Welcome back to the Share Your Story series. Last week Hannah from Pages, Places and Plates shared her story on living with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). This week Tinka from Little Tinkablee is Sharing her story on living with anxiety.
I’m Tinka. Author to Little Tinkablee and terrible at introductions.
I love to read, write, do yoga and create things in my spare time. When I’m not doing that and when I can I’m working on my blog or spending time with really close friends & boyfriend. I own three cats, though really one is my boyfriends because I got him a rescue cat for Christmas two years ago.
Surviving with Anxiety
I have many imperfections that at times I tend to focus on a little too much. That can cause me to close myself off a lot of the times from people. I’ve been writing my own novel since I was 14, and writing my own little stories since I was 5-6. I loved to read but I never found any of the other books fascinating, so I’d write my own.
As I grew up, I moved around a lot. Moving around a lot made for changing friends, faces and names constantly. I learnt to adapt in my new surrounds, I learnt to fit in where I fell because I knew at some point I’d be gone anyway.
I don’t really remember having anxiety as a child. As I said moving around a lot meant that I met a lot of people. I had to introduce myself and make friends repeatedly. I was nervous a lot, but I feel they were understandable when meeting new people. No matter how many times you’ve done it.
I do remember recognising it when attending my very first day of high school.
I was used to being the new girl in school, I was used to having to find my way and find my ‘clique’ but for some reason walking through those school gates that morning had just turned something over in my head. I went from normal nerves to shaking and feeling sick and dizzy.
As I got older the anxiety got harder to deal with.
As my teenage hormones kicked in and I started to care what people thought, I started to wonder what people though about me. It created thoughts and feelings I’d never experienced before. I found I spent more of my mornings crying and begging my mum not to make me leave the house because I didn’t want to feel like that anymore and I didn’t feel like that when I was at home.
Except it got worse. And I did start to feel worse at home. It brought on depression that then lead to me locking myself in my room for weeks reading one book after the other. Baring sleeping and eating.
I was letting my anxiety take over and control my life.
Eventually we ended up moving to a new house again. My mum let me and one of my younger sister’s get a kitten. Getting that kitten was possibly one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. He became my little rock when I needed one.
I started to slowly try to go back to school, but I was still finding it extremely hard. My mornings were spent crying and dreading leaving the house. The rest of the day I spent on edge with the thought of escape always on my mind.
Eventually I ended up attending there long enough to gain a crush on a boy in my music and sociology lessons.
I can’t remember who spoke to who first. But I do remember him being the reason I started going back to school a little more.
We’d spend all night talking to each other until we had to log offline to get ready for school. Then throw each other knowing tired glances from across the room.
Unfortunately, 8 months to a year later we all left school and my anxiety had pretty much hit rock bottom by that point. For two years I didn’t leave my house unless it was necessary and only when I had my mum or boyfriend with me. (Yes, I ended up with my high school crush. I thank my lucky stars every day).
I’ve stopped talking to friends and I turn down so many opportunities that I really disappoint myself.
I have a terrible fear of being left out. It sounds silly to say but it’s true. I don’t like missing out on things and being left out, and usually I like to make myself unavailable or find some excuse to avoid feeling like that.
I don’t mind talking about anxiety, but I won’t lie and say it doesn’t bring me to tears when just thinking about it. Or in this case typing this.
It’s hard because no one truly understands the extend of your anxiety, or the extreme levels anxiety can go.
They don’t understand how crippling it can actually be for some people. I feel a lot of people look at me and think she’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with her. It’s all fake because I can fake being happy.
I can fake being put together at times, so on the outside, on social media I seem fine. But I’m not.
Everything by this point gives me anxiety. Using the phone. Going across the road to the shop. Or going the park. Going on the internet. Getting messages, phone calls, emails. Noises outside and noises inside my house. It’s like I can never take a break from it. Even in my sleep I have it and it wakes me up 3-4 times a night/morning, always at the same times.
It makes me an over thinker. I think about things I’ve done, things I’m doing, things I’m going to do and everything in between. Sometimes I’m not even over thinking about my own life, I’ll find myself in bed late at night stressing over fictional characters lives. Like, ‘well, hell Shane if you just let the woman make her own darn decisions you wouldn’t have to rescue her, and I wouldn’t be laying here frustrated thinking about my book!’ I’d probably just be stressing over something else instead…
However, thanks to the support of my family and my boyfriend it has gotten better.
I have taken other steps in battling my anxiety and although I never like leaving my house, I make a point to leave it at least once a day on my own. (I’ll get my boyfriend to meet me somewhere when he’s not at work – usually to lessen my anxiety).
I’ve started researching anxiety a lot more and I’ve made a point to change my diet. Eat different things. I drink less of other things. I’ve started a workout routine and yoga practice that has helped me through my anxiety.
Taking it day by day and not letting the bad days over rule me has been the biggest help through surviving my anxiety.
I say I’m surviving my anxiety because there have been days where I thought it would beat me. There were times I thought I would lose and I didn’t want to deal with the feeling of it anymore. I didn’t like the depression and the disappointment it brought in myself. I don’t like how it has turned me into my own worst critic and enemy. No one hates me more than I hate me.
But, I’m proud I’m stilling fighting through it and surviving with it.
If you have anxiety, if it is taking over your life then please let your loved ones help you. Go seek out help yourself! You are not alone in this and there are other’s who feel the way you do. You just need to power through it and over come it. My whole reason for my blog was to help get me out of my comfort-zone and help with managing my anxiety.
Thank you all for reading through my story and I really do hope this can help others out there.
Thanks Tinka for sharing your story on what it has been like living with anxiety. I’m sure it will help others who read it and feel in a similar situation.
If you would like to read more of Tinka’s writings head over to her social media;