letting go – a chat about anxiety

Hi loves,

This is a long chat I wanted to have with myself, and you reading this, about anxiety. More so, my own, and how I’m dealing with it. It’s important to open up, it’s important to be honest. I thought I’d tell you what’s on my mind. I hope you’re all well. Love you .xx

I think letting go might be an age thing and to be honest, a lot of the changes / realisations I have in my life these days are (an age thing) – there comes a point in life where you’re suddenly able to just…let things go.

I really do believe it’s an age thing, or for me it is anyway, so unfortunately I can’t really offer any advice, but through getting older and experiencing life longer, you learn so many invaluable things. I change without even noticing and it’s such a strange phenomenon – it’s nothing I’ve experienced before since I’ve never been older than I am right now in this here moment, therefore I haven’t got anything to compare it to. It means that as time continues to pass, I continue to be surprised at the ways in which I’ve changed and continue to change without realising.

Things that would crush me before…don’t. I’m so brave these days, I still have crippling anxiety (that unfortunately I believe will still only probably get worse throughout life) however, I’m brave enough now to push past it. Some of the things I’d shy away from before (and which I still would given the chance), I don’t now – I literally do anything I want to. I still feel as anxious as I’ve always felt, if not worse, but I’m confident enough to push past it and say Chloe, calm down, it’s all in your head.

I’ve achieved so many things – small, tiny things that other people would look at and think “…you were going to have a panic attack over that?” and yes, I was, but I didn’t. I went ahead and did it anyway and I was so proud of myself for it. I guess I always kind of thought that one day I’d just wake up and the anxiety wouldn’t be there anymore – I’ve realised lately that I thought a lot of things would just magically disappear over time because I always pushed them away somewhere into the distant future, but that’s not how it works – I have to consciously make the change myself.

Anxiety will always be a part of my life and while that’s not a positive, it’s something I’ve still learned to accept. I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember, before I even knew what it was – when I used to think it was normal to feel like your heart was literally going to stop and your body was going to shut down at the slightest inconvenience – I just assumed everyone felt that way – why would I think otherwise?

I don’t believe even therapy would cure it fully, it’s an integrated part of me that will always be there. I’ve been raised as a worrier and someone who cares too much about what everyone else is thinking, and that will never change. However, I think I was always looking at things the wrong way – instead of learning how to deal with it, I was learning how to try and get rid of it. No one wants a mental illness and no one should have to live and deal with one either, but I’ve always been taught that the end goal is to wipe it out completely rather than try and deal with it slowly and steadily. Because of this I was always looking at ways to try and get rid of my anxiety completely to a point where nothing would make me anxious in my life again ever, but that’s unrealistic and unobtainable. Being nervous about things is normal human behaviour, anxiety as a mental illness isn’t a normal way to feel, but nervousness in general is – it’s a part of being human. We get nervous about things because we care or because we’re scared, and those too are part of being human. If we didn’t have those feelings, what would we be?

So, I’m learning to cope with it and push through it. Like I said, my actual anxiety hasn’t subsided in the slightest (if anything it just continues to get worse), but my confidence to actually go ahead and do things anyway is overriding it and therefore I’m still achieving things that I wasn’t before anyway, and I’d like that to continue. The first step is to just bite the bullet and have the confidence to do the thing in the first place, after that when you realise it’s not as bad as you thought it was going to be and despite what your brain was telling you, you didn’t actually die and the sky didn’t cave in, you’ll have the confidence to do it again. Doing things multiple times reduces your anxiety around them as you know what to expect and you get used to it and therefore, your confidence increases. I think it’s just about slowly learning to do that, and it really is in the grand scheme of things, as simple as it sounds.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve now been able to separate my brain into two separate people and therefore points of view, if that makes any sense. It’s like there’s the me that’s stuck inside my head, claustrophobic, frightened and suffocated, clouded and bombarded with these horrible thoughts from my brain that won’t subside and are so very loud, screaming at me and telling me to stop, and then there’s the other side of me that’s outside of my brain, looking at everything from a bird’s eye view and telling myself to calm the hell down because it’s all in my head, and nothing is as bad as I think it is. I have to constantly remind myself to be present and focus on the current moment, rather than getting lost and swept away inside my own head which is something that unfortunately happens way too often.

If I could describe my anxiety to someone in very simple terms, it would be this – there’s a voice inside my head constantly yelling at me and projecting horrible thoughts, and it does not stop. This voice does not shut up or quieten down, it only gets louder, and the more things I’m exposed to, the more heightened my anxiety gets and therefore, so does the voice. It’s constantly telling me “shut up, no one cares, they think you’re ugly, god you’re so ugly, you’re disgusting, shut up, they don’t care about what you have to say, that wasn’t funny, they think you’re weird, did I tell you you’re ugly? your voice sounded horrible just then, don’t make eye contact, this person hates you, that person probably doesn’t like you either, you need to lose weight, what if it all goes wrong? What if you don’t know where you’re going? What if you make a fool of yourself? Don’t do it. Don’t. shut up. you’re so stupid, just shut up” – this voice is the loudest thing I can hear, on constant loop, 24 hours a day, every day. It does not stop. Do you know how exhausting that is? Even as I’m writing this, the voice is still there. Even as I’d be explaining this to someone else, the voice would still be there, it never goes away.

But I think for me, instead of my instant and initial goal being getting rid of the voice completely, my goal has to be to override it and to turn it down. For example, I was getting out of my car the other day and I felt like I was going to combust because my head was just screaming and I couldn’t hear anything other than the voices trapped inside my own head and in the end I just stopped. I shut the car door, stood there and said to myself “Chloe, shut the fuck up. Just shut up. Calm down. Stop it. No one is looking at you, no one cares. Calm down. Think about something else.”

Not the kindest words of wisdom I could’ve given myself but as I said at the beginning of this post, I’m not in a position to be offering advice, this is just what works for me, and it did. I carried on walking and everything went quiet again, I embraced the moment and took note of the world around me, grounding myself and removing myself from my intrusive thoughts.

I have to constantly remind myself that no one cares. Like Chlo, you think that all of these people are focused on you? Judging you? Thinking about you? I think even your anxiety knows they all have better things to concentrate on and worry about. Of course, my anxiety isn’t an arrogance thing, but in those situations I have to treat it like it is because then I suddenly come back to myself and realise wow, you’re right, who actually cares about what I’m doing? Who’s bothered? Nobody. So stop thinking that they are.

I have to have conversations with myself, tell my brain to shut up and to think about something else – focus on another thought. When you’re learning to drive you get told you have to re-check your mirrors every time you turn into a new road in order to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings, and I kind of think of it like that. Snap out of it, focus on your new surroundings and change your thoughts. Think about something else.

I’m at the point where I know everything is gonna make me feel like I want to die anyway, so I might as well just go ahead and do what I want. Even if I’m sitting down comfortably and someone asks me to stand up, instantly my brain is like “lol here we go” and the loop of intrusive thoughts gets louder and louder until I can’t breathe, because standing up would mean suddenly I’m exposed and I’ve been forced to leave the comfortable setting I’d just made for myself in my seat. If the stupidest, simplest thing such as being made to stand up from my chair makes me feel like my body is about to shutdown and I’m therefore going to die, I might as well go ahead and do something wonderfully crazy like travel halfway across the world since my anxiety would still have the same effect anyway. Might as well just throw myself straight into it because my heart feels like it’s going to stop either way, so why not go ahead and do the things I actually want to.

Like I said, it’s very exhausting. Every single second of every single day and therefore every situation I find myself in, I have to make myself comfortable. Everything makes me feel like I can’t breathe and everything makes me uncomfortable, so I’m constantly in the process of trying to undo that and help myself relax. Even the slightest change and I have to start back from square one since my anxiety would have started up all over again. It’s a constant work in progress and on the outside I’m calm and collected however, the inside is a completely different story.

I don’t really tend to watch people talking about anxiety because it seems as though theirs is never as bad as mine which results in me feeling even more alone, but I saw an interview the other week that sparked my interest, however, when I tried to watch it, it just made me feel worse. I think it’s because this person was being so in-depth with their explanations and the way anxiety had affected them it actually made me feel like I was going to have a panic attack myself. It was like their anxiety was triggering my own because it just made it all real and I started thinking well, if that’s happened to them then it’s gonna happen to me, and I basically just ended up working myself up over it. Even as I’m writing this now I feel anxious because once it’s out into the world and no longer something that solely exists in your head, its suddenly very real and you don’t want it to be. I feel like talking about it (and now as I’ve discovered, listening to other people talking about it) only seems to make it worse.

When I say crippling anxiety, I mean it’s crippling. Like, really. If my anxiety levels could be shown on the inside, I’d literally just be a shrivelled up, crumpled mess because my body just can’t cope. Or if you could have a brain scan that showed your levels of anxiety and the trauma and effects that have therefore come from it, my brain would be covered.

But this was not the point of this post. This was actually supposed to be a positive post but I realise that yet again (surprise surprise) I’ve ended up going off on a rambling tangent and have therefore made this all sound really negative. It’s not. I’m okay. My point was that despite all of this going on in my head 24/7, I’m pushing past it. I’m drowning out that voice and going ahead with things anyway because really, what do I have to lose? Like I said, you’re gonna feel like you’re about to die whether you have to stand up in your seat or whether you catch a plane to the other side of the world, so you may as well go ahead and do the thing that’s actually worth feeling anxious over. Your anxiety will be present and in full force either way, so may as well go ahead and do something great.

Anyway, that was a ramble and a half but what’s new. My point was, letting go is something I’ve learned to do over time and with age because it’s allowed me to separate myself from…myself. Instead of closing in on myself and shutting myself away from anything and everything, I’m stepping out of that mindset and having the confidence to say actually, despite feeling the way I do and despite these intrusive thoughts, I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway.

The world really is your oyster and my new life motto is “might as well”. My anxiety is going to make me feel like I’m going to have a heart attack either way so, might as well. Might as well just go ahead and do it and do something great. Your opportunities are endless and your mind is limitless, despite what it may be telling you. You have to realise that you are in control here. Not your brain, not these voices and intrusive thoughts that keep telling you you can’t. You can. You are in control. You. So listen to these thoughts, acknowledge them, ignore them and smile.

And why?

Because…

Might as well.

“everything, everything, everything goes. it rains, it rains, everything passes.”

All my love,

Chloe .xx

24 thoughts on “letting go – a chat about anxiety

  1. seaofwordsx says:

    Wow such a beautiful post! 💖 I read it twice as I loved it so much. I love your honesty and how vulnerable you are to share your thoughts. Anxiety is an monster and unfortunately I have not been doing well with it. Maybe it’s the change of the seasons which make me struggle with my mental health more. I feel stuck in life and afraid to move on because yeah everything makes me feel uncomfortable like you also say. I think I’m dying when doing things which make me scared such as getting my wisdom teeth pulled out and getting a job. Your advice is really good. Talking about anxiety makes me anxious too. It’s the action which help to overcome it. I’m doing sometimes meditation at home and it’s good to just stay present instead of all the time having my thoughts go to the past and future. It only increases my anxiety. Thank you for always being there for me 💗 We are all in this together 💪 Anxiety will not win from us. I hope we can all do the things we love to do xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      ❤❤ thank you angel, your support means the world as always. Being honest and vulnerable is a scary thing to do but I feel it’s so important to talk about these things and share them, so people know they’re not alone. If I can help even just one person and make them feel better by sharing my thoughts / stories then that’s all I need – I’ve done my job. Have you heard of seasonal affective disorder? It sounds similar to what you’re describing. I’ve actually been meaning to look into meditation for a while now, I’ve read so many things about how much it helps other people and I really think it could help me too, so I at least want to give it a try – I’m so glad it’s helping you! We are all in this together and you’re right, anxiety won’t win 💜💜 love you .xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Debs Journey says:

    Wow, thank you thank you thank you for sharing your words, I get told that my words help others through their struggles but it’s not often I have come across someone’s blog that has made me feel comfort, that I’m not alone, that others are struggling just as much as you, and that I can do this, I can fight those negative thoughts and listen to them but try not to believe what they are saying. Looking forward to following your journey ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      No no no, thank YOU❤ I am so, so grateful for your lovely words. You have no idea how much it means to me that my blog can be a source of comfort, since that’s all I want – I want everyone to know this is a safe space, so for you to essentially confirm that makes me so incredibly happy. You are never alone in these things and yes, you can fight these negative thoughts because you are so much stronger than that, you are bigger than your anxieties. My messages are always open if you ever want to talk 💞 thank you so much for your lovely words .xx

      Like

  3. Sophiemagsblog says:

    This was beautiful to read. I totally relate to the whole, having panic attacks over what some people would say is mindless stuff, but to us is actually a big deal. It’s interesting. I have therapy and its useful to know how others deal with it and learn to live with it. Although Anxiety is not the best thing, it does make us who we are today and we need to learn to not be afraid of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Thank you so much 💛 it means a lot. It’s so important to remember we’re never alone in any of this, because mental illness can feel like the loneliest place in the world sometimes .xx

      Like

  4. chloeburford says:

    Theres not enough people in the world that talks about how crippling and ugly anxiety can be, so I am so proud and happy that you always continue to share your mental health story. You are the voice I have always wanted to hear so thank you so much. Sending you so much love xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 3rdofthe3rd says:

    You are an amazing human speaking about this for all to see.
    It is very hard to write down all that you feel and sometimes do not understand.
    You’ve done a great job and I hope you keep moving forward within you and in your work.
    Keep Smiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. priya says:

    You’re so open and honest Chloe and it’s beautiful to read as per usual. Like most of the other people who’ve commented, I definitely to related to this entire post – especially about it being an age thing. I went through a bit of roller coaster, starting out without caring at all when I was younger, to becoming super anxious and hyper-aware during my teenage years, and only now managing to push through it.

    My go-to thought is always, ‘no-one actually cares’. Like if I’m at the gym and I’m not focused on watching other people or judging them, the odds someone else is doing it to me is so low. Plus, considering how much I have going on in my head and in my life, it’s reasonable to assume other people have their own shit going on, and aren’t gonna judge me as soon as I step onto the train or something.

    Totally not as eloquent as you, but you get the gist haha. I think it’s super empowering that you’re able to open up and speak about it in such a raw way, not just for you but for the rest of us who may feel the same but can’t really verbalise it or put it in words. Thanks gal xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      I’ve always had anxiety ever since I can remember and in some ways I wish I would’ve had the same path as you if you like, as weird as that may sound – not caring and then suddenly becoming hyping aware of everything. Since I’d always had it it took me a very long time to realise it in fact wasn’t normal to feel the way I did about things, but since I’d never known anything different I thought that was just the way things were.

      You’re so right about the “no one cares” thing, when I’m freaking out in my head about what people may or may not be thinking / saying about me I always think to myself, how often do I do that? How often to I think about or care what other people around me are up to? And the answer is never, because I’m too concerned about what I myself am doing instead. That always helps to calm me down a little.

      Thank you for your wonderful and lovely words as always, they seriously do mean the entire world to me. So much love for you girly .xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. infinitelyadaydreamer says:

    I actually read this post in my emails yesterday. It was late but I wanted to take a few minutes out. Reading your posts is an experience in itself. The way you formulate thoughts and string words and sentences together. Incredible. Thank you for saying what so many of us feel but might not be able to put into words. I haven’t personally struggled with anxiety but there have been some hard anxious moments. You’re doing so well!

    sending love xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cordelia. says:

    I really relate to the whole “no one has it as bad as me”. Its fucking irritating when people don’t have it that bad but they just jump on the bandwagon either to be self-deprecating or pretent to be “one of us”. And that face they give me when I tell them what its like for me, its like I’m a freak and too odd for society. urghh.
    I’m really happy to read about your attitude towards it though. I think your heart is in the right place and even if it’s something that you’ll have to carry it with you throughout life, I hope you can come out victorious because when you look back you can say, “yep my anxiety made me take this giant leap!” vs people who never actually do anything because they simply never had a strong emotional pull to prove and push themselves!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      I remember growing up in highschool mental illness was like this sick competition and people would constantly try and jump on the bandwagon in an attempt to compete and see who could be the most depressed or the most anxious or the most underweight etc. – it was vile. It took away so much from me because I always felt like my own illness was never as bad as others’, even though now I know they were doing it for attention the whole time. After highschool ended they suddenly managed to be miraculously cured yet here I was still suffering more than ever. Completely agree with you on the freak thing too, it’s like, have a mental illness, but not TOO much of a mental illness otherwise it’s no longer ‘quirky’ and is in fact just plain ‘weird’. The mentality is so gross. For the record you are absolutely not a freak and never will be 💛💛 we got this. Thank you for reading lovely .xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cordelia. says:

        That is honestly so disgusting. I absolutely hate that some people tried to follow the ‘trend’. Jesus it diminishes what other people are going through and further perpetuates a bad stigma. Its terrifying that a whole school just takes part in that.
        Holy shit, you said it PERFECTLY. You can have a little but not too much okay or else you aren’t the un-perfect perfect person anymore. Zzzz.

        Thank you for saying that. 💓

        Liked by 1 person

  9. vaishnavi says:

    i loved this post SO much 😊 i don’t often read about people talking about their anxiety (but i understand; it’s pretty daunting) so kudos to you. i feel the same way; to see how far you’re making progress is pretty cool. except when others tell you that you’re anxiety isn’t valid. it will get better though. positive energy from me to you 💛💛💛

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Gracie says:

    I can really truly relate to everything in this post, especially since I’m a naturally an outgoing, confident person and people don’t expect me to get anxious about things and I know it sounds weird, but I don’t expect myself to sometimes?? Often I’m totally fine about major things and then bam the tiny things hit me and I feel like I’m going to shut down, like you said.
    But we get through it, we fight back, it’s hard and it’s always a struggle against the thoughts and feelings that threaten to overwhelm us, but we can take small steps to defy our anxiety and that feels good.
    Love you lots and so proud of you ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Thank you so much angel girl ❤ That’s the thing about anxiety, it hits us out of nowhere when we’re least expecting it and we’re never prepared. It’s always the worst for me when I wake up and just instantly know it’s a bad day because my anxiety has decided to play up for no reason, but you’re right – we get through it and we fight back. Love you so much more and I am equally as proud of you ❤ xx

      Liked by 1 person

  11. adarianqueen says:

    I think it’s really inspiring to be able to have an open talk about something you’re going through, and I really admire your courage to do that.
    “Might as well”
    I don’t know why but this motto is making me smile real wide, and think about all the things I can do because there really isn’t anything to lose.
    I came up with a similar concept for myself when I felt like there was a lot on my shoulders, and out of fear and anxiety, I wasn’t able to deal with all the individual things either. I just kept telling myself, “hey, what’s the worst that could happen? The worst can happen with or without me putting in an effort, so let me just put in the effort and see where it goes.” and thinking this way really did help! I’m glad your motto helps you the same way :’)
    Power and love to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chloe Luna says:

      Thank you so much! I’ve started using a similar thought process actually, when I can feel myself getting worked up and anxious I always think to myself hey, what’s the worst that could happen? And then I think about it and the likelihood that it’ll actually happen is so slim, by the time I’ve thought it all out the moment has already passed and I’m over it !! Power and love to you too angel .xx

      Liked by 1 person

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