The Birth of Ben

Looking back to this day feels like a lifetime ago, Ben has manifested in a number of ways since he first reared his ugly head. Before anyone thinks I’m a mother slagging off her child, not to worry, if only Ben was the most precious thing on the planet. Instead Ben is just the name I gave to my mental health disorder. Not as joyous and cute, aye?

I was once given a book about mind management and it described your anxiety as a chimp; a mischievous creature being the devil on your shoulder, convincing you that the world is a dark, scary place and everything must be feared or doubted.

I fucking hate Ben.

But Ben isn’t just a lodger; as unwanted as he is, he’s here to stay, and the only thing I can do is accommodate him in such a way that my life is still live-able. Which I’m still learning to do seven and a half years later. A slow, frustrating work in progress but each baby step makes the world of difference.

I was fifteen when I first experienced what people call a panic attack. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. And do you know what even though I’ve had hundreds of panic attacks since that day, not one of them was any less frightening than the last. The only thing different is that I now understand whats happening – I’m not sure if that’s a positive or not? Knowing something won’t kill you but still feeling as though it is doesn’t always give me the reassurance I desperately need.

So here we are now; 2017, a year that I pray holds the happiness and normality of life that I so badly wish for. And it’s down to me to create this. No pressure, right?

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Anon says:

    This is powerful and a courageous dive into vocalising things difficult to express even when you’re 100% willing to.
    Attacks and the fear of attacks can make you miss out on a lot of living just to avoid the feeling .

    I can relate.


    1. The fear is just indescribable, I feel like I missed out on so much. But also, now looking back, I feel like I’ve gained so much from getting through that period of my life. Hope you’re doing okay


  2. Anon says:

    Im happy you can reflect on something difficult but draw a positive out of it ! It at least gives your experience value.

    I’m actually fantastic.
    There’s a concept I always found ironic … maybe specific to me but maybe not !

    I spent a long feeling behind and left out , socially , educationally ,intellectually and even career wise due to anxiety.
    I worked so hard to catch up .

    The thing about being an introvert is you live in a bubble . And when I eventually poked my head out of it to see how caught up I was , there was nobody there in front or next to me.

    They were all behind me with a hand on my back , congratulating me , asking my advice and pushing me forward .

    So was I previously being pushed out , or pushed up ?
    In the end it didn’t matter


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