I really wanted to write a blog to talk about my problems
with my anxiety and difference between it and PTSD.
Anxiety has been a big problem for me all of my life and has
become quite prevalent recently since I’ve been asked to do a lot of public
speaking which I hate if I’m honest.
Sounds silly to say this considering that I actually do public
speaking and have a you tube channel (which I find far easier to use as there isn’t a sea of people looking up at me), but the
build up to it causes me so much trouble, that I have to limit public
speaking to once a month. It literally causes me to lose sleep and I physically
feel tension in my body, it feels like there’s a dark figure constantly
watching over me and my heart beats so loud that I feel like everyone around me
can hear it. I wish I could explain it better than this, but this is how it
feels to me.
I tried to explain it to a friend, but I think when it comes
to public speaking it’s the use of my ‘voice out loud’ that scares me, it leaves me incredibly vulnerable and open. Speaking out in
writing like this has never been a problem, but since dealing with selective mutism
as a child, speaking out from my mouth and using my voice courageously has
always been an issue which is where the PTSD and anxiety comes together.
The selective mutism began after an experience when I spoke out about the
domestic violence to a family member of the perpetrator, after they asked me if
there was violence going on at home. I said no because I was scared and wanted
to protect myself and my mom, but instead it back fired on us when my mom
choose to speak out about the violence and they nobody believed her, even
writing this now makes me feel emotional thinking about it.
was mortified and felt so guilty because I only said no to protect us but it
only put us in more danger.
experience had me believe that speaking the truth caused trouble started
fights. So I began to hide the truth I began living a lie. Like Maya
Angelou said ‘mutism is like a drug’ you don’t have to do anything
I hope one day that it will go away or reduce in its affect
on me and because no amount of mindfulness and breathing exercises helps in the run up. I would love
to enjoy public speaking, but Mutism has had a massive effect on my life. Preventing
me of speaking out when I really should have, when people have hurt me, I have
never spoken up, and when there has been an important matter that has effected
other people I choose to keep quiet
rather than speaking out.
Every time I do public speaking it I feel proud and happy afterwards, it is such a powerful out of body type thing for me to do because of my past,
but the build up is so debilitating that I wonder if it’s even worth it?.
the come down after takes a while, my body feels ‘trembly’ and my mind feels blank races
for hours after. Why do I even do it at all you might ask?
Two reasons: One I feel like it’s my responsibility to try
since founding Free Your Mind, I feel like I have to speak out and share my
story to help others. Plus deep down, I do really want to overcome this fear and Two: I feel pressured to do it, I honestly do, I get
asked to do it A LOT and in fear of coming across as unwilling I try to say
Most of the time I hold my ground and say no if there’s no
time to prepare, but if I’m honest this is why I do it, I can’t say it’s
something I enjoy I won’t lie the build up to it takes away any enjoyment.
I LOVE writing, I
love sharing my story and I love blogging and the ability to process my
thoughts and feelings more slowly than when I have to when public speaking.
I asked a few people I know if public speaking was something
they enjoyed and I was surprised at the responses, a few said yes, two said
they LOVED IT (really!!) and the rest were more with me and said no.
The anxiety I get from PTSD comes from fear based on past experiences
and anxiety comes from worrying about what could happen in advance in the
My anxiety doesn’t only come out when I’m due to speak in
public, it comes when I start to worry about everything I have to do, how will I
get it all done and just in general worrying about the future. I’m trying to
manage it the best that I can by reducing my interaction with my ‘triggers’ mindfulness, writing and having time out to just relax when it’s possible.
Burts rescue remedy drops are life saver too 🙂