My Journey with Anxiety

*This post may contain triggers as it discusses mental health and eating.*

Over the past couple of years I have lived with anxiety. It does feel good to finally say it after denying it to myself for so long. I have been wondering whether to share this for a while, but it feels wrong not to talk about it especially when I share my other experiences with you. This is absolutely not a sympathy post and to friends and family who didn’t already know, hopefully this will help you to understand. Who knows, maybe this will also help or resonate with someone.

I have always been a bit of a worrier, especially around travelling far distances and (maybe TMI) worrying that there may not be a toilet. Writing that down sounds very trivial, but I think that was my first sign of over worrying. I did this constantly when I was little, to the point of hysteria. I controlled the thoughts better when I got older but it is definitely still there. I always get teased by friends and family about needing to find a toilet, but I never really contributed the thoughts to my anxiety until recently as it was just a part of me!

The most recent revelation for me is that I am not suffering with IBS as I thought. I had tried cutting things out of my diet, even doing FODMAP and no food in particular seemed to trigger my stomach pains other than really greasy foods. I had been to the doctors about IBS and tried all sorts of remedies. As it turns out, these physical symptoms were actually a result of my anxiety all along.

As a result of the physical stomach symptoms, anxiety around eating out with others has become one of my main anxiety inducing situations, along with big social gatherings. I would get to the point that I would either need to leave or feel utterly sick to stomach where I couldn’t eat a single bite. These physical symptoms often present themselves in long car journeys too. For the longest time I had been so reluctant to accept I had anxiety because I used to absolutely love going out for food and seeing my friends and family. But anxiety can be a cruel beast and has told my brain that I can no longer enjoy these situations in the same way at the moment.

One day I just decided enough was enough. I wanted to start enjoying myself again. I signed up to online CBT which I know doesn’t help everyone, but for me it gave me some new techniques to manage my anxiety and mostly a realisation that it’s okay to feel this way! In the past, I had definitely put a lot of pressure on myself to push the feelings away instead of addressing them, which absolutely had made my anxiety worse. We went into lockdown during my CBT so I haven’t yet had a chance to put my techniques into practice in the ‘real’ world. I am still experiencing lots of symptoms but I know it is going to take time. I have to admit, the lockdown easing has been difficult as now I have to face my anxiety demons, instead of being safe in my bubble.

I guess this blog is one of the ways I am facing my anxiety. Admitting that it is real and becoming aware that I can deal with it. I know the road ahead is going to be tough but I have to believe I can manage my anxiety. I’m not alone and have lots of support from my fiancé, family and best friend. I am determined to feel on top of my anxiety by the time my wedding comes around next year.

I hope you enjoyed this more ‘real’ blog post. If you are interested in hearing some more about my journey in the future, please let me know. Also, do leave any helpful mental health tips and tricks for others in the comments.

Kate xx

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4 thoughts on “My Journey with Anxiety

  1. To Kate & Marie,

    Firstly well done!! This is one of many ‘steps’ that come with both acceptance & recovery.. (I hate that word ‘recovery’ people think something else straight away). CBT doesn’t help everyone as you mentioned, but the program is there for those to take away from it the parts that can be applied to situations and the fact that you already feel positive about it shows that it might in fact be all you need to help you on your road to recovery.
    I love that you have both opened up and shared your own personal journeys, as well as supporting each other.
    Mental Health definitely has a lot more work to do in both understanding the individual illnesses, triggers and what causes them to appear in the first place, but it’s hardest job is changing peoples perceptions. People talking about their own experiences is by far the most powerful form of not only education but also acceptance. So well done for you both taking the courage to stand up and be heard.
    I wish everyone was as brave.
    Many other mental illnesses sadly come along with a lot of negative, over dramatised, extreme stereotypes, leading people to not be able or willing to disclose. If everyone took this approach perhaps there would be a better understanding and acceptance for all those who live with mental health issues.

    I am extremely, extremely proud of you both 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Nia for your comment. You’re absolutely right that the stigma is still really prevalent today, so much so that I was nervous to post this as sadly some can view people with anxiety as attention seeking for example! However I have already had a few people share their own story with me so let’s hope this keeps encouraging more people to speak out! Xx


  2. Kate,
    By speaking out and seeking help you have already taken the biggest step towards recovery. Everything going forward will be easier because you are no longer concealing your secret. I just wish I’d known before. As you know, I ended up in the Priory for a month last summer, having been diagnosed with OCD. I thought I was so laid back and easy going but the worry I had around Putting others at risk and contamination sent me into a flat spin. Not the best combination for a nurse🙄. I too understand the inability to eat when the anxiety is high. I lost 10kgs in 5 weeks before I went into hospital, constantly nauseated from waking up In the morning until I went to bed at night. Why am I telling you all this? You are my sister in law (almost), you know this story already. I too believe that by talking about these things publicly, I may just inspire someone who is struggling alone to seek help. I am not ashamed and nor should anyone else be. Don’t ever feel you are alone. I’m proud of you xx

    Liked by 1 person

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