I have let my anxiety run my life for as long as I can remember. I look back on certain memories and wonder how they would have actually happened had I not had anxiety. It’s not always easy to have a normal life when you have anxiety hanging over you and it often ends up taking over important moments in your life. 

In October, I graduated from university. From the minute I woke up the morning of the ceremony, I was full of anxiety. I had the constant thought of everything that could go wrong that day. I had run all these different scenarios in my head and all of them ended badly. I asked myself the same questions over and over again. What happens if I’m late? What if they don’t have a wheelchair ramp for the ceremony? What if there’s no one to help me up onto the stage? What if I make a fool of myself? 

Of course, nothing bad actually happened and it was a good day. I was and still am annoyed with myself for letting my anxiety get the better of me. I can’t help but wonder how the day would have turned out if I didn’t let my anxiety get the better of me. 

I get myself worked up over the slightest things that if the me from five years ago would find out, she would tell me to get a life and quit overthinking everything. I’ve let my anxiety stop me from doing a lot of things that seemed so simple and most people would think that I’m being ridiculous. Over the years I have talked myself out of a lot of things that I now wish that I hadn’t.

One of the most ridiculous things my anxiety stops me from doing is making and answering a phone call. This makes my life a lot harder because of my medical condition. I have to be able to make phone calls and answer them in order to set up appointments and sort out prescriptions. I have no idea where the problem comes from and why the thought of making a phone call or even answering one sends me into complete panic mode. I’m 21 years old and I should be able to make a phone call. 

I have to rely on those around me to do make phone calls for me and it makes me feel useless the majority of the time. 

My health isn’t the only thing that suffers because of my anxiety. I have let it affect my relationships and friendships. A lot of the times when I’m asked to go out with friends, I feel the need to instantly turn the invite down. I worry a lot about how I will feel on the day and what around me will send me into the state of an anxious mess. This sometimes means that I can go a long time without seeing my friends. I’m at that age where I should be making the most of my time before I start adulting. Instead, I let my anxiety make me isolated from those around me. 

Again I let questions run through my head and before I can even think of answers, I’ve already talked myself out of leaving the house. What if we go somewhere that’s not wheelchair friendly? What if the wheelchair decides to break and I’m left stranded? What if I start panicking because someone is pushing me to fast or down a part of the path I’m not comfortable with?

I’ve let anxiety dictate a large part of my life. I lay in bed late at night going through the day before in my head, thinking about what I could and should have done differently. I almost judge myself for not doing better which isn’t good. 

I can’t try new things without completely working myself up about the outcome. Lately, I have been going through the motions of applying for a master’s degree. It’s been a year in the making and it has taken me this long mainly because I have been scared to do it. I keep putting it off because I am anxious of what will happen.

I’ve worried that all the stress and anxiety I experienced during my undergraduate degree will come back. Can I seriously let this stop me from trying? Of course I can’t.  My anxiety can’t get in the way of me succeeding in life but right now I don’t see that happening. 

How can I stop the anxiety that is always going to be in the back of my mind waiting to act? I have to accept that it is going to be a constant battle and I will need to work on ways to stop it from affecting my future. 

Megan Howse- Blogger Bee