Friday, 4 April 2014


I don't know about you but I suffer from anxiety in a big way
I wasn't always like this
I remember being a teenager
I was so fearless
Nothing phased me
I could talk to anyone
Go anywhere
I was quite content just being me
Well actually that's not 100% accurate because I started drinking and drugging when I was a teenager so maybe there was anxiety there and I just didn't recognize it

Anyway I spent quite a few years in a drug and alcohol fuelled haze so if there was anxiety there it was well covered up
My eating disorder then cane to the fore when I got clean
And a bundle of anxiety came with it
For me, anxiety is a fear that I won't be able to cope with whatever life throws at me
It's constantly asking the question 'What if?'
What if I go out and leave the cooker on and the house burns down down?
What if I drive  up this hill and the car cuts out?
What if I start a new job and no one likes me?
What if..........?
It's constantly projecting in to the future and predicting the worst

I think anxiety also stems form having low self esteem and low self confidence
If you have very little confidence in your abilities, then you don't have a lot of faith that you can cope with the unpredictable 
I find that I have great difficulty making decisions
Because I think that whatever choice I make will be the wrong choice
It could be something as small as what brand of bread to buy
Or what colour to dye your hair
It's a fear of getting it wrong
Part of me can understand why people with OCD  obsessively wash their hands or use constant checking to ease their anxiety
The behaviours go some way to relieve their anxiety and make them feel better

Because I bought a new car recently I have had quite a lot of anxiety around it
My new car is an automatic and up until now I have only ever driven a manual
My father was encouraging me to go for this car but I was hesitant
I had very little self belief that I would manage the automatic
In the end I went for it and lo and behold, I can do it!
To date, I have successfully dodged 2 dogs, a cat and a sheep
(Did I mention I also have anxiety about running over an animal?)

Last week I was driving to another town about half an hour away
A few minutes in to the drive I began to think that one of the pedals was slippery
Cue visions of me crashing in to the nearest tree
I started to feel panicky and kept feeling the pedal with my foot
My breathing became shallow
I felt shaky and I was sweating buckets
I had to turn down the radio and take deep breathes until it began to pass
And it does pass

I experience a lot of anxiety around the unpredictable
If everything is going along as planned, then I am fine
But if something happens that I haven't foreseen
Then you can bet that my old friend anxiety will begin creeping in
Although this is all happening in my head, anxiety can be a very physical thing
I remember at Christmas I was asked to do a reading at my uncle's wedding
I can't tell you how much anxiety and stress that 3 lined prayer of the faithful caused me
For days before it I was obsessively reading it over and over again
The day of the wedding I had my brother on standby in case I just couldn't do it
As I sat in the church my heart thumped so loud in my chest, I was sure everyone could hear it
My palms were sweating
My face was twitching
It was like a huge adrenalin surge and all I could think was 'What if I fall?'
What if I stand up and my skirt is stuck in my pants?
What if I go blank and mess it all up?
All these thoughts were whizzing through my head and I really thought I was about to pass out
But I did it
I managed to act like the veritable swan
Calm on the surface but paddling furiously beneath it
So what if I had fallen
I'd simply have stood up, brushed myself off and continued as if nothing had happened
If my skirt had got caught, I'm sure someone would have told me

That's the thing with anxiety
The anxiety before an event is always far worse than the event itself
It's the anticipation
The run up to the event
9 times out of 10 things run perfectly smoothly
And if it doesn't?
So what?
I'll manage 
I'll cope
I just need to have more faith in myself
It's not the end of the world
I'll feel the fear and do it anyway
She says so confidently until the next time she gets anxious

I am on meds for anxiety
Quite a lot of meds
Yes, it does take the edge off
Mindfulness also helps
But nothing eases my anxiety completely
It's part of life
We all experience it
Some more than others
But most people don't let it stop them living their lives
Whereas at the moment I have

The strange thing is that I tend to get anxious about the smaller things in life
The big stuff doesn't phase me as much
I'd do a bungee jump any day of the week
But walk in to a room full of people I don't know?
No thank you very much

I was wondering about you?
Do you experience anxiety?
What helps you deal with it?
Answers on a postcard please............


  1. I'm sorry you experience such bad anxiety Ruby. You're right though; a lot of the time, the anticipation's worse than the situation itself. Anxiety rules my life, more than words can describe. It's completely debilitating 24/7. I think it's my biggest barrier in life. I was first diagnosed at age 12 but I've experienced it for as long as I can remember. I used to take a lot of sick days off school, from the time I started til the time I dropped out. I felt so sick all the time, but nothing was wrong, physically speaking. It's only in retrospect I realize it was anxiety. It seems as years go by, it just gets worse and worse.
    Big hugs to you dear. I hope you're okay. Love you <3 xx

  2. I never used to have anxiety, I think things just spiralled since January, and then since the past 2 weeks I cannot convince myself im not dying, I'm being hysterical, I don't recognise myself, I've been sent to a&e twice from the pain that is supposedly just being causwed by anxiety and stress, I keep having irrational thoughts - a piece of hair fell out and suddenly I was afraid all my hair would fall out if I so much as touched a strand. I had a pain in my stomach that made me dizzy and I convinced myself I'd lost the ability to walk. there was a puddle next to the washing machine and I thought the roof was going to fall in, the NHS taxi man came to the door and I thought it was the burglar. It's debilitating isn't it, I feel like my mind is falling to pieces and showing itself in a delusional state. they think I've gone mental. when I first got here when I cried it was like tears were bursting out of my leg muscles. when I eat I feel blood dripping down inside of me as if my stomach is in pain. it feels so real and its so scary and I don't have a clue what has happened to me in the space of 2 weeks. I guess I just flipped. please be careful, reach out and ask for help, we are closer to being sectioned and losing everything that we like to think, I've discovered that the past few weeks and I know you have been in very dark and low places. if you struggle, ask for help, please don't let it get so bad that coming back to the surface becomes such an unreachable aim. it's already feeling so far away for us, don't let it get further out of your grasp xxxx

  3. I'm the same as you with my anxiety Ruby. It was never a problem until I started isolating myself more and more with my ED. In January i decided at the age of 30 and 'feel the fear and do it anyway' and start driving lessons. Before each and every one of my lessons i feel physically sick and every instinct tells me not to do it. Everything is a potential hazard; what if that dogs lead snaps and it runs into the road? what if that person crossing quite far ahead falls and i can't stop in time etc etc? I also get anxious about little things like getting a taxi (what if the driver wants to talk to me or asks what i do for a living (nothing)) and getting a grocery delivery because i think they might be judging what i buy. The list goes on...but ask me to do a parachute jump or paragliding and i'm first to do it.

  4. I hate anxiety. Mine comes from being rasied by an abusive mother. Fear of the unknown and all that.

    Yours sounds like hell!

    So long as I have steady income and a place to live I'm ok, but the element of the unknown with things like that makes me panic.

    Sometimes I can look at everythign I've survived and go "Hah, I've seen worse. Fuck you life, BRING IT! Shit happens and I don't care." and others I'm a terrified wreck chewing my nails to the bone. UGH.

    I've got no good advice for dealing with it >.< I pretend everything is fine and act all confident and then fall apart after when it's safe to do so OR I've run out of the ability to cope. Blargh.

    Oooooh come bungy-jump with me? Kawarau is GREAT for it! :D Jet boats too!

    Love you <3

  5. I have found that I create more anxiety for myself when things are going okay. I am fine when I am in the middle of an emergency or crisis but I freak myself out when I have to pick something simple like which bread to buy. I guess when I am in crisis mode I feel shit can't get worse or I don't have the time to second guess myself.


Thank you for leaving some love x