Suffering in Silence
Why I Suffered Alone and In Silence
My anxiety prevents me from talking about my illness. Being afraid to talk about or ask for help makes me feel so alone and isolated. I can’t express my emotions or feelings and it constantly feels like I am just suffering in silence. Everything that happens is all internal and no one has any idea what is happening to my because I look and act normal around other people.
Why I Can’t Talk About My Anxiety
My anxiety prevents from talking. Especially when it has to do with expressing something personal or my feelings. When I think about saying something about my anxiety to someone, I start to panic, my body freezes, and my mind shuts down. It feels like my mind has been plucked from my body and I no longer have any control. I am still thinking on my own and wish I could do move or say something. But my body now has a mind of its own. I feel like I am watching from the sidelines while my anxiety takes over. I can see everything that is happening, sometimes I don’t realize what I am feeling but I know I can’t control anything.
When I think about the fact that I have anxiety it only just gives me more stress and pressure that is overwhelming. I don’t even want to think about talking to someone about it. The thought of that just makes me panic.
If I can’t even talk to my own friends and family about my problem how could I talk to a therapist or counsellor? The thought of even trying to get professional help and talking to a complete stranger about all of my issues was beyond my capabilities at the time. I couldn’t fathom the idea of sharing all my personal thoughts and feelings with someone, especially someone I didn’t know.
Not only was I unable to talk about my anxiety but my anxiety prevented me from expressing myself in other ways as well. Anxiety made me look and act emotionless. I couldn’t show if I was struggling even if I wanted to. Everything I was feeling was mostly internal, especially around other people. People would see me as if everything was normal. They would have no idea what was happening inside me.
Part of not being able to talk about it or express myself was because of the stigma. The stigma created a feeling of being ashamed or embarrassed of what was happening to me. I didn’t want others to see what I was going through. I didn’t think people would understand. I was afraid people would judge me if they knew what I was feeling.
The stigma definitely contributed to the fact that I didn’t want to share, it only just made my anxiety worse when trying to talk about it.
Suffering in Silence
For many years I suffered like this in silence as I was unable to reach out to anyone, even my family or friends. I didn’t know how to ask for help. I didn’t even want help as I always wanted to solve everything by myself. I was afraid people would judge me. I was afraid people wouldn’t understand what I was going through. I didn’t know how to talk about my anxiety. I didn’t even know I even needed help myself.
Mostly I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I never realized how much my anxiety impacted my life. How much it impacted those around me. My anxiety wasn’t just hurting my mental health, it was also hurting my social health. If you are familiar with the health triangle, it consists of physical, mental, and social states and if one of them is affected, the others can be affected as well.
I neglected all my friends and family. I buried myself in work as that was the only way I knew how to cope with the stress and anxiety. I worked excessive hours thinking I was accomplishing so much for my future. I didn’t realize at the time that burying myself with work only made my anxiety worse. I only just made myself more alone and isolated and when I experienced anxiety I was all alone. I was suffering alone and in silence because I couldn’t talk to anyone or express myself.
Asking for Help
A couple months ago I was finally able to seek the professional help I needed and now I am able to talk more about my problem and share my story. After getting help I realized that talking to a complete stranger about my problems isn’t that difficult. They didn’t judge me for how I was. They understand why I acted the way I did. I learned that the feelings and experiences I was having was more common than I had realized.
After a month I started talking to those around me. I told my family about my anxiety. I told my close friends about it. They always wondered why I haven’t been around the past few years. When I started talking about, I started to hear other people’s stories. From friends or people my friends knew that was also struggling with some sort of mental illness.
This is why I created this blog. I want to share my story and bring awareness to mental health. I want to reach out to all those people who are also suffering in silence and let them know that there is hope and to keep fighting.
The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This is an opportunity for me to share about how I have been suffering with anxiety in silence for many years and bring awareness that mental health is happening all around us even if we don’t see it.