#anxiety How to break free
Shaking, sweating, mind churning – and that’s just for starters. Robyn Wilder explains how it feels to live with this common mental health issue, and why saying “don’t worry” never helps.
suppose you received a letter one day – an unimpeachable, official-looking letter signed by God, the Queen and Benedict Cumberbatch himself – informing you that you were soon to be murdered by a ninja assassin. Wouldn’t it worry you?
I imagine it would make you dread leaving home, and that you would jump whenever someone a bit assassiny-looking walked past. You’d probably lie awake at night, exploring and ree-xploring every possible way to escape your fate. Eventually, the vigilance and overthinking would wear you down into a low-level exhaustion that would wreck your concentration and memory.
Your diet would suffer. Your skincare would go downhill. And you’d start to avoid friends, partly because you’d resent their blithe, assassin-free lives, and also because there are only so many times you can reply to the text: “What’s up?” with “Just facing the spectre of death lol what’s up with you?” before people start to call you a drama queen.
As silly as it sounds, this is more or less how we live. Obviously, I don’t have an assassin after me, and I’ve never had post from Benedict Cumberbatch, but otherwise it pretty much describes how I feel on a day-to-day basis.
It all started when I was 21 and fresh out of university. Suddenly, I started having what I thought were flu symptoms when I went out. I’d be minding my own business at the bar