Bathroom Thoughts, Mental Health

Let’s Talk About Anxiety.

Hi everyone and Welcome to my place!

So today is Wednesday, which means a new random thoughts post \o/ I had a different post in mind, but for that I need to work a little more on it. I mean, the idea is in my mind, but… I still wasn’t able to grab the computer and write it (It is one of the kind that will take more time to write you know).

As I mentioned before, since the time I was able to overcome anxiety in general I always told to myself that if in any given time or space I would have any kind of people following my thoughts I would write about my experience with anxiety and how I overcomed it. In the end, I just want to help everyone and if my words helps at least 1 person I will be extremely happy. Since I passed the 80 followers this week, I think this is a good time to start to write about it.

(Arthfis from the future here!) I just ended the post and this is going to be a long post! Like 2000 words long, but bear with me… It’s difficult to talk about this theme >.< Also, I went with straight text… It is a serious matter and well, I don’t think putting funny gifs as I normally put is the way I want to go! Maybe in the next posts I will insert some gifs… At the end I want this to be a “light” reading and taking anxiety a little bit out of the mind for the ones that are suffering from it. But, since this time is my story, I will let it like that.

To tell you the truth I still don’t really know how am I going to write about this. The problem is that depending in the phase I was in my anxiety I used different solutions and different hmm… You could call them “hack” I don’t know, to calm myself and to get better. The only thing I know is that this post is going to be only to tell you my story, no tips yet! Sorry guys 🙂 But I do think (And for me it worked) that when you are feeling anxiety, seeing other people talk about their story and see that in the present they are healthy (at least sort of) helps a lot! So, for now, it is going to be my story, in the future I will have an idea how to better organize my thoughts and how to express my advice (It is really one of those kind of posts I don’t want neither to fail, neither to be all over the place!).

Now… I am not prepared to talk about my background, mainly because it involves more people besides myself (and I still think that I am not ready to fully go back there again), this way I will not explain you what were the motives that made my anxiety to kick in. But, in reality it doesn’t matter because you can have no problem at all in life and develop anxiety. It’s a little bit like depression (maybe a LOT).

(Arthfis from the future here!) Ah, just remembered that I didn’t tell you what type of anxiety I had! It was general anxiety. As the name indicates, it can really kick in anytime, anywhere… There is not a factor that makes your body to feel anxiety, such as social anxiety for example… So I had anxiety in many cases, but the main fear I remember having was dying… It started to be fun at times because I always though to myself “I’m not living because of my fear of dying… Owo! Such sense, so smart!)

Let me start with, having anxiety is like breaking a leg… I know it sounds stupid, but it works! What do you do when you break a leg? You go to the doctor. What is the doctor going to do? Probably give you some painkillers and send you to physiotherapy (Let’s forget about the cast ok?). Well in this case it is the same. You first of all go to the doctor and go to a psychologist. The meds and the physiotherapy… They both are needed. The second is going to heal your brain (leg) the other will help you with pain along the process.

Well, let me start with my anxiety story. In reality, even though I only really started treating myself in 2016, I have anxiety since my highschool senior year – 2011 (?) maybe even earlier. The thing was… I though it was normal.

So for a long time the anxiety expressed itself with over thinking… I always made a big deal with everything (internally) although more than half of the things I thought didn’t really happened, of course. But that’s how I was and I thought it was normal! It was normal to not be able to sleep at night thinking in all the random situations that could happen (with almost 0% of probability) – I thought I only had a overworking mind… That’s all! (Even more because my mind always was a night owl). More than that, I thought that feeling anxious, like higher heart rate beating and over-breathing and things like that were just normal and how, as a person, responded to things that made me feel out of my comfort zone.

I had some panick attacks in my highschool senior year, crying ones (for me those are the best ones) but since I was going through a lot of problems in that time and I never cried , ever, I just though it was only normal that my body had to burst at some point. Let me just add that I was excellent hiding the having anxiety part (even without noticing it), so even people who could have picked that and tried to explain me and help me would not be able to do that. How did I do that? Well, I was a popular guy in highschool because I was always happy (probably overcompensating) and my grades never really went down. I never had a negative mark in my life (until college of course) and in my senior year, probably the year in Highschool I was more hmm f’ed up(?) I entered in the excellence board for having  an average mark higher than 18 (in 20) – It’s like having all A’s if we speak in american english.

After HighSchool I pretty much had one of the worst years of my life. I entered college, one of the best for computing engineering, but I hated it! I dropped in the second semester and everything I did was stay at home playing games… I didn’t even made any fullfiling friendships… I nnow realize that the problem was mine and not the “I don’t fit in” excuse I used. However that is more in the depression side, not the anxiety part… After that I went, again to one of the best schools in management here in Portugal (I’m speaking about being good colleges not to brag about myself, but to show that sometimes you can have anxiety and don’t really show in your studies / work) and I promised to myself that I would be different this time.

I loved the degree, went many times out of my comfort zone and I just loved the experience in general (it was also the time I met my boyfriend), we can fast forward that part to my senior year where anxiety really kicked in. I’m going to tell you about the first of many panick attacks I had, I remember like it was yesterday and thinking now, it is a damn funny story!

So I was again with my sleep schedule f’ed up… I don’t really remember the time of the year it was but I was getting to go to sleep at 6A.M. which was pretty usual. Before going to sleep I started a Youtube Video (One of my hacks to silence my mind when I want to turn off, I still use it today) and I went to the kitchen and grab a packaged milk to drink… I really don’t know how you call it in english, but it is one of those kind that come in small packages and you drink it with a straw… Smart as I am, I went and drank it while laying down in bed, in reality I just wanted to sleep and that’s when it happened. I choke on it! It was really one of those hard ones, like spitting milk through my nose and it started… I immediately started to panick. I just thought I was going to die! I felt a little light-headed from one moment to another and I immediately remembered a documentary I’ve seen like a decade before about children which drowned in silence, basically what the documentary talked about was about kids that choked many times while in the water, but only after many hours they would die without really showing symptoms (To be honest I don’t even know if it is true, and if it is it must be really rare – let’s face it, parents wouldn’t let children go to the pool otherwise). So I called my boyfriend in panick he tried to calm me down (he majored in pharmaceutical sciences so he knows a lot about diseases and things like that), however when I was almost starting to relax I had another panic attack and that was it, I went to the hospital right away.

After this incident, I started one of the most difficult years in my life (although I was able to finish my degree and it was one of the years with best grades)… Basically I was never relaxed! NEVER! It was just so damn difficult. There were many episodes and many panic attacks that I will talk in later posts, but I had everything, from manual breathing to be afraid of going to sleep with the fear to die before morning… Yes, it was DARK! PSYCHOLOGICALLY DARK! To be honest, I had times I just wanted to give up! I just wanted some peace, but fortunately I am too much of a good person to just give up! I mean how would my mother and brother react? And my boyfriend? And my best friend… And everyone that I made an impact in their life and that liked me… So, no!  I fighted it with all my strenght and with the help with many people. By going to the psychologist, meds and doing my homework, as also living a healthier life (going to sleep at 6A.M. is out of the question at the present)… And you know what?

I BEAT IT!

It was hard and there were many times that I felt powerless and let me tell you most of the time I felt I had no control in my life/emotions. My mental health (in this case not so healthy) was taking control of my life and it was damn SCARY! But I showed her where she belonged and in a really hard year I was controlling my life again!

If you are feeling anxiety, or any mental problem, know at least this! I was able to get healthy and so can you! I really went to the gutter and thought to myself ” well that’s it, I’m never ever going to be good again” and you know what? I did! And, even though I had a lot of support which I’m really grateful and it was important, it was me that had to fight it, even while living alone and while having many problems in my life occurring at the same time. So, there is no excuse! You CAN do it!

That’s it for today, I really didn’t want to write a long post, that’s why I’m going to talk about it in parts, but… I ended up writing a long post non the less. Next week I will talk about some situations I experienced when I was at the peak of my anxiety as also some tips that helped me to relax and be able to slowly get better! I can tell you that at the moment I am mentally healthier that I ever been in like a decade!

If ANYONE is experiencing this and don’t have anyone to talk to, please send me a DM through Twitter, you can find me @Arthifis. I may not even be able to help you, but at least know that there is someone out there that is willing to hear you (in this case read you :D)

That’s all for today! 😀 Everyone please fight your struggles always with your head up, life is not easy, but hey we only have one (at least that we have certain of) so it is worth to fight for it! Even in those times you feel it doesn’t, in the future you will look back and feel that it was worth it 🙂 MORE IMPORTANT! Stay Calm you guys and girls 🙂

See Ya Soon! 😀

20 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Anxiety.”

  1. Tis was truly a lovely post. Thank you so much. I’m going to read it again later. Writing about illnesses (mental or otherwise) is brutal. It brings all those pains back to the surface so I really salute you.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh thank you so much Irina! 😀 in reality I did not feel any pain writing it (I was scared that I would) but having in mine that this post could help someone just made me feel hmm… Some kind of “joy”… It really is important to take your bad events and transform it in some kind of good (dunno if I’m being clear lolol)

      Liked by 3 people

  2. This is a truly brave post of you to write. As some who experiences panic attacks himself at times it is always a very difficult subject to talk about. At times of stress or particular moments when I become very nervous about something, it still pops up from time to time. The good thing is though, now that I know what these attacks are, I can usually deal with them. There are so many people that experience these things but are afraid to talk about it, so posts like these certainly help,that’s for sure. Well done 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! Yeah my ideia is to help people understand how to control their panic attacks and anxiety in general, I think it’s super important and unfortanely not really talked much… I speak from my experience when I tried to find things to help me

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. Anxiety is awful, I’ve suffered with it for a long time, particularly social anxiety. It wasn’t until last year that I discovered it was connected with Asperger’s, and I kind of wish I’d found that out sooner as I might have made my life quite a bit easier over the course of the past few years if I’d known exactly why I was feeling the way I feel!

    If you’ll indulge me in a long comment for a moment, I’d like to just repost something on the subject that I put in a letter I sent to family and friends shortly after my diagnosis. Someone might find it helpful.

    Some context first. I’ve been suffering with… various mental health issues for the last few years, primarily depression and anxiety. I’ve been conscious of the fact that these issues — and possibly some things related to these two “biggies” — have been affecting my life negatively, both personally and professionally. So I wanted to understand myself a bit better.

    I wasn’t quite sure where to begin until I spoke with a friend who is fairly open about the fact that he has Asperger syndrome. Through his descriptions of how he thought, felt and interacted with people, I felt like I recognised a number of these things in myself, so, out of curiosity, I took a test: http://mindchecker.channel4.com/test-autism.html if you’re curious about the workings of your own mind — despite being themed around Channel 4’s notorious “shocking medicine” programme Embarrassing Bodies, the methodology used in the test is the same used as part of the actual diagnostic process for autism and Asperger’s.

    The test by itself isn’t a strict diagnostic tool, but it can provide an indicator of roughly where you stand and inform your decisions from that point onwards. The score I got on the test indicated that it might be a good idea to talk to a medical professional and see if a more conclusive diagnosis could be made (or not, as the case may be). So I made an appointment with my doctor and asked her about it. Given that she had been helping me with the depression and anxiety through medication and suggestions of other therapies such as counselling (which I’m yet to get around to taking up, but probably will once I have a better idea of what a “typical week” looks like) she had no hesitation in listening to my concerns and referring me to the local specialists; being a GP, this sort of thing was getting towards the limits of her particular expertise, but she understood and respected the fact that I wanted to find out more about what made me tick.

    It was some months later before the local specialists got in touch with me and invited me in for a consultation. Said consultation was a long, in-depth interview in which I was asked a number of questions about my early life, development and personal history. The things I ended up talking about were all things that I was aware of, but getting them all “out in the open” in conversation with a professional like this proved to be extremely helpful in organising my thoughts. As such, even if nothing ended up coming of this consultation in terms of a diagnosis or treatment, it was a valuable process in itself that I found hugely beneficial to engage with.

    A few weeks later, I received a letter from the specialist I had the consultation with inviting me in to discuss “the team’s decision”. From the tone of the letter, it was clear that there was going to be some sort of diagnosis made — you don’t warn the recipient that “some people react rather emotionally” if there isn’t something to, well, react to, and I don’t really see many people responding “rather emotionally” to the news “you don’t have autism!”

    That meeting was today. I’d kept the whole thing quiet from everyone because I didn’t want to worry anyone and also didn’t want to make a big deal over it all if it ended up being nothing. I did, however, finally explain the situation to my wife Andie the other night, and she came along with me to the meeting today. To cut an already long story slightly shorter, I am now the proud recipient of an Asperger syndrome diagnosis, as you may have already guessed.

    Since that initial conversation with my friend, I had been suspicious that this specific condition might be the underlying cause of many of my personal issues, particularly with regard to social interactions with others, but it’s kind of… I guess “a relief” is the right description here. To put it another way, it’s good to know that there’s a reason for why I am the way I am in many situations, and the fact that I’m far from the only person in the world to have this condition means that there’s plenty of advice and other resources out there on how to manage it. It’s not something you can cure, of course, since it’s not a physical issue you can just fling some medicine at until it goes away, but it is something for which you can make suitable adjustments to your life, or just be aware of when planning out how you want to go about things in future. It’s also something you can explain to family and friends, and (hopefully) they will understand and be able to handle things accordingly. So hi, family and friends; I have Asperger’s.

    This diagnosis doesn’t change who I am, of course. I’m still the same person; I just now have a slightly better understanding of why I am this person. I’m sure there’s still a long journey ahead to understand how best to live as this person, but there’s plenty of time for that, and today felt like an important first step in that process, in more ways than one.

    Onward to a happier future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for posting your letter really! It was really brave of you and it’s really important to show that there isn’t a need to make a stigma out of it. We are who we are and we have the problems we have! I think that with this coment probably more people will follow your steps and start to get treated! So I’m really really thankful for this! And well done! It must have been hell and scary to go through all that without telling anyone but you were able to do it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Honestly this was a great post in more ways than one.
    Since Rin-san and Rai-san both stole the words out of my mouth, I suppose I’ll just have to say thank you for this heartfelt post Art-san.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so glad you’ve found ways to manage your anxiety, because I know from personal experience how hard it is to deal with. Not knowing you have a mental illness is the worst part, but even when you know what you’re suffering it’s still really tough to handle because you’re living with it all the time, even though most won’t see it. You’ve just gotta keep up the brave work in fighting through it!

    Keep doing what you’re doing and I know you’ll be fine 😊 Blogging is a brilliant outlet, and writing about my anxiety and getting so much positive feedback about my work in general has helped massively. I feel like a different person to who I was before littleanimeblog, so I owe so much of my current wellbeing to all my aniblogger friends 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really happy that my anxiety levels are low / non-existent… It was really a difficult war to battle and it makes REALLY happy to see that I’ve won… At least so far… It’s the thing about anxiety you never know when she might just kick in again.
      The thing that scared me the most was the feel of not having any sort of control (at least when I was in constant high level of anxiety). I have also experienced depression and it was easier to handle that than anxiety… Although that is probably depending the person and the state of anxiety/depression.
      I’m really happy to know that littleanimeblog helped you! 🙂 I’m glad you are healthier now and you can manage your anxiety better.
      Also, thank you for your “testemonial”! I think that it is really important to show to the people who are suffering from any mental illness that they are NOT alone! There are and have been many people with anxiety and when you see that, I think you at least feel more confident and more eager to fight!

      Like

  6. This is a great post and I’m like reading this series backwards, aren’t I? lol I really like how you opened up publicly. I don’t think I’d be able to do that, it’s hard just writing stuff down and to then let people see it…I get paranoid

    Idk if I have anxiety. I haven’t ever gone to the doctors and with how aggressive ppl can be about being diagnosed with something, i hate saying i’m depressed or i have anxiety bc i don’t actually know. and i don’t want ppl to harass me. but i get a lot of the things you’ve written in the three posts i’ve read so far and i never knew the crying thing was also anxiety? i just thought i was tired

    anyways, i’ll be following this series of yours 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much 🙂 And yes you are reading backwards ahahah but no problem at all! I decided to address from the most anxious to less because normally people who are suffering from anxiety more need help sooner xD

      Well, you should not take my words and self diagnose yourself! 🙂 As I said, I’m no doctor, but if you relate yourself it’s better to go to a doctor and let’s face no one has to know if you feel that you will be harassed because of it (which is just stupid -.-) However, it is possible that it can be because of you being tired. Brain is a organ and if you don’t let him rest it’s just normal that you feel emotional easier, such as more depressing, anxious and eventually crying and yeah… When I say emotional it’s always the bad ones not the good ones! But, what I want to say with this rumble is that even if you are healthy, if you don’t rest enough it’s possible for you to have that kind of reaction! I would say that you should first try to rest well for a time and see if you get better or not. Non the less, you should rest because even if you are healthy at the moment, if you don’t rest your brain can start developing anxiety or depression because of that!
      Hope this comment helped xP
      Thank you so much 🙂 I only have one more post for now though! Gonna speak about the level of anxiety that I am at this moment which is low to non-existant 😛

      Liked by 1 person

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