Living with Anxiety

Recently I found out something about my Mum that I never knew recently – that she suffered from anxiety in her early 20s.

She and her friends all turn a mile stone age this year. In order to celebrate, they all went on an overseas trip. Once on the plane, one of her friends demanded to get off of the plane. A few weeks later I heard my Mum talking to this friend on the phone. She said, “You know, if it’s an anxiety thing, you can tell me. I’ve dealt with it enough in my life.”

This is an exploration into understanding the anxiety of the people close to me, something I live alongside but have never quite understood completely.

“I was pregnant with my second girl, I was in a shopping centre lining up for lunch for my brother who was in hospital. I remember that day they told us, my Dad and my Mum that he probably was going to die […] I had you. It was a very stressful period of my life.”

Everyone has different triggers, different ways that their body reacts to the pressures of anxiety. For my Mum, it is places where she felt trapped, “I’ve dealt with it…but it used to be places where I felt trapped. So, if I was in the middle of a restaurant and not on the edges or near the door; on a bus, on a train, on a plane. Anywhere that was a big outing without my husband.”

Ruby, a close friend who is still dealing with her anxiety, explains that there is internal signs and physical signs of her anxiety. “My leg will bounce, usually uncontrollably…you’re constantly worrying, thinking about it and talking yourself up. That’s usually the worst part because you don’t think it’s going to end. […] I’ll get it at work sometimes, when I’m working on the register. Even just little things, like I will give the person their change and receipt and when they don’t leave immediately, I will start feeling my signs of anxiety.”

The Beyond Blue website highlights that anxiety is the most common mental illness suffered in Australia, more commonly affecting women than men. These people struggle with it, and it is hardly recognized in our society. This piece is intended to provide some kind of insight to people and their dealings with anxiety.

Feature image found here

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