Even when I think back the most amazing, memorable moments of my life, they’re coated with the laces of anxiety. 
I went through my childhood, school, college and university suffering in silence with my anxiety. On the outside I looked like a “normal” person, but the possibility of panic was my horrible secret, constantly drowning me in worry. I lived in fear of being asked to speak out loud, or even worse, do a presentation.
At my worst, I suffer terrible panic attacks alongside my anxiety. If anybody has ever experienced them, they’ll know exactly how awful they are. When people, especially a GP, ask me to describe how I feel when I’m having one I literally mutter the words “I feel like I’m going to die”. Because honestly that’s how it feels. I get dizzy, clammy, my heart starts racing and then I feel as though the walls are closing in and everything seems to be going dark. Of course I’ve been reassured that I will never die from a panic attack, and I’m still very much alive, but in that moment, you don’t think see or think clearly, and that’s exactly what it does, takes over your mind. I read an amazing book a few years ago called “Reasons to stay alive” by Matt Haig. I strongly recommend anybody who feels the same to consider grabbing a copy and having a read. It brings a difficult and sensitive subject out of the darkness and into the light.
Most people have a mental health weakness. Whether that be lacking in confidence, being unable to open up about their feelings, or struggling to maintain relationships. 
It wasn’t until earlier this year I realised how big the difference is between existing and living. Before I got help for my anxiety, I didn’t truly live my life. I wanted to go do things with my friends, but my anxiety always found a way to stop me, the old reliable: What if?

A huge part of my recovery, which is always a work in progress, was recognising my triggers. This is so important. If you can understand what is making you anxious, you cause your rational thoughts to work it out. 
I’ve learned to use metaphors as a coping technique. It isn’t easy and takes a while but it does work. Imagine yourself in a car, and the seatbelt locks up for no reason. It almost as if it thinks you’re about to crash. But you’re not, you’re just stuck for a while. This sometimes happens for no reason, just one of those things. But you have to sit there, and wait 
it out. And eventually, you can release the belt and get out.

I turned 31 this year. And it finally resonated, that having a mental illness is not a sign of weakness. It is not a personal failure. You are not your illness. You are more.

*The reason I started my blog, was to help me deal with my anxiety and help others who can relate also. Feel free to drop me a comment on my Instagram page post Here

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