For years, I have been a worrier. I have carried the world on my shoulders, trying to be successful; trying to be something people can be proud of. I’ve wound myself up and stressed myself out. I’ve run myself down and made myself ill. I’ve learned to see the signs of kidney infections and ear infections beginning to take hold, but have previously explained them away as symptoms of doing too much. Now I know different.
I’ve struggled through jobs feeling inept and worrying about being out of my depth. I’ve not taken opportunities because I didn’t believe I was capable even though managers encouraged me to. I’ve been holding myself back from achieving my true potential through fear of failure.
Recently, close friends had noticed a change in me. I’ve always been good at convincing people I’m OK. I’ve been good at convincing myself that I’m OK. But recently I realised I’m not.
Qualities I possess that make me who I am can become warped. I’m a control freak and a perfectionist; fine in good measures but as with all things in life, can be used as a tool to achieve and motivate or a weapon against myself. Other things about me are less easy to justify and things I know are not productive; I’m a worrier and I over-think things. I now realise that all of these qualities align with anxiety.
Over the past month I have been affected more and more by feeling anxious. I knew something was wrong, but couldn’t pinpoint the problem. I realised after being inspired by my closest friend that I needed to get to the bottom of my problem, and that admitting there was a problem to address was the first step in achieving this. I wanted to name the problem but despite having been pushed into depressive states with an increasing frequency over recent months, I didn’t feel depressed. I thought I was in denial.
I began to talk, opening up gradually. It allowed me to explore some issues, realise I don’t really know who I am and make a commitment to figure out who that is. It enabled me to draw the lines between events and situations that I never realised had had such a bearing upon me. I was able to see patterns and destructive behaviour. Now I aim to turn that knowledge into action to resolve my issues and introduce coping mechanisms into my life that I’ve started to do before but not known why, or why they were important.
I feel like I’m getting to know myself from scratch. It’s strange. I realise I’m not very good at looking inward. At least not in a positive way. But this is one of the things I will become good at. With the help and support of those close to me I feel optimistic about the future. I feel like anything is possible and am determined to resolve the causes of my anxiety. From now on, my blog will be about my journey, and perhaps that’s what it was going to be all along; I just hadn’t realised it.
I will record on a daily basis my progress, thoughts and experiences of coming to terms with, dealing with and conquering what has had too big a hold on my life over at least the last ten years. I may share links to my blogs, or I may just publish them and see if anybody comes by to read them, but this is going to become the story of my anxiety so if you join me for the ride, thank you for being a companion and if you like, leave a comment or say ‘hi’ from time to time. It’s likely going to be a long road and I’ll be doing a lot of learning along the way, but the exertion will be worth it. I look forward to a calmer, more confident outlook on life and a feeling of achievement when I reach my goal.