I’ve always been an anxious person, though I only really noticed this trait of mine recently. I guess you could call me a worrier. I always tend to think up the worst case scenario and convince myself that it will materialise itself. 99% of the time things turn out fine, but that doesn’t stop the negative thoughts from seeping into my mind. They’re all talking about you. They don’t like you. You’re not going to get that job so don’t even bother applying. Don’t turn up to that interview because everyone is going to hate you and you’ll do terrible. Don’t even make the effort to get to know that person, they won’t like you. I think you get the gist. The mind can be a cruel thing sometimes. A cruel thing that robs you of opportunities that could benefit you greatly, because your mind is so set on holding you back.
This year hasn’t been great for me because of that very thing. That thing called anxiety. My old friend. Or should I say, my worst enemy. That thing tries its damned hardest to convince me not to pursue my dreams because what’s the point? You’re 27, just settle down already!
The biggest thing that I’ve had to deal with this year is the fear of not being accepted and feeling like I don’t belong. Feeling like I am too different from everyone around me for them to like me. It’s caused me to hibernate from the world and feel like I wasn’t deserving of a life. I was afraid to go out into the real world, for fear of negative approval from those around me.
It stems from that fear of being hated, which is something I’ve always had. When faced with that fear I chose to run away, which of course only makes things worse. Your fear begins to intensify until it cripples you. You feel like you can’t do anything and you’re too afraid to come back out of your shell and face reality.
What I’ve learnt over this past year, is how anxiety is an illness that can be just as deadly as depression. The two go hand in hand, because if you allow anxiety to consume you then depression may be just around the corner. It’s hard, but I continue to fight anxiety in the hopes that I can be free from it one day.