I haven’t really spoken about my anxiety on my blog before, because I wasn’t really sure exactly how to phrase it properly before. This is a post I have been wanting to write for a very long time, and recently I have decided that it needs to be done.
Anxiety can be very difficult to live with, and it can make very normal things very difficult to do. I haven’t always suffered with a intense anxiety, but it has become worse in the last year or so, which has made a lot of things that I used to find easy or only slightly difficult much harder to do. Unfortunately, anxiety can be triggered by many things like stress, pressure and situations that can cause social anxiety. It can also be triggered by seemingly nothing at all. Sometimes it can be nothing but a memory or the tone of someones voice or simply just because – and it can take over your body and make you incredibly uncomfortable.
For me my anxiety manifests in my hands, they feel tense and stiff and I often tap them on surfaces or clench my fists. A lot of people don’t realise that anxiety has a lot of physical symptoms, especially when it become panic or anxiety attacks. It can feel like your chest is being crushed, your stomach feels twisted up and you feel nauseous. Anxiety sucks a lot.
The worst part about anxiety is how it can stop you doing things that you love.
I love to see bands, you probably know that if you’ve been on this blog for a while, and I especially love music festivals. I also love being a part of a crowd – that feeling of being a part of group of people who all love the same thing and are in the same place to celebrate that. Unfortunately, my anxiety does not like crowds.
Sometimes I can get away with it, depending on the day or the people, the music or the atmosphere, but mostly it’s just a stroke of luck. Often if I am careful I can get through a performance – but I will need a good break afterwards to breathe. Sometimes I can’t do it at all.
At Rocking The Daisies I didn’t have many problems with the crowds because I know where to stand to get crushed the least, and I balanced crowds at the main stage with chilled empty spaces at the Hemp Stage. I managed to only have one panic attack the whole festival. I knew I was pushing it to see several bands in a row at the main stage, and I was right, because the crowds got too much and I had to leave in the middle of the December Streets set (which was really good up until that point by the way).
I think that a lot of the time we can use the fact that something might happen to avoid doing anything at all. To me, crowds are scary, crowds mean panic attacks and finding it hard to breathe, so I tend to avoid them. But what I have to tell myself is that I can’t keep missing out on things that I love just because I’m scared of a maybe. Sometimes it is worth the risk.
I think anxiety needs to be spoken about more. We live in an age where we share so much of our lives on social media, but for some reason mental illnesses still carry a stigma. What do you think?