Annie are you OK? Are you OK Annie?

OK, so firstly I know that my names not Annie, but it went better as a title than my own name- sue me! ( Well, no, don’t actually sue me but you know what I mean.)

I’ve thought long and hard about writing this post, would people think I’m mental? would it put off future potential romances? really would I just look  a bit pathetic? and in the end I’ve decided to write it anyway.

I am a self-confessed ‘Anxious Annie’ or simply put I suffer with anxiety.  Outwardly I don’t think many people would be aware, for the most part I am happy go lucky and always smiling. Inside, however it’s a totally different story.

I have been anxious ever since I can remember, well probably from about the age of 5. I developed a phobia of being sick that I now know to be called ‘Emetophobia’ and worried every single day that I was going to be sick, that my family was going to be sick, that the person sat next to me on the bus was going to be sick, that the neighbours cat was going to be sick. Actually, probably not that last one but you get the gist. It took over my life.

That’s what anxiety does, takes over your life in some way, shape or form. It’s a bit like having a controlling partner saying ” no you can’t do this” “no you can’t go there” and threatening to rear its ugly head at any moment.

I don’t have the phobia any more but the anxiety has definitely stuck around.

In recent months I’ve seen various social media posts about depression and anxiety and it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone and also that the stigma against mental illness is becoming less prominent. However it still doesn’t lessen the fact that I am an anxious person and that’s something I have learnt to deal with in my own way.

When I’m talking to new people and opening up to them I usually describe it as ” I worry more than the average bear” and leave it at that in the hope they might somehow understand what I go through. I suppose a better explanation would be ” I worry about worrying about worrying.” Although even that doesn’t really describe the enormity of it!

My anxiety tends to manifest itself within the ” over thinking ” category. If I am dating someone new for example I have ended up over texting them and inadvertently pushing them away, all because I was terrified of losing them. Or I have been on holiday before and felt poorly due to being hungover-except in my head I worry that I am actually ill and in a foreign country and what if they can’t help me because they don’t speak English? I realise now even as I’m writing this how completely and utterly irrational I sound. Anxiety makes you do funny things.

I’ve also had a bad reaction to my anxiety. I was seeing a guy  for a little while and felt comfortable enough to open up about it and his response really wasn’t what I expected. He told me that I shouldn’t have told him and that I should have kept it to myself-basically he didn’t want to know. I can remember feeling so ashamed and embarrassed in that moment, like I was a complete mentalist and to top it all off I didn’t hear from him again.In hindsight, I now realise  it just wasn’t meant to be but at the time I was devastated in more ways than one.

I have learnt many things about my anxiety. It doesn’t define me, I’m still me the smiley fun happy Jessica and it’s a part of me, it makes up the person I am, I think if it went away completely I’d be a little lost without it. It doesn’t stop me doing things,for example going to Theme Parks. The irrational part of my brain will be saying ‘ what if the ride crashes?’ ‘what if I fall out?’ but I get on those rides anyway and have the time of my life.

I do ‘worry more than the average bear’ but I deal with it as and when it comes and that is all you can do.

Anxiety is a bitch, it’s exhausting and it’s irrational at times but it doesn’t stop me being me and I think that is the most important thing.

Peace love and huggles,

Jessica Ruth xxx

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