Today is Time to Talk Day.
I've written and deleted this post so many times over the past month.
There are things I want to say, and things I'm not ready to.
So today I'm just going to talk about the need to talk.
When you suffer with any kind of mental health problem, one side effect can be that you become secretive.
When my anxiety first began, I was embarrassed and didn't know what was going on.
Once it had been diagnosed, I remained embarrassed and confused.
Nobody had explained to me how I would feel day to day.
That some days are bad, and some days are brilliant.
That sometimes you can cry for hours because you just need to get out that frustration that's an invasive ball of emotion in your stomach.
That sometimes you'll feel nauseous for days on end, and nothing will shake it.
That logic doesn't come into it and your thoughts are in a constant battle.
That talking helps.
Sometimes, I want to be quiet and alone. But sometimes, being alone is the last thing I want and need.
When I was open with my family, they joined in the fight with me.
When my mum and I went to the doctors, my GP gave me confidence that anxiety would not define me, or continue to ruin days and experiences forever.
When I was open with my friends, I learned who was really there for me. Some were more patient and more helpful than I could ever have imagined.
I make it a policy now to be open about my anxiety.
About the days when it ruled everything, and about the fact some days it creeps up on me.
About the fact that I'm doing a lot better.
I'm learning techniques that help.
When I meet new people, I like them to know it's a part of who I am.
But it is not WHO I am.
That I have some weird little quirks and coping mechanisms, and sometimes I need them to just laugh along with me.
Talking helped me and continues to help me.
When I am open about my past and my present, I find it easier to be myself, and to cope on days when I struggle.
The people around me know how to deal with those times, and I don't have to try and explain myself when I'm in no state to do so.
The worst thing you can do is suffer alone. Please talk. Whoever you need to talk to, talk, and know you're not alone.