Anxiety is something I have negotiated with for quite a while now, some days I feel like I’ve taken 50 steps forward from it and other days it feels like it’s 50 steps ahead of me.
Sure, it has manifested itself in the forms of panic attacks like we usually associate with anxiety, but for me, that is not the every day. That’s when I have worked myself up about something, or a particular circumstance has given me more anxiety. My anxiety takes form in paranoia and being very tearful, which at times can be very exhausting if I am struggling to keep it controlled.
An example would be if I get a text from a friend that says ‘ok’ instead of ‘okay 🙂 x’, on bad days my mind will linger on that and wonder if that person is angry with me or upset with me, or oh my god what if something is wrong, or something has happened, and I don’t know, oh my god what if, what if, what if.
This entire train of thought above happens in a matter of seconds, and will probably stay on loop for hours in the back of my brain, like those annoying chatterboxes at the back of the class when all you want to do is concentrate on the things that matter. This subconscious whirlwind is accompanied by my shoulders sitting up around my ears and a pounding headache from tensing my jaw and raising my eyebrows into my scalp. I also sweat, you did not need to know that but I am telling you. If you ever see me freaking out have a towel on hand because my God will I need it.
Nine times out of ten this weight is all lifted off when the texter replies with a smiley face later on or by speaking to them later in the day. By that point, my energy has already been partly wasted on a hypothetical scenario. And I just need a cuddle quite frankly.
Depression accompanies my anxiety somewhat, a bit of that 3rd wheeling friend type deal. Usually, taking form in me sitting and out of nowhere a lump forms in my throat and all of a sudden, I am just crying. For no reason at all mostly, or sometimes it has been a build-up of anxieties over an extended period. In that little meltdown, my confidence drops out my arse and onto the ground with my mind telling me lots of lies like I am unimportant, ugly and stupid. In the logical mind frame, I have while writing this; I know they are lies I am being told. I know this, but during those moments it’s my nearest and dearest that reminds me: Nicky, you is kind, you is smart, and you is important. I’ve been selfish and decided that some friends, are just best left in the past because the last thing they are good for is your mental health.
I think people always assume I am just a ‘wee nervy soul, ‘ or just a bit hyped up all the time, but this dazzling personality took a lot of work to shine through. A lot of essential oils, meditation and colouring yadda yadda yadda.
I cannot thank those closest to me enough, but I’d be lying if I left feminism out in this. Feminism, and writing about feminism helped me find this voice that is articulate, funny and can overcome anything. Through writing, I realized my feelings are there to be felt, and that my thoughts and feelings are always valid.
When it comes to mental health, do whatever the fuck you need to do. Cry, take medication, go to counselling, go jogging, do whatever the fuck it takes for you to feel your best self. Remember – no one else knows what is best for you apart from you. Let’s all do our best to give anxiety and other mental health issues the big middle finger and say ‘FUCK YOU’.