Anxiety and Me…Why it’s ok not to be ok.

I’ve never made it a secret that I’ve suffered with anxiety and depression. In fact, now I just accept it as a part of who I am and continue to remain fabulous whenever I can be.

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My depression and anxiety started at a young age, 19 and at that time I was not equipped to cope with it at all.  I let the whole thing possess me and I have a list as long as my arm of bosses and friends I should probably apologise to for being a complete wreck of a human being from 1997- 2010.  Thanks to those who stood by me. You know who you are. Those who didn’t, screw you!

Then I realised, I am not alone. I am one of many.  
I have so many friends who have some form of mental illness or another and they are some of the most creative, interesting, hilarious people I know.  They are the first there to help others when they are feeling low as they know how shitty it feels.  
We don’t sit crying each night, there is no visible cloud above our heads. We just have an internal dialogue constantly nagging at ourselves, telling us we need to be better, when actually we are more than good enough.  In fact we are usually brilliant at some things because we can’t stop trying so damn hard. We also become the master of disguise, so that no one would ever know.

If anything Harriet has made my anxiety better.  I follow her example of not caring what others think, having fun regardless of what we look like and doing things you ruddy well enjoy. My anxiety is now focused more on her. Am I being a good enough mother, Do I love her enough, should I be going out tonight……

‘Should’. There’s a dangerous word. I constantly tell myself I ‘should’ feel like this or I ‘should’ be doing that. Avoid should statements people. They are the road to an unquiet mind.

For years I held myself back due to depression. The voice in my head would tell me to quit whilst I was ahead, before everyone else realised how stupid I was. I’d never say no, because then people would hate me. I feared to rock to boat in case it made me look egotistical or arrogant, stupid or ridiculous. My mind was one big contradiction.
I feared what would happen if I did things. I cancelled trips. Big trips, Like one to South Africa the day before. I walked out of exams, gave in courses and failed to speak up when opportunities arose.

 I’ve read enough self help books to write my own self help book on using self help books….most of which are not helpful.

So I have decided to take a deep breath (well as deep as you can when your chest feels like it’s being crushed) and do things.

No one had ever really read my stuff. I still can’t be in the same room when someone reads it. No one has ever seen me dance…something else I propose to change. I’m saying yes more and the more I say yes, the more happens for me. Posting these blogs is pretty scary for me and my inner brain tells me no one cares and they are no good. I’m faking it ‘till I’m making it.

My depression and anxiety has been the hardest illness I’ve ever had to battle. Nothing else comes close (and i’ve had other ails) but would I even be me without it? It definitley drives me to be a better mother. i’ve toughened up no end and I don’t think my dark sense of humour would be so prevalent without it.

So heres to my friends who suffer. Who are brilliant, funny, interesting and creative. We should start a club. The happy place for depressed people.

I’m going to pretend I’m not stressed about my new direction. I’m going to fake not caring if people like what I do. I’m feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

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