As with all my blogs, this one is very honest and raw.
I suffer with Anxiety and I have done for as long as I can remember.
For me, anxiety is like being followed by a person. It knows all of your insecurities and uses them against you. Sometimes that person trails behind, but he’s always there, lurking in the shadows. Sometimes it gets to the point where he is all I can see. He’s huge. He towers above me pointing down telling me I’m not good enough, that I’m ugly and that everyone thinks I’m stupid.
My anxiety has stopped me from doing so much in the past, from job interviews to friendships and even trips out with my children.
Lots of my anxiety stems from my ‘Dad’ and his inability to acknowledge my existence. Years of not feeling good enough, years of being told I was stupid and years of desperately seeking his approval. Maybe that’s why my anxiety is personified. Maybe he is the person I fear the most, he is the person who wants me to fail. He isn’t even around anymore and he isn’t part of mine and my children’s life, but this anxiety still follows me around.
I spent a long time wishing it would go away, wishing it would leave me alone so I could carry on with my life. But that’s not how life works is it. Not for me at least.
I fight. I have to.
Over the years I have learnt that actually, its ok to not be ok. It’s ok to admit you are struggling and it’s ok to admit that although on the outside looking in, I seem like I’ve got my shit together. But I haven’t, not really.
I take tablets to help me sleep and to try to reduce my anxiety. I don’t want to be held back anymore by something that my mind is creating, but just because I created it, doesn’t mean I know how to stop it.
I tell my children every single day that they are amazing, they can do anything they want as long as they work hard. From the minute I became a parent I vowed that I would be nothing like him. I would fill my children with confidence, empathy and resilience.
I broke the cycle and it feels incredible.
My children know their worth and will stand up for what is right. They are confident, yet humble. I haven’t wrapped them up in cotton wool and protected them from the world, I have given them the right tools to go and explore the world head on, in whichever way they want.
Above everything, they know they are loved. So so loved, by lots of people.
As they are getting older it’s amazing to watch them mature into little people with their own personalities, morals and values. They are all so different but equally as amazing.
But as I watch on with awe at them, I feel stabs on envy.
Being that carefree and trusting yourself enough to make decisions for you, must be so liberating.
Some days I have a hold on life pretty well, some days I don’t. But that’s ok.
I have always used the gym as my escape. I’ve recently got back into exercise after a few years off and it feels incredible. For that short time, I am in charge. I am running and he can’t catch up. The first few times he tries, he keeps up the pace. But he doesn’t beat me. The more I push, the stronger I become and the weaker he becomes. I got to a point a few years ago where he didn’t even try anymore. Running helped me control the anxiety and made me stare at it in the face and say catch me if you dare, fucker.
I am aiming for that point again.
I know it will never go away fully, even with counselling and medication, but I can try my absolute hardest to make it feel not welcome.
I am in control.
I am good enough.
It’s taken me 36 years to finally accept that.