In a blog post I wrote late last year, I spoke openly about how I was coping with my
mental illness, I mean Anxiety. What I didn’t realize was how I was actually living in fear instead of taking strides to combat my anxiety. The past few months have served as evidence to prove that I have only made things worse by trying to survive.
When you are struggling with a mental illness and living in denial, it makes it even more difficult to come to terms with reality. What made it worse for me was how I reacted towards my illness. Being the control freak that I am, I thought by limiting myself to certain things and shunning things out of my life, would help improve my situation, but instead, it has only made things ten times worse. In the last few months, I was in a dark place – working in a toxic office environment, trying to find ways to balance the good and the evil whilst, at the same time, trying to invest in my own self development. Ironically, as an Engineer, I did not come up with a very solid plan and just reacted to everything, like pushing things aside, prioritising things I thought needed more attention and, eventually wrecking havoc. The more I tried to control my life, the quicker it all blew up in front of my face.
I guess people like us – the ones that suffer from anxiety or depression but are severely in denial; always think we have full control over everything, and all we need is to just overcome this one small, tiny, little speed bump, and things will get back to normal. But the truth is, it won’t. Life is dynamic, it changes from hot to cold every second, every minute and everyday. Nothing is really just a small little speed bump. It took me a long time to see this, and even though I have heard how my fiancé warn me, “Laura, if you keep going like this, you’re only going to destroy yourself”, I chose to ignore it.
Mental illness is not something to joke about or brush to the side. For far too long, too many people have used the words “anxiety” and “depression” too loosely, which have caused doubt in a lot of people. When I was ready to open up about my anxiety, I was afraid of how others would judge me, and how they would perceive me as, just another attention seeker. To my surprise, my first blog post about my anxiety journey was very well received, which has propelled me to be accountable for my own wellbeing. I hope that in 2017, I can make bigger strides to face my fears. Anxiety doesn’t define who I am, but it is a part of me that I must learn to acknowledge. I wish to thrive rather than to survive.
If you would like to know more about General Anxiety Disorder, please visit: Beyond Blue AU
If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness and need help, please contact Beyond Blue Support Service (Australia) : 1300 22 4636
This was written as part of the Mental Health Awareness Week Campaign 2017, you can find out more, here.