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Dear Diary: It’s The Anxiety Talking

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You know in the Sex and The City movie where Charlotte is helping Carrie pick out a desk for her flat re-furb following her scuppered wedding to Big? And they’re walking around stroking desks and Charlotte is pregnant and discussing how scared she is about life?

She talks about how happy she is, how she has everything she’s always wanted and so she’s terrified, absolutely effing terrified because something has to go wrong, because that’s how life works. You get lots of good things and then you get some bad things, and when too many good things come up in a row, surely something bad must be on the horizon to balance things out, y’know?

That’s me at the moment.

Freaking out, full of anxiety, and struggling to sleep, because I am scared of what’s to come.

Go on, laugh at me. Tell me how ridiculous I am. Tell me to think of all the people who have real problems to deal with, whilst I lie in bed, wide awake and staring at the ceiling because what does it feel like to die in a car crash and will it be painful or will the adrenaline take over my body and goodbye world the end.

This is a morbid post I know, but I wanted to talk about it because it’s something that’s been creeping into my life every now and then for the past year or so.

I don’t talk too much about my childhood on this blog or across my online world, partly because there’s so god damn much to say that it needs chapters and chapters, and partly because the truth hurts, and I don’t know how much pain I *reaaaaally* want to throw at other people who might read my words.

But I spent a lot of time pining for a good future, a lot of time dreaming about stability and feeling like I was good enough and feeling like I was doing the right thing. I wanted people to be proud of me, to believe in the path I had chosen. I wanted to feel happy, safe, content and – this is gonna sound a bit weird – but I wanted to feel like people cared enough about my happiness and how I felt emotionally, to put in effort that  I could see. I wanted to feel important to people. I wanted to mean something.

And so here I am now. There. At that place. Drinking a cup of tea whilst listening to songs from Step Up whilst a rose-scented candle fills my room with heavenly smells, and the hot water bottle I’ve stuffed up my top feels like I’m basically being hugged and held tight with love from an invisible friend.

I’m thinking about a massage I’m getting later on in the week, I’m wondering how reckless it would be to put flights to Bali on a credit card for a Christmas trip, and I’m wondering whether I’ll have time to take photos of the fave parts of my bedroom for a post I want to get up tomorrow.

Life is, as good as it could ever possibly be and I feel like I’ve hit some weird jackpot. Like someone is going to jump out at me and scream lol jk bitch, back into the hole of despair for you. None of this was supposed to be for you, there was a mix-up in the life outcome agency and we dished you out the wrong path. We’ve got to take it back now. Soz.

I want to bottle everything as it is right now, because I am terrified of change. It’s not that I don’t want to grow up, it’s that I don’t want to deal with the negatives of growing up – of the new difficulties I’m yet to know anything about.

I started watching the second season of Catastrophe last night and honestly, I was like maybe I’ve been planning my whole life wrong. Maybe I don’t want kids. I can’t handle being alone at home with just the cats for more than a day, how could I ever cope doing that with a baby?

HOW?

And what if Chris dies and I am left to fend a house and two cats and a BABY on my own? Or what if I get seriously ill? Or what if one of my best friends die? I sometimes get completely overwhelmed by the fact my 88-year-old grandad died of natural causes over three years ago – so much so that I had to go and stand outside his old house for a few minutes yesterday – so how in the world, could I ever handle anything harder?

This post is negative and sad and whiney and full of unlikely scenarios, but it’s also me rambling the thoughts as they come into my head.

It is a post not written by logical Hannah, it is a post written by anxious Hannah.

A post written by the person I become when life overwhelms me out of nowhere and it feels like there is a very heavy, very large man sitting on my chest eating a chip sandwich on his lunch break.

I know his lunch break will soon be over, I know he will leave. But trying to breathe, trying to function with that crippling weight on your chest, feels almost impossible.

I know that in a couple of hours I will be pottering about Sainsbury’s with a Diet Coke trying to choose which fresh flowers will work best as a blog photo prop this week, completely oblivious to the anxiety episode that scuppered me this morning. Because life goes on, and these flare ups don’t hold me down forever.

So I guess what I want to leave you with, and what I want to say most, is that sometimes your brain doesn’t work in a sensible way. Sometimes it doesn’t gather all the relevant life information around you and digest it in a way which makes sense to normal, every-day you. Sometimes it screws it up into a paper ball and throws it onto the floor and rocks silently in the corner instead.

It is OK to be unreasonable, it is OK to feel like your own head doesn’t make sense, but it’s not OK to feel embarrassed or ashamed by it.

Everything you feel is legitimate, everything you feel is important. But when it all gets too much, remember that it will pass.

Life will go on and life will be great and despite all the bad shit that might get thrown your way, you are stronger than you think and you have absolutely got this.

 



42 comments so far.
  • I totally get what you mean. I’ve been feeling so anxious these past couple of months and I just have to tell myself every single day that it’s fine to feel anxious, just don’t let it consume your day to day life. So right now, I’m just trying to go and live every single day to my limit and just live, you know? I hope you feel better. x

    http://www.ashrealasitgets.blogspot.com

  • Lil

    Thanks you for this honest post! I am an anxiety sufferer and have been really struggling the past 48hours! I know it will go soon but it’s so nice to read your post and know I’m not the only one feeling this way! (Not that I would wish anxiety on anybody else of course) I hope you feel better soon xx

  • So nice to see a refreshing, honest post! I definitely get this way. But today I was commuting to my work at the top of one of the tallest buildings in London and I thought about what 13 year old me would think if she knew this would be my life and… well, I think she wouldn’t believe it. And she’d definitely be impressed.

  • Ruby

    I have been struggling with anxiety for a while now. I’ve done some silly things and made some daft decisions in the past and I keep dwelling on them and not moving forward. Drinking seems to make it worse so I’m going to try stop that altogether for a while… Anyway thank you for this post it has made me feel better for a little while :)

  • Jemma

    Thank you Hannah. You have absolutely described in a refreshingly honest way how I have been feeling over the last couple of days. I hope the anxiety cloud passes for you soon xx

  • Jules

    This really strikes a chord with me. A situation I find myself in all too often; things are going well so something awful must be about to happen.
    My default is panic mode and this is something I need to push back against: thanks for being so open and honest!

  • Hannah P

    Please please please read “reasons to stay alive” by Matt Haig. Honestly the most amazing book I’ve read about anxiety, panic attacks etc. It got my out of a depression. The title doesn’t really sell it but it’s so worth a read. More people need to talk about these things Hannah 💜

  • Yup. I get it.

    Happens to me ALL THE TIME.

    The trick with the hot water bottle up the jumper sounds interesting though, I’m definitely going to try it :)

    Keep going, you’re doing great (even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it)

    xxx

  • Sarah

    I’ve had a really bad today, and this was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you, Hannah x

    • Sarah

      bad day!*

  • Laura Ormrod

    Hi hannah
    This post is written perfectly it shows exactly how your brain works whilst feeling anxious just bringing more and more thoughts to pile on top of you..I think we have all felt like this at some point and you’re so right, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, your brain can be an ass sometimes.

    You should check out The Ladies Coach, I have followed her for a while now and she explains things so well and is all about self love without being abit hippy dippy.
    Anyway if you get a chance, defo check her out.
    Love
    Laura

  • Emma

    Hannah I’m so glad I’m not the only person who feels like this. Like things are going so good that it can’t possibly be meant for me and surely something terrible has to happen soon to take it all away. I’m pregnant and constantly terrified something will go wrong. I know it’s normal to worry but I just can’t control it and I’m convinced things can’t possibly work out well for me. Sorry for rambling I don’t really know where I’m going with this I’m just a little reassured that I’m not alone. Thank you for being so honest. X

  • I think lots of people have these moments of doubt.. especially – as you said – when everything seems to be going well.. or when life goes through changes. I catch myself led awake at night sometimes having a huge worry that something bad will happen.. and it’s terrifying, but then after a sleep it’s almost like it never happened. Worry is weird thing.. I just try and tell myself that it’ll all be okay in the end – even if that’s a little hard to believe at times! x

    Small&Blonde♥

  • Hannah! Feeling like this is part of being human, and being human is not something you should ever feel guilty for. Just let yourself be.

    I am 26 and have a huge, huge fear of death. So much so that often when the phone rings I panic for 5 seconds worrying that it could be bad news about my grandad / dad / mum / brother / fiancee/ anyone. I know this is not normal, and I try to tell myself to be more rational.

    Recently, I read ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi, a memoir written by a 37 yo neurosurgeon whilst he very sadly was dying of terminal cancer. It also has a heart wrenching epilogue by his wife at the end.

    I recommend this book to anyone, and everyone.

    It faces into the very deepest, saddest truth that to live is to die, and by doing so it helped me become more comfortable about death because whenever it comes, it comes as a result of having had the opportunity to have been part of something beautiful – whatever we choose to define as beautiful in each of our lives.

    Go check it out.

    Happy Monday & stay you :)

    Ksenia
    http://www.thelifedegree.com

    PS feeling overwhelmed “like there is a very heavy, very large man sitting on my chest eating a chip sandwich” is the best analogy I have ever, EVER, read. Salute you.

  • Amy

    Hannah I 100% get this – I’m at a point in my life where I’m really happy, I feel like I’m heading in the direction I want to, but every night when I get into bed I wheel through these ridiculous scenarios to the point where I make myself feel like they’re actually happening – I’ll lie there feeling completely crushed because I’ve just thought about what if my sister dies? I love the metaphor of the man on his lunch break sitting on your chest and although when it happens it’s hard to remember what it feels like to be OK it’s so important to remember that you WILL be OK, it WILL pass and you’re happy and in a good place in your life because you 100% deserve to be and that doesn’t mean it’ll get snatched from you.

    I’m sorry that turned into such a long comment, this post just resonated with me so much and I really hope you’re OK and that the man sitting on your chest went back to work leaving you feeling much happier <3

    Amy xx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

  • Cat

    You da best for sharing this, honestly. My anxiety manifests itself in having to make decisions. I freeze up and that fat man eating his chip butty gets settled in. It absolutely sucks having to deal with that but it does make it more tolerable when you remember that like you said, sometimes our own heads are unreasonable. Thank you for posting this and making me feel like an actual human being rather than a stress an anxiety mess x

  • I know how that must feel like!Somehow i have been there a lot of times lately!
    I usually am or i used to be a really positive person that i always have in mind and told others ”don’t worry everything will be okay” but lately i just can’t!
    I get stressed because i’m thinking what if bad things will happen,what if doesn’t turn things out as i wanted or what if they don’t turn out at all!

    But in the end of the day,as hard as it is,like you said we need to tell ourselves that everything will be okay!Tomorrow is a new day and will be amazing!

    emsypickle.co.uk

  • Hey Hannah, I hope you got your diet coke and a good bunch of flowers and feel a bit better about everything. I know how you feel with the sudden waves of anxiety and worry. I’ve been feeling a bit of that myself lately, but in a more opposite kind of “I want everything new now or everything will fall apart” way, which is not the way to live a flowing natural life. I like change and when I don’t see enough of it, it makes me feel anxious to do more, see more, get out more and start planning OTT holidays and trips so that life seems more exciting. The reality is being cosy and happy and in my pjs with the bf, an owl hot water bottle and herbal tea(u wot m8, wheres the wine?!) is a pretty lovely place to find myself sometimes.

    Rest assured that everything will be ok. Some good mantras or positive affirmations could be practice and all is coming, I am exactly where I am supposed to be and one I often say to myself when i feel down is this too shall pass.

    http://victoriaspongepeasepudding.com

  • A really excellent post that reminds us it’s OK to feel that way. When you’re in a good moment grab it with both hands and enjoy the ride.Thanks Hannah x

    http://www.englishgirlinnewyork.org

    N.B. fat man on chest on his lunch break, what a fun analogy!

  • This is a wonderful post and I can always relate to that scene in Sex and The City, you wrote this so well!
    http://www.elliswoolley.blogspot.com

  • Sara

    Everyone has bad days, but when that cloud comes, the important thing to do is say ‘I see you’ ‘I know your there’. And spend some time with it. Don’t try and flush out the sadness straight away. Spend some time with it, and then let it go. When you let it go you own it.

    Be the person you needed growing up. Always makes me feel positive.

  • This is the reason why you are my favourite blogger, I realised I started to develop anxious feelings about three years ago but it wasn’t until I got together with my boyfriend two years ago that it started to affect my life daily. As corny as it sounds he is everything I’ve wanted but yet I get help but question and doubt, and the main thing I think of is this right? What if it turns out horribly wrong? I read somewhere that anxiety comes out of nowhere and because of this targets the elements of your life that you hold so dear causing you to overthink, what gets me through is realising this isn’t my worry, I have nothing to worry about, it’s just anxiety. Your post has made me feel less alone, only being 21, a lot of people don’t understand why such a young person could be so worried. Thank you for your forever entertaining and honest posts!

  • Charlotte

    This post is describing my life at the moment. I finally have the things I wanted for so long as a child. My life is stable and normal and now I’m terrified it will all be taken away from me in a second. Explaining anxiety can be so hard to people that haven’t experienced it so hearing you talking so honestly makes me feel like I’m not going crazy. There’s plenty of us girls out there dealing with it on a daily basis.

  • Lottie

    Hannah,

    Sorry to hear that anxiety has reared its ugly head again. It gets me sometimes out of the blue and takes me a while to realise what is wrong. My sister wrote this article this article about living with anxiety and it too puts into words what suffering with anxiety feels like, it might help. Its quite funny too so if nothing else it might make you laugh.

    http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/31585/1/how-to-navigate-your-way-through-life-when-you-have-anxiety

    Hope today is better.

  • Right there with you! If you find the cure, you’ll have to let me know! 😂 X X

  • Hannah your blog posts are so well written and depict such vivid imagery, you should be very proud! I can definitely see you writing a book! Alice x

    http://www.aliceadventure.co.uk

  • Hannah your blog posts are so well written and depict such vivid imagery, you should be very proud! I can definitely see you writing a book! Alice x

    http://www.aliceadventures.co.uk

  • Emma

    No Words – Just love for this post <3

  • The fact that you’re able and willing to talk about your anxiety makes the biggest difference. We all suffer from things. I sometimes struggle with bouts of depression, and there isn’t a whole lot you can do to stop it. It just happens. Talking about it definitely helps! Posts like this also help, because it reminds us that we aren’t alone.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m here to talk if you ever need to!

    Ghenet
    ghenetactually.blogspot.com

  • Hannah Child

    Aw Hannah, I’m sorry to hear you have been feeling like this. I doubt anyone will laugh or think you are being ridiculous. I’m an anxiety sufferer and have been feeling really anxious about the next few weeks as I have a ton of stuff to do, but it’s all really exciting stuff like a wedding, a festival and a holiday! I can’t tell you why I feel anxious but it’s building up to a level where it’s keeping me awake at night. I have to admit that I don’t talk about my anxiety at all and do feel embarrassed about feeling the way I do sometimes.
    Reading your post has really helped me to understand that I’m not the only one who feels like this and that it’s OK and it will pass (hopefully!)
    I hope the Diet Coke and flowers helped and that you are starting to pick up a bit!
    Sending lots of love
    A fellow Hannah :) xxx

  • Emma

    I totally get this , at work and at home I have to constantly remind myself to breathe and it’s ok … the world’s not going to end if you don’t get something done that day. I go on holiday this week and I’m already anxious about going away , packing , currency etc … it’s crazy how anxiety works! Thanks for the honest post , makes me feel more normal :) Xxx

  • Got a bit emosh reading this post, as I have been feeling exactly the same. I am SO bladdy happy with the way things are right now and because of that I start thinking life is a bitch and something awful is going to happen imminently. It is SO bladdy annoying! I really like your anxiety analogy, it describes it perfectly haha! You deserve everything you have right now Hannah, you have worked incredibly hard and it is paying off xxx

    http://www.immymay.com

  • Amy

    I’ve had similar feelings. When my husband and I got married, and we bought our house and we were SO happy, I thought, surely something is going to go wrong? Sadly it did – we were overjoyed to get pregnant with twins, and then what followed was the most traumatic, uncertain pregnancy that eventually led to their deaths when I gave birth at 24 weeks. That was almost 4 years ago now and we’re finally getting to another happy place, but I can’t help feel scared again about what ifs.

  • Firstly sending a big hug, and secondly it’s nice to hear that someone, somewhere, is having a good life at the moment. I feel like my life is almost the mirror to yours… growing up I had the most amazing childhood, my parents were the greatest parents any child could wish for.

    Then, and I can’t believe how long ago it was, but 10 years ago things started to go wrong, health problems, relationship fails, bullied by a boss to the point of a total break up…. then 2 years ago mum got very ill and on my Dads birthday he told me he thought we were going to loose her. Then last year Grandad got very ill and I lost BD. Then in the last 10 months I have lost Mity and then 5 weeks ago my Father, my rock, my strength and the best man I have EVER know died after a short but ferocious battle with cancer.

    Ever since that moment I feel like something has happened to my world and it has been knocked off it’s axis. It’s somehow, like the life with my Dad, feeling that happy, and safe and secure… well it’s almost like a dream or something cause it doesn’t seem real but then this new world feels foreign too.

    I know that they say time heals, and I am sure in this case it will. But right now,I just want to go back.

  • Hi Hannah,

    I’ve recently come across your blog and I love it for all the style and life and awesomeness you post, but today this is what I needed to read, so thankyou!

    Large man eating a chip sandwich sitting on my chest analogy was the best ever!
    Have a great week x

    • Hi Megan, so glad this came to you when you needed it. You got this xxx

  • Thank you for such an honest post. It is so refreshing to read posts about anxiety and it was definitely what I needed.

    P.s. Love your blog, it is throwing out so true inspiration at the moment.

  • Oh Hannah I know the feeling so well. That feeling of total dread that you can’t shift is so horrible and really difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t have anxiety.
    I find myself often feeling embarrassed about feeling anxious because I don’t want to be a negative Nigel, and feeling anxious about feeling anxious because I know it’s coming on, if that makes sense?! But you’re totally right that it’s not something to be ashamed of.
    It’s really reassuring to know that someone who’s totally rocking it at life in general still has moments of anxiety too… so thanks for this :-) hope you’re feeling better!

    Polly x

    http://www.pbandthejourney.com

  • I don’t often comment here, though I read nearly every one of your posts, but this post gave me all the feels and I can totally relate. I’m not where you are (yet) having just graduated and started the job hunt, but life is good. i can’t help the worrying though. I’m glad it’s not just me who worries about people dying. I worry because I know I couldn’t cope. This post has also given me the motivation to get up this morning and get on with things and just enjoy whatever comes my way in life while I can! Thank you xxx

  • Lareese

    Such a lovely post Hannah! X

  • Holly

    Thankyou for sharing this hannah, I’m a regular reader but very rarely comment! I’m just a regular 27 year old, have a cheeky little one year old girly and work 3 days a week, I’ve got it pretty good really and love life… Then the big A comes along and literally throws dark shadows over it all. I feel completely lonely and tiny in this massive area that surrounds me, yet totally suffocated by everything around me. Its unexplainable, unreasonable and completely ridiculous, but it’s very very real. The most frustrating thing is being asked, what triggered it? I have no idea what or if anything does!

    Knowing that the clouds will part and I will better again very soon, and also that I’m not the only person that feels like this helps, so thankyou x

  • Great post.

    I have suffered with anxiety since a child and I’m 23 now and it’s still going on, crazy. I’ve always found breathing techniques the best way to chill the f out (in for 5, hold for 6, out for 5, repeat) – and I love listening to chilled out tunes, Bon Iver being a personal fave!

    Hope you feel better soon.

    From Liam @ http://www.theveganwanderluster.blogspot.co.uk x

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