I always knew I was an anxious person, but nothing could have prepared me for being diagnosed with not one mental illness but TWO! In February of 2017, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and I have struggled since then. It was a major blow, but a sense of relief washed over me knowing that I finally had an explanation for the way I have felt for years. Anxiety can be very different for those who suffer, and I wanted to give a deeper insight into my own anxiety and how knowing my triggers helps me overcome my struggles.
Anxiety Means Always Thinking About The Worse Case Scenario
When I got diagnosed with my depression and anxiety I was given anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. I hate relying on it but it helps me to be able to function on a daily basis. Unfortunately, medicine isn’t a perfect solution.
Even with the medication, I still struggle. Some days are so much harder than others and it sucks. Making decisions can be very difficult for me because I overthink and imagine every single possible outcome. When I am struggling I can’t think straight, and eventually, my mind always goes to the worst case scenario. Even the tiniest thing can send my mind into a downward spiral if it was something unexpected or unplanned. I struggle to breathe. It feels like the end of the world, and I feel like a failure.
One way that I have overcome this is slowly begun accepting that things, unfortunately, won’t always go the way that I plan. Making decisions is still very difficult for me but I have begun to try and think rationally so I don’t lose my mind pondering all the worse case scenarios.
Anxiety Can Turn You Into An Antisocial Person
I am an extremely antisocial person. It’s so difficult to meet new people, let alone introducing myself or simply just approaching people. I tend to avoid those situations as much as possible, but unfortunately, I can’t always avoid them. While working at the previous job I had to approach many customers to help them to find things or solutions to their problems. I had to be very friendly and social, forcing myself to fake a huge smile while feigning a bubbly and happy personality. The joys of retail! It’s taxing trying to be social when my mind is in the middle of a colossal battle with itself. I am fighting the instinct to run away and lock myself in a closet to avoid human contact or social situations. It can be difficult to fight instinct but doing these small steps can make a world of a difference. Taking a step back and focusing on my breathing is a big part of how I fight against my first instinct of running away. It’s also helpful to be around someone that I trust.
Being Unorganized Means Losing Control
I am an organization freak. Planning things helps me stay calm by allowing me to keep the unknown away from me as much as possible. When I plan, I know what to expect and when to expect it, and if things don’t go to plan I get very agitated. My boyfriend is the complete opposite of me and always unintentionally ruins my plans, causing a lot of stress while triggering my anxiety. To fight that, I sit down and plan every single minute of my day with my many notebooks. Doing this helps me plan my time and have all of my projects organized. Now that I am living with my boyfriend, I am learning to compromise and handle my stress a little better when things don’t work out as planned. I’m not quite there yet, but I will get there eventually.
Losing Control Means Losing My Shit
Being in control is another thing that has a tremendous impact on my anxiety. This links to my organization habits. For many years I had no control over my life because of my controlling, abusive father, but once he left home, I took that control back. I try to control as much as I can in regards to the situations I am in, or could potentially be involved in, to avoid getting hurt again. Because of this, surprises and being out of the loop is extremely aggravating and bothersome for me.
It’s very hard to break a habit that has been instilled in you for years but I have been working on it. Living with my boyfriend has helped me become less stressed and less agitated because he understands what I am going through and keeps the surprises to a minimum, which definitely helps! Surrounding yourself with people who understand and respect your struggle with anxiety helps make coping a lot easier.
Signs You Might Be Losing Your Shit
Sweating s a huge symptom of anxiety. When we become anxious our body temperature rises and leads to sweating. When I become anxious I sweat a lot. It’s gross but it is a very common symptom of anxiety and it is something that I just have to deal with.
Getting Angry Or Agitated
When I get anxious I need to be alone so I can get a handle on my anxiety and deal with it. Having too many people around me makes me feel surrounded and suffocated, and I start to become angry and agitated. I need time to myself to calm down before I can have people around me again. If I don’t get time to be alone I get very angry with the people around me and take it out on them, which is unfair because it isn’t their fault I have a mental illness. When you feel like you are becoming irritated just from being around people, it might be a sign that you need to give yourself space before rejoining others.
Another symptom of my anxiety is becoming flustered. I can’t think straight, my mind becomes a jumbled up mess, and I become very confused about what is going on in that moment of time. I think that this is because my mind starts to race and split and my mind is at war with itself. When in this sort of situation I tend to use my earphones to block out the world and make sure that people are giving me the space I need.
I am slowly becoming more accustomed to my anxiety and learning how to control my crazy whirlwind of thoughts when I am struggling with my anxiety. It takes a lot of time to learn about your triggers and how you react to certain things and it takes even longer to try and learn how to deal with it positively and in a way that doesn’t harm myself or others around me.
Anxiety can be very different to deal with but having an insight into someone else’s problems or triggers can help you understand what provokes your own anxiety. You are not the only one who is fighting this battle and suffering from anxiety.
You are not alone. You can get through this. You are stronger than you know! Repeat this to yourself in your time of need as many times as you need to. Repeating self-affirmations can ease a whirling mind and help you to get out of panic mode and begin to think clearly again.
Take care of yourself.
About The Author…
Anne is from Ireland who is now made a huge move across the world to New Zealand. She is also an assistant at Quiet Nonsense and runs her own blog www.foreverthewanderer.ie with topics including travel, mental health and so much more. Anne dreams of/ is working towards becoming a professional blogger.