“I found a way to live with my anxiety. And I can tell you one thing: it will never be gone. The only thing I can do is manage it and learn from it. “
A while ago I wrote about how important I believe the health of your mind is and how little we know or learn about it when we grow up, while it’s incredibly important for your skills to take on life or how we treat our neighbours and loved ones.
Luckily it’s getting better but we’re not there yet. Nowadays it’s more visible what consequences and impact it has on daily life and that in fact there are so many people struggling with the matters of the mind, our mental health, that it actually is quite normal. So I’m all for treating it as such and that’s why I’m advocating for normalizing mental health. Nobody makes it through life intact, so let’s not look weird and surprised when someone is affected by an event or condition and pretend it doesn’t exist.
To get insight and to learn more about what it means to live with mental health conditions or what it means to take care of your own mind besides only our bodies I’m making a series with real stories from real people. To have us understand, learn and make room for things we don’t know or not yet comfortable with. Understanding starts with listening before speaking and telling before yelling.
They have all the freedom to pick their own formats and choose whether or not to provide something anonymously or with name. If you’re ready to share your story with the world or have your own tips on how you deal and take care of your inner peace on a daily basis feel free to contact. And I will do my best to publish it in this series.
The first one to tell something is Liza, who lives with anxiety and still works her butt off to accomplish everything in life like everybody else. She learned how to take a break and what it means to take care of herself consciously. Living with anxiety or any other condition also means knowing yourself. It is up to you to listen, learn and try to understand your neighbors who deal with things that are not as uncommon as you might think, living like we’re all trying to live life in search of inner peace.
Matters Of The Mind: Living With Anxiety – Liza
Let’s talk about anxiety
First of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Liza and I am a 29-year-old stereotypical millennial with a love for avocados, nostalgia and all things nerdy. Monica is my friend and she asked me to write something for her blog about my struggles with anxiety. As an advocate for normalising to talk about mental health I am very happy to do so. But, to be honest, the idea of having my words on the internet for everyone to read is giving me instant anxiety already.
What is anxiety
So, ‘anxiety’, it’s a big word with a lot of different meanings. There are many shapes and forms in how different people experience anxious feelings. I can only speak from my own experiences and for me, anxiety can be either mentally, physically or both. The mental part of it just means that my mind goes into overdrive. I overthink everything, make up scenarios of how things are going to play out, I can’t stop worrying or I think about past bad experiences. On the other side, we have the physical part, which is comparable to being nervous for an important event. I get a pit in my stomach, my skin gets itchy and just a general restlessness and inability to sit still. Sometimes it comes with heavy breathing and even panic attacks.
Putting pieces together
All of this is normality for me at this point. I have been struggling with anxiety as long as I can remember. But it never got the name ‘anxiety’ until I was 25. Even as a little kid I showed symptoms, but nobody realised it had a name. I was always just the ‘sensitive child’. Well, around 25 years old I realised being ‘sensitive’ was not good enough of an excuse for my symptoms and I got some help in the shape of therapy. This is when the term ‘anxiety disorder’ was thrown in my face for the first time and everything just clicked in place. A diagnosis in itself doesn’t really mean anything, but it does give a little guideline on how to treat it.
Managing daily life
Anxiety for me expresses itself in a lot of different situations. A lot of mornings I wake up with a pit in my stomach, sometimes I can pinpoint why, but most of the times I don’t have a clue. Sometimes it expresses itself in social situations, but other days I am a social butterfly. There is really no measure on when my anxiety is going to show its face. Outside factors have a lot of impact on it; pressure at work, relationships, my family.
So, how do I deal? That’s something very hard to explain. Because for a long time I didn’t really deal with it. I looked at it like it was an untreatable illness. Pushed my feelings away and became a master in pretending I was okay. This is a very bad way to look at any mental health problem. Sometimes I couldn’t get out of bed for days because my anxiety got the best of me. I would just stay in bed, watch Netflix, trying to ignore the fact that there’s a world out there. This would come and go in waves, a few ‘normal’ weeks. followed by a hibernation period, followed by a few ‘normal’ weeks again.
This was my system, until a few months ago. I met a person who really inspired me to be more accepting of my own issues and made me express my feelings. For a while this made my anxiety a lot worse, I think it was just years of oppression coming out at once. But he also gave me some tools to be able to handle anxiety in a healthy way. Which I think is possible for everyone, but it really takes hard work and dedication.
I found a way to live with my anxiety. And I can tell you one thing: it will never be gone. The only thing I can do is manage it and learn from it. It’s not ideal, of course it would be easier if it’s totally gone. But I think acceptance is a big and important step. Since I am neither a therapist or doctor I find it difficult to give advice on this subject. But I do think that talking about it openly is important, which I decided to share. Mental health shouldn’t be a hidden subject.
With that said: goodbye and let me know if you want to hear more.
Liza is a 29-year-old stereotypical millennial with a love for avocados, nostalgia and all things nerdy who likes to normalize talking about mental health.
If you’d like to know more about Liza or ask her questions about anxiety or who she is, comment down below or fill in the form with your question and Subject Liza – Let’s talk about anxiety!