I am a member of what feels like a million Facebook groups and follow lots of blogs. What can I say? I love reading and interacting with like minded people. Yet, despite the massive amount of reading that I do, it’s been a while since something really resonated and wasn’t about the joys of red lipstick or waiting impatiently for the post man to arrive. But when I read this article that was shared to a Facebook group that I’m a member of, a little light bulb went off in my head. Because I suffer with anxiety and most people don’t know this. I hide it well.
I don’t think strangers could tell by looking at me that anxiety is a huge issue for me, because I’m high-functioning. I wouldn’t say I’ve conquered it, because, well, I haven’t. I don’t think I ever will. Anxiety will always be a huge part of my life. But I have found ways to manage it, I am also adept at disguising it for times when I can’t manage it. I am quite literally an Oscar-worthy actress at times and ‘fine’ is my favourite word.
The article that I read, talks about how a woman with anxiety really has a lot of strength, because despite feeling like she is inadequate, she keeps going. I completely identify with that. Sometimes my worries overwhelm me, make my stomach churn and my head hurt but I keep going. I get up after tossing and turning all night and do it all again day after day.
I’ve suffered with anxiety for almost as long as I can remember to be honest. My dad has always said about me that if I didn’t have something to worry about that I’d be worried. Although anxiety is more complex than that, he has a point. I am the person continually looking for something that to go wrong.
I won’t lie, there are lots of times when anxiety doesn’t bother me at all. Some days, I can almost forget about it and go about my daily life without interruptions. But then it creeps in slowly and I have to fight it.
Some people I know who have anxiety, hide when they are feeling at their most anxious. They lock themselves away indoors and switch from the world including their children. I simply can’t do that. I won’t do that. I have two little people who depend on me for absolutely everything and I refuse to let them down. So although sometimes, getting out of bed at 5am seems like the hardest thing in the world to do, I do it. And I do so with a smile. I dance around the kitchen with my daughters because I want them to have the memories of a happy, strong mama in their minds. I have to curb my anxiety for their sake.
That’s not to say that I am impervious to my feelings of self-doubt and that familiar sensation in my gut and quickening pulse because I’m not. It often strikes when I’m on my own. The 3 mile drive between the school run and work, the hours between the kids’ bedtime and my own, the 5 minute shower I grab between breakfast for me and breakfast for them. I can’t lie, when anxiety hits me, it can often floor me. I feel helpless.
But what I never let it do is defeat me. I acknowledge it . I embrace it as part of my character along with all my other quirks (I’m writing this in my pjs but a full face of make up – it’s just what I do.) Anxiety is a part of my life and yes it does give me my strength because when some people are just deciding what to wear that day, I have sometimes had an internal battle with my worries just to get to that point.
Do you suffer with anxiety? How does it make you feel?
Like this post? Pin it!