I was first told that I was suffering from Anxiety back in 1994, back then I found that I was having major problems coping with life. The strange thing was that while at work everything was fine and I felt good about myself and what I was doing. The problem came outside of work, I had no 'Get Up & Go' in fact it had vanished! I got home from work and went up to my bedroom, came out to have dinner with my parents, then went back to my room.
Eventually my Mum dragged by to see one of the GPs at our local Surgery, the result was that I was suffering from Anxiety. There were 2 options available at the time: Tablets or a Anxiety Management Course at the local Hospital. I knew that I did not want to go down the tablet route, so my GP referred me to the Hospital.
Eventually I was offered a place on a course, each course lasted approx 8 Months with regular visits to the hospital. There were about 12 people on each course and all of the meetings were based around the group, you could however arrange to see the individual staff if needed, but it was felt that members of the Group will also support each other.
Anxiety can mean many things to different people, as a group of 12 in the first session we had to list the symptoms we had been experiencing... we covered 3 pages of Flip Chart Paper, the amazing thing was that all of the symptoms were individual, none were duplicated.
My Anxiety was (and still is) anticipation based, my anxiety levels get higher closer to significant events - even events I am looking forward to. As for my symptoms, compared to many they are mild - a tense feeling in my stomach, not being able to concentrate, my mind feels as if it is racing at a break-neck speed (but I can't slow it down). When it gets really bad then I start feeling sick & don't want to eat (but knowing I have to).
During the course we were shown different ways of coping with Anxiety, some ways worked, others did not. One thing that did work with me was putting 'pen to paper' (or fingers to the keyboard) and to write how I am feeling, to write down my fears and to try and put them into perspective - not always easy. The plan is to use this Blog as somewhere to put my anxious thoughts - and possibly receive extra support in return.
Over the years I have met many people who also suffer and live with Anxiety. Most of the time 'I Live with Anxiety' but sometimes it does take over and I then 'Suffer with Anxiety' until I get control back again.
I hope that I don't end up adding too many posts with the label of 'Anxiety', but this weekend is RAF Waddington Air Show & my anxiety levels are starting to creep up the scale! So there will be a few more posts this week.