I wasn’t going to post today. I know that Wednesday and Sunday are my posting days, but after the chaos of Blogtober, I was supposed to be taking some time off.
But, today I feel incredibly guilty. And I tweeted about it, and a few people got in touch saying that they feel this way too. And then I realised, I had actually never seen anyone talk about this side of anxiety before.
So, let’s have a chat.
I say a chat, because I want this to be collaborative. Obviously this post is going to be my own stream of consciousness surrounding the topic, but if you feel up to a discussion in the comments, I would love that. Alternatively, you can contact me on any of my social medias to discuss this further. I love all of my blog posts to serve as a little addition to a discussion, and I am always happy to discuss things further!
Anyway, back to anxiety.
So, I’ve spoken about my anxiety many many many times before on this blog. This blog isn’t specifically a mental health blog, and I don’t claim to have knowledge about such areas, but this blog does represent me and anxiety is a rather big part of that, hence why it features a lot.
This was my tweet this morning, for a little background.
Why is anxiety a constant cycle of feeling a bit anxious, it getting worse, having a massive over reaction, and then feeling incredibly guilty for days afterwards? This is so exhausting— Hayley (@LifeThroughTSG) 7 November 2018
Anxiety happens to me, over and over again. It creeps in and I let it win more often then I would like to. But, for me, the biggest issue with my anxiety is not the actual event, or even what it does to me personally, it’s the affect that it has on others in my life, and that makes me feel incredibly guilty.
See, I try to keep my anxiety to myself.
You might be laughing at that statement because I’m so open about it here, on social media and in my vlogs, but that’s potentially the only place that I ever am. I rarely discuss it with my family and friends, because I don’t want it to affect their lives.
Until recently, I rarely discussed it in my relationship too. But, ever since Zack’s gone away, I’ve just had to be more open.
I’ve had to be open because my anxiety has been sky-high the entire time that he’s been away, and this may be the worst I’ve suffered with it so far. And, there’s been times when I’ve just had to be honest and tell him why I’ve reacted the way that I have.
I hate doing this, because it makes me feel like I’m using my anxiety as an excuse, but I also know that I am not my anxiety. And, no matter how much I try (and I try so goddamn hard) to keep it under control, inevitably sometimes it just slips out and I explode.
I don’t mean explode in an angry or violent way, I mean that I massively overreact about something small.
And then, for days, weeks, sometimes even months after, I feel so incredibly guilty for doing so.
Because I feel weak for not being able to control it, and I feel awful that other people in my life are affected by it. It’s bad enough that I’m affected by it, but when others are too I blame myself for not being better at this.
But what is better?
There was a time in my life that I couldn’t leave the house on my own; that I struggled going out in public; that I dreaded social events.
And yes, sometimes those thoughts and feelings do resurface, but it is not stopping my life every day like it used to.
Now my anxiety manifests in other ways, and even though I have overcome certain things, it’s evolved. Like how a virus makes a new strain to try and succeed, that’s how I regard the anxiety that I struggle with right now.
And, no matter how much I try to protect the people in my life from it, it’s bound to affect them too. And no amount of apologies will ever fix that.
Is that okay?
If so, how do I deal with the guilt of it?
How do I go about my life knowing that my mental health impacts everyone else?
I simply don’t have an answer.
I say to myself over and over again that they didn’t sign up for this, but I think it’s time to remember that I didn’t either.