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Living with anxiety: we are stronger than we realise

Anyone that suffers with an anxiety disorder knows that exhaustion is the best way to describe it. Physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. Our minds never sleep, even if we do. We dream about our worries, so there really is no escape.

The Anxiety monster loves to drain the happiness inside of us, which we do have, may I point out. In fact, we may be extremely pessimistic but we can also be genuinely happy people who enjoy moments just like anyone else.

In my therapy session this week, my counsellor asked “What do you have to look forward to this weekend?” and a harsh reality struck me; I didn’t have anything to look forward to. I had plans, yes, but having plans and looking forward to them are two different things. I dread plans sometimes, there’s always these ‘what ifs’ and ‘buts’. I felt sorry for myself in that moment. Self-hatred came back and I was angry with myself that I couldn’t think of anything I was looking forward to.

The pessimist that I am, I focus on the negatives of every single situation in my life and as a result, it’s near enough impossible to really, truly look forward to something.

I’ve had a rough patch these last couple of weeks and rough patches cause major anxiety spats. The nausea in the mornings, the constant sick feeling, the conflict between wanting supportive attention and wanting to be alone, the inability to explain how you’re feeling, the emptiness, the temporary dark hole. But… there IS a positive in every negative, right? The key word I used in my last sentence was temporary. In the moment of a bad anxiety spat, like my recent one, I thought I wasn’t going to get out of that dark hole. I thought that I wasn’t strong enough to carry on. But when things settled down I woke up one morning, the sun was shining and I was back on my feet again.

Although every day is tough, we get through it. We are so strong but we don’t even know it. The self-hatred makes us believe we are weak, but having to fight with our minds everyday while still carrying on with our lives, that takes a large amount of physical, mental and emotional strength, because it’s not just our minds that play us up, it’s the nightmare symptoms too and yet we get through all of that.

A personal favourite quote of mine by John Lubbock:-

‘A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.’

We not only worry each day, but we work, study and live our lives on top of that. If that isn’t tough, then I don’t know what is.

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