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Broken Wing

Anxiety is like living with a dark cloud hanging over your head. The only way to describe it to someone who doesn’t suffer from it is to tell them using imagery.

Okay, so imagine this situation; you are walking down a dark street at night, it is quiet and calm until you hear footsteps behind you. At first you breathe in and out, you convince yourself that you’re not in any danger but after a few minutes, almost from nowhere, you start to feel panicked. Your heart starts to beat faster, you feel sick, your hands start to tremble and you feel like a large band is tightening around your chest.

Your senses are heightened and you worry that something bad is going to happen. Only when your body has reached this peak of anxiety do you realise that the footsteps were not following you at all. You are safe. There is a sense of relief, but you still feel sick to the stomach, it is almost like a butterfly is fluttering inside your chest. That’s what it is like to live with anxiety.

It creeps up on you when everything seems to be okay. There’s always the question of why and it is usually from other people. Why do you feel this way they ask? What has happened to make you feel so anxious? The answer to that question… is everything. What people don’t seem to understand about anxiety is that it builds up over time; it always starts with the little things. It could be something small but when something bad happens after that it starts a chain reaction in your mind.

The simple act of trying to be positive isn’t enough to conquer anxiety, trust me, I’ve tried. I have to be honest, living with anxiety is hard. I constantly struggle with my emotions and my negative thoughts on a daily basis, I want to break free from it but I don’t know how. I refuse to take medication or anything else like that so I feel like my only choice is to learn to live with it.

I believe that some people are mentally stronger than others and maybe I’m not quite there yet, maybe that’s the reason why I can’t beat this. When people go through a traumatic event, they lose a person they love or they find themselves in a difficult situation, they build strength; they have knowledge of how to deal where to buy nolvadex in the us with another traumatic event if it happens again. I’ve never had anything tragic happen to me, I’ve been pretty lucky in my life so far, so I can’t blame my anxiety disorder on the events of the past. I don’t have the mental strength I need to fight the feelings that I am dealing with.

Now, return to the image of a butterfly. I like to think that butterflies represent freedom and if a butterfly is trapped, it has a broken wing and it cannot fly then it can’t possibly escape, no matter how hard it tries. My question is… how does the butterfly fix its broken wing? Then I ask myself… how can I break free from my anxiety if I don’t feel like I have the strength?

The mind is a powerful thing and I believe strongly that it is always mind over body, anxiety stems from the mind, however, it is only when my body reacts do I realise that I am experiencing it. I wish I could silence every bad thought that comes into my mind but I can’t, it’s impossible. I mentioned in a previous article that people are wired to be either a negative person or a positive person.

I am naturally a negative thinker, I’m highly sensitive and I tend to over think a lot of things in my head. There has also been a scientific link with highly creative people and anxiety disorders. So is it inevitable? Was I destined to cope with this horrible mental illness because of my personality, my natural perspective on life and my creativity level? Who knows? All I know is it isn’t fair. No one should have to deal with anxiety on a regular basis because it is a horrible thing for your body and mind to go through.

I don’t know how I am going to break free from this spiral of anxiety and insecurity that I am currently feeling. I wake up in the morning, I hope for a brand new start because it is a brand new day, I try to keep myself busy, but soon enough I start to feel the effects of my anxiety. I feel like the butterfly with the broken wing, I use all my strength but I cannot fly. I just want to know how to fix the broken wing.

All I want is to be my normal self again.



  • Wonderful Emma! Thanks for an open and heart felt piece I. too have struggled with overwhelming anxiety and panic. That led to agoraphobia and ultimately alcoholism. (DO NOT be concerned. I’ve been sober for 16 years and my anxiety is under control.) I believe that a combination of genetics, hormones, societal issues, familial dysfunction and intelligence are pieces of that awful puzzle.
    I began having issues in college…if it took some 23 years to develop, it certainly isn’t ‘cured’ over night.
    A great therapist, medications and support from friends and family have gotten me ‘almost’ back. I still am a “Nervous Nelly,” however I am grateful to be the lady I am today. Would I live my life over again? Absolutely!!( I have written several pieces for WMW on these issues…we are not alone.)
    Go girl!!

    • Thank you Kathleen! I’m sorry to hear that you have had a rough time with your anxiety. It’s a horrible thing to go through isn’t it? I’m not sure what help I need with anxiety, all I know is that it isn’t getting any better. I’ve been like then since college, so I have suffered with it on and off for four years. I will definitely read your pieces for WMW. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone and your journey helps me to believe that I will be back to my normal self again :) xx

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