The best part of blogging is interacting with readers. Last year, my most successful series, allowed me to share my journey with Anxiety and actually help some people through incredibly hard times. You may, or may not, remember Anxiety August (click here to catch up), but I thought it would be nice to do give you all a little update.
So continuing with My Story. I still have anxiety. I think the biggest hurdle I've overcome is thinking there is some sort of magic cure out there. There isn't, at least not for me. I've come to accept that I'm just an anxious person, but that's ok. Anxiety is just a characteristic and doesn't have to be a bad thing; it's simply a case of channelling that energy in a positive way. If you always think of anxiety as a negative aspect, you're not using it to your advantage. Anxiety, for me, means I care about things and want to do my best, both of which aren't bad at all. As soon as I started thinking about it in a more positive way, my self-esteem and confidence grew, and I found I could do things I was too nervous to do before.
I'm not saying my life is all sunshine and rainbows. Kittens and puppies don't pop out of packets of biscuits and unicorn's aren't in my garden. Despite all my best efforts, I still have panic attacks now and again, and most frustratingly they do still prevent me doing things, albeit very rarely. Panic attacks are part of the flight and fight mechanism, and although sometimes you might want to desperately push through things, you can't. So having panic attacks hasn't changed, but my attitude to them has. I'm kinder to myself now and don't beat myself up after I've had one. Anyone who's experience them will know how exhausted you feel after you have one, so I now let myself rest rather than making myself question why I have panic attacks but other people don't. I've accepted that I have them and while they're not nice, it's also not a negative reflection of me. It doesn't mean I'm not good enough to achieve what I want to, and it certainly doesn't mean I won't do it. All panic attacks mean is that your mind has gone into survival mode and is processing every minute detail. That is not something to feel ashamed about. Everyone has hurdles they have to jump and this happens to be mine. I've come to realise though that you can't jump over those hurdles if you don't accept they're there. I've now accepted anxiety will creep up now and again, but now I'm armed with methods to channel it and a realisation that hating something that makes me, me isn't going to help in the long term.
So, Anxiety is a part of me, and whilst I'm not overly fond of having panic attacks now and again, it makes me who I am. And right now, I'm happy.