Anxiety has no boundaries (written by Christina)

BLOG TAKE OVER

I am so glad that I have opened up my blog for you to contribute. Writing has helped me massively with my mental health and this gives others the opportunity to write and share their journey from a different perspective. I am truly inspired and encouraged by what I have read. I have no doubt you will too.

**Please remember local and national support services are available if help is required**

Thank you Christina for your openness in ‘take over 4’

Last year I sat down one evening and watched a programme called ‘Mind Over Marathon’. The programme was amazing, inspirational, moving and has lead to me, yes me, running the London Marathon this year. I also discovered Georgie’s page on Instagram and followed her which is why I am sat writing this.

When I started running a few years ago I didn’t realise that not only would it help my physical strength but also help me to tackle some issues in my head. Mental Health is something that I have always been aware of in others, friends and family, but never something that I thought would touch me. Before I had my children I was the logical one, with a much more masculine mindset than many of my friends or female family members. When I first started suffering with anxiety it was a huge shock. How could I be behaving in such an illogical manner and being so emotional? I was the LOGICAL one! However, mental health has no boundaries and doesn’t discriminate, it can effect any one of us at any time.

It turns out that I suffer from Anxiety. I had a traumatic pregnancy and birth with my youngest child. I suffered the loss of three of my grandparents in 6 months. I was consumed by it. I could see accidents happening everywhere to everyone I loved. If my husband was a few minutes late home, I would cry and shake, believing that he had been in a accident and died. The park, once a place of fun and laughter for my children, was now a death trap, a place waiting to cause harm or death to my children.

The day I realised I needed some help was when I had my first ‘vision’ where I ‘saw’ (in my head only) my son falling down some escalators. I had never experienced this before, but the vision was incredibly real and stopped me in my tracks.

After talking to a great friend whilst on a run, and my brother who is a mental health nurse, I realised I wasn’t the only one experiencing this. They made me see that by being honest about how I was feeling and talking about it was the only way forward. I went to the GP and got some fantastic advice. I was referred for Talking Therapy, counselling and CBT. I was also advised to keep active and keep running.

After an eight week course of CBT, some sessions with a counsellor, lots of support from my family and friends my anxiety has improved.

Sometimes I think I have a complete hold on it. Sometimes not, but that is ok. I have learnt about my triggers. Tiredness, emotional stress, alcohol, overload of social media are some of them. Equally and as importantly, I have learnt what helps me when I do feel anxious. Fresh air, family time, my dog (one of the biggest stress relievers ever) and running are all so positive in my battle against anxiety.

If I could give anyone some helpful advice regarding mental health, it would be to talk to anyone you think might help. Be honest at all times about how you are feeling. So many people are fighting these battles and we know nothing about it without sharing first. Surround yourself with what makes you feel better and by people you love. This is a fight we can all win.

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