Hi and welcome to the final instalment on - My Battle With Anxiety
So, I encountered a very difficult journey, one that kept telling me I can’t do this, I’m not strong enough. Maybe I should just live with the anxiety, it would be easier than putting myself through this torture. But that’s what the anxiety wanted, it wanted me to give up – throw in the towel because that’s how it succeeds, it feeds off my fear, it grew stronger when I reacted this way. I had my ups and downs, times when I didn’t challenge myself, times when I just thought – “no not today”, them days initially weighed the positive days, but, the days when I did get out and confront my fears, the days when little by little I started to reinforce the thoughts of, the anxiety doesn’t control me, I am in charge and most of all – I can go outside, there is nothing to be afraid of. I ACCEPTED the anxiety and this was key for me, because each time I denied it and tried supressing it, I again reinforced it's strength alittle, it helped the feelings intensify. The journey was a long one but day by day I challenged myself and each day I grew stronger, I started to control the anxiety and not the other way around. I actually started to believe that I was getting better. Then all of a sudden, another severe anxiety attack, I major setback because I thought I was winning, actually I was, I just never realised that, that’s how anxiety behaved, it took me a while to work out that it was going to keep popping up its ugly head, just to let me know it was still around. I again accepted this as part of the journey and didn’t allow it to dictate again. I could have dipped again and I’m not sure where I would be today had I done. I persevered and after many months I started to feel better, I started to feel like I could go out alone and be myself again, I gained confidence and guess what, that (confidence) behaves just like anxiety. Once you start to feel it, it grows, gets stronger, your confidence also feeds off how you feel. Around two years after suffering with anxiety and finally feeling like I’d sorted it, I realised one day that there was still some there. I had been going out running for twelve months or so and ALWAYS had music in my ears whilst doing so…I mean, a lot of people do this I’d never really thought about it or questioned it in anyway, why would I? Until, one day I couldn’t find my headphones and went for a run without them. Wow! The anxiety was still there, it was awful, nothing like I initially had but still strong and overwhelming. The music when out running was my safety blanket, it had been distracting me from my thoughts and feelings and I never even knew. What I did, was challenge myself again, I guess I didn’t really have to do but I wanted to. I had beat the big part of the anxiety and I knew I could do it again with this. I did and guess what, these days its very rare I go out running with music on in my ears. What I realised was that I had been missing all the sounds of the world and noticed that I actually prefer to hear those rather than the music.
Don’t get me wrong anxiety pops up now and then, not often but it does and that’s ok, I’m ok with that because I know what to do, I know that I have control now and its gone in seconds. I can do it, I did do it and so can you. It’s not easy but well worth it. If you are having that battle, push yourself, it feels fantastic to come out the other side. Don’t give up, keep going and one day you will be able to say “I BEAT ANXIETY”