Today for the first time in five years I met with a psychology practitioner to seek help with my anxiety. I have seen these types of people a few times before I had my children but since then I have used the classic excuses of I don't have time, I don't have childcare to go or I can cope with it on my own.
So much has happened in the past year that a few weeks ago I finally realised that I don't have to always deal with the way I feel on my own. That I need to look after myself for my family and most importantly for me. Going along today was a huge step for me and I can honestly say I already feel better for it.
We sat and talked for 45 minutes about everything that had been going on and the way I have been feeling. Talking to a stranger is always nerve racking especially when its something so personal but at the same time I found myself being able to be more open. It was like I had opened the flood gates and it was such a relief.
If you have read my other blog posts on my mental health you will know that I have had anxiety since I was 11 years old, I'm a pro if I can go as far as saying that. Going along to my appointment today I knew what I wanted to achieve and I'm happy to say that even though it's early days I can already feel that I can get this back under control.
I am going back for a second assessment in a month and then I will most likely be going back for CBT to re-train my brain to help with the basic anxiety and over worrying. Every GP that I have seen has always said it's 'just anxiety' and they have wanted to put me straight onto medication. Yes I have tried this and no I do not like it. As well as my social anxiety it was confirmed today that I have generalised anxiety disorder and probably have done for over 15 years. This is a long term condition that means I feel anxious about a wide range of situations/issues rather that a few specific things. Which is exactly how I feel, as soon as the practitioner explained this to me it all just made sense.
Today was the first step in getting back in control of my anxiety and admitting that I need help. Sadly while I was waiting to be seen there was a couple sat next to me and then a man on the other side of them. He was clearly having a panic attack and I wanted to help him but he had already pushed a few other members of the public out the way. He was called into be seen and the couple sat next to me started to pick him apart. 'The state of him, what on earth is wrong with him, he needs to get a grip'. It makes me so angry that people with mental health issues are still so cruelly judged. If you go to see your GP about a stomach ache or an ear infection do you get judged? No you don't so why should mental health be any different?
Even though my children are too young to understand about mental health right now, one day I will tell them how important it is to share how they are feeling. It is not something to be ashamed of. It is so important to open up when we need help and after going to my appointment today I do wish I had gone sooner. I hope today is the start of me taking back control and learning new ways of helping myself. It is ok not to be ok, my life is not and will never be perfect and if there is help out there then why should I not accept it?
The first stage of getting help is admitting that you need it and today that's exactly what I did. I have a long road ahead but I know I can do this.