Mental health conditions are a lonely and isolating place. I have not many social interactions with any of my peers. I have tried to mend the friendship which broken down due to my limited time at school. In recent years, people have flown through my life, despite me being physically and mentally well. To date, many people at scared of the unknown surrounding mental health conditions. Even though Mind and Heads Together are slowly breaking down the stigma of mental health in this country, there is still a long way to go.
In the past, before the trauma happened, I would never get anxious or nervous about leaving the house and having a coffee with friends. But now, my body is instilled with fear anything out of the daily routine, terrifies me. My body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode. I grasp for breath, tears roll down my face. I logical know that I am ‘safe’ but the fear paralysis my body and mind. I know once I have left the house, I will be fine but the unpredictability of life scares me. Yet even with my mind telling me to stay and my body is telling me to run. I have to find a calming presence. I need to re-ground myself and breathe.
Somedays, I feel trapped in an invisible border. I seem lost and alone. I am continuously fighting the anxiety and challenging my fears. It is easier said than done. Even when I have to left the house, I still have to coordinate my thoughts and ground myself, especially in busy places. When I travel by train, I always wear earphones not to detach myself from people but so that I can interact and engage with society. Even going food shopping, buying clothes or buying a coffee is so overwhelming. I may look calm but my legs are shaking and my mind is in a state of overdrive, trying to stay calm and collected. Whilst my mind is telling me to run and hide but I stay and fight.
Anxiety is my protection but also my deepest fear.
For some, it may seem dramatic even unreal but anxiety can be consuming and isolating. It is easier to stay in my ‘comfort zone’ rather than trying to challenge my thoughts and beliefs. However, by facing my worries and concerns the anxiety reduces. Anxiety comes in waves, when you are least expecting it, the wave crashes over you but it does float away. By learning to ride the wave of emotions and fear. You managed to control the anxiety rather than it controlling you. It is difficult and sometimes disheartening but it gets easy with time.
I use to take for granted how fearless and free, I once was. Now on a daily basis, I am fighting an invisible soul of fear. My boundaries are still limitless and my life is still open to new opportunities but I have to manage the fear, the unknown and anxiety at the same time. It is not impossible. I can overcome it, by pushing through the uncertainty and facing my fear, then hopeful anxiety will not live with me here.