Today I was out by myself for the first time in a while. Daniel did offer to join me as I know he is worried about the possibility of me having another attack, which I appreciate more than you would understand. But I felt I needed to do this myself this time. I was only out the flat 15 minutes, just a quick trip to Morrisons, surely that’s really easy and it isn’t likely to raise my anxiety? Wrong. I find such a simple task very hard, being by myself makes me feel like it is far more likely that I will embarrass myself in public and not have someone to hide behind when people start looking at me and judging me.
As I walked around Morrisons, with my list (so there wasn’t a chance I would be there longer than needed), I began to panic slightly. My heart rate was raised and I felt pretty upset, I often cry when I feel stressed. This was because it was fairly busy: families sorting food for the week, staff restocking shelves, children shouting and screaming etc. But I kept my cool. One thing I did notice when I felt panicked was that people were looking at me strange. I know I was breathing a bit heavily and perhaps looking pretty uncomfortable, but these strangers were looking at me like I had a serious problem. This upset me far more than the fact my anxiety was playing up. It also made me think about what people really think anxiety is.
I have had a few friends in the past claim to have anxiety or depression, and having had both I can confirm they didn’t. It isn’t just feeling a tad upset or nervous about life, it’s when your feelings and worries completely consume you. It’s not that you struggle to get out of bed, it’s that you physically can’t, your body won’t let you. As someone who struggles with these issues I can truthfully say that if you come up to me and say you ‘felt a bit sad last week, but just got over it by going to the movies’, then I won’t hesitate in telling you that you are uneducated and shouldn’t act like you understand these issues.
Sorry if my post today is a little less lighthearted, I just felt like I needed to raise these issues, I need people to know it isn’t okay to claim that they have something as serious as anxiety or depression. It isn’t fun, and it isn’t fashionable.