I was going to write what I hoped would be this big inspiring blog post about how I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and that I’m dealing with it really well, and honestly, for the most part, I am but it’s always there. And that’s the thing with living with things that are strictly only going on in your head. It feels too real. It’s constantly there. It’s that constant fear, for me, that I’m going to misstep. I’m going to make a mistake. That no one actually likes me. That I’m faking it so well that no one realizes what a phony I am and I’m not good at anything. I’m not smart. I’m not funny. I’m not pretty. I’m not anything people have told me because they’re all lying to me to make me feel better.
And that’s the thing with mental health. It’s always there. It’s constantly telling you lies. It’s creating all sorts of scenarios about something that hasn’t even happened yet. It’s telling you that those high school girls in the corner are laughing at you because you look incredibly stupid and then hating being out in public and immediately wanting to go home. It’s fear that you’re not a good friend because you never text back but also not doing anything about it because you don’t want to text. It’s having a lull in a conversation and immediately jumping to the conclusion that you and this person have nothing in common and why are you hanging out because there is nothing to talk about and do they realize this and now don’t want to ever hang out with you? It’s scrolling through Instagram and thinking everyone is living their best life and you’re still stuck. You’ll always be stuck. It’s not hearing back from your mom almost immediately and fearing that something happened. It’s questioning if you should turn your phone off silent while sleeping when she’s away just in case there is an accident and the police need to contact you. It’s everything all the time. It’s feeling claustrophobic by all the furniture and things you’ll never be able to afford and having a panic attack in Pier 1. It’s the voice in your head telling you to WORRY WORRY WORRY! So, this isn’t glamorous nor fun. It’s your heart racing and feeling like you’re having a heart attack and people thinking you’re overreacting, which you are, but you can’t stop it from happening. It’s people not believing you because “you talk to people so easily!!” when all you’ve really done is build up this other persona when speaking to people.
So for the rest of the week, I’m taking a social media break. I’m going to read the two books I bought from my local bookshop (support independent bookshops!!) and taking a bit of a breather. Obviously my job is social media, so I’ll be on my company platform from 9-5, but nothing personal. I think we need to all just step away for a bit. Go for a walk. Drink tea or coffee. Watch all the Star Wars movie before The Last Jedi comes out in December. Hug some animals. Go travel. Turn off your bloody phone. I’ll see you next week.