Despite your own anxiety.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

People hear about anxiety and think it is all just in someone's head, that it's not real. But just because it is in our head, does not mean it isn't real. It always is. There is always a trigger, but that does not mean the thoughts are always real, or truthful because more often than not, thoughts are just thoughts - not facts. 

Anxiety has been a factor of my life which has hidden behind shadows and made itself known on more occasions than I can count on both of my hands. It's a part of my life which has been there, it's acknowledged but I never really did anything about it, I just lived with it and let it cripple me till the point of severe depression, attempted suicide and self harm. But, how do you deal with the thoughts which are sending you into a deep hole of darkness, surrounded by absolutely nothing, when you're so young and have no idea how to cope nor deal with it on your own? 

More importantly, why did I feel like I was alone.

At the age of 23 and currently attending my second round of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in less than two years, I have learnt more about myself in 18 months, than I have learnt or known about myself in 23 years. It's not that I didn't know what I liked or disliked, or what my interests and hobbies were, or even my career goals - I knew all of that. But I didn't know why I reacted in certain ways, why my mind led me down a path of self harm and depression, or why I over thought every.single.situation which I came across. Not only that, I found out in 4 months, what the route cause of it all was; what my trigger is; what causes the 'fight or flight' mode to go off and send me into all sorts of places, mentally and physically.

As naive as it sounds, I never believed I suffered with anxiety - I heard people talking about anxiety, and panic attacks and how crippling it can be, and I listened to them, watched their experiences and I knew that I had never experienced a panic attack and that I was simply an over thinker and worried too much. I couldn't have been more wrong. Just because I hadn't experienced a panic attack, didn't mean I did not experience anxiety on not only a daily basis, but an hourly basis. 

A year ago I began to experience said panic attacks but I always called them an 'anxiety attack' as I didn't see it as a form of panicking.. just because I was not aware of the panic, doesn't mean it wasn't there, at the back of my mind triggering all sorts of mental, physical and emotional symptoms. At the end of the day, it's the same thing, just called two different names. Anxiety causing your mind/body to go into 'panic' mode, even without consciously being aware that something is going on in your mind. 

I began to experience a severe sensation of having a tight chest, along with the feeling like I was being strangled (finding it hard to breathe), shaking hands, sweating, feeling sick and on every single occasion, not just a few tears, but crying for so long, everything hurt. And whilst I tried to fight every panic attack that came on to try and get them to go away quickly, I realised I was doing more harm than good and I needed to accept the panic attack, let it in, experience it, and then try to understand it once it was over. This however, was not easy when they were multiple times a day, everyday. 

From experiencing the past 4 months of therapy, I've identified that there is a completely, accurate and valid reason why I experience anxiety towards the majority of my life. And how everything interlinks with one another, and actually; I'm not mental, nor crazy or believing something that is not real. 
My anxiety is real, the causes for my anxiety and depression are real, and these causes are still there, still present and still open and available to become a trigger again. 

But, just because anxiety is there, just because depression is there and lingering - am I going to fail? Am I not going to succeed? Am I not going to achieve anything in life because my anxiety and depression are going to take over and control my life and everything I set out to do? no. 

Despite my own anxiety, I now have a full understanding of my anxiety, and what triggers it. Despite my own anxiety, I am aware of how I can control how I am feeling and how I can manage it in a rational way. Despite my own anxiety, I've realised thoughts are just thoughts, and that doesn't mean they are real, or 100% accurate. And despite my own anxiety, I can still achieve great things and do great things and actually - do whatever the heck I want to do, because I am in control, not my anxiety or the things that trigger it. 

You are in control - not your anxiety/depression.

Kimberley Jessica

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  1. Very nice post lovely! I love that you are talking about such vulnerable topic and very personal. I also suffer from anxiety, overthinking, and depression (although I wasn't clinically diagnosed with it) but yes I agree to what you have said. Thoughts are just thoughts. Here is a phrase that I learned online, a phrase to be said repeatedly when the anxiety and overthinking gets you again... "I acknowledge the thought and just like a wave I watch it go up and flowed away". Say this while drawing a wave until you can make yourself calm. It actually helped me focus on the thought that what Im thinking is not necessarily a fact and it is temporary.
    Anyways, I'm wishing you the best in life! You can do this! We can do this! Stay safe <3

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