I saw that The Life of Dee had written a post the other day inspired by Duck in a Dress and I thought it was a great idea. So a couple of times each week I'll post a letter and tell you all a little bit more about myself! I'm quite looking forward to this! To kick it off, something that I've struggled with all my life: A is for Anxiety.
I suffer both General and Social Anxiety. General anxiety makes things tough at times with excessive worrying, nervousness, an over active imagination and there are a lot of 'what ifs' asked when I feel particuly anxious. I have a fair bit of control over my general anxiety, it's not something that has a major hold over me anymore which pleases me. It'll always be something that comes and goes I suspect.
Social anxiety is what cripples me the most. I certainly have faced my fears in regards to social situations a good few times (oral exams in school, plucking up the courage to sing in a school choir, meeting online friends for the first time, climbing snowdon with a large group and taking part in Mama Retreats) but each and every time I have to face them it never gets easier. I always think of excuses, I always have to force myself through doors, onto trains. A constant fear of looking stupid and having people laugh at me is something I cannot shift.
My anxiety (socially) I believe is a complete result of suffering excessive blushing. Blushing isn't uncommon and I've blogged about it before but blushing quite badly, or at least feeling it badly is totally debilitating. It's still more common than I realised; although many people have written to me to tell me they suffer too, I have never personally met someone and seen them blush. The reason it affects me so badly is because I'm not actually embarrassed about anything, or ashamed or shy. The confident and care free me is not able to come through the minute I begin to blush.
Some people tell me these things aren't as bad as they seem. But they feel pretty bad and that's enough. CBT helped my anxiety immensely and my low dose of anti depressants help me no end as well.
Anxiety is a part of me. Sometimes it feels truly awful and there are many times I've wished myself dead to be honest. It's also brought out a strength and honesty in me I could never of imagined I'd have. Going all the way to Bristol, alone, meeting Kat for the very first time, travelling together to Wales and spending the weekend with a large (to me) group of people and climbing a mountain with them (I hate heights!) was amazing! Anxiety brings lows, but it also brings me incredible highs when I walk away having accomplished something I thought I could only dream of. I feel I can tell other sufferers it really is possible and have the pictures to prove it!
Let me know if you've blogged about you through the alphabet, I'd love to see your posts! If you suffer from anxiety too feel free to get in touch.