Back again with another mental health guest post. This time, I have the pleasure of welcoming Carly-Jayne Fisher. This wonderful woman is living proof that, just because you struggle with a mental illness, it doesn’t mean that you can’t flourish in your personal and professional lives. I admire her greatly as a woman, and as a fellow anxious babe. Thank you, Carly for your incredible input to this post series. Enjoy!
This is the first time I’ve really put pen to paper about my mental health, and it’s hard to know where to start.
Firstly, I’m Carly, a 30-year-old nurse, a loving wife, and mother to a 1-year-old boy. Most people know that I suffer with generalised anxiety disorder, as it’s not something I actively hide from others. I’m proud of how far I’ve come with my mental health and I now know that talking is key to intervention.
My journey with anxiety has been a long one. I can pinpoint the trigger event that really began my anxiety: finding a patient’s husband dead whilst on duty. Despite that, I don’t think my anxiety stems purely from that event. I have always been a worrier, an over-thinker with a big imagination, and I often used to obsess as a little girl. I would worry that awful things would happen to my family or I (like plane crashes and car crashes).
My anxiety has evolved and changed over the years; sometimes I feel absolutely fine and sometimes I’m completely overwhelmed by it. I struggle with a range of symptoms. I have panic attacks with a sense of impending doom, and an oversensitivity to my heart beat, breathing and pain in my body. I often have racing thoughts, suffer with insomnia, and I over-think and over-analyse situations. I always think something bad is going to happen or I am going to die.
As far as treatment goes, I have had CBT, counselling and various medications. None of which has cured me, but they have all helped in one way or another. My focus has been on learning what triggers my anxiety, and dealing with and talking about things that are bothering me no matter how ridiculous I think they sound.
I can honestly say it’s a battle every single day; a choice between letting it take over, or challenging my thoughts, and trying to get on and enjoy my life. I don’t want my anxiety to impact my little boy growing up – that’s my biggest worry – but I also don’t want to hide it from him.
We all need to talk about mental health, support each other, and have compassion for those struggling. We all have the opportunity to be kind; you have no idea what’s going on in someone else’s life or mind. My mottos are as follows: ‘be kind always’, ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, and ‘take one step at a time’ – that’s how I make it through each day!