Story by A.M. (18yrs)
Anxiety has affected me since I was 15 and had a massive impact on my sleep, appetite and mental health and always finds any chance to creep up on me, especially if I am heavily stressed, and I can only be described as a hollow black hole filled with doubts and self-hate. I’ve never been able to get completely rid of it as it stands and it’s been nearly 7 years. I’ve only just learnt how to manage and it’s allowed me to get to know myself.
I have realised that there are many things that worsen the response to anxiety and not how the anxiety actually affects you. For example, I find that when I haven’t had enough sleep, I seem to get anxious and frustrated very quickly. I also figured out that there are things that help prevent anxiety for me personally, such as anything that benefits my body like basketball, which I absolutely love and I’m a terrible player, but simply because it exercises my brain as well as my body. I leave feeling empowered and able to think outside the box rather than stuck inside my own head.
Going to Sisterhood made me grow massively by normalising situations that I go through with my anxiety, because it made me realise there are other people like me that suffer too and there’s a way we can connect and share experiences whilst having fun! Spending time with my friends sounds easy, but when you overthink situations it can be hard to motivate yourself to even step a foot out of the front door. I find that family or having someone at home can give me motivation and it feels like a gateway to get me out of the front door. Anxiety can be sort of like a practical person to speak to before you go out into the big world, that’s how I would describe mine. It’s actually become one of my friends because it challenges me every day to be better than the day before.
This is a poem I wrote to remind myself every day:
Don’t worry about the pain,
Don’t worry about the people that drain you,
Because it’s all down to vain.
You are you
And they can never be you so don’t complain.
Someday there will be someone appreciates you,
Love you can’t explain,
In a way that’s inhumane.
You will never get what you can’t handle,
So no one has the power to drive you insane.
Mini Messenger: Reach Up Youth • Spring 2022 • www.reachupyouth.co.uk