Mental Health: Living with anxiety (#2)

The truth is I couldn’t go out today. I mean, I did go for a walk with the dog but I wasn’t alone. I told myself that I would get out the house on my own for a couple of hours, pop in a few shops and maybe chat to a couple of strangers. But that didn’t happen. When I woke up this morning I realised that I couldn’t face it. That’s okay, I’ve got loads of work to do anyway, I thought to myself. I’ll go tomorrow. Or Wednesday.

I guarantee I’ll find an excuse, though.

It’s one of the most difficult things to explain to anyone who doesn’t have anxiety. The response will be something like ‘I don’t get it. Why can’t you leave the house?’ or ‘You just need to get over it’ which is one of my all time favourites. Oh, if only I could just get over it, wouldn’t life be grand. The reality is that it’s not that simple. It’s never going to be that simple.

What may be a simple task to one person can be a challenge to someone else. If I go out by myself I see that as a big accomplishment. I feel like I’ve taken a step forward and I almost convince myself that I’m getting better. And there are days like today when I realise that I haven’t taken any steps forward, only backwards. When will things change? When will I be able to walk outside and not be constantly looking over my shoulder? When will I not feel afraid? It’s a possibility that I’m always going to feel like this.

Sometimes it does make me feel pathetic. I think that if I can’t do something so simple as that then how will I be able to face other difficulties in my life? I don’t know. That’s what I find myself saying a lot these days. You never know what’s around the corner, so I simply don’t know what will happen and if anything is going to change. However, I do know that I need to take this one step at a time. I also know that there are so many people who understand just how I feel. There is someone else who is feeling disappointed at not being able to leave their bed, let alone the house.

It’s not always easy finding the courage, but when you do find it, hold on to it. Remember how you felt in that moment. You may need it later.

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