My Life With Anxiety

I’ve written about some of the struggles I’ve been facing with my health over the last year or so, but I don’t think I’ve really touched on how my mental health has been in a dedicated post. So to kick off mental health awareness week, I thought it a fitting time to chat about it today.

I’m quite open about my anxiety in “real life”, if someone sees me when I’m at work and I seem to be acting slightly odd, I’ll usually say what it is and that I’ll be okay in a minute.

I’ve got to talk about how understanding my company and colleagues are about it – I’ve heard about some really horrible stories about people’s experiences with mental health in the workplace, so I’m very grateful to be working somewhere that’s willing to understand.

My anxiety has worsened over the last year, but it’s probably been there for the last five – my physical health has led me to become quite the hypochondriac when it comes to random sensations you get and I’m constantly on hyper-alert.

I’m currently under investigation for a movement disorder called Paroxsmal Kinsiegenic Dyskinesia (or non-kinsigenic, but having done a lot of research I think it’s the former) which is a neurological disorder that falls under the umbrella of dystonia. Basically, if I’m startled by something or I move too quickly, then my right leg does this weird tremble/twitch which takes about 20-30 seconds to recover from. It can happen multiple times a day and will worsen when I’m feeling anxious – I have to stop what I’m doing to let the tremble and the strange sensations I get after to pass before moving on with my day.

I’ve had this leg tremble since I was about 12 and it’s progressively gotten worse over the years, which has 110% made me more anxious than I would have been anyway. I don’t go anywhere alone anymore, struggle to do day to day things at home without it happening and it’s constantly at the back of my mind. I plan meticulously when I’m going out to reduce the likelihood of it happening and have little things I do to hide it happening like bending down to look in my bag, stopping and holding onto something to make it look like I’m looking at something and on bad days, I’ll sit on the floor.

To give you a better picture of the random things that trigger it, I’ve been making a note of them so you can hear how ridiculous they can be;

  • A bottle of conditioner dropping off the windowsill where I’d knocked it whilst having a shower
  • Stubbing my toe on a lifted piece of flooring in the living room
  • Jumping up to run to the door when the buzzer has gone off
  • Accidentally grating my thumb instead of the carrot I was grating for my homemade coleslaw
  • Burning my hand on the steam from rice coming out of the microwave
  • Slipping on the bathmat when I’m getting off the toilet
  • Slipping on ANYTHING – Aaron says he’s never known anyone to slip as much as me, I always find the shoes I’m wearing make a huge difference to this, which is why you’ll see me rocking my DM’s a lot as they’re pretty sturdy, my feet don’t get sweaty when I wear them, leading to me slipping, AGAIN
  • Aaron pushing off a door in front of me – not sure what that was about lol
  • Starting to run (back when I was running in the mornings which I stopped after having my seizure last year) from a slow walk
  • Knocking a can of Diet Coke on the floor

I could go on and on, but this is my life at the moment, so I’m sure you can imagine that the thought of a ridiculous thing triggering my tremble has me on edge and anxious a LOT!

I’ve recently been referred to my local mental health team and had my initial assessment just over a week ago, I was a quivering mess before walking in there (I don’t know why as this was all for helping me get better) but poured out everything to them, which I think had been bottled up for a long time. I felt a huge weight lift once I walked out, but I’m far from cured from one initial assessment. I’m waiting for their treatment recommendations at the moment (which is killing me – I JUST WANT TO KNOW NOW!) and am hoping to see a psychiatrist as a last resort. I’ve been for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) on three occasions, have to be careful about what medication I take due to my epilepsy medication and haven’t had much luck with what I’ve been prescribed in the past. I can’t seem to let anything go at the moment and have spiralled into a web of second guessing myself, paranoia and isolation – I just want to be Gaby again and hate that my physical health has done this to my mind. I love to be in control, so the fact that I can’t control what’s been happening to my body (with my epilepsy, my undiagnosed leg tremble, when I got hepatitis E last year, work related stress – it’s been a hell of a year!) has completely destroyed me this year.

But I’m getting the help I’ve needed for a long time now, should start to get my independence back in a few short weeks when it will be a year since my last seizure meaning I can get behind the wheel of my car again – although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shitting myself about it 😂

It’s so important that we all continue to spread awareness and I’m a huge advocate for speaking up about mental health, so make sure to share your experiences and any wisdom you have in the comments below!

Until Next Time

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14 thoughts on “My Life With Anxiety

  1. Bless you x anxiety is horrid x I have lived with it for 20 years !!! Am now hoping hypnosis will help ! I hate being any distance from home and will avoid being away from home !! Xxx hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a helluva year you’ve had and a lot to have on your plate. You sound like you’re getting the support and help you need and as each thing is dealt with/resolved/treatment plan/getting back behind the wheel, I think it will all come together for you and you will get your control back. It just goes to show you never know what battle anyone is facing, and your honesty here will hopefully help others reach out for support if they need it. I always enjoy how real your posts are 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had never heard of this movement disorder before but it was really interesting to read about it and learn a little bit more. I can’t even imagine how frustrating this must get sometimes, especially with some of the littlest things that can trigger it. I hope that you will continue to receive great help to make it easier to live with x

    Alice | http://www.accordingtoalicex.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Gaby 😔 I can totally relate to the health triggered anxiety and to the fact that such a small thing can set the illness off like crazy. It can be unbelievably exhausting being so aware and on edge all the time of everything going on and how it might have an effect on you/how other people think you’re overreacting. I’m glad you’ve got such an understanding work place and I really hope you get the help and diagnosis you need and deserve soon! As they say, you know your body way better than anyone else and it’s pretty crap its taken them so long to get a proper diagnosis for you! Really hope you get the resources you need to start feeling better soon ❤️
    Alice Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Alice, it’s bloody shit and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone – being paranoid about your body is a living nightmare! I’m hoping I’ll get the diagnosis in August – just a pain I have to wait so long! Xxx

      Like

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