Every year during mental health awareness week I make a post talking all about my own experiences with mental illness. It isn’t the sort of post that I usually make, but it is a post that I feel is important to make to help to end the stigma around mental illness. So, here is my 2019 anxiety update for you (in case you haven’t seen my posts from the previous years here are the links 2017 2018)
The last year has been a very mixed year for me. I’ve made a lot of progress but I’ve always had some very low moments. I’m going to talk about the bad first and save your good for last. Over last year I’ve had a bout of major anxiety. It was nearly as bad as my lowest point in 2015. I was nearly constantly anxious, I was having more regular panic attacks when I haven’t years, I had issue sleeping and then ended up losing weight again because of it. And all of this was caused by my job. This all happened shortly after my last update. Essentially, my manager at work left and was replaced by one of the vilest human beings that I have ever had miss fortune to meet. when he took over he forced me into a ‘promotion’ that I did not want and that I never agreed to. And he essentially made my life hell. he never trained me for the new role but would then shout and rant and belittle me if I didn’t do something that roll required, (which I would have known had no knowledge of, because I hadn’t been trained and had known idea what I was doing). I could never do anything right; it was always wrong. He would cancel people’s holidays at the last minute and make you work, meaning you never got a break. He had me doing over 40 hours a week (over double my contract). He would constantly put me in situations that I found triggering despite me making myself uncomfortable and being very open about my anxiety with him and telling him that it was making me anxious. and just in general he was a vile, bullying, belittling, a******, who made me dread going into work. (Side note I’m not the only person that he does this too. He did it my best friend who also worked there and I know at least 4 other people he does it to. I got to the stage where I would nearly having panic attacks while walking to work each day.
I hit my lowest point in July. I was sleeping maybe once a week, I had a constant tension headache and I felt so anxious all the time that I thought I was going to throw up constantly. I got to a point I could hardly stand to be around people but same time I could not stand silence at it allowed me to overthink. It got to the stage where anytime I was not physically working, I had to have headphones in with an audiobook playing or else I would give myself panic attack. (hence reading nearly 25 books in July alone). Thankfully I was able to get myself away from it and get a new job pretty quickly and leave at toxic situation, although I did have to give 4 weeks’ notice and it was one of the worst months of my entire life. But I managed to get out and for that I am so thankful. This is one of the first times that I have actually put my mental health before anything else.
After that, things improved almost instantly. Although the first week of my new job with the haze of anxiety, within a few weeks I felt more at home there then I ever felt at my old job. Not once have I been shouted at or belittled, they actually care about their staff and our mental health. Proof of this, I had an anxiety attack couple weeks ago and my manager was so concerned that she ended up hugging me until I was able to breathe and stop crying and then made me go take a break until I feeling better. This would never have happened at my old job. I’m happier here than I have been in a long time, work wise.
And that was the bad, now have the good! I’ve become a lot more open with my family and friends this year. I’ve actually started to talk about my anxiety more and not hide away from it. I still have work to do with making my parents understand it propyl (my mother recently said something about me ‘needing to just get on with it and get over it’ in regards to my anxiety… I’ve still got a lot of work to do with her), but we just are slowly making progress. I’ve also been lot more open about it with my job and that has actually been really nice because if I’m having anxiety they know what’s happening and they do what they can to help and remove me from situation.
I’ve also started to push my own limits. For instance, I recently travelled across London alone for first time, (never doing that again as I nearly had a panic attack on tube, and had to sit in Paddington train station trying not to hyperventilate, but I did it, even though it terrified me and made me so anxious I nearly threw up) and I went to the O2 to see Panic! At The Disco, something that I have always put off doing because the crowds and the general stress of it but I did it, and I was okay. Anxious, but I survived and will do it again. Basically, I’m refusing to let my anxiety win. I won’t let it stop me from doing what I want to do anymore. And I won’t let it stop me living my life. I mean it’s terrifying but I’m really, really trying to push myself I’m not let It Win
That’s about it. I take each day as it comes. I’m just trying to be more open and not let it control my life anymore. I’m slowly making progress, but this is a long road, and I know that this is going to take time and is a journey that I will be on for my whole life. It’s hard but I am trying. If you’re suffering with mental illness I’ve left a few links below to people that are always there to help, and of course I’m always here if you need to talk. I love you all and I’m still so glad that I have all of you in my life #endthestigma
Mind UK – 0300 123 3393 (or text 86463)
Smaraitans – 116 123
Crisis Helpline (USA) – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
My Email Address – firstname.lastname@example.org (I check it daily)