To be totally honest with you, this wasn’t a post that I was planning on writing, or at least sharing on the world wide web. But a recent poll I did on twitter (@heatheribberson) showed me that you wanted to see a post about anxiety. I want this blog to be a place that inspires and entertains you, pushes you to pursue your dreams and be brave. In part, I also want to inspire myself on my own self discovery journey and hopefully, in turn, I can give back to someone else as well.
But when thinking further upon the matter, I realised that we only tend to talk about our experiences once we are past them. When we look back and reflect on where we were, and where we are now. I think, in part, this is because we can look back on our past experiences with a clearer mind and perspective – we’re more reflective. We’ve been through whatever pain was troubling us, and come out the other side. Perhaps we think more rationally, whereas in the moment we may not always be thinking rationally and don’t want to say something that we later come to disagree with.
However, there is something to be said for what we experience in the moment. For the intensity of our thoughts and the emotion we feel. In fact, I think that more should be spoken of in the moment. I found it so inspiring and brave of Leandra from Man Repeller to open up about her struggles with IVF and her openness to speak about her troubles whilst going through it. So I came to the conclusion that I need to open up a) because I think it will help me overcome my fears and b) Sharing my troubles will hopefully, in turn, come to inspire and help someone else, even if it’s just one person.
The troubles I speak of here, are anxiety. Now, I’m not one for labels. I don’t want to label myself as an anxious person, or an indecisive person in fear of a self-fulfilling prophecy that ultimately just keeps us stuck in that same place. But there is no denying that in the past few months, I have felt deeply unfulfilled and stuck in a rotten place in my mind.
Being a massive advocate for personal development and having read just about all the ‘self-help’ books there are, I’d like to think that I’m very aware and in tune with my own
feelings. I’m aware of where they come from, why I’m focusing on them and what I should do to get rid of them. But I trip at the last hurdle. For some reason, I can’t seem to put the actions into place that I know will serve me better.
When I speak about things that I truly care about, or more so when someone asks me about them, I choke up. I feel this pressing sensation on my chest, I literally cannot open my mouth to speak sometimes. Recently I’ve felt such intensity that I could burst into tears at any moment, despite seeming fine on the outside. I can’t really explain how it is and I’m sure that unless you’ve felt these sensations yourself, it’s difficult to understand.
The human mind is almost too intelligent for its own good sometimes. It has the ability to think, imagine and create anything it wants. But it can also doubt itself, second guess and block you from living out your truth. We must forgive ourselves for this. In fact, at times I have wished that I was more naive so that I could get over my own self-inflicted pain and walk straight through the wall that I have built around myself in order to pursue my dreams fearlessly.
The silly thing about anxiety, at least for me, is that it it ends up pushing away those close to me – especially in relationships. Despite getting constant positive affirmation and encouragement from everyone close to me, I fear their opinions most. I end up shutting myself off, afraid of what they’ll think – regardless of the fact I know that they love me for who I am and encourage me on the daily. In reality though, the people who are close to you want to see you do what you love. They want to see that wild passion in you, they want you to open up and share your crazy dreams with them. Don’t shut them out, let them in and ask them to be patient with you whilst you get through this. Time truly is the best healer.
I’ve found myself going to the gym a bit more recently to try and get myself out of my own head. Firstly, it helps me practice willpower by exerting effort over my mind to go and do what I want to do. And secondly, the endorphins I get after working out puts me in such a better mood compared to just sitting around on my own in the flat feeling sorry for myself.
‘It’s not forever. It’s an emotion, a state of being who has just hopped on the bus for the ride and whether anxiety stays for the entire journey or just a few stops remember this, you’re in the driver’s seat’
Part of the reason I’m feeling anxious is because of an exciting chapter that I’m entering in my life. The reason it’s exciting, is because it’s risky. It involves me pursuing my passions and dreams wholeheartedly and not going to lie, that shit is scary. The world is a harsh place and if you want to go it alone, you must do so with blind courage. This, for some, may be discouraging, but when it comes to the alternatives – regretting not ever trying, not feeling fulfilled, not doing work I love, not reaching my full potential and chasing my dreams – I know that there is not an option, NOT to do it.
It really is all about expanding your comfort zone and pushing through. Sounds scary, but it can be done. I think we need to open up about mental health issues a lot more, simply get a conversation going. People face their issues differently and my experience will be different, or perhaps all too familiar, to your own. Either way, it’s not unusual. It’s not forever. It’s an emotion, a state of being who has just hopped on the bus for the ride and whether anxiety stays for the entire journey or just a few stops remember this, you’re in the driver’s seat.
SHOP THE LOOK