Now that I'm undeniably well into my early twenties, there are things that people want me to start thinking about - some of them are the stuff of dreams; weddings, children, my own home. Others, though, are things that I struggle to get my head around, things that make it hard for me to really process - if there's two things that really don't seem to mix it's my mental illness' and the huge things that will soon have to fall into place to help shape my future - careers, education, travel.
My future - as it stands now - is limited. It's not limited physically, but mentally there are blockades all around me and I can only take a number of steps in any direction before I find myself up against one inevitably. I struggle to make friends, meet new people, ask for help - and that throws a spanner in the works when it comes to thinking about my future as nearly everything will include new people, new experiences, generally my future is one big ball of the unknown.
Living with anxiety is crippling. On a day to day basis, I can deal with it; I can deal with butterflies in my stomach if I have to order my own food in a restaurant, I can deal with the fact that some days I won't be able to leave my bed, let alone my house. As hard as it is to deal with, short term I can do it. The issue lies in long term because, realistically, my anxiety stops anything longer than short term seeming like a realistic possibility. I have planned and applied for university whilst knowing that, realistically, it might get to going and I will struggle - I can't even think about it as a long term plan, I know that I will have to take one day at a time until it comes about and then one day at a time after that.
I want to get better, and yet it seems like a vicious circle - I struggle to find a job because of my anxiety, and yet my anxiety about being unemployed only serves to make me more ill. Planning for the future has become next to impossible - and yet, I find strength in the fact that I'm doing it anyway. Planning ahead and then taking all the time in between as one single step at a time - and they're tiny steps, and they're few and far between, but I'm making them - I'm slowly moving forward.
Got any tips for dealing with anxiety? I'd love to hear some.