11:47am and I found myself speaking aloud in my car. Call me crazy, but it has somehow become my favourite way of thought documenting. The class room was crazy today so I decided to enjoy my lunch break in the serenity of my car. After reading today’s newspaper, mental illness was on my mind. I reflected on my own mental health and without giving it too much of my attention, I asked myself how I was doing- was my anxiety under control?
Thoughts were flying by like cars on a freeway. I needed an anchor, I needed to slow my mind and choose a thought to run with. With no pen and paper available, I pulled out my phone, switched on ‘record’ and began talking (yes, to myself). I listened back, and as I did, I realised just how much I had to say. It seemed to make sense, finally- it made sense.
” There is always something you can do about it, always a decision that can be made. But I suppose that’s the problem. My inability to make decisions. My lack of trust in myself. Thats it, that is why I was anxious- I didn’t trust my self to make the right decision” – my car ramblings.
I have lost count of the amount of times I have answered their questions with ” I don’t know, I just am”. It almost makes the situation worse- when you’re feeling completely out of control and you’re asked to explain something that you would love to know the answer to yourself.The thing is, I know that there is no ‘ just am’. Of course there is always a reason. Its just not easily explained when the root of my anxiety is often irrational.
I listened to the recording again tonight and I wished I had access to it a few months back- when the anxiety was bad. I wish I had a soothing version of myself, tell it as it is, take ownership of what i’m feeling and know that it does not make me any less of a person, But I didn’t. Each time I am faced with the silent killer, I navigate my way through the emotions, one day at a time and each time is different.
During these quiet moments in the car, I felt the urge to share these thoughts with my audience (hence this post) and try and re-shift the focus of my blog from ‘look at how awesome my travel life is’ to ‘life has a way of throwing curve balls but lets keep on keeping on’. I truly believe there are A LOT of people suffering in silence, dealing with the waves of emotions that they hate to know so well. I’m not going to be silent. I want to speak out about my mental health journey and I want to create a platform for others to do so.
Several months ago, I shared a post titled ‘travelling with Anxiety‘ and began to explain my journey with anxiety. If you know me, you may not say I appear like a very anxious person. If you know me well you would understand how my suffering has ranged from mild to severe and then not at all. It comes in waves, it comes in cycles but when it comes, my god it comes. My anxiety has prevented a lot of opportunity, it has wasted hours of my days and created a fragile, impressionable version of myself. At times, it has completely taken over and on the rare occasion, it has taught me things I would have never learnt otherwise.
So here we go, the journey towards uncovering my battle with anxiety, breaking down what it’s like to live an anxious life and sharing practical ways of dealing with anxiety.
All my love