Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is not something that just comes or happens out of nothing. It is actually a result of our previous bad experiences. It is born from our traumas and it takes its time to grow. You may experience trauma and think that you’ve moved on and you are okay, then, suddenly one day it hits you and you realise you were never okay.


I experienced a lot of bullying as a kid and it was painful. Little did I know that the experience would not only hurt, but it would fester and eventually give birth to anxiety. My bullying experiences taught me that people are mean and they hurt other people. And as a result, a fear of people was born.

I think anxiety is our mind’s way of keeping us safe and away from the things that hurt us. Unfortunately, it tries so hard to keep us safe that it ends up being our prison. It ends up not only keeping us away from things that will hurt us, but eventually keeps us away from living life itself.

You may not realise when it is first conceived, but you definitely notice after it’s born. It changes everything! It makes you prefer your own company to that of others, it makes you believe things that are not true, it takes away your confidence, it takes over your whole life. You become a prisoner to it, you become a slave to its lies, and you can either deal with it or remain a slave to it.

Dealing with it is not easy though. Breaking out of prison is no walk in the park (that’s if we even do break out of this prison). I think sometimes we can only fight our way to the top office of the prison and take over and do things our own way instead of trying to break out. Because let’s face it, some of us will never beat anxiety, we just learn to live with it, and find ways of dealing its triggers.

Living with anxiety is not easy. One day you feel like you are on top of things and the next, you feel like a sinking ship.

It’s not easy, but this is how it is. We just learn to take it one step and one affirmation at a time.

More on this article and Siphokazi Mjijwa

This article was originally posted on the Living with Depression/Anxiety blog, written by Siphokazi Mjijwa or ‘Ma ka Melo’ as she is sometimes affectionately called. She writes this blog to document and share her experiences battling depression and anxiety. The blog in no way promotes suicide, it is a way to inspire, create awareness and educate others on mental health and it’s issues.

If you struggle with suicidal thoughts please contact @SADAG as soon as possible.

(+27) 011 234 4837