A while back, I suffered from anxiety, depression and agoraphobia. I have come a long way since then, but there are still some remnants of this in my life. There are many things that still make me nervous – I have simply gotten better at controlling it. There are things that make me nervous, which would make anybody nervous. Most people are nervous when they are called upon to speak in public, for example. Most people are nervous at job interviews or when meeting new people or learning to drive a car. It is normal and natural to feel nervous when doing these things.
However, as a result of my illness, there are many things that make me nervous which most people take for granted. Walking outside, for example, or visiting a shopping centre can be very draining for me. Not knowing where my husband is or being unable to contact my children if needed makes me quite nervous. Visiting people (even friends) or having them visit me is a nerve-wracking experience. Being in an environment or situation where I cannot simply leave if I wish (such as work, or jury duty) is very hard for me. Rental inspections, bills, official looking mail and hospitals all give me butterflies in my tummy.
Nobody has ever physically harmed me during an argument, yet conflict makes me nervous to the point that I actively avoid it. Loud noise also makes me feel nervous. Though I have reached the point that I can tolerate it for a while, I still sometimes duck into my bedroom for a bit of peace in the afternoons or avoid lingering near work sites. Hell, even just tying this makes me nervous.
Having said that, I have improved. A few years ago, I could not do any of these things at all. Now, I have learned to control my mind to the point that, though I still feel nervous inside (and maybe always will), I can now visit these places and perform these tasks alone. I may be nervous but at least I can live.