I wanted to write this blog, to share my life with anxiety and some of my coping strategies.
Day to day living with anxiety is mentally draining for me. Somedays I just want to be on my own and not talk to anyone. Other days I am fine and feel myself.
My mind is always on the go, in the dark, with negativity and plays the 'worse case scenarios' all day. I have learnt to accept my anxiety and have coping strategies to quiet my mind's negative thinking.
I learnt to hide it over the years by putting 'a mask' on, to the point most people are surprised when they discover that I suffer from anxiety. But sometimes my anxiety gets control over me...
There is nothing more daunting than a wave...a looming panic attack, nothing has to trigger it. It just comes out of nowhere.
I just simply feel it building up inside, a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. Slowly working its way around my chest and into my lungs, I can feel my breathing getting shallow. My heart starts to race, rolling into palpitations when it hits me, a huge wave of fear just washes over me, I can't cope or concentrate. I just want to hide, for the ground to swallow me up.
All I can do is just simply focus on my breathing to try and stay grounded until the attack subsides.
I can't stop it. I can't hide it. I just have to let it come and let it pass. Yes, it drains me, but I just get on with my day to day life, once it has gone.
I would say one of the biggest coping strategies for me, was simply accepting I have a mental disorder, that is part of who I am.
Another strategy, about three years ago, I started talking about it with friends and family, yes it was scary at first, but talking about it helped to find a normality in my anxiety. Plus a lot of my close friends have anxiety too, so talking about it with them, I discovered it wasn't 'just me'. Finding something in common, helped me open up and find the confidence to talk more and even understand my anxiety better.
But one thing has always calmed me, all my life, the sea.
I can say I get cravings to simply go down the beach and listen to the sea its crashing waves, soothing my anxiety. Feeling the sea breeze, hearing the seagulls and watching the horizon gives me escape from my anxiety.
Some days if the wind is in the right direction, I can hear the roaring of the sea on the wind, which I mindfully listen too.
Even on my daily meditation app, my background noise is 'waves at sunset', as I become mindful of my present moment.
All I want to say is if there is just one thing that helps give you some mindfulness with anxiety or any other mental disorder. Then go and do it when the need calls for it. Just go!! If it's gardening, even if it's snowing, taking the dog for a walk, or just spending a day in bed. It's ok.
You are allowed to give yourself a break.
Plus it's absolutely ok to have a mental disorder.