There is nothing worse than them 4 words… ‘Just deal with it.’ Having just had a panic attack or worrying about things that may seem small to some people, but are a huge deal to you. Overcoming pieces of your past which will most likely never go away. But here’s a fact. I don’t want to ‘deal with it’. I want rid of it. I want to conquer it.
Having battled with eating disorders, depression, a personality disorder and anxiety pretty much since I was 15, I have already overcome so much. All of this happening when I had the pressures of exams, high school, college, having a job and family… I’ve been at war with myself.
To those who tell me to ‘deal with my problems’. I have a little message for you…
Have you been through this? Do you understand what it feels like to be trapped in a situation where you feel like nothing or no-one can help you? Yes, there are people out there with far more worse problems than myself, but that doesn’t mean that I should have to ‘deal with this’.
Having an anxiety attack is one of the worst things I have to go through, now on a weekly to daily basis. It feels like the room is getting smaller, with no windows and you can’t see. It’s like claustrophobia, with the added feeling of helplessness and wanting to give up. And the worst thing? These attacks can come on out of absolute no where. I’ve been on the bus to work and I’ve had an anxiety attack, resulting in me having to get off and having a stranger calm me down.
People ask me why? Why do I get them? I wish I had a direct answer for that. Public transport makes me anxious. Crowds make me anxious. Not being good at my job again makes me super anxious. I hate letting people down. I’ve been to counselling. I’m on medication. All them things help, but what doesn’t help is having people put a negative light on it and having people judge it. In my opinion, if you haven’t been through it, you cannot judge.
People say to me, ‘Oh god, you’ve been through so much for such a young person’. Like in a patronising way. Yes I’ve been through a lot, but it wasn’t by choice. The worst thing I’ve ever been told is ‘Surely it’s self-inflicted’. Wow. Just Wow. Do you honestly think I want to be this way? It’s not a lifestyle! It’s not something that defines me. If people really understood just how bad mental illness is, then they would realise that no one self inflicts depression or anxiety on themselves. Someone saying ‘If your scared of public transport then don’t get it’. Er hello! How would I get to work? Plus, isn’t that the main way of conquering something that scares you?
There are far too many people in the world who aren’t aware of how serious mental illness is.
To those of you, who know what it’s like, all I have to say, is don’t ever explain yourself to anyone. Don’t apologise for something you don’t want. It will take time to conquer. But you will get there. Find someone who understands and appreciates you for who you are. Anxiety is not one of your ‘faults’. It’s simply an obstacle in your life that you can and will overcome. I am lucky to have fantastic friends, family and an amazing boyfriend, all of whom have taken time to understand who I am.
Don’t ever ‘just deal with it’. Conquer it!