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Permission to say you’re not OK!


The first time I broke down In front of my mum and said I couldn’t cope any more was like someone had lifted a huge weight off me. I felt like I had been carrying that weight around for years.

Can you imagine waking up every day with feelings of fear, panic, worthlessness, shame and guilt? After years, it becomes unbearable. Not only that, you don’t have any answers as to why you feel that way when you know you should be happy that you have everything you want and need.

Horrendous intrusive thoughts and panic attacks would haunt me on a daily basis. They would control my life. It was like carrying a heavy weight on my shoulder that I couldn’t remove. The more I tried, the more power it had over me. My OCD mental rituals would keep reminding me that if I didn’t do them, then something bad would happen to someone I loved.

I was scared to leave the house, scared of meeting people. I was worried about dying and even more scared about living.

This is just a small glimpse into what living with anxiety is like, and why it’s so important for us to raise awareness…

I was at the start of a very long road to recovery. I didn’t know it at the time, but I do now – there is help out there. You can have a life living with  anxiety, depression and OCD. You are certainly not alone.

After persevering with cognitive behavioural therapy, exposure therapy, meditation and exercise – these are some of the main factors that have helped in my recovery. Something else that makes me feel even better is knowing that I am now helping others. I am delighted to be working with the Shaw Mind Foundation and their amazing team. Together, we are raising funds, and most important of all, we are raising awareness.

I never ever thought I would free myself from the pain. Perhaps you feel the same? If you do, I just want you to know, you can beat this!

By Suzi Shaw, Local Fundraiser for The Shaw Mind Foundation

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