What started off as a small Instagram post has turned into quite a lengthy journal style blog (I hope it’s useful for anyone going through the same thing)…
Friendship… How can something be so wonderful, soul filling and yet so terrifying and heartbreaking?
For me my anxiety has always come out in social situations… convinced me my best friends hated me and if anyone got too close I would step away before they could hurt me… There’s been this invisible barrier I put up and it took me a while to figure out why it was even there in the first place.
Years of broken friendships, bullying had left me hurt and I could no longer open myself up and trust others or call them my friends. On the days where my anxiety was really bad I left public places, parties or gatherings within 5 minutes or never even left the house in the first place. I found it safer to stay at home as I knew I couldn’t be hurt but this also stopped me from experiencing so much of life.
So what’s changed? I’ve learnt a few key points which have helped me along the way:
1) I sought help and learnt that a lot of the anxiety comes because I haven’t healed from the past… I forgave all my previous friendships and cherished everything it brought into my life.
2) I spoke about my anxiety… to my husband, to the friend who I was panicking over. Faced my fears and voiced it (it was the only way to know it was in my head). This one has helped me the most!!
3) Let my guard down… man this one took a while! Learning to be vulnerable and open all over again was even more difficult.
4) Trust. Just trust.
5) Give love and love will come back.
6) Gratitude journal even on the hardest days. It will make you appreciate every thing that’s rooting for you.
7) Take small steps… a friends gathering with 4 people, then maybe a work party… Remember you can do it and if it ever gets too much for you have a polite exit strategy (be kind to yourself too- take small steps at a time).
8) Practise meditation. Practise sitting quietly and giving yourself space, watch the thoughts go past and know that they are just thoughts and not facts! Anchor yourself into the present moment in any way you can… use the breath, dance, do yoga, play an instrument- whatever brings you back into your body.
9) Talk some more. I can’t emphasis this enough… we can only break the stigma’s when we talk about them- It’s amazing how many other people may be going through the same thing as well.
10) Most importantly… love, trust and be honest with yourself- it’s difficult to let anyone else in otherwise.
So there it is… a small drop into what I’ve been doing to help with my anxiety… it’s amazing how much love and support you will receive when you open yourself up to it.
Thank you for reading and I always appreciate all your love and support… this community is everything.
Love Avni x