Anxiety, what a word.
According to the most recent Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, 6 million people in the UK suffer from depression. While, 3 million have anxiety.
I appear to have everything together. I have a degree, stable job and am firmly on the property ladder. Everything society says you should achieve in order to be considered remotely successful. To most people I probably resemble a swan; gliding gracefully through life but paddling so hard to stay afloat. I am everything but graceful though and am not a swan. I have anxiety the majority of the time which contributes to IBS and has put me to A&E. Here is exactly how I cope.
My anxiety is least disruptive in the morning because I follow a regular routine and know what I’m doing when I get up. However, when it hits 7:45 and I have to get in my car and drive to work the anxiety starts to kick in. Having to contemplate the unknown traffic in the city centre and knowing that I could walk to the car park and have a flat tyre or something else that could stop my morning freaks me out. Now, I check my mode of transport the night before and the traffic before travelling.
I have an incredibly unpredictable job. My role is the same everyday but my day isn’t. Having a to-do list has helped me manage anxiety though and visualise what I need to do. I have also started to open up to my work colleagues. By doing so, they are fully aware when my confidence needs a boost.
Nighttime can actually be the worst time for my anxiety. I always plan ahead now by organising my outfit the night before, ensuring that my lunch is packed and my alarm is on. Being alone at night used to be very difficult but by opening up to my friends, I now have numbers I can call if I can’t sleep and places to turn when feeling particularly anxious.
No job is worth having anxiety and by speaking up, you will find friends in unexpected places. This is a conversation we need to start having more to support each other and find alternative ways to combat anxiety.
If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety please call Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity.