Hello everyone and welcome back to My Blurred World.
I hope you’re all doing really well.
Today’s post is all about anxiety and confidence. It’s been a while since I’ve posted about any of these topics and I thought it would be a good idea to talk about them just before 2016 draws to a close.
I’d say that my anxiety is triggered by confidence issues so I though it was appropriate to tie the two topics together and talk about them in this one post. I hope you enjoy today’s post and without further ado let’s begin.
The last confidence related post I shared with you all was my post about my battle with confidence which you can read here. However I haven’t talked about anxiety on here for quite a long time, I’m not quite sure why this is, anxiety isn’t a subject that I choose to discuss in my day-to-day life so I guess it’s been quite difficult for me to choose to discuss it on my blog too. I never have an open conversation with anyone about my anxiety, not even my family and I know that this is quite bad but I choose to deal with it in my own way. I feel embarrassed when talking about it to someone in person, I don’t know why, I think it’s because I want to figure it out myself and learn what it means, the understanding of it, how if affects me before talking about it with other people. It’s also difficult to talk about anxiety with someone who might not understand what it means and what you’re going through. Today I wanted that to change, I want to share my experiences with you all because as I’m writing I’m just writing my feelings/experiences down on a page, I don’t think of the fact that potentially hundreds of people might read this but out of those people this post might help one of them, someone out there might be able to relate and we can help each other out.
I wouldn’t say that my anxiety is at an extremely high level but in some situations it can be and those situations often involve confidence/being confident. As some of you may know, a few months ago I started working as a Trainee community development assistant for the RNIB, I knew that this job required confidence when I started it and I was ok with that. However since starting my post there have been some instances where my anxiety levels have rocketed sky-high because of the confident person I was required to be. At first they were just nerves but I didn’t control them in the way I should and I let them escalate into anxiety which if I couldn’t control could have then escalated into a panic attack, in some cases that almost happened but I used techniques I’ve picked up over the years to control those anxiety levels so I didn’t have to rush out of the room not being able to breathe.
I won’t focus on the particular situations that made me anxious as they are quite personal and I don’t want this post to be too long, however I might talk about them in the future, just know that they were often related to confidence and occasionally because of my visual impairment.
You might be thinking how a disability such as visual impairment can trigger anxiety but for me it’s one of the main causes. I might do a post dedicated to anxiety and visual impairment so if you’d be interested in that then please do let me know.
Since completing my A level studies and leaving school in June I’ve felt a sense of relief, when I was at school I felt consumed by my surroundings, I felt trapped and I couldn’t be the person I knew I was, I couldn’t be the confident Elin. Since leaving I’ve felt happier, I’ve felt more confident, I now feel like I can express who I really am (better than I was able to do previously anyway). I believe that my confidence levels have raised slightly since starting my job in September, ok so I’m not fully confident but a slight change is better than none, right?
When I feel confident and when I believe in myself I realise that my anxiety levels aren’t as high. I’ll talk you through a particular situation at work, I was asked one day to answer the phone (something I hadn’t done before since starting working there and I should also add that I’d only been working there for a few weeks), on this day I wasn’t feeling too great anyway but when I was told that I needed to do this I freaked out for some reason, I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling, this might not have been the brightest of ideas but I just didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t get my words out when I answered the phone and I felt so embarrassed. That day really knocked my confidence as I thought I couldn’t do what was asked of me but I chose not to have that attitude and a few weeks later I was asked to work in reception once a week. I said yes because I knew it would be a great way to bring out the confident side in me, I was extremely anxious on my first day in reception but after answering the phone a couple of times I soon got into the swing of things and I now quite enjoy answering the phone, I no longer feel that wave of anxiety come over me. It’s a bit of a different matter when people come in wanting information as I don’t feel like I have the skills to inform them of the things we have on offer at the charity I’m based in but I know that there is always someone available to help me so that takes a little bit of the pressure away.
I think it’s important to remind yourself that you can do things, if I wasn’t determined that I was going to conquer these anxiety levels when I’m thrown into unfamiliar and worrying situations for me, I wouldn’t be the person I am now.
I’ve had panic attacks within the last year and haven’t told anyone about them and looking back now, I know that was the wrong decision. Trust me keeping things like this to yourself won’t do you any good. If you suffer with anxiety and panic attacks then find someone who you can confide in, that person might be a family member of a friend or even a friend you’ve found on the internet that might be going through the same thing, no matter who you tell just don’t let all those worries build up in side you because it’s not healthy. You need to look after your mental health as you would look after the rest of your body. As I said, I didn’t tell people about my panic attacks but I did write about them, it made me feel better, it allowed me to relieve all the feelings inside of me and no one had to know. Obviously I’m not saying that writing things down is better than telling a person in your life but if it helps you to face the situation to begin with then go for it. I’ve found that writing things down helps me to deal with the situation and it prepares me for telling other people, in some way it makes me realise what’s going on because sometimes even though I’m the one who’s suffering with anxiety and these panic attacks and confidence issues I don’t fully understand how I’m feeling until I write it all down on a page, it sounds odd but it’s true.
I have realised a difference in my confidence in the past few months, others might not see it but I do and that’s a start, I’ve learnt not to let my anxiety control me and that allows my confidence to peek through. There are some situations that aren’t as easy to control but as I said, I’m finding ways to deal with those particular situations.
I think I’ve come a long way since writing my last anxiety and confidence related posts, I’m still not at the stage I want to be but I have a good support network surrounding me who I know will always be there if I want to talk and they’ll help me face those difficult times, I just need to remember to tell the people around me exactly how I’m feeling and not to be afraid.
Anxiety isn’t who you are, it doesn’t define you and it doesn’t control you, even if it feels that way some days, it’s not the case. You can be the master of your anxiety, never let it be the master of you.
That concludes my post for today, I’m not sure how well I explained things (I think there was a little bit of an update and some advice thrown in there somewhere) but I hope it gave you a little insight into where my anxiety and confidence is currently at.
Thank you all so much for reading. I hope you have a lovely day/evening.