To be honest, I have absolutely no idea how to start a blog like this- but I think it’s time I shared yet another personal part of my life.
I’m an extrovert – I love speaking to people, expressing my opinions publicly and I love interacting with society in general. This is why it’s harder for the people around me to understand my anxiety – and I want to share my story – from beginning till this day – on how my anxiety started, how it affects me in relationships and friendships, and most importantly, how it impacts me on a daily basis. I share blogs like this to empower and make other people who are experiencing this or something similar to know they are not alone…
MY EXPERIENCE: Since my kindergarten days, I remember little episodes where I’d feel uncomfortable. I took up singing and it helped me with my stage fright – and I even took part in my secondary school plays and talent shows for years to make myself comfortable in front of a crowd. I took politics as a career and started publicly speaking in local and foreign parliaments. My anxious personality trait seemed to slowly fade away in my early teenage days – and I still remember a time when I had absolutely no anxiety.
In October of 2016, my sister was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I can never erase those words from my mind. This triggered PTSD. From then onwards, I continued to be strong in front of my friends and family – and I tried hard to hide it from everyone around me. The following February, 27/02/17, my mum was hospitalized for weeks and I had to quit school in order to take care of her and my family. This triggered another episode of PTSD, yet this one unfortunately stayed. That is how my anxiety properly started affecting my life.
DAILY LIFE: You may be wondering…how does it affect your daily life? I am a very outgoing person, and I am lucky enough to know how to control my anxiety and panic attacks (two totally different things- but they work hand in hand when something causes distress), meaning that it’s somewhat easier now. To put it in simple words, anything can trigger anxiety. From a certain smell to hearing something which isn’t usual. Most of my anxiety attacks happen through verbal distress- meaning that I hear something from other people and I don’t stop overthinking it until I come to a negative conclusion.
RELATIONSHIPS & FRIENDSHIPS: This obviously affects my relationships and friendships- and I am lucky enough that the people around me understand my anxiety. However, if I’m being honest, almost nobody knows how I truly feel inside. This part is hard for me to explain because I truly have never tried explaining it to anyone. My mind works like this – I gather a piece of information during the day – it could be something as little as “How was your day?” – and my mind keeps on digging on that sentence or text for hours. A little shift in someone’s tone could trigger an anxiety attack, someone not texting me back or leaving me on seen causes me distress and it’s not the first time that I find myself rereading conversation trying to find where I went wrong.
COPING: When coming to terms with my anxiety, I learnt that step one is to practice Self-love. Love is something I tend to lean on others to give me, however, it truly starts with you. It’s not easy, but I know that once you get to know yourself and your love – something mentally changes. Step two is questioning your thought pattern. Can I control what’s making me uneasy? Am I to blame in the situation? Can I do something to change it? If the answer to these questions are no, then you can stop panicking over it and start derivating your focus on other important things. Knowing yourself comes at the third stage. For example, I know that on days when I feel uneasy, I avoid caffeine, energy drinks and energy-boosting foods. This helps me remain calm and makes me feel more adaptable to my environment. Everyone is different however, and it took me over 2 years to know my anxiety.
This is anxiety. It causes you to think that you’re insane. It sometimes makes you question if you are loveable. It makes you cancel plans, and then you get anxious over the fact that you’re not going. It makes you look at your phone ringing while worrying about what the person on the other line called for. It makes you cry yourself to sleep because it feels like no one around you understands how much it hurts.
Living with anxiety doesn’t seem like much, but it honestly impacts everything in my life. If you’re experiencing anxiety- I really want you to know that you’re not alone. If you ever feel the need to share your story or simply want to ask a question, my Instagram DM’s are open 24/7.
Thanks for reading,
Bews u Mhabba,