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?