Anxiety sucks ass.
The last month has been a particularly trying time- when I think about it, I can’t pin point it to any particular event. I just know that this month has been hard.
There have been days where my anxiety has triggered a panic attack or two. When it has brought out my OCD like tendencies to there full extent, making me look like a loon by checking something has been turned off every few minutes. It has made my brain go into overdrive, with my mind going round and round in loops, and reminding me of the smallest mistake I made a month ago. It has kept me up at night, and prevented me getting up in the morning.
But, even with all this, I know I am better than I was this time last year. I know that it will get better again. Just because this month sucked, doesn’t mean that next month will. And, even though I had bad days- there were good ones in the month too. Focusing on the good helps.
Taking action also helps. This month I started a new course with the Wellbeing service. For anyone who doesn’t know who or what wellbeing is: its a service provided by the NHS which helps those with mental illnesses. They provide support, courses, counselling and CBT therapy to help you help yourself. It’s a service that you can be referred to via your Dr as I was, or that you can refer yourself to. And its great.
Yes, the waiting list is long- I have been waiting for a one on one CBT session for the past 5 months, but in the meantime I have a devoted ‘advisor’ whom I have regular telephone appointments with. I have courses I have been recommended to take. I have been given phone numbers and resources to use.
I am currently at the start of a ‘low-self esteem’ course. Many of those with anxiety and depression suffer with low self-esteem. It’s the thing lurking in the background that starts the anxiety. The course is a group session, and helps to show you how to use CBT to help alter your thought pattern, breaking the cycle that makes up anxiety. I am about to begin week 3, so I am still in the ‘initial getting all the info’ stage, but it has already been helpful. Just being in a room of people all in the same position is helpful. Hearing stories from others which resonate with you. Realising you are not alone. We all help and support each other, which we need. CBT makes you look back at some hard things- discovering the truth about yourself and where your problems stem from. It’s not a nice task- but I can see how it will help in the long term.
Hopefully I will soon have some resources to use in times of heightened stress and anxiety. It won’t be a quick fix. I have realised now (finally) that its not something you can fix overnight- it something which will get better slowly, over time. I will have days where everything is rubbish, but I will have good days too. And soon, the good days will start out numbering the bad.
If you are currently suffering in silence, please don’t. Seeking out help is a really hard first step. For me, just arranging a appointment to speak to the Dr about depression and anxiety made me have a panic attack! But, once you have made that first step, it does get easier. Slowly.
Check out: https://www.wellbeingnands.co.uk/ for more info
Header Image: [Photo credit: PracticalCures.com]