My Anxiety does not define me

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I’m probably going to talk a lot about anxiety in this blog because out of all my medical conditions anxiety has had the biggest negative impact in my life. I’ve suffered with anxiety all my life, it’s been a constant companion. I was even an anxious child. I remember at the age of 7 feeling like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I was contemplating thoughts and ideas that a 7 year old should not have even been aware of. Everything scared me, I was fearful of every new situation.

Things only worsened when I hit puberty. Hormones triggered a whole new level of anxiety, and depression soon took hold as well.

It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t suffer from anxiety what it’s like but I will try.

When anxiety strikes I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach that something terrible is about to happen. I call it ‘My feeling of impending doom’. You try to rationalise why you are feeling this way, try to figure out what has triggered it but often there isn’t a cause. Anxiety is often irrational, that’s why it’s so frustrating and so hard for others to help and understand.

You are full of self doubt. You question yourself and every situation. I’m a perfectionist, I am terrified of failure and I feel like I am never good enough. I feel like everyone is judging me. My mind is full of negative thoughts and self doubt. Anxiety bubbles up from inside me without warning to ruin every situation.

And then there are panic attacks, which ramp up my anxiety to a terrifying level. My mine races out of control. My thoughts dart around without any coherent message. It’s like having a weeks worth of anxious thoughts in the space of a few minutes. My mind is bombarded, attacked. I feel like the world is closing in on me, it’s suffocating. Rational thoughts are replaced by irrational ones and my heart races out of control.

Anxiety has a big impact in my life:

*It’s why I’m so impulsive. If I give myself time to think about something even remotely scary I will talk myself out of it.

*It’s why I plan everything and every detail. I need to feel prepared for every possible outcome.

*It’s why I’m a perfectionist and why I’m full of self doubt.

*It’s why I need routine.

*It’s why I need reassurance from others.

BUT it does not define who I am.

What are your experiences with anxiety? Does any of this sound familiar?

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