I'm not that crazy... I swear! Anxiety and Relationships!
Today's post is an intimate one, a post I have sat down to write so many times and I've just backed away from it. Why is today different? I can't answer that because I don't know. Today I feel like talking and sharing. As someone who suffers from anxiety I can tell you this type of post scares the shit out of me but its important to share.
'I'm not that crazy... I swear' is something I found myself saying to Lee quite alot after an emotional outburst that appeared to come out of know where. I try to put myself in his position all the time and ask myself what is it like living with someone that suffers from anxiety and I just can't answer it. He has never suffered with anxiety or any sort of mental disorder so it's hard for him to understand. The same way I struggle to see what it must be like from his side. Imagine not ever over reacting to a situation that has never happened? God I would love that, sadly this is something that I struggle with quite often. I battle with my mind on the daily about small and silly things that seem so minuscule to others but to me it feels like a weight has been placed on my shoulders.
I honestly don't know how long I have had anxiety because as far back as I can remember I used to worry about things. I have one specific memory that sticks out from way back, I must of only been about 7/8 and I used to pack a small bags of toys every night because I used to worry that if there ever was a fire that I would be able to grab all my toys in time and I did not want to leave any of my favourites behind! Growing up I assumed these feelings were normal that everyone got bogged down about things and I never knew what panic attacks were so I didn't even know I was having one I just thought it was something everyone else felt to. I was wrong.
It wasn't until I was in 6th year in school at the age of 17 when I spoke with a councillor in school that the word Anxiety was ever mentioned. As good as she was she thought me some breathing exercises, told me her office was always open anytime I needed to talk and that was it. At the time I was dealing with a lot of things and now this bomb had just been dropped on me. Anxiety, that whole day that word spun around in my head and the first thing I did when I got home was... googled it. I remember reading the explanation of it for the first time and as if I had a checklist in my head after every sentence I read aloud something was ticked off the list. 'Oh that's me, I do that, I get physically pains... But instead of feeling a 'Wohoo' moment I felt even more confused. How do you treat something that's in your head? How do you treat your own thoughts? God am I crazy? These were some of my first thoughts. I sat on my desk chair and cried because I just didn't know how I was supposed to feel or what I was supposed to do. 17 is hands down the most confusing time for any person. You are figuring out what it is you want to do with the rest of your life which F.Y.I I'm 25 and still unsure what it is I want to do. There is so much going on that its easy to get caught up in the small things. I struggled!
Flash forward to now, I am more educated about anxiety. I have talked to doctors spoke with councillors and even now anxiety is something I struggle with I am definitely more aware of it now. I can feel when a panic attack is coming on and there are certain things I can do that will help me through them. I am more aware of my triggers but sometimes and that's the curse about having anxiety, I could get one big horrible attack out of know where on a day where I'm feeling great and positive!
For me now its all about who I surround myself with and what I do to help myself. If there are negative people in your life that just bring you down and don't understand you. Then you don't need people in your life like that. I know I can be hell sometimes like when me and Lee are having a great day out with the kids and I feel like I'm ruining it by having to cut the day short because I just can't fight through those feelings of anxiousness. Or if I see any of the kids falling instead of trying to catch them I freeze. I become paralysed with anxiety. I literally can't move. Its hard to explain to someone who doesn't understand because I know most people's reaction's would be to jump and grab your child. I mean you do whatever you can to save your child from hurting themselves right? Me too, most of the time, just sometimes anxiety and the fear of what may happen seizes every muscle in my body up, causing me to be completely useless in that moment. 100 different thoughts at once enter my head like 'Oh no hes going to hit his fall' 'Hes going to be spilt open' 'I should be helping him' 'What kind of mother are you' are just some of the thoughts I will have. I can't imagine what must go through Lee's head in those moments... 'Why is she standing there?' 'What kind of mother is she' these are not his words infact he has never said anything to me like that at all its just thoughts I have in those moments of what he must be thinking. Sometimes we argue sometimes he understands. I can't imagine how hard it must be from the outside looking in but he tries.
I'm going to be honest I still have moments where my anxiety completely takes over and I feel so out of control of my own mind. I fail to see any rational thoughts and begin to believe whats in my head. Its like being trapped in a box with pictures all around it and that's all I am able to see. It completely blocks me from being able to see any sort of reality.
I wake up crying or freaking out and of course I wake Lee to try and help me out of whatever it is I'm feeling and he always does. He never turns over or ignores me. He sits with me, tells me pointless facts or talks to me about trivial silly things to help take my mind off whatever it is I'm struggling with. I would truly be lost without him and he does more for me then anyone will ever know.
I guess I didn't realise how much I relied on him until I sat down to write this post. I know I have said this already but I just can't begin to imagine how difficult he must find it at times to live with me. I fear things that has never happened and wallow in self pity, disgust and anxiousness about things that have already happened and I can't change or even worse things that have never happened.
I thank god everyday for bringing such a kind hearted, understanding and supportive soul into my life and after today I feel like I need to start telling Lee that I'm more thankful then he will ever know! We may struggle and argue at times but once its done its really done. He never throws anything back in my face nor do I do that to him and I think that's how we manage to maintain such a healthy relationship. At the end of the day if you love someone you really love them, warts and all. You take the good with the bad, lift them up when their sad and support whatever dreams they may have.
So I guess my question to you is how do you manage to maintain a healthy relationship or is it something that you both are struggling with whether it be him or you that are suffering? My advise would be don't give up. If its something that you want, work through it every road has bumps... no relationship is not tested! However if you feel like that person is adding to your pain and struggle then maybe they are not the one for you.
Surround yourself with people who understand, people who will laugh and cry with you whether its your partner or best friend you deserve only the best!
Just know I am with you and I stand the person I am today because of my anxiety and the struggles I've had. Always be thankful for everything you have because your anxiety does not define you unless you let it.
Until next time,
- All images incuded in this post were got from google images