Bit of a long one this. The past few weeks have been a funny one for me. I’ve spoken about my battles with anxiety on here a few times, but mostly in relation to food and body shape struggles because they’re the ones that fit the narrative of this account and, for a long time, they were the anxieties that plagued me the most. Yet recently as I have been healing my relationships with food and my body, those anxieties have shifted and, worryingly to me, peaked. It has been affecting me mentally and physically and it is absolutely draining.
For now it seems, my anxiety has no bounds. For fear of sounding like a crazy person (which incidentally is one of the anxieties), I’m not going to list all of them because to me they seem unbounded. Plus we would be here for days. I have doubts about everything, from worrying my friends find me annoying to worrying that I am not good enough. I worry that I’ve said the wrong thing, that I’ve come on too strong. I’ve even recently been having dreams where I eat meat and I worry if I’m making the right decision with that. I worry that i’m not working hard enough. I worry that I settle for things. I worry that i’m too high maintenance and i’m going to drive people away. I still have the other food and body worries too, but thankfully less so. Yet at least with those I could pin point the root cause and act upon it. With these, they come from nowhere, most of the time from nothing, they come as a surprise and they come at me fast and strong. I put on a bit of a front and the first time I mentioned it on here I remember getting a message along the lines of “I had no idea! You always seem so put together”.
I’ve taken a tiny step back from this account the past few weeks because the added pressure is posting on there was not helping. A lot of things don’t help: living in London for one. I love this city and I can imagine myself here for a long time but my god it is exhausting. I also haven’t really helped myself taking on a full-time job whilst finishing my masters and in my quest to start living my life more, I’m also going out a lot more. Which is great; but alcohol has a knock on effect for me the few days after are usually the worst.
It could also be due to PCOS; anxiety is listed as one of the symptoms but I doubt it matters much anyway as I’m not really getting treatment for that (see last post). The only thing I can try and do is deal with the symptoms and not the cause.
This isn’t just a mental thing. I wake up in the morning sometimes feeling like I’m going to pass out because my heart is beating so fast. My thoughts become erratic and sometimes I find myself saying things that barely make sense. I’m not sleeping and adding exhaustion to the mix is a cocktail of disaster. Yet the thing about anxiety is, even just being in your own brain is exhausting.
The alcohol was perhaps a bit of self-medication in a way. Smoking even came back in my life for a little while, which is something I’m extremely ashamed of as someone who is SO against it.
I’m not even sure where I’m going with this post as I don’t have many answers. I know what I should be doing, but right now that seems like too much hard work when all my energy is taken up elsewhere. Living with anxiety means that just being in your own brain is exhausting. Writing it down has helped a little. I’ve managed to pinpoint a few details that in reality, I hadn’t even realised myself yet.
Instead, I’m going to make a list of tiny changes I’m going to make and the things the I do that I know DO help. And hopefully they will help any of you that suffer too:
- Taking a step back from social media. An obvious one, I’m sure, and I’m still battling whether to delete it completely whilst I work on myself. I could do a whole post on how social media aggravates anxiety but I think we’re all aware of it. So for now, an hour or two a day spent on it, and that is it.
- Take time away from my phone completely. I’ve gotten into a really bad habit of having it in my hand CONSTANTLY. I’m replying to messages straight away and sometimes not even thinking about what I’m saying. I have a FOMO with my phone that something is going on in the world without me that I’m missing out on. It’s not, and I need to get a grip. Its not helping.
- Going for walks. Whenever I feel like I’m on the bring of an anxiety attack, the best thing is getting up, going outside, and just putting on foot in front of the other. If like me you work in an office, sometimes even just getting up and going to get a drink can help.
- Talking to someone. I’m so lucky that I have a fucking amazing network of friends that I can turn to whenever the doubt plague me and it becomes too much. I’m going to name drop here and if you never read this that’s fine, but Hannah and Bethan thank you for being the people I know I can turn to when all rational thoughts leave me.
- Breathe. Sounds stupid but my god, the amount of times I’ve felt my heart elevating and my thoughts running a million miles an hour and I’ve forgotten to fucking breathe.
I think the biggest thing to take away is to not keep any worries to yourself. Sometimes even as i’m writing them down I can see how stupid and irrational they are and it can dissipate slightly. Speak and share. Never ever think that you are a burden.