#InAshleighsShoes :My Constant War With Anxiety by ‪Ashleigh Coyle‬

With taking last Thursday off due to this topic, I thought it an appropriate subject to start back with. I wouldn’t consider myself much of an information bureau, unless I’m extremely passionate about it. One of those passions happens to be mental health because I am the one in four adults that suffers from a diagnosable mental health disorder, that being anxiety. Taking that into consideration, this may be a topic that creeps up every so often on #InAshleighsShoes.

I don’t write the above to look for sympathy nor do I speak freely about it for pity, it’s simply to educate the three in four people who are lucky enough to go through every day life without experiencing anxiety or depression & of course ensuring that the other one is very much unashamed of how their brain functions on a day to day basis.

Believe it or not, we all know our irrational thoughts usually make no sense what so ever and I often now can’t explain why I’m about to have a full blown panic attack (they’ve played a disappearing act for now thank god!), that’s what makes it so difficult so don’t make it any harder by reminding us that we are making no sense. It’s so vital that you tread a little easy with your words, telling us we’re overreacting certainly doesn’t help and the common phrases of ‘stay positive’, ‘keep the head up’ and ‘you’ll be fine, stay strong’ really are no good to us when mid meltdown. Surely if it was as easy as just ‘looking on the bright side’, we wouldn’t suffer at all?

I may speak for a lot of people here – my anxiety is not a stranger to my insecurities (whilst of course creating lots of delightful new ones every other day) and just happens to use them against me. This will explain the hatred of making plans in advance (I simply do not know how I’ll feel when I wake up that morning), unexpected phone calls (I could simply die at the over thought of an awkward silence), and bumping into someone I’m familiar with accidently (again, I have had no time to think about a topic of conversation & my brain could literally explode with panic).

I’ve noticed I have always been extremely hard on myself. It’s always been, I’m not progressing fast enough, I’m not working hard enough or I’m simply not good enough. My own mind is often my enemy and I’ve noticed the importance of ensuring that you surround yourself with people who are on your side and even sometimes fight alongside you.

One last thing, never force someone with a mental health disorder to speak, do not put us under pressure & don’t show any frustration, just let us know you’re interested and there to help when we’re ready. It’s essential you know how important this is to us & of course how important you are in our lives. 

I was lucky enough for a TV show to introduce one of the greatest people into my life & he’s very much my go to person when times are rough, good ol’ Chris Wright. To my main guy, thanks for everything!

‘til next week & take care,
Ash x

Post Author: Belfast Times

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