• lianebayliss1

Living With Anxiety

Anxiety. It's like an unwelcome visitor who pitches up in your home with no invitation or warning. They unpack their suitcase in your spare room. Pop their toothbrush into the bathroom and demand seconds at the dinner table. All the while you're screaming at them to leave. You don't want them there. Anxiety doesn't care though. He laughs and carries on. He doesn't discriminate. He may fool you every once in a while into thinking that he's leaving. You watch him pack his case and think "finally!" Just for him to say "Ha! Fooled you!" as he flings his clothes across the bed.

You leave the house to escape but he comes with you for the journey. You go to bed early, in the hopes that he won't bother you whilst you're sleeping. No, he's lying in bed with you. Randomly waking you up just to remind you that he's still there. You wake up in the morning after a restless night and he's still there. He follows you downstairs whilst you make breakfast. He's staring at you whilst you eat so you abandon your food. You watch your children playing. They're just being kids. Loud and messy. You snap at them and then immediately feel guilty. It's actually anxiety that you're angry with but he's not listening so you take it out on someone that can actually hear you.

You do the school run. No one can see anxiety stood next to you. So you smile and chat pretending he's not there but you can feel him right next to you. Breathing down your neck. You try to have a conversation but you just want to scream. You want to ask for help. You want to know if they also have an unwelcome guest stood next to them.

You head to the shops. You go and pay some bills. You come home and vacuum. Pop the dinner into the slow cooker. You try to forget that he's still following you around the house. You have the radio on just to drown out his voice telling you constantly that you're not good enough. That you're a failure. That you might as well not even try. It's on a constant loop.

You're exhausted. Anxiety is right there. You can feel him crushing your chest trying to get your attention. As you pick the kids up from school. As you listen to stories about their day and go through homework and run baths. As you put little PJ's on toddlers and read bedtime stories. As you tuck them into bed. They're worried about their spelling test the next day and you hope with all your being that a spelling test is the worst thing that they have to worry about for a very long time.

You just think about getting to the end of the day. You want to climb into bed and pull the duvet over your head. Like a child who during a game of hide and seek believes that if they cover their eyes and can't see you then you can't see them. Maybe it would work with anxiety you wonder.

Maybe tonight anxiety will be kind and let you rest. Even if just for one night.

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