There comes a point with any illness, whether that be physical or mental, where you have just had enough. You are simply exhausted. The seemingly never-ending torture that gets put on your body and mind can push anyone to breaking point.

I have had enough. I am struggling and although it hurts me to admit that; it’s the truth.

I have suffered with anxiety for so many years now it feels like it’s just like another part of my personality, and sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes I can move through life coping and accepting the way my mind works.

But the majority of the time, I just want out. I am so fed up of trying to manage; trying to convince myself that the overwhelming thoughts and feelings Ben creates aren’t real. It is truly exhausting.

For the last few weeks I have felt myself losing control of everything. I feel like I’m just treading water; some days I am able to keep my head above the surface but there is an ever present feeling of pure dread. Like if I lose any more control then I will drown under the weight of Ben.

I began this blog as a way to channel my feelings into something more worthwhile; it’s not that I don’t think I’ve achieved this: I do. But sometimes I can’t write positively, sometimes Ben wins and although I’ll never give up, I also recognise when I’m relapsing and I feel that needs to be shared as openly as the triumphs.

It would be unfair of me to portray a life full of achievements and battles won against Ben. That isn’t how it is for me. That doesn’t mean to say this doesn’t happen. It has happened numerous times over the last few years and I have shared these moments with everyone who reads this. But there are also times behind the scenes that is my reality.

The reliance of medication to manage panic attacks and emetophibia. The guilt I carry when my partner has to deal with another night of Ben overriding my mind. The physical symptoms anxiety creates: the nausea in the pit of my stomach sometimes from the moment I open my eyes in the morning, the exhaustion from another night spent anxious and fearful, the stomach cramps that wind me, the stiff muscles from the constant tension in my body. The sadness I feel for the person I truly am: a girl who loves to laugh till she cries, who loves to have new experiences with the people she loves, who wants to make everyone around her happy. None of which are as prominent when Ben is present, maybe only fleetingly for a day or so, and I miss her every single day that I am anxiety-ridden.

I am incredibly lucky to have the support system that I do. My family, friends, partner and colleagues have gone out of their way the last few weeks to try and ease the presence of Ben. After struggling at work one day for the first time in my new job, my colleagues supported me, hugged me and made a difficult few hours that little bit easier through their actions. My boss has reminded me that my health comes first and to proceed with the new therapy in Essex should I choose that that is the right path for me. My HR advisor signposted me to our schools psychotherapist which gives me another professional I can voice my worries to. I felt overwhelmed with the fact that these people I’ve known for only a few months put so much effort into helping me. It also proved yet again that if love was the cure to anxiety; I’d never suffer again.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. And this is just another period of my life that I have to work through. It is feeling incredibly difficult to do so right now, but I know that this can change at any given time. It’s just up to me to continue putting all my efforts into doing what’s best for me.

My wish will forever be to be rid of Ben, and I’ll fight my whole life to achieve that. I just have to ride these waves in the meantime and remember that I have a whole load of lifesavers beside me should I begin to drown.

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