I've just read our darling Drazil's post about her anxiety and recent panic attack, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about mine a little bit. It's not always easy to explain the anxiety, in no small part because so much of it is terribly irrational.
My anxiety makes every day difficult. It makes everyday tasks difficult. It makes living my life difficult. By the end of my degree this time next year, I will have spent 5 years and 2 gap years to get through a 3 year degree. It is so hard for me to go to my classes. I can usually manage the lectures where there are lots of people and no one's looking at you or expecting anything of you, but the seminars made up of about 15 people are almost impossible for me. They're also compulsory.
My anxiety makes it nearly impossible to get and/or keep a job. I have to overcome so much to even apply for a job, I certainly couldn't make a phone call to a potential employer. Then to get to an interview usually takes more than I have. I have had jobs, several since I was 18, a moment of extreme boldness has got them for me, but rarely have I been able to keep them for more than a few months. Usually I spent lunch breaks crying, chain smoking, desperately calling my mum begging for help. The last job I had was at the end of 2010, I went on a break one day and just couldn't make myself go back in. My legs just wouldn't carry me back in there. Instead I found myself at the bus stop, then on the bus, then in my bed where I stayed for three days crying. This terrifies me. If I can't overcome this, how the hell am I going to make money, how am I going to live. I can only just get by at the moment with my student loan and help from my mum.
I could let my anxiety get in the way of my workouts. There are some days where I just can't leave the house. I just sometimes don't have the courage. I spend a lot of time on my sofa. My gym is only a 15 minute walk away, but it sometimes feels too much to get there, stay there, and get back. Too many people to encounter, what if I suddenly freak out or have a panic attack in front of everyone. It's horrible to be confined to my flat, but if I'm going to be, I'm still going to get my workout in. I do step aerobics at home, I do a resistance routine of squats and crunches and lunges and bicep curls etc, I do Jillian, I jog on the spot. I've just borrowed some more exercise dvds from my sister, including Zumba ones. Good to have the variety.
So today, despite it being a day where I couldn't make it to the gym, I did 60 very sweaty minutes of cardio and strength and was very proud of myself. I'm not going to let my anxiety prevent my mission for fitness, because honestly, fitness is what I want most out of all of this. I remember before surgery, I was so much less mobile than I'd ever been in my life. I was 23, and couldn't walk without stabbing pains in my legs. So mobility, freedom to move is my mission. x