I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety since Valentines Day 2013. Yes, I remember the date because my teacher, who booked the appointment joked around saying it was a valentines day treat from her. I’ve grown in so many ways since this point.
In 2012, I couldn’t ride buses or trains. Couldn’t answer or complete phone calls as it was just all too much. Neither could I go to places that were super crowded and busy. So basically… couldn’t go anywhere. I knew my anxiety like clockwork (is that the saying?) I knew exactly what set me off and I knew exactly what didn’t. It stopped me from doing things that were deemed normal for a teenage girl to do.
I don’t really recall what happened when I chose to put a stop it all of this. I just knew I had to do something. I was planning on going to college where it would be a new situation and it would be busy and I would have to make new friends. A thing I didn’t feel comfortable doing. It just got to a point where I couldn’t be Sophie who sat alone in her room all the time and never went out.
In 2012, I started taking medication for my anxiety. Primarily for my heart palpitations because they were c r a z y! I’m still on this now, to this very day. Not going to lie, I didn’t think I’d be on it this long – I thought it would be a quick couple months and then I’d be off them. In all fairness, before Christmas 2016, I did try to come off them. And it was successful. I went completely 100% off them (and my anti depressants but that’s another story for another time) from the 21st December 2016 to around mid February 2017. It was a good time for me until I had a huge panic attack and refused to leave the house for a couple days. I knew I had to go back on them.
I felt like such a let down but I had to, for my own mental health and for my studies. I’m so close to finishing my college courses I don’t want to really have another set back if I can help it.
I’m deciding to come back off them after my exam season is over. But slower this time. I’m currently taking one a day, and I think I’m going to downgrade to one every two days and then one every few days and so on to see what my limit is.
A lifetime of anxiety is not going to be solved just like that. I knew deep down it wouldn’t have been but I just assumed I was okay. This is something that I’m going to have to work so incredibly hard at, every single day for the rest of my life. I don’t think my anxiety is ever going to leave me but I can try bloody hard to make it be almost invisible.
I know I’ve had massive improvements with my anxiety. I go on buses all the time, with friends and alone. I go on trains. I recently went on a train alone! I go shopping alone. I answer phone calls sometimes, sometimes call people too. It just depends how I feel.
It’s so unreal I cannot believe I’m the same person, anxiety wise, as I was 5+ years ago. I remember speaking to my best friend the other week and she was mentioning how proud she is of me. Proud of me because I actually go out, we can go out to pubs or for food without worrying if I’m okay or what’s going on in my head. How much I have grown since she has known me when I was that big anxious mess. I wouldn’t say I’m no longer an anxious mess, I’m more of a little anxious mess haha.
I’m so glad I’m taking the steps to dealing with my anxiety. I shouldn’t have to let it consume me. I know full well I’m not letting that happen.