I want to share what I have learned about living with a long term mental illness called generalised anxiety disorder. In Part 3 I am going to share what I have discovered about coping with ongoing anxiety. Clearly this is now potentially relevant to the majority of the population, although come to think of it is probably always was...
I’ve learned from others that reaching out and seeking support shows strength not weakness.
I’ve worked out that by not numbing the pain of anxiety with alcohol, busyness, projecting onto others and feeling it instead overall makes it more manageable. I’ve learned this is still a work in progress, is not pleasant and requires a change in priorities, inevitably involving some sacrifices and lifestyle and relationship adjustments.
A lot more people are talking about anxiety, panic and depression these days. Despite my limitations I am resolved to keep talking about them until it becomes as normal to do so as it is to compare bad backs or childbirth stories.
Talking about my mental health helps me cope with it’s ups and downs.
Reassurance all the time does not help quell or help manage ongoing anxiety as we can become reliant of it an less trusting of our own resources to cope. However, the confidence of a trusted friend, partner, doctor or therapist can help wonders if they can agree to just listen with an open mind, free of judgement and are free to help signpost you to further support as needed.
“Finding my we” has been instrumental in helping me cope with ongoing mental illness. Cultivating relationships with people with whom I can be as I am, however I am that moment, has been invaluable to accepting as well as challenging myself.
There is no “I” in self-care but there is a glut of them in the word responsibility. Ultimately I take care of myself for the others in my life so they and I can enjoy my best self.
More coming soon...what I've learned about both myself and others given my anxiety disorder in Part 4.