and combat it. I owe my life to the gym; I believed going there saved my life. The routine of getting out of the house and working out daily, helped me to feel good. I was able to block out all the negative feelings and replace them with the good feelings I gained whilst working out. I had days where it took me an hour to get inside the building or I would have a panic attack half way through my work out, but I kept going. And I pushed myself to go back every day.
I read all the books I could about people who suffered with mental illness and got well again. I prayed, I meditated, and I breathed through it all. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
What I have learned from my mental illness is that anxiety is a liar. And you do not have to listen to it. You can fight it. You can overcome it. I am living proof of that.