I have only recently been diagnosed with anxiety, though I have had symptoms for a long time.
To put it bluntly, I have a constant feeling of dread in my stomach. Sometimes it shifts to fear, sometimes my stomach is just a tight ball of nerves and no matter how far back I try to look to discover what could’ve made me feel this way, the feeling never seems to leave.
Sometimes, when situations I don’t feel comfortable in, my hands and legs will begin to shake. I sweat when in social situations, unknowing of what to say, knowing full well that whatever I say I’ll look back on and cringe over.
Other times, the fear of leaving the house is too much. I could just cry at the thought of stepping into the fresh air. I’ve even had panic attacks just because I couldn’t bear to leave the house.
Anxiety often results in me pushing people away. I cancel on plans, I fear getting too close to people just in case it ends badly. I say the wrong thing or I don’t say enough and then I worry about it so much that I avoid that person forever, even if I haven’t really done anything wrong.
But I know I’m not alone in feeling this way or experiencing these symptoms.
More than 40 million people worldwide have experienced what I feel – some on a daily basis.
But still, so many of these people refrain from talking about it out of feeling silly, or worrying that they are going to be shamed or judged.
However, it’s important that we do talk about it to both raise awareness and to let other sufferers know that they are not alone.
And, to prove that they’re not alone – we’ve found 16 tweets from other anxiety sufferers which perfectly sum up what it’s like to live with anxiety.
How many can you relate to?
1. When you get all ready and feel great – and then the anxiety sets in
2. When the panic attacks are too much
3. When it comes to anxiety, never think about anything but the present
4. They can’t, but no matter how much you tell yourself that, it doesn’t matter
5. ‘What did I do wrong?’
6. When you’ve been driving for years but still get nervous in the car
7. Every. Single. Time.
8. When you feel guilty for feeling guilty…
10. Please, people, never do this to your friend with anxiety
11. Losing weight when you have anxiety can be so much more than just a diet
12. One million.
13. The daily conversations you have with your anxious mind
14. Can you just re-phrase that ‘what’ please?
15. The pain of realising you’re ‘not okay’ again
16. And the bottom line when it comes to living with anxiety…
If you feel you may be experiencing any of these symptoms and are worried you may have anxiety, please see your GP for medical advice.
You can also visit https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/ for further information on living with anxiety.
Words by Hattie Gladwell