So over the past few weeks, I’ve had my first ever experience with anxiety. Anxiety has so many connotations attached to it, it has so much stigma and it bloody sucks.
I would categorise myself a pretty chilled at all times, I don’t give my fucks away easily, and the small stuff I’m usually able to brush off with minimal effort. However of late, my cage has been rattled. And because it doesn’t happen often, I have no coping mechanism in place. I have no idea how to deal with these emotions and like the healthy 24 year old I am, I bottled them up. Fantastic choice Jade.
Flash forward to last week and hi hello, I had my first panic attack. I had been a moody bitch that morning, snapping unnecessarily at my family, crying hysterically that I didn’t want to go to work and it felt like my world just went dark. There seemed to be nothing happy, I felt like I would be this sad forever. And it was so f’ing scary.
I managed to get into work by some miracle (A.K.A Ben driving me to the station the mega babe) and I could not focus. I was procrastinating like I had never procrastinated before and it was like I couldn’t even stop myself. A headache came on completely out of the blue and when I was scrolling through my emails and boom.
My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest, I was sweating like a pig, and could not catch my breath, so as subtly as I could I made my way to the ladies. I honestly thought I was having a heart attack, and wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised considering I’d had 4 McDonalds the week before. No part of me is joking.
I was probably in the loos for about 25 minutes, I dread to think what kind of crime my team thought I was committing in there. But I was totally shell shocked. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know how to explain it to anyone and if I’m completely honest, I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to know what had just happened. And I definitely didn’t want to explain to anyone what I was going through.
How could I? I didn’t even know what was happening or why, it just was.
I’ve since sat down and had lengthy chats with my nearest and dearest, about what can be done to help, what might be causing it (minus all the chemicals from McDonalds) and it made the world of difference.
You should never feel that you are alone in your own mind, it can be a scary place and it can play tricks on you. Make you think things are worse than they are, make you paranoid about things that aren’t there and it’s absolutely nothing you’ve done to cause it. It’s your mind.
There is always someone you can talk to, there is always someone who will listen and there is always someone who cares about you. Whether it’s your mum, your partner, your best friend or someone on a support line. Facts and stats from True & Co talk about the benefits that relationships have to your health.
‘When adults have close, nurturing friendships they’re more likely to live longer lives. The effect is 2x stronger than exercising, and equal to quitting smoking.’
The saying goes ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, and it’s a household phrase for a reason. Spoiler, it’s true. If you confide in someone you trust how you are feeling, what is going on it unburdens you. You’re letting someone help you to a solution. You’re giving someone the opportunity to provide their perspective, and it may even be something you have never considered that changes everything.
It also allows that support system to come into place. It gives someone the opportunity to check in on how you’re doing, it gets you talking about how you’re really feeling. That support is so vital, and there is absolutely no shame in admitting that sometimes you need help. Whether it’s emotional, physical or even financial.
And once that system is put into place, use it. Don’t sweep it under the carpet and pretend that nothing has happened. 1 in 4 people in the UK suffers at some stage in their lives with mental health issues, you are absolutely not alone. Do not feel that you’re going to be branded or labelled because of it. However, make sure you are making yourself a priority, take time to look after your mental health. As long as you have your health, physical and mental. Everything else is an added bonus.
There’s always a solution to whatever life throws at you, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and there is always someone who wants nothing but the very best for you.