Life After Suffering In Silence

by GEM Magazine / Oct 11, 2017 / Comments

I have always been a person who gives deep thought to everything; over analysing every situation, scared of what others might think. I have never been loud or wanted to be centre of attention, in all honesty I’m the complete opposite. People who know me well will say that I’m reserved, shy and suffer from lack of self-confidence.

For me, this stemmed from a mixture of things. Firstly, my parents, even though they have always supported me, have played a part in my development. My Dad has been hard on himself and hard on me at times, although wanting the best, he could approach it the wrong way. My mum struggles with confidence and anxiety too, unaware that I would pick up those traits.

Secondly, school was a difficult environment and a test of personality. I would often let other, more confident kids, say and do things to me and accept it.

Yet the biggest factor is that I can be my own worst enemy and beat myself up over the smallest mistakes.

I decided enough was enough!

I realised that my lack of confidence was having an impact on my life. I went to see a hypnotist who helped me understand and manage my anxiety. This gave me more confidence in speaking with others and helped me out of my shell. It felt like years of anxiety and stress had lifted off my shoulders by simply relaxing the conscious part of the mind and listening to peaceful music whilst the hypnotist whispering words into my ears through the headset. The hypnotist also gave me tasks to follow, which helped me come out of my comfort zone more. This is when I started to research meditation and hypnotherapy into detail and realised there was a lot of information and self-help out there.

A year on, things started to improve and I was a more confident person but then disaster struck. I suffered my first anxiety attack which was a very scary situation.

I was breathing heavily, my mind a mess, I thought I was going to die. It lasted around 2 hours. After experiencing a few more, I finally decided to go to the doctors, who prescribed tablets to help me with these attacks.

For a month and a half, I didn’t want to go anywhere or speak to anyone as I was scared it would happen in public. My confidence was shattered and I was tired, both physically and mentally.

My brain was in overdrive.

Every day was a struggle to get out of bed to face the world. This was all triggered by the pressure I put on myself in every situation, letting anxiety take over, telling me I was a failure in life and I shouldn’t be happy. I kept this all to myself as I thought people wouldn’t understand and laugh.

I knew at this point, I needed to get away.

I travelled to Australia, which changed my life completely. I felt healthy and gained confidence from the experience of travelling, stepping out of my comfort zone and making new friends along the way. Previously, I would never have dreamt of doing this.

I also took a trip to India which even further improved my mental state.

I still have daily struggles, but they are becoming less frequent and less impactful. I am still in the process of rebuilding and healing, which can take time. I’m taking steps, one after the other and not setting unrealistic goals. I’m learning to have patience and self compassion throughout this.

I've seen that many people suffer with anxiety in different extremes. I have found the key is to accept it and find tools that will help with learning to manage it better.

I now understand that focussing too much on outcomes creates too much pressure, which leads to anxiety. I’m learning how to be in the present moment rather than the past or future.

I have since arrived back to the U.K and it has been very tough and challenging adjusting back to life here, yet through travelling and self exploration I feel I am a stronger person now.

The main message I want to put out there is, try to focus on yourself and your needs, it makes things less complicated. And don’t be afraid to speak to people about what you are experiencing, you’ll be surprised to know it’s not that uncommon and there is support.

“If you talk to yourself horribly, don’t be surprised when you feel horrible. Start talking to yourself like a best friend you care deeply about.”

By Andrew Ceney.

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