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Anxiety and Me

by Rachel
(Manchester)

Well, where do I start with this? Do I go back to the beginning, to when I was once happy or do I go right to where this all started with me? I can sit here and talk about the good and bad times in my life, but sometimes it isn't easy to talk about and the other option is to hide away and bottle up all of your feelings and hope that someone will notice that there is something wrong and that your not completely 100 percent with it. But thats a different scenerio all together that some people in my situaton would like to happen. But when your sad with people, whether it be family, friends, colleagues, or sat next to someone on the bus that doesnt seem to have a care in the world, often I listen to people talking about what
theyve been up to and what there plans are like going on holiday or a party theyve been
too and it makes me smile, but I also ask myself the question, if they could see my thoughts and if they knew how I was feeling would it make them stop and realize how lucky they are not to have a big weight baring down on them like I have 24 hours seven days a week 12 Months and 365 days of the year. Because I suffer from the time I go to bed to when I wake up and then all through the day - fighting my demons, and a secret battle going on inside my head, when I am on my way to work, when I'm sitting at my desk, to even weekends when I am out with my partner, friends and family. It is very tough fighting with yourself and it's not the easiest thing in the world to say that you've got a mental health problem like anxiety, which is what I have been suffering from for the last two years. Having anxiety is like being hit by a bus or a train - you can recover but you're never going to competely get over it. Its like you've got a tight rubber band around your heart permantely and a constant feeing of doom and dread like something really bad is going to happen; its like having ten hundred weights on your shoulders and you just cant get rid of them no matter how hard you try. It's the wost thing in the world to smile at someone and say
you're fine when you're not, because what you really want to do is break down into tears and
say "No, I am not fine. Please help me.", and for that person to hold you and say everything is going be okay because they are there to fix it for you. The truth is noone can help your state of mind apart from yourself. It would be great if we all had a magic wand and wave it and everything would be okay again, but the true reality is that is not going happen. The only person who can fix your problem for you is yourself. My anxiety started about two years ago, I haven't had an easy time since 2002 - My parents split, I dropped out of 6th form and was jobless. I then ended up getting a job in Tesco on the Deli Counter which I didn't like and the pressure of being in a job that I hated with my parents divorcing, took its toll and after two weeks I cracked and walk out. A few weeks later I got onto an apprenticeship and took a job as an office junior for a firm in Liverpool called Medical Services and I loved it. Then, in March 2003 my world fell apart when I came home and my dad kicked me out the house that night to go and live with my mum in Manchester. I screamed, I cried, I begged him not to do it but he didn't care, and that night my world fell apart and came to an end and I ended up going to Manchester to live with my mum on a permanent basis. I didn't get to say goodbye to my friends or tell them what was happening. I basically had to start from scratch and rebuild my life again which took me nearly two years to do in 2005 after being in and out of jobs on the agency I was finally offered a permanent positon with the firm that I am still with today, and from 2005 until now I've since married, lost my gran-dad, been at risk of redundancy 4 times, bought a house, we lost my partners stepdad unexpectedly this year (April 2016) and now I am battling anxiety. As life events can have different effects on people for better or for worse, not everyone is the same and people react differently to other people when they have major events going on in
there lives. People who have anxiety and other mental health problems don't usually want to say as they are scared of how other people will react. I am scared of losing friends, family, and people judging me and telling me that it's my fault, "your getting yourself worked up", "there's nothing wrong with you". But when you're experiencing feelings you've never had before and its not normal for you, and when people start saying you are okay and "whats wrong?", that's when you know it's time to get help as you're then aware that other people are starting to notice there is a problem and you don't want that. For the last two years I have been silent about my condition. Not many people know that I have anxiety and am talking about family and close friends. I haven't told them because I am embarrassed to admit to these people that I have a problem. My day and voluntary job involves around helping people who are going through hard times and sometimes you have to put other people before yourself and offering someone a shoulder to cry on, words of advise, encouragement, positive feed back and a listening ear can mean the absolute world to someone who is at rock bottom, and it can boost their confidence and self-esteem as well. Quite recently I logged onto Twitter and came across several pepole who are having the
same daily battle as me. I've never met these people before but when I read what they're
going through made me realise I am not alone in this. It's an encouragement to me to speak out and be open and honest about my anxiety for the first time which is a good thing as it's made the last few weeks a little easier for me and a bit more bearable to get through. I also came across a couple of blogs and thought I can write down my thoughts and experience and share it out like what these people have which is how I came to do this piece of writing. Anyway that's about it from me for now I hope people reading this get an idea of what its like for me and I hope they never experience it, and for the people who are going through it, you are not alone - be strong and keep thinking positive because your going to beat this and you'll come out on top.

Many Thanks,

Rachel

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