I have left Sixth form after completing 4 AS Levels. I have spent months spending my weekdays in bed for the most part. I have started therapy and swiftly had to alter my therapists and am soon to start the daunting task again. I have spent months only talking to around 5 other people of my age and seeing nobody but family and my boyfriend for the most part. And I am currently taking antidepressants, which I began in summer.
Because of my anxiety, I have failed exams, not been able to board an aeroplane and travel with my boyfriend, lost friendships, missed out on family events, been distant on too many occasions and all in all because of my anxiety I have lost the old essence of Ella.
To begin with, the hardest part about all of this was letting go of the plan I had for my next few years and coming to terms with the fact that I was a very different person to who I believed I was. My anxiety has changed my life and I couldn’t confront it and work on it until I came to terms with my new reality.
As my social interactions plummeted and I became more and more confined to my four bedroom walls for comfort, so much changed.
Months later I have overcome the most part of the pain and upset and it has provided me with the capacity to confront and deal with the mental torture my brain won’t let go of. The therapy is no less exhausting, painful and upsetting, but it is another step closer as I attempt to greater my control of my anxiety and lessen its grip on my life.
Although despite all that I am proud of myself. I have fought and continue to fight with myself on a daily basis and I have never stopped finding beauty, happiness or joy even in such soul-destroying times.
It isn’t easy and it hasn’t ever been easy but nothing ever is.
My journey to wellness is still at a very early stage and it will continue for my entire life as I continue in pursuit of living a life where I am not only ‘calm’ but I am also ‘happy’.
I have learnt so much since leaving school and feeling my heart fall into pieces as I realise that I will not be the person I have spent my entire life believing I was, though heartbreaking, has been necessary. As I have come to realise that my life isn’t fulfilled when it ‘looks like it is’ or ‘sounds like it is’ but instead when I feel like it is- contentment is a measurement only I can make.
If I was to provide those who know someone suffering from anxiety one piece of advice it would be to avoid pressuring us and understand patience is necessary.
And to sufferers…
Allow yourself time to breathe, think and reassure yourself. Give yourself extra time in a morning to get ready and do not ever apologise for your anxiety. The moment you do that is the moment you have allowed it to become you. Anyone that seeks an apology doesn’t understand or know you well enough to know you are fighting something bigger than yourself (and sometimes it wins).
Today Tomorrow Forever