It’s not what it looks like: I have anxiety! 

I want others to know that there are many ways people like me cope in order to function on a daily basis. 

“Can you pull over by here please?” I ask the taxi driver.

“Are you sure?” he replies, “because I can drop you at the door”

“No, by here is fine.” I tell him. I pay him and exit the car as quickly as possible, looking around to make sure nobody has seen me.

This was me on a daily basis last year, getting the taxi driver to drop me at the side of my workplace building, instead of at the front. The journey to work used to be a trigger for me which would create panic attacks. I was basically going to work to pay for the taxi rides as I just couldn’t face waiting for the bus!

It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but it was something I had to do in order to help me be able to work while having a mental health issue, and I used to go without other luxuries to be able to finance it

I am not ashamed of my anxiety; in general, I’m fairly open about my mental health issues, but only to people who either have a reason to know or who I can trust.

Each morning is a struggle. It’s as if anxiety wakes before me and waits so that when I open my eyes it’s already there punching me in the stomach. I have to psych myself up to get out of bed, psych myself up to get washed and dressed, to make breakfast and pack my lunch.

I keep having to stop to wipe tears and practice deep breathing through nausea some mornings. All the stopping I have to do to psych myself up is so time-consuming.

I want others to know that there are many ways people like me cope with our stresses and anxieties in order to function and hold down jobs or simply just try and get through the day. I fully accept that doing these things may seem a bit odd or unusual when no explanation accompanies them, but through doing these things it allows people like myself to live a relatively normal life.

None of us owe an explanation about why we do these things as we are entitled to our privacy, but if you see people doing some of the things that you may think are odd they may have a mental illness. – We are doing what we have to do in order to be able to function with our illnesses while working and living.

What do you do to cope with anxiety? Write in and tell me all about it, or follow me on Facebook @Mswillowbipolar

Lots of love.
Ms Bipolar

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