I woke up this morning to the awful news of the terrorist attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. My heart goes out to all those affected by such a tragic incident that should never have happened. It got me thinking, as most tragedies do, about how we should all keep our loved ones as close as we can because we never know what is going to be round the corner. I truly hope those parents with missing children or have lost their children can find peace. I cannot even imagine the pain they must be suffering. We saw some wonderful acts of kindness as all people fled to help, with taxi drivers offering free fares to safety and hotels opening their doors to people who needed it most. Know that although something so evil has happened, there was love and kindness around at the time and this can help people to try to remain positive.
Sometimes in life we have to do things we don’t want to do. Sometimes we have to face demons that we don’t want to face. It’s easy to hide away, close the curtains and shut off the entire world. That’s a safe place; trust me, I know. Sometimes I need a day (or week!) in my safe place. But do we ever feel better for it? Does it just make the anxiety about facing reality worse?
Recently, I found myself in a bad place where I didn’t want to be with anyone or leave the house. I wanted to close the curtains and just scour the internet for SOMETHING that would make me feel better about the situation I was in. So, I did just that. I took a whole week to just do nothing because I couldn’t bare to face the world. To everyone else, I was just feeling unwell. I suppose really, I was unwell, but mentally rather than physically.
Today I wanted to share something that I find very important in my life. Since last year, my anxiety has lead me to become more and more of a recluse and in the past, I have struggled to find the motivation to drag myself out of bed. Without the help of my partner, I would probably still be like that now. This has been so harmful to our relationship because my partner wants me to be the independent, carefree girl that he fell in love with – not somebody who mopes and feels sorry for themselves. He has been incredibly supportive in my journey, including taking interest in my CBT sessions, however now I know that it is truly up to me to build myself up. At the end of it all, the only person who can make you feel better is yourself; people can come and go all the time.
The journey to a happy and comfortable state of mind may be within touching distance or miles away through a long, dark tunnel. We all have our own personal battles, whether that be mild anxiety, low self-esteem, OCD, grief or chronic depression. That being said, it’s important to know that it will not all be okay with a click of the fingers; it takes time and perseverance. Not only this but it may be easier some days than on other days.
For me, I suffer with low confidence and anxiety regarding how I look and how people perceive me. I sunk into a dark depression last year, and ever since, have been doing what I can to try and bring myself back up from the ‘darkness.’ That has included CBT therapy, positive thinking and mindfulness activities. I am no longer in a depressed state of mind, however my self-esteem is still low and my anxiety can still get pretty high leading up to events.