Well folks, it’s that time of year again. The first of December means it’s time to pretend we’re excited for Christmas, visiting family, friends, attending work do’s, Christmas shopping and all the other anxieties that come with what should be one of the happiest times of the year.
Christmas for me used to be my absolute favourite time of the year with family and friends, presents (obvs) and all the other fun times that come along with it. However, this all changed when anxiety came along like an invisible grinch to steal it all away from me. The first Christmas with anxiety was hard and I didn’t really have any coping mechanisms because I didn’t fully understand it, the second Christmas was an absolute nightmare, and in all honesty it pretty much broke me. However it was during that particular Christmas that I decided enough was enough. However, last year was a bit different. I decided I was taking back Christmas!
I’d built up some tools from therapy that I could put into practice, I felt in a much better position to be able to say ‘I’ve got this’. I planned visiting friends in such a way that meant I could actually enjoy myself. Having made sure I was well equipped to deal with a panic attack and the symptoms of anxiety, If we had to leave, I’d have an excuse. All of these weren’t ideal, and not actually the right way to do it, but it meant I was able to at least take some Christmas back, and it worked.
What does that mean for this year? It means I know I can do it. It means I’m able to go out places, visit friends and spend time with family. Will I panic? Probably. Will I get anxious and stressed? Without a doubt. But what I do know is that I can deal with it, I can get through it. The panic and anxious feelings will pass and I’ll actually at some point enjoy Christmas for what it should be.
There will be some of you that are absolutely dreading it, and believe me I’ve been where you are. This year, give yourself the opportunity to have a good Christmas. Plan, prepare and realise that you got through last Christmas, the Christmas before and the umpteen Christmases before that. We’re all in it together. So let’s grab a beer, eat some chocolate, and let anxiety know that this year, Christmas is ours!
The ‘Anxiety Warrior’ is a 30 year old guy recovering from an Anxiety and Panic disorder and in his words “I tweet and blog anonymously, talking honestly about the challenges, symptoms, successes and failures I face to hopefully help others see that they’re not alone. I believe that with the right tools and education, everyone can be anxiety free”
For more from the Anxiety warrior you can read his blog here