Anxiety for me is when my chest feels as though it is filled with adrenalin and is going to explode. It comes from nowhere. My body tenses up and I start shivering, I can’t get warm. I get very sensitive to sound. If someone starts tapping their finger on a table in a room full of crowded people, that is all I can hear and I have to leave. It makes me very nervous as I feel I am losing control. I tend to shut down and can no longer take in anything that is going on around me. I get sensory overload. I have to be alone. It is very tiring.
I try not to take sedatives during the day but to be able to manage my anxiety. I try to keep my days so I have a proportion of the day alone. So often I split the day in two. I try to go to the gym or swim early morning. This clear my head. I often wake up with anxiety and this is a good way to get rid of it. If I am out and get anxiety I try and stay busy until I know I can be alone. When I get home I try taking hot showers then lie in bed under my ball- or chainquilt. As I have a hard time getting warm. If I do resort to taking medication I wait until I am home. I am not very good at telling people I have anxiety and tend to try and tackle it myself.
Fountain House to me is a family. It is where I am me and I don’t have to pretend. It is a place where I feel safe. At Fountain House I have learnt what my strength are and not to spend time focusing on my weaknesses. I have made many friends. I feel I have a voice. People listen to me. I have learnt how to interact with people in a healthy way. I have grown very much as a person. I have confidence.