July 16, 2013

JessicaAbout 2 years have passed since I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and looking back it is now a lot clearer for me to see what helped me to make me get better: my family, my mum, my dad and my sister, Katherine.

I know deep down (although it’s horrible to think) that when I was going through my lowest time, they were feeling my pain too. I could see the look of worry on their faces. It was new to them, they didn’t know how to deal with mental health, how to deal with me.

Sometimes I thought I was being a burden

Sometimes I even thought I was being a burden, but I know deep down they would have never thought that. They were just worried and all they wanted was to see me get better.

Me and my sister are extremely close, she is my best friend and I have always looked up to her. She lives in London now, however we still talk all the time and we see each other as much as possible. It was two Christmas’ ago now since my “rough patch”.

My sister came home for Christmas that year – however she stayed for longer than planned – because she wanted to be close to me. I found this hard, but also motivating at the same time. To know that my family were by my side, it made me try harder to overcome my phobia. I didn’t want to see them worry any more, I didn’t want my problem to interfere with our lives, or put a strain on our relationships.

I hate opening up, to anyone. I find it awkward and embarrassing

My sister was always there to talk. But at first I couldn’t. I remember her saying, “if ever you want to talk, whenever you are ready, I will be there”. And she was. I hate opening up, to anyone. I find it awkward and embarrassing, I don’t know why – I guess I just like to keep myself to myself.

But then one day, when I felt well enough to leave my bedroom, I walked into my sister’s bedroom and had a quick 10 minute chat. And that chat changed things dramatically. I cannot write down what was said – as it was personal. But I can say how much it changed things. Even now when I struggle with my anxiety, I think back to this conversation and it helps me to calm down. It helps me realise that I am not alone.

I don’t think my family actually know how much they helped

I don’t think my family actually know how much they helped – as I said, I keep things to myself and I don’t express myself much. But to have them by my side, and to have someone to talk to who can relate to me at a personal level, has been absolutely amazing.

I couldn’t thank them enough.

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