If I had to name one thing that I loved the most about blogging, it would be how easy it is to make friends. When you read someones posts, watch someones videos and follow their social media accounts it is really easy to see if you and another person are alike. I have talked to SO may people through blogging but with some people you just get that immediate bond. Let me introduce you to my blogger babe Laura:
Laura blogs over at www.polkadotteapotblog.co.uk . Laura and I started talking after I posted my first post about anxiety… Considering that is what got us chatting we thought we’d send each other some questions about out experience with anxiety to show you guys everyone else is different. The questions that I answered will be over on her blog here: http://www.polkadotteapotblog.co.uk/life/im-in-a-new-relationship/ so make sure you go and check that out!
How long have you known you have had anxiety?
For years I thought I was just a bit of a worrier, but it was only recently that I got properly diagnosed, after I started to consume my entire life I went to the doctors. It was such a relief to know I wasn’t going crazy or making a big deal out of nothing, and it meant that I could get access to the support I needed.
When did you become able to talk about it openly?
Literally since I did my blog post! I’ve spoken about to friends, but once I got over the situations that were making me anxious I became more comfortable talking openly about it. There was something about having anxiety at the time that made me feel like a failure. I was quite worried about it at first, as I’ve had a few trolls on my blog, but now I have it feels like such a weight off my shoulders.
Have you seen any benefits to talking more openly about it?
So many! I had a lot of messages of support, and people who enjoyed my post. It’s also been really good to speak to people who were feeling the same and feeling like I’m not alone and feel like I’ve helped them too. It also made me feel like it’s not something I have to be ashamed of or let define me. Now I have blogged about it I feel like I’ve achieved something big. I wrote my post out so many times, but never had the courage to press post, but I’m so glad I did.
What are your main triggers?
This is a hard one to answer, because I don’t really know. Some situations that you would assume to be triggering like job interviews or going somewhere with big crowds and stuff. A huge one was my previous job (as a care worker for adults with autism) I felt like I had a huge responsibility to keep people safe and I had a voice in my head telling me all these bad things that could happen if I didn’t do my job right or if I forgot something. I’d lay awake on nights I was paid to sleep worrying and do 26 hour shifts on zero sleep which would make me even more worried I’d forget something. It was a vicious circle. Now I’m out of that environment I’m not too sure. Mainly feeling like I’m going to let people down I think is the biggest trigger, but I feel more confident I can handle it now
How do you manage your anxiety / what helps you to relax?
As silly as it sounds, deep breaths! and if I can, have five minutes away from the situation. In terms of relaxing and boosting my confidence, I like to do my make up or paint my nails. I always feel better if I’ve made an effort with my appearance.
Name something or someone that has helped you through your anxiety?
100% my boyfriend Dan. He has been my rock, he listened even when I’ve sounded silly and not made much sense, every time I’ve cried because I’m so stressed and anxious and I don’t know why he’s given me a hug. He’s never once gotten impatient with me or told me that I’m being stupid or that I’m mental. Every time I was being difficult and taking it out on him he understood and never took it personally. He was the one who encouraged me to go to the doctors in the first place. My best friends too, Becca, Ben and Danielle. And of course it really helped speaking to Abbie because she could relate and understand what I was saying.
Does it affect your confidence?
Not so much now, but before I was a wreck. I felt nervous around people, I felt like I was always doing things wrong, I doubted my ability to do my job properly But now I feel like I can.
What is your favourite, most effective coping mechanism?
Music, it’s amazing what putting a favourite song on can do. After I passed my driving test, I borrowed my mums car and the battery died while I was out (faulty battery not my fault!) so ever since the driving has made me a little anxious. But now I put on my favourite songs and sing along (really badly!) as I’m driving and this calms me down and helps me cope
What are your hopes for the future?
To keep talking and blogging about anxiety, and help other people that may be suffering, and letting them know it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I also want to keep control of my anxiety the way I’m doing now, I don’t think it will ever go away, but I can cope with it and keep it at bay.
I really hope you enjoyed reading, just thought we’d try something a little different! If you did make sure you give it a like so I know to do more things like this in the future.
Hope you’re all having a fab week!