The Unmarked Road

Life On The Other Side Of Mental Illness

Anxiety Never Leaves Me Alone For Long

As I lay happy and relaxed in new husband’s arms, he smiled that infectious grin at me and said ‘Welcome back beautiful. Imagine how happy we will be now that you have nothing to worry about’. I grinned back sheepishly as I thought about how the wedding and moving house had plagued me, and in turn him, for so many months and how now it seemed finally to be over now, how it only made room in my head for other thoughts. How anxiety never leaves me alone for long.

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There are many people able to take things in their stride. They are able to distance themselves from a situation and look at it objectively, are able to ride out the wave with little affect on their daily life. I envy those people! Personally, when one part of my life has sorted itself out, other thoughts and worries start to reappear and fill the void. If there are no old ones, my mind creates new ones. It’s as though all my brain power has been preoccupied by one presiding issue leaving no room for them but now resolved or over, something needs to fill in the empty space. Like a boat constantly leaking water through a hole and only an egg cup to scoop out what you can before it goes under.

Often we are consumed with goals and how are we are going to arrive at them. Be it a career path, relationship or a family, we somehow think if we can just ‘get’ there, attain that perfect job, marry the perfect man/woman or live in that dream house with the 2.4 children, that somehow all our worries will be over. Because surely then we will have achieved everything we have spent years striving for no? But what happens when we accomplish those goals? Life doesn’t just simply cease to throw complications in our way and it certainly doesn’t suddenly become carefree and easy. In my experience, when one drama is over, another is often just around the corner.

The saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ has little meaning until what you wish for comes true. It isn’t that we no longer want it, or that our expectations were too high. Often our expectations are different, that is true yes, but really at the crux of our disappointment is that we expect to feel different. And usually, we don’t. It is this that gets us planning again, striving for something else. So, you get the perfect job, you look at how you can get promoted. You get the dream house, now you want a bigger one. You marry the perfect man/woman, now you need to make the daily grind of every day marriage work. You have children, you continuously worry about their health, happiness and futures.

I have spent months worrying and being anxious about the wedding, as you all know. Meticulously planning every  detail and ruminating over what could wrong; it consumed my every thought.  The fear of everything being anything but perfect, of falling outs on the big day, of being a disappointment, was all I could think about. The relief of it being a success was incredible and for the first time in a long time I felt like my old self again (hence the ‘welcome back’ from my Mr Jackson.) But as my boat emptied its heavy load of sinking water, new and old anxieties began seeping their way into my mind again. ‘What happens once we finish our travels and my site is a failure? What if we can’t have children? What if we can’t afford a house?’

Of course I am capable of living a happy and stress-free life (at least one evening per week!) and I truly relish those moments. The peace. But at the back of my mind is the constant fear of something unexplainable that will rear its ugly head, make my tummy turn and try to cloud me in that anxious fog once more.

But I will never give in or stop trying to fight it. While there are days I am successful, there are those when the fear overwhelms me. I am lucky enough now to have someone fighting my demons with me, by my side. And that is why I now call him my husband.

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4 Comments

  1. Congrats Dani! Your dress is beautiful and you and your husband look so happy!
    I needed to read this today because I finally got my dream job but still can’t completely shake my anxiety and feel like there’s something wrong with me. I have what I want so I should be completely happy but still find doubts creeping in.
    As always, thanks for sharing your words! Wishing you all the best! 🙂

    • Dani

      August 15, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Thank you Daisy! It’s funny as this post originally was a draft for a new job situation I was in where I had relief for about an afternoon before the doubt over if I could do the job started seeping in. Congrats on the new job! You will be great! 🙂 xx

  2. This reminds me a lot of Eckhart Tolle as he’s always saying that we can never obtain that perfect place we are constantly striving towards because it’s the looking that’s the problem. The mind itself is the problem. The Anxious mind will always ruminate about the past or worry about the future, the content is irrelevant and the solution he recommends is in the present moment. It is the only moment there ever is or ever will be. Our worries about the past or the future are just thoughts happening now and aren’t real. While we worry like this we miss the only thing that is real which is now. Just dwelling in the now and stepping away from our mind and just viewing it as an observer allows you to see what its doing. If you haven’t read or watched any of his youtube stuff i would definitely recommend it. There is also a lot of science that has studied the parts of the brain that are involved with mental disorders like anxiety and the parts of the brain that are involved in ruminating and worrying are unsurprisingly overactive in us that have it. There has also been a lot of research into mindfulness because it has been shown to reduce these overactive parts of the brain and promote healthy growth in the regions that are the opposite to anxiety including concentration, feelings of well being as well as compassion and empathy. I am the same as you and will worry about anything but have found that these things have helped me a lot to understand and let go of a lot of my worries, I hope you have a wonderful and safe, anxiety free trip! x

    • Dani

      August 22, 2015 at 11:12 am

      I’ve heard a lot about Eckhart Tolle and think your comment is spot on! I try to be very aware of how my mind shapes my experiences and reality. It’s all about the journey as much as the destination isn’t it! Thank you for posting 🙂 and thank you for the well wishes for my travels too! Xx

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