Bat­tling anx­i­ety and win­ning

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - OUT & ABOUT - KRISTY WOOD

boyfriend about my anx­i­ety I would just make up ex­cuses why I had to go home and not stay at his house. Re­la­tion­ships were hard, I was just so em­bar­rassed and felt I was never good enough.

Work­ing was a whole new chal­lenge. To find a job in a small town that didn’t in­volve travel wasn’t easy. Only my fam­ily and a few friends knew about my anx­i­ety at that stage, but I had some great bosses who sup­ported me and never judged me. One place I man­aged had four other branches in the South Is­land and my boss made us have man­agers’ meet­ings and I was ter­ri­fied as they were in Queen­stown. I loved my job and didn’t want to look like I wasn’t in­ter­ested, so I had to ex­plain for the first time why I couldn’t go and the re­sponse was amaz­ing. She made me feel so hon­oured, she brought all meet­ings to Ash­bur­ton so I didn’t miss out. To this day I am so grate­ful.

Feel­ing the guilt of be­ing a bur­den on my fam­ily was dif­fi­cult too. My par­ents were not like other par­ents, they couldn’t go away when they wanted to or they had to take me ev­ery­where with them. They have given up so much to sup­port me over the last 35 years and I am so grate­ful. They are my rocks.

I some­times used to think ‘why me, why do I have this prob­lem?’. But now I think ‘why not’, what can I do to make this a pos­i­tive thing in my life? The an­swer is help­ing oth­ers. If I can help one per­son who is go­ing through the same thing then th­ese years are all worth it.

I have made up a Face­book page called BE­LIEVE De­pres­sion and Anx­i­ety Sup­port. It is a page for in­for­ma­tion, friends and a place to not feel alone. I am or­gan­is­ing an event on De­cem­ber 8. It is a live event with two speak­ers, Pup Cham­ber­lain and a lo­cal lady, Karen, and there will be free nib­bles.

I want to be able to help oth­ers as I know it is a hard health issue to deal with. Ap­proach­ing men­tal health ser­vices can be ter­ri­fy­ing, but there also isn’t enough fund­ing for those ser­vices. I want to make a com­mu­nity to sup­port ev­ery­one.

I have come a long way, by tak­ing lit­tle steps. I now live in my own house and although I still don’t like change and still have the odd panic at­tack, I’m proud of how far I have come.


St Stephen’s Church, Park Street, Ash­bur­ton

Starts at 7.30pm. A free event.

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