When Willpower is trumped by Anxiety
If like me you suffer from anxiety, do you find that your willpower often takes a hammering. However, if you think about it anxiety sufferers probably have a stronger willpower than most as we often lie to the outside world, put on a brave face, step out of bed and the house and face the world. Sometimes, it’s impossible to take that first step and our willpower gets trumped by the anxiety we feel at the time. This used to frustrate me. However, after 10 years of chronic anxiety the fight was getting harder.
I would make plans but by the time I get to them I would be too tired and anxious to get out of bed, let alone out of the house. I have friends and acquaintances that have stopped asking me to do things as in the past I have said yes and then end up letting them down. They are not aware of the daily battles I have faced to keep going. When I say yes, but really mean no, that I was too afraid to let anyone down or be perceived in a bad light. Mental Health was not acceptable and understood when I was first diagnosed with it. It was a matter of being weak and not being strong enough to pick myself up, put on a brave face, a stiff upper lip and just crack on with it.
In addition, your confidence is crushed as you spend so much time fretting about everything and everyone that you are constantly belittling yourself. Unfortunately, that means you allow other people to do the same to you and become a victim by natural osmosis. People start to tell you how bad you are and unfortunately you believe them as you already have such a low opinion of yourself.
Lastly, you spiral out of control, very quickly and close down very quickly, shutting out everyone close to you. Anxiety can be a very lonely place as only a few people find someone who is able to understand what is going on. You become reclusive pretty quickly, citing the constant tiredness as the reason. I just need a break; I need time to recover. I don’t understand why I’m so tired, despite being up half the night fretting.
Anxiety can take hold quicker than you can read the warning signs and then sometimes even longer to realise that is where you are. The journey back to sunshine from the darkness always seems to take longer than the fall into the darkness. What has helped me to naturally combat this is to learn to love myself again, to look after me and to give a wide range of people far less time than they were currently taking up. You can’t please everyone all of the time and it’s your happiness that is the key. Look in the mirror each day and say ‘Hello Gorgeous, how are you today?’