If you are anything like me, then you’re not oblivious to mental illness and you actually sympathise or empathise with anyone suffering from it. But what happens when you realise you too may be suffering?
Honestly, I am such a social media addict, I cannot even lie about that but I have learnt how to purposefully manage my digital time and my news feed. This was necessary for me to do for my own emotional well-being.
In “managing” and “filtering” my social media feed, I found a page by Dr. Nicole LePera (the.holistic.psychologist). It was a God sent at the time, I was just changing jobs, going into an entirely new industry and my office would be in the CBD. All of this was exciting but there was a different feeling at the same time, an unfamiliar feeling that I started recognising more and more.
It was more than just fear of the unknown. This feeling would numb my body. I couldn’t hear people talk to me and I could not move from where I was sitting. I ended up spending more time than was necessary at the office because I couldn’t get myself to get up and go home.
The practical tips on Dr. Nicole LePera’s page allowed me to identify this new feeling, call it by its name and identify what triggers it. By definition, I had anxiety, “a nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behaviour or panic attacks.” – Oxford. Using her page, I also found some things that are helping me feel better.
Managing the anxiety
It was important for me to understand what was happening but I needed to do a self-help situation because honestly I still couldn’t get myself to deem this important enough to spend money on. Here are some of the things that have helped me “manage” the anxiety:
- Acknowledging and actively going through it – suppressing the feeling and trying to front is such hard work and adds to any stressful situation you’re going through. Acknowledging it and being present in the moment when it happens helps you get to the next step.
- Recognise the triggers – this proved to be effective for me because I could avoid certain situations or choose to react differently.
- Be honest about your reality – I feel like such a failure if I cannot live up to someone’s expectation of me, I feel less than and not useful. I had to learn to be honest about what I can do, what I would like to do but cannot afford to do or don’t have the capacity to do.
- Find your output – for me, it’s writing. I’ve stopped writing for a while but this journey has forced me to find something that I am good at again. And who doesn’t like to do what they’re good at?!
The anxiety still gets me every now and then but I am happy that I have been able to use what I had at my disposal to do some self-care. I’m not convinced I have a mental illness (I think that would be overly dramatic on my part) but I understand that we all have the capacity to be susceptible to it.
I hope you don’t go through the same things but if you are, I hope my story brings you some light.