When anxiety takes over…

By Eliza

The last couple of months have been the hardest part of my life – weeks of insomnia and nightmares combined with hours of crying until I’ve felt that I could not breathe and long working hours with feelings of guilt as I felt unproductive, stupid, unneeded and shame as I couldn’t stop my tears from falling while working on my computer.

So, one night while I was lying on the floor crying and praying to find a way to make it to the next day I found my therapist and went for help. This is how I’ve found out that my ‘moody’ behaviour, my overthinking process and my sadness are actually called anxiety and I’ve been suffering from it for many years.

Before I knew this I felt terrible that I couldn’t explain myself to the people I loved the most. I wasn’t able to tell my mother that I was unhappy, that I felt insecure, stupid and ugly as there were no logical reasons to sustain my sayings.

Now, it is still difficult as for my parents, my boyfriend and other people the words ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’ seem to be some science fiction terms or worst ‘over exaggerated emotional reactions’.

What has anxiety actually done to me?

1. It has given me the feeling that I am not good enough both on a personal and professional level
2. It has given me the inability to speak up and fight for my dreams
3. It has destroyed my social life as I am afraid of going out because maybe people won’t like me
4. It might destroy my relationships because of fear and overthinking
5. It blocks my mind, it makes me panic and I can no longer give public speeches
6. It has turned me into my own obstacle

My intention was to write about a situation I’ve found myself in today at the office but I felt that I couldn’t only talk about this without introducing myself.

I arrived at the office and I was asked to participate in a meeting with our business analyst. I was very happy and I accepted as I was available and I was looking forward to having this opportunity. At that time I did not know that I was supposed to be the one who should present and talk so I wasn’t prepared.

During the meeting my colleague (she is the person I fear the most and I want to make things perfect in order to not disappoint her) told me that she had another meeting and I should continue by my own. Well, the anxiety took over me and the only words I could say were: ‘Meee? I…don’t think I am capable’, I felt like a little child in front of her instead of a confident woman. Then I said it’s ok.

The meeting was in English (I am not a native speaker) and during the call my mind went blank. I couldn’t remember any words, I felt that my face was turning red and that people are disappointed by my poor English. (In fact it is not poor, but I don’t have confidence and I don’t get too often the chance to practice my spoken English).

Now I can neither explain to my colleague that I am capable but my anxiety holds me back, nor can I turn back time, all I can say is…
…when anxiety takes over I miss chances.

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