On Sunday myself, my boyfriend, and border collie Toby will be joining the Anxiety UK team and running (well walking in my case) 5k in the Santa run across Media City in Salford, and even dyspraxia and running do not go together for me, I'm feeling excited. It's on home soil for me back home up North which means my mum can come and support me and I hopefully will have a better sense of where I am (well I hope I do.) It's doing something which I love which is raising awareness of important issues and causes, and spending time with people and animals I care about who've been a huge influence in facing my own struggles. This blog is one of my longer ones but please take a few minutes to read it you never know who it might help.
Also most importantly to me it raises awareness of a cause so very close to my heart and will hopefully help others understand Anxiety and how much it affects people differently. Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses but at the same time it's one of the misunderstood. The word anxiety is thrown around a lot and not taken seriously, whilst having anxiety in certain situations is a completely normal and natural feeling, an anxiety disorder, constant fear and worry mixed with horrible psychical symptoms is far from a natural feeling and more than just feeling a little bit worried.
I read this online today 17 lies your anxiety tells you and found it very relatable and realistic to some of the delightful lies anxiety can tell us, worrying sick that something really bad has happened to your loved ones is never nice for you or for them neither is constant paranoia that you've done something stupid to embarrass yourself or upset someone close to you;. http://metro.co.uk/2015/11/22/18-lies-your-anxiety-is-telling-you-5436226/
It's important to remember that although no two people with anxiety are the same, there may be similar symptoms. Anxiety Uk have a very informative page about the physical, behavioral and psychological symptoms of anxiety which can be found: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/get-help-now/anxietyinformation/
But as I mention in a lot of my blogs everyone is unique and an individual and it's important to see the bigger picture, anyone can struggle with anxiety no matter what background you are from, or what else you have going on in your life it's not a choice and most definitely something you wouldn't want. It's so important not to compare people, yes you may have a friend, relative or loved one who has xyz symptoms or has struggled in abc way but everyone is different and what is important is getting the right help.
Some people may have additional factors, and other mental health issues alongside anxiety such as depression which often goes alongside anxiety, I often find when my anxiety is bad my mood can be very low at the same time. Also there are other conditions which can contribute to anxiety or other mental health conditions such as: medical conditions, visible and invisible disabilities and difficulties, it doesn't mean someones anxiety is any less or more than someone without those contributing factors.
For me, hearing that 96% of people with dyspraxia have anxiety issues as well as their dyspraxia (I know some peoples mental health issues have nothing to do with their dyspraxia.) Has meant it's something I really want to raise awareness of as on a daily basis I see parents, young people and adults with dyspraxia asking advice for anxiety related issues often not knowing who to turn to. I find the more anxious I get the more my dyspraxia is affected and you get anxiety induced all I can describe as chaos, complete and utter overwhelming chaos. That's one of the reasons why this event is important to me so others know what help is out there.
Just as everyone will have symptoms unique to them, treatment and help choice is unique to the individual too, some people find counselling or cbt helps, some find medications help, some a combination of both or something totally different. What might be effective for one person might not be for another, that's why I've never gone into any depth in any of my blogs about what help I have had as it might not be as effective for someone else.
Some people may choose to be quite open about their struggles, some more private, it's all down to the individual. But what I would add is that never judge someone on what they choose or choose not to post on social media, sometimes everything can seem fine on social media but in reality it can be far from the case. Myself and my boyfriend both have our struggles but show them in different ways. In the past I've had people question my anxiety as they've seen me and my boyfriend go out for cocktails, out for meals or go to pop concerts without seeing what may have gone on before, during or after the event.
I've been struggling a bit with my anxiety recently and thought I would set myself a challenge by taking part in this 5k but also as a way of helping others. For me even though my anxiety has been a big struggle throughout my life (I can remember first worrying at nursery.) My emotional sensitivity and feeling emotion so deeply has made me have a lot of empathy and understanding for others who may be struggling in life. I know myself how vital having understanding people around you who can give you that encouragement to keep fighting. I also know how much the value of laughter and positivity can be and the initial thought of my boyfriend putting a Santa suit on made me chuckle and I'm sure it will be a laugh with Anxiety UK team.
Anxiety UK have created a team justgiving page, although me and my boyfriend aren't expecting any donations as it's so close to Christmas and know how hard money is this time of year. If you want to sponsor the link is: https://www.justgiving.com/anxietyuksantarun and if you wish to know more about the services they offer they can be found: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/ but most importantly thank you for taking the time to read this blog and helping to raise awareness. Please don't do what I did for years and struggle in silence, you are never alone.