Anxiety Recovery- The beginning of the Road

I had planned to write a post in aid of World Mental Health Day detailing my battle with anxiety.  I keep going back to the words I have written and they do not do the post justice. I seem unable to allow myself to go back to those days so dark it still makes me shudder, who would have guessed that a memory or thought can have that much power over us but anxiety is like an unspoken word when you are recovering, you are afraid to murmur it for fear it may be listening and decide to pay you an unexpected and unwelcome visit.

Sometimes we have to be so far along the journey with the finish line in sight to enable us to recall how we managed to get there, to remember the road though arduous, did not break our resolve. I am not there yet with my anxiety, it is still raw, deep and very real. The last few months have brought amazing things to my life, these amazing things are not vast on the scale of the everyday person, I have not run a marathon or climbed Everest, they are the ability to do simple things, simple things in my darkest days I feared I would never be able to do again. The feeling of a day passing without it being dominated by my anxiety, a stroll outside that is not taken up with fending off panic attacks, going to the cinema and actually watching the film instead of shuffling back and forth wondering when the misery would end, sleeping, the list is endless and I could go on but the point is I am living for the first time in years. I am living not my anxiety, I have managed to claw myself above my anxiety, it remains like a long lost love, gone for now but certainly not forgotten.

My anxiety in its heyday was about as bad as it possibly could have been, it was a battle that I fought every second of every day, I was its prisoner and there was no leniency, there was no let-up, no escape. At one stage I could barely leave the house, it was debilitating in a way that many would not understand unless they have been there. Anxiety encompassed everything I was and tried to take away who I wanted to be. It tried to ruin my life, It tried to persuade me to give up, to let it win but somehow I managed to keep picking myself up from the floor and finding new things to throw at it, those things eventually paid off.  Once I lifted my barriers that it had given me and I was finally able to admit what my life had become and the suffering I had endured, it started to become less powerful, it was weakened and no longer the force it had been previously.

It is still early days for me, I realise I am only ever a panic attack away from a relapse but for now life is good, bad things that happen do not seem as bad, I can deal with life without fighting anxiety as well.  Life is a struggle enough, add anxiety to the mix and it can be enough to tip anyone over the edge. I lived my life on the edge for many years, teetering towards the darkness, luckily I had bright lights in my life who fought constantly to pull me back. I am eternally grateful for the bright lights in my life that helped to save me from myself when my anxiety crippled me.

I want to share my story but I realise I am not ready for that, it is not my time. I hope this post gives some hope that there is salvation, you are not destined to feel this way forever.  There is help out there, you may have to find the courage to ask for it but it is there.  You can feel the same way you did before and be the person again that you were, the person that was cruelly snatched by anxiety, that person is still somewhere deep inside.  It may take time but don’t give up on yourself, keep fighting, keep finding different techniques and therapies.  Do not rule anything out, even medication, some of us need a helping hand and nothing needs to be forever. There is life after anxiety I am the living proof and it is beautiful…

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5 thoughts on “Anxiety Recovery- The beginning of the Road

  1. What a very strong piece of writing. Do you mind if I share this amongst my clients. The more people talk and share, the less anxiety can find a home. But this is easy to say, but hard to do. People will take great strength from your words. Peace and strength.
    Tim Warncken
    Director & Mental Health Lead BCP

    • muffy_kraken says:

      Hi Tim, Of course, you can share. I would like that and if someone can take strength from my story that would make me very happy. Thanks for reading and sharing : ) xxx

  2. Audrey says:

    I wish I had known about blogs years ago so I could have shared my experiences and gained strength from others. But there again I don’t think back then I even realised that I was experiencing anxiety and depression, I was just “feeling”
    Reading the various blogs you have produced has brought me comfort. I especially relate to the importance of cats in your life. Funny enough I had never really been a cat person as our family always had a dog as a pet and although we had a cat given to us as a wedding present, it was really regarded as my husband’s cat who had always been around cats as they had been a great comfort to him as his mother rejected him as a baby and the only affection he got was from their cats but that’s another story.
    My relationship with our beautiful long haired Mitzy began after my first major back surgery. Confined to bed for 2 months with children at school and husband working till 8 p.m every night, she was always there for me, as you say unconditionally, providing a comfort in my storm of emotions. She was there again after second major surgery and again when I felt so low because the surgery had failed and she would sit and watch while I hit myself day after day to try and get rid of the pain.
    We had an understanding me and Mitzy, no one else witnessed the turmoil going on as having tried to get back to normality, my brain told me that everyone wanted to make my life a misery by always saying that I looked drawn and tired or that I was walking badly and ” obviously in a lot of pain” I realised then that people saw me differently to how they did before and I didn’t like that, in fact it really upset me, so I would hide from them and isolated myself. I even began to isolate myself from my family but the one I didn’t hide from was my cat because she understood.

    • muffy_kraken says:

      I felt very emotional reading your comments which I could so relate too, the pain and suffering that you endured which resulted in you isolating yourself from the outside world. I am glad that you too found comfort in Mitzy who was probably the only one not to have judged you. It is difficult for people to understand unless they have walked in the same shoes. Thank you for reading and commenting and understanding me, all that you have been through has made you be the person you are today and you are an inspiration! Much love and keep following my journey, it means so much to me xxx

  3. GC says:

    You are a beautiful strong woman who gives so much to everyone and needs to remember to take some time for yourself. I will always support you you know that and be there to help you along the way xxx

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