From left field

Anxiety can hit you at a moments notice, from nowhere and make you feel completely useless. 

How hard is it to pop to the shops and pick up a quick gift for someone before work? 

Probably not very hard… But it can be with anxiety. 

I want to talk about how we should control our anxiety and not let it control us, but it’s just not that simple sometimes. 

Things start not going to plan, my time restraints start bearing down on me and suddenly I need to retreat to the bathroom and let my guts do what they gotta do… 

If I didn’t have support, this would be a nightmare. As it is, I received a text from my favourite person just as I was starting to feel the pressure, telling me she was having a similar experience; but she’s hardly left the house before it hit. 

So I’m sitting on the toilet in a shopping centre bathroom, feeling physically rough and mentally fragile. All because I couldn’t find a stupid calendar or choose appropriate Christmas decorations… It’s not always like this. Sometimes I can waltz into a store, pick up what I want and waltz out. Sometimes I cannot. And I hope that one day I can stop that moment of feeling like a complete failure of a human being on the cannot days. 

I’m so thankful for friends that understand. Being alone in this would be just awful. I truly hope if anyone reading this is too afraid to talk to people about their anxiety, that I might at the very least encourage you to open up to someone you trust. I know you feel broken and faulty and inadequate. But you aren’t. And your friends won’t judge you as such. If they do, I dunno if I’d be comfortable calling them my friends for too long… But most decent humans (and we would all hope we’re surrounding ourselves with decent humans) will accept and support you. Even if they don’t know what to do. 

I’m lucky, I have several friends who suffer similarly or more acutely than me, and we band together. We don’t judge one another for having to bail on a night out because we “just can’t”. We don’t get embarrassed when we have to rush to the bathroom every 15 minutes sometimes and a 20 minute shopping trip takes an hour… And we don’t ever see each other’s anxiety as a burden. 

I’m about to leave the cubicle. I’m feeling better. I’m breathing deeper and more calmly and can totally do this. 

Be kind to your anxious selves. You can control it. But you can’t deny it. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. Dance through the times you have control and breathe through the times you feel you don’t. Work on it. Stay mindful. Do yoga. See your therapist. Talk to your friends. Talk to me. You’re all bloody superheroes for getting through each day. 

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