This isn’t the first time I’ve written about anxiety and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Unfortunately, when the monster rears its ugly head I have no choice but to confront it. I have to write about it because I can’t seem to write – or think – about anything else.
To be honest, it’s not that bad at the moment. It’s been far worse. There are no tears, there are no panic attacks. But there is uneasiness, there are butterflies, there is self-consciousness and there is fear.
Do you know what I don’t get, though? Why would someone who suffers from anxiety decide to write a blog? Why would they try and build their social media profile? Why would they throw themselves under the bus for public scrutiny? Why do I do this to myself? We do so many of us who struggle with mental and physical health challenges broadcast this over the internet?
I know it’s not about attention – not for me, anyway. It’s partly about help but it’s also about sharing and caring – so twee, I know! It’s also about making sense of all the internal thoughts, which somehow seems easier when you know you have to hit ‘publish’.
At the moment I’m thinking about what I want to do next. (Who am I kidding? I’m always thinking about what I want to do next.) I want to stay in the city and enjoy late night curries, local bars, arts and theatre and great jobs. I also want to live in the countryside in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees, cats and nobody except my other – and better – half. I want to work from home yet I’d miss working with people. I want to go back to the North yet I want to stay in South. I want all these things and yet I recognise I don’t need any of it.
I am a woman who likes a plan. I am organised, I am structured. Uncertainty makes me nervous. Nerves make me anxious. And so on, and so forth.
So today, before things reach panic and tears I am following the tips I gave myself to beat anxiety. I am also following the tips of many others (like Me & Orla and A Rosie Outlook). Between all of us out there working through our mental health challenges and – for some reason – publicly articulating the thoughts and feelings we’re experiencing during our most difficult time, I think that we are becoming stronger and sharing the ways we learn to cope.