The last year has been difficult, particularly the past six months. Anybody who has been following my blog will know all about the mental health issues I suffer with. My anxiety and depression have led to me being off work sick for the past four months. This period has been a real eye opener in so many ways. At no point did I think I’d be writing about overcoming anxiety before the end of the year.
“Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself”. There are either some really sadistic people about or this message didn’t get spread as widely as I’d thought. Money, career progression and status can do funny things to people. The fact that the latter two mean nothing to me, (I won’t lie and say money isn’t important), has led to some interesting conversations and disagreements. This isn’t a negative post though, the other thing that I’ve learnt is that I’m way stronger and more resilient than I ever could have imagined.
It’s been a long hard struggle to come to terms with my mental health situation. I maintain that the best thing I ever did was to talk out and open up. However this doesn’t mean that I don’t bore the shit out of myself constantly going on about my troubles. We can be honest here – it’s ok to have sympathy with somebody’s situation and still find their whining annoying. When I read back some of the posts I’ve written, particularly when I’ve been feeling low, it makes me cringe and I basically think “what a nause”. As i said though, this is a positive post and from now on there will be a whole lot more happy, motivated and determined tales to tell.
Currently I’m feeling the happiest I’ve felt for a long long time. To be honest I can’t ever remember feeling so strong and confident. The dark months of searching for awareness, questioning whether it would ever come and generally feeling down about my health feel like a distant memory.
I’m due back at work next week and I’m actually looking forward to going in and sorting out my future. There’s a lot going on that in the past would have filled me with anxiety. My reaction would have been to shy away and look for the easiest way to resolve the issues. That couldn’t be further from my mind now though.
Finally I’m healthy enough to let my real character take the lead. To make the decisions that I believe in and to fight my own corner. This isn’t a forced change in personality. This is how I’ve always been wired but the anxiety and depression haven’t allowed me to express myself.
How to Overcome Anxiety
It’s difficult to pinpoint what has bought about this change in mindset. I think it’s a combination of things. The fact that I have felt a sense of injustice, whether rightly or wrongly, is a key driver. It has lit a spark in me and the point where I refuse to compromise has been reached. I’ve been working so hard on gaining awareness, talking about my health and seeking help over the past 12 months. The fact that this situation has arisen at the point of me finally getting to grips with my mental health is a happy coincidence. I’m now in a position to use the strength and understanding I’ve gained to push forward.
In the past I’ve written articles on how to overcome anxiety. The articles were always full of good advice but to be honest I still hadn’t mastered them myself. I felt like a bit of a fraud writing them. However, everybody will be at different stages along their mental health journey. Just because I wasn’t able to practice what I was preaching it didn’t mean that others wouldn’t be able to act upon the advice, so I decided it was still worthwhile sharing.
Now I’m at the stage where I can share what really did work for me in terms of overcoming anxiety. Some of the main coping techniques proved useful but if I’m honest, not all of them. I’ve done a hell of a lot of research in to anxiety and depression. This is partly to search for answers but also because I find the human brain amazing. Even though I hate the mental health issues I’m lumbered with I can’t help but find them fascinating. I’m looking forward to sharing the things that have helped me and they certainly can’t all be found by researching on the internet. We’re complex characters and it would be naive to think that all of the answers for our mental health could be found in books. In my experience support, awareness and talking are the key elements to overcoming anxiety.
Living with Anxiety – No More Fear
2018 promises to be a very exciting year. I’m looking forward to living with anxiety rather than suffering with it. I mention overcoming anxiety but importantly, not curing anxiety. I’m aware that my mental health issues haven’t been banished forever and nor will they ever be. However with the new found strength and confidence I have I’m no longer scared of anything. I know how cheesy it sounds but at the moment I feel pretty invincible in terms of my mental well-being.
The past six months have allowed me to identify the key people in my life and more importantly, taught me how to eliminate those that don’t care. In the past I’d still try and please people, seek approval from them look after their feelings, even if they didn’t deserve it. I’m over that.
There a couple of exciting business opportunities that I’ll be working on in the new year. My plan is to change the way I live so that the balance is very much weighted towards family life rather than office life. I have some good friends who I will be working with and I’m excited about making a change and takings some chances.
The only person that is likely to put a spanner in the works for me in terms of overcoming anxiety this year is this spanner……..