The Anxiety Tag – What It’s Like For Me

I have a few tags that I’m going to be doing in the next week, but I wanted to do this one first because I’d never seen anything like it before and I really believe in being honest and open about mental health.

So thank you to Nevillegirl for posting about it on your blog, and thank you to the two people who started the tag! You can find those posts here and here.

When did your anxiety start? 

I honestly can’t remember when it started. When I think back to my childhood most of what I can remember is peppered with the anxiety that I dealt with. Of course I remember being fairly little and not having anxiety, like 2 or 4ish. But any older than that I can remember anxiety.

What symptoms do you have? 

My heart rate elevates, I feel sick to my stomach, I get a little jittery, breathe quicker. Unless I’m with someone I really trust I can also get really quiet and into my shell. Sometimes if it’s really bad I start dissociating. My anxiety can also make me depressed, or have feelings of just wanting life to stop (I’m not suicidal, I just get tired).

How do you control it? 

Right now I don’t have a therapist, so usually I just talk it out with my partner Grant and/or journal. Or meditate and try to just keep going. A lot of my anxiety has to do with social situations, and so I’m really bad about just cancelling to make my anxiety go away. I’d really like to start therapy again.

Have you ever tried yoga, meditation, or acupuncture? 

I have a meditation app on my phone that I use a fair amount, I should use it more consistently though. I’ve done yoga in the past though not specifically for my anxiety. And I have never tried acupuncture, probably never will because it sort of terrifies me.

How does it impact your everyday life? 

I have a hard time getting out of the apartment and doing things by myself or with friends. Everything is so much safer inside my place with my cat.  Even doing fun things with friends sometimes is hard. It also makes it hard for me to get a job, because answering the phone is awful, as well as interviews. Every day I’m anxious, but some days are better than others. Some days I’m able to get out and about and I do everything I need to do. Some days it takes everything I can to get out of bed.

Have you made any changes to your life because of anxiety? 

One of the reasons my partner and I moved to Eugene was because of my anxiety. Living close to the library has been a life saver. I can get outside the house every day and take a walk, and it’s to a place that I know will be safe and quiet and good for me.

Of course I make other changes that aren’t always good. I try not to let my anxiety control my life, but I have my days where it’s just easier to cancel everything and let myself stay home.

Do any foods make your anxiety worse? 

Coffee. Coffee will make me so anxious and hyper. Which is frustrating because I like coffee, and I like getting energy from the caffeine, but man sometimes it makes me so paranoid and anxious. I don’t drink coffee every day, but every few days so sometimes it’s alright and I just deal. But I know if I’m already having a bad day that coffee will just make things worse.

Has your anxiety changed with age?

Not really. The only thing that’s changed is being able to have my anxiety finally diagnosed a few years ago, and getting help from a therapist.  These have been life changing because now I can finally try to cope. Before I had no idea why I was the way I was, or why these feelings made my life so terrible. Now I know and have the tools to make it better.

Do people in your life understand your condition?

Some do for sure. My partner understands and is the biggest help. I’ve definitely had to do some explaining and talking to some family members about it, but once I did they understood. A lot of my friends deal with anxiety as well so they totally understand.

What is your best advice for those struggling with mental health issues? 

Don’t be afraid to get a therapist. If you can afford one, or get one through your health insurance, just do it. It might take some work to find the right one but once you do I promise it’s a 100% worth it.  Therapy saved my life and I’m planning to start up with it again in the near future.

11 comments

  1. I moved next to a library with a nice neighborhood to walk in as well. It does help greatly with anxiety to have calm places to visit. Be well!

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