Anxiety Will Always Be With Me No Matter What
It’s not going anywhere
Recently, I have had a few episodes of anxiety again.
I hadn’t experienced one for a while, so it was a shock when I found myself panicking whilst I was walking to the supermarket the other day.
I have no idea what brought it on. Maybe I felt a twinge in my chest and my mind went into overdrive about what it could be, I’m not sure.
All I know is that I felt anxious in a way I hadn’t felt in a while.
At first, I was disheartened that my anxiety had flared up again. I had had it under control for well over six months. It was a far cry from the summer of 2017 when I was a complete mess.
However, I was able to get the episode under control quickly. I realised as I was walking to a supermarket, if anything happened I would be in a place full of people.
Unlike previous times where the episode would carry on for a good 30 minutes, this one lasted less than 5 minutes and I was able to compose myself quickly.
When I realised this, my initial disappointment at the issue flaring up again subsided. I had made progress compared to where I was before.
That is something to be proud of.
The episode also taught me that anxiety will be with me for as long as I live. I will have good days and I will have bad days. There is no getting away from this. Anxiety is a part of our make-up, we cannot get rid of.
Realising that it will always be there and has always been there, is the first step to controlling your anxiety.
Anxiety Was Always There
Up until I had my first panic attack in June 2017, I had never given much thought to anxiety and mental health.
I had a backwards view that it was all a load of rubbish. I was very, very wrong.
Looking back, I see that I was anxious when I was little. I had just forgotten about it.
I remember going to cinemas when I was younger and getting scared when the doors were closed and the movie started.
I was worried that something might happen while we were watching the film. My mind was racing and making convoluted stories based on nothing.
Another time is when I read a passage in a book of knowledge I had been given as a Christmas present.
The passage said that when all the hydrogen in the universe ran out, the universe would die. When I read this, my mind went into a blind panic.
I was only ten and I was already contemplating my mortality and that of the universe. For someone so young, I was prone to catastrophic thinking.
Somewhere in between these incidents and the first attack I had learnt to ignore these thoughts and shove them to one side. I don’t recall letting these thoughts overwhelm much during this period.
Sure, I will have had days where I let my thoughts get the better of me, but they would have been rare occasions.
What all of this shows is that these thoughts have always been there in the recesses of my mind. It’s only recently that they have returned to the forefront with renewed vigour.
I Will Always Be Anxious
What these past few years have taught me is that I will always be anxious. It’s a part of my make-up. Introspection and reflection have taught me that it’s something I will have to live with.
This would have been an uncomfortable prospect this time last year. I was in the place to deal with my anxiety and it still had a hold over me.
Now, I am in a much better place and I have a much deeper understanding of what anxiety is and what causes mine.
While I would like to live a life free of anxiety, it’s not possible. I am human, it’s hardcoded into our DNA. There is nothing we can do about it.
All we can do is recognise that we will get anxious at some point. Some people will be better able to control their anxiety, while others will find it difficult.
There will be good days, there will be bad days, but it’s important not to let the bad days take precedence over the good days.
My initial reaction when my anxiety flared up again was one of despair, but it was the wrong one.
When I looked back and realised it has been there for a long time and how my reactions were much better than they were previously, I realised I was on the right path.
Dealing with anxiety is a process, one which takes a long time, but if you can look back and see improvement, then you are doing something right.
I know I will never rid myself of anxiety, but that’s ok. Learning how to cope and manage with it is all I need to do.