Public Anxiety

Anxiety behind closed doors and in front of others are on two different ends of the scale. Behind closed doors you can hide what you're feeling from others without the worry of how other people are going to react. But in public it's very raw and everyone can see and there is nowhere to hide.

The other day I was out for a friend's birthday and overwhelming anxiety came over me all of a sudden. I have no idea why, but with 16 people being there, there wasn't really a way of being too discreet, so people wouldn't ask. My usual route is to step outside and away from the situation that triggered it, and that's what I did.

Although it did make me feel better to be away from the situation, some of my friends did see the extent of my anxiety, and I'll be honest, I hate it when people see me like that. Although I know I have nothing to be ashamed of, I can't help but wonder about what people are thinking, and whether they'll see me in a different light. I feel like I kick myself for the way I feel and I know I shouldn't. I think it's because I have always been seen as the strong one, and the one that can be relied on and yet, people have seen me in a different light. But, turning it on its head, dealing with anxiety and depression is a strength in itself and if there are people who see you like a weakness, it's not worth using your time to be with them, because you're better than that. Eventually I said to myself that tomorrow is another day, and it's time to move on rather than getting myself in a rut.

Anxiety and other mental illnesses are unpredictable, so they may occur both in public and private. But let me remind you to surround yourself with supportive people and to not be ashamed. It's normal have feelings of guilt and anger, but at the end of the day this is a part of you that you are working on and it isn't something that you can just brush under the carpet. It is something that may happen and that's okay. Don't feel guilty for you.

Best wishes,
Amy Xx