I opened my eyes, they stung. I felt weak, confused and frail. It was the morning after another night of tears and fears. My husband had already left for work and I lay in bed feeling guilty. Guilty for keeping him awake the night before with involuntary crying. I knew I had worried him; I worried myself.

I raised my head from the pillow and remembered I had a doctor's appointment. Yet another conversation with a stranger about my emotions. It was getting quite tiresome. It needed to be done though because I had decided to start taking medication and was due for an update.

I dragged myself out of bed, reached for the clothes I had thrown on the floor the night before and scraped my hair back into a ponytail. I walked over to my mirror and smeared foundation on my face in an attempt to cover up the redness around my eyes. Next came the concealer because something had to be done about the congregation of stress breakouts on my chin and the rosacea all around my nose. All of these skin conditions miraculously appeared when this new wave of anxiety hit me like a tonne of bricks.

Some days I didn’t want to be alive anymore, but it’s all in my head, right?

I walked out of the front door without any breakfast or even a glass of water. I wearily stepped into my car and drove the five minutes around the corner to the doctor. As I sat in the waiting room, I started to get hot. People must have been staring at me, I thought. They are wondering why I look such a mess, perhaps they think I’m ill. Perhaps I am ill?

I saw my doctor and explained I still felt the same way and she increased my dosage. I had no idea if this was going to help or if they had been helping so far. I had reached a point where I didn’t feel confident enough to rely solely upon my own self-help efforts. I had hit a brick wall, I needed something else. Medication seemed like the next step, as much as I despised the thought of it.

I got back in my car and headed for the local coffee shop. I drowned myself in caffeine and headed to a charity shop for a quick look around. Usually spending money and buying things makes me happy, I thought. I was in the dressing room. I didn’t recognise myself. I looked like I had aged ten years. I had greasy hair, a red tired face and I had a look in my eye as though the world was ending. It scared me.

I started to get angry. I felt physically and mentally ill, but it was a dirty secret. Some days I didn’t want to be alive anymore, but it’s all in my head, right?

I never wanted to be in this position. I have dreams, aspirations and ambitions. I love my family and the beautiful world around me but sometimes, the anxiety takes all of that away from me.

When you suffer from high anxiety or depressive episodes, you mainly make excuses to others and hide the fact it exists. It’s not put across as an illness in society so you feel ashamed and weak.

I’ve been feeling a lot better recently, so it can be easy to assume that it’s over. It’s not. It’s always going to be a part of me in some capacity, but prevention is key.

If you suffer from the same, just know you’re not alone.

My anxiety is real. Your anxiety is real. Our anxiety is real.

If you need to talk to someone about anxiety, you can find a counsellor here