Anxiety and Me

I haven't written a blog post in ages, and I feel terrible about it as I love my little blog. Work has been totally manic with lots of Christmas corporate events to organise and I've also been really busy with my homeware business. I wanted to settle down and write a post all about why I've been absent for a little while.

Illustration by Nan Lawson


This post is going get personal. I'm actually pretty nervous about putting it out there but... here we go.

I have suffered from Anxiety in one form or another since I was very small. My mum and I would describe them as "funny feelings" as I was too young to understand how and what I really felt. This year I decided to take steps to help tackle my stress and anxiety.

I am a creature of habit, I like my little flat to be neat, tidy and cosy and I also like to feel very secure. Life is not always secure though, which can be an amazing thing but sometimes... not so much. This month has been a bad month for me. I've been working flat out for weeks. I have a job as the manager of a creative events company and I have to work very late most nights, I love it but boy is it tiring. on my days off I work on freelance work ( freelance pattern design, photographic styling, writing articles for craft magazines, and working on my homeware business). So understandably sometimes I just crash. Except this month I haven't been able to take a day or two to just relax and do nothing, weeks on end with no break from work really effects my ability to cope with my anxiety. In fact I'm sure everyone would feel rubbish.

I wont make this into too much of a sob story and explain exactly how I've felt this past few weeks as its very hard for people who don't suffer from any form of mental health problems to truly understand. Trust me when I say it can be absolutely awful. I always feel like I'm experiencing heart failure every time I have a panic attack. If you'd like to find out more about anxiety the NHS has some articles. In case you're wondering I fall into the Panic Disorder category.

I've had to learn as I grown up how to deal with situations that make me feel unhappy, stressed or ill as those three things could ultimately lead to an anxiety attack. Now, my best friend Erica is the coolest cucumber of the bunch, totally unflappable and seemingly maxo relaxo and happy at all times.  I am a control freak, I relish in creating things that are perfect and I love arriving half an hour before my train leaves. Opposites attract, clearly. But its extremely important to recognise that you can't make everything perfect all the time, you cant work yourself silly and you also have to enjoy the little things. Oh and I have to start following my own advice!

Something that helps me calm down is practising mindfull meditation. It doesn't always erase all feelings of stress but it does help me think more positively.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has done wonders for me too, my boyfriend Simon is amazing at this and he is a wonderful help to me. Read more about CBT here. The point of me writing this is just to let you know that if you suffer from any mental health problems you can help yourself and find others to support you. I would never wish to change my personality (I love being a control freak) but I do try to take steps to change my outlook. Calm problem solving is the key for me and I'm sure one day I will be able to totally control my anxiety problems.

Thank goodness that my work load has eased up a little bit. I am now feeling so much better and in more control, and now I can just concentrate on getting things ready to spend Christmas with everyone I love. I hope that if you suffer from anything like what I have talked about here that you are taking steps to find help and support.

Sorry if this post was a rambling piece of poop but I wanted to get it out there. Expect many more enjoyable posts from me soon.

12 comments

  1. Very courageous article Nancy, and not at all rambling or poop! Have a fabulous Christmas x

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    1. Thank you Becky. I really appreciate that :) I hope you have a lovely Christmas too.

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  2. I have friends in the same situation and do all I can to help them. Thank you for writing about your situation. Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year! Look forward to more of your amazing workshops!

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    1. Hi, thank you so much. I hope your friends are all doing ok now. Merry Christmas to you too, oh and I've got some great workshops planned in the New Year :)

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  3. Thank you for writing such an honest post Nancy, I hope that things and work continue to calm down for you over the next few weeks everyone deserves a break. Sometimes if I feel things getting too much for me I do the 3 phase breathing - which I find brilliant…it is not easy trying to do so many things at once and have control over everything . Wishing you a very happy and restful Christmas Nancy - Gwen

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    1. Thanks for the advice Gwen, my friend Erica that I mentioned does a lot of breathing exercises so I'll be sure to give it a go! Merry Christmas :)

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  4. Good for you for sharing this Nancy. I can definately relate to this as a freelancer, and not having the time to switch off, as there is always stuff to be done. I've been really struggling with anxiety, especially when im under a lot of pressure to please a client. it affects my whole life. I've been trying meditation and cbt, which have started to help, so it's encouraging to hear they are working for you. I hope you can get some rest time over Christmas. It was really brave of you to share this. well done

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    1. Hi, I'm really sorry to hear that you've been struggling. I hope you're doing ok at the moment? Make sure you surround yourself with people you love. My friends are so important to me, they can really take my mind off everything :)

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  5. Hey there Nancy,
    I just read your post and wanted to just send you a little message to say well done for being brave.
    I have since being very little suffered with anxiety ever so badly and it's taken many years of counselling, eating right, exercising- you name it Ive tried it - to finally get a better handle on the anxiety I've struggled with for so long.
    I basically just wanted you to know that hearing from other people openly and honestly speaking of their anxiety - especially someone as talented and aspirational as you - helps so, so much. So thank you for taking that leap of faith and putting your worries out there, I think this shows 2015 will be your strongest yet! xxx

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    1. Hi!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a heartfelt message. Things are a lot better for me now, thankfully!

      I hope you're doing better too and keep up the good work. All the best.

      N xxx

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing this... and describing what you have to struggle with at times. I've had, and still do, have mental illness issues and it's so reassuring to see someone so talented as you talk about coping with these things, which can be perceived by society/the media as a weakness. Thank you! (most inspiring blog page I've read in ages!) xxx

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    1. Hi Anneliese,

      Thanks so much for such a lovely comment. It means so much to hear from other people that share similar feelings and thoughts. I hope you're well!

      N xxx

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