Anxiety is a difficult thing to talk about. Mostly because everyones struggles are different and there’s no one cure for it all. Plus, just because two people feel anxious over the same thing doesn’t mean the same fix will work for both of them.
My anxiety got a lot worse throughout 2018, and now i want to spend a lot of 2019 backtracking and trying to conquer it.
So, basically, my anxiety is around being alone. I struggle to do pretty much anything alone because I’m so afraid i’ll do something wrong and end up looking stupid.
I know that everyone probably worries about looking stupid, but it worries me to the extent where i just wont do what i need to do. I’ve missed out on refunds because i don’t know how the post office works and refuse to go return parcels (i make my mum do it). I just feel like everything is easier when i’m with someone else.
I’m trying to teach myself that being alone is okay. I enjoy my own company and used to love going shopping by myself because i could take as long as i wanted in the changing rooms. I’m not sure when, exactly, my anxiety started getting really bad, but i miss being able to do that.
I’m essentially throwing myself into the deep end here and forcing myself to do things alone. Starting off small, like going for walks or going to the shops or to get petrol. Things that other people might not even think twice about, but the things that i freak out about.
I’m hoping to eventually build up to going to a coffee shop by myself and sitting in, going to the cinema by myself and hopefully going on a little holiday by myself. That one is a good few years away i think. The thought of it right now is too much.
The “just throw yourself into it” tactic wont work for everyone, and i know that. It doesn’t work for me every time – sometimes i’ll freak out a bit too much and have to retreat back to where i feel safest.
One piece of advice i do have for everyone – not just people struggling with anxiety – is stop thinking about it, and just do it.
Imagine you’re at the top of a diving board. You’re standing out and you’re about to jump, but you cant because you’re scared. The more you think about jumping off, how high up it is, the scarier it’s going to seem. The trick is to just not think and just do it. Just jump.
That’s the approach i’m trying to have with anxiety. Stop thinking about all the things i’m too afraid to do and all the reasons why i can’t do them; just do them.