"Can't you ask instead?"
"Don't worry just go without me"
"Do I have too?..."
It can take over your life - if you let it..
I suffer with social anxiety and I have done for almost two years now,
generally since I had my last transplant.
I have always been a anxious person,I was when I was a child,I was extremely shy but as I got older that eased away.
When you have had all the uncertainty that I have had in my life over the last 4 years it is absolutely no surprise that I have got anxiety really.
I was first 'diagnosed' with anxiety a year ago when I saw a psychiatrist who has supported me throughout my transplant journey.
I found I was avoiding social situations and doing things with family just because I was unsure what would happen.
I was always panicking,I would always make about 10 totally irrational scenarios of what 'could' happen which I would then fixate on debilitating me from doing anything at all.
I won't sit here and act like I have dealt with my anxiety,in fact its almost the opposite.
My anxiety recently has got worse and over the last month I have had at least 7 panic attacks..
I was asked by someone to write a post about how I 'deal' with my anxiety so figured I should share things I try to do..
But I do stress I am still trying to get to grips with my anxiety,but these are things that can sometimes help me.
Yes do plan,but not weeks in advance!
I am awful for this,I will plan things months in advance but the trouble with this?
It give you months to ponder over it and think of hundreds of possibility's of things that could happen that won't!
Your best planning a day or two in advance,this gives you time to calm yourself for an upcoming event but not over think it (This doesn't always work though I will admit)
Remember,your anxiety is generally irrational and inaccurate.
Anxiety is when you feel extreme fear,and it generally is for no reason that should make you feel that way.
It is natural to get nervous but sometimes anxiety can turn your nerves into a totally irrational fear of a situation that won't or generally can't possibly exist!
Always have an exit plan route.
It is so so important this one,especially if you have social anxiety.
My partner of course knows how bad my anxiety is so when we are out he always keeps this in mind.
We always try to pick an 'exit plan' if we are in a new situation or a old situation too.
Be sure to think how you will get away from the situation if you become to anxious,for example we once went on a night out and as we walked in we look around the club and figured out the best way to walk out if I needed some air!
If possible it is always super use full if the people or person you are with know you have anxiety,yes some people do not understand it BUT if a panic attack occurs they will know why!
Gareth can always notice my 'ticks' if you want to call them that,so knows as soon as I start rubbing my left hand with my thumb I am about to have a panic attack - and gets me outta there!
Nothing bad will ever happen during a panic attack.
Not everyone with anxiety will suffer with this but when you do?
If you have panic attacks you will already know the pounding in your chest can become unbearable and you often feel like you will collapse which then brings on rapid breathing.
Just try to remember you will not die from a panic attack!
You will be okay,But it is crucial you get some space and focus on steadying your breathing down.
This will make you feel calmer.
Panic Attacks are so so draining and they are so hard to deal with but just remember it won't last forever - the feeling will go away!
Do not be embarrassed.
This may seem a silly statement to someone with anxiety,as it's often something that causes anxiety - peoples opinions.
Anxiety of any sort is a serious thing,it can be so debilitating but sadly not everyone understands that.
I have had people say "How can you have social anxiety? Your confident,you talk on the TV, Radio? You don't seem anxious then?"
That's why anxiety sucks,It is so difficult to explain,With all the things I do I feel and know I am making a difference so have no reason to feel anxious as I am making positive steps.
I'm so scared of being misjudged - which I have been,and I know that there will be at least two people reading this who have done just that.
And I know when I have a panic attack in a club or even while I have been shopping people have tutted or gave me dirty looks.
But you know what? Forget them!
Anxiety does NOT define who you are,its part of you yes,but it does not need to rule you and embarrass you!
Sadly some people simply do not understand mental health and anxiety,anxiety is a serious problem and it should not make you embarrassed!
I don't know if any of this could have possibly helped but I really hope it has,
Living with anxiety is so so horrible and It's such a shame to see that lately anxiety seems to be hitting everyone.
People always seem to be under some sort of stress or facing worries that sometimes if not dealt with can create huge anxiety.
Just remember it will get better,
it doesn't make you any less of a person,
and it won't make you any less successful with life
If you face it head on and don't let it!
If any of you want to talk to me about my life with anxiety privately you are more then welcome to email me at :
Stay Safe & Speak Soon.