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Anxiety (Series) - Julie Kilminster


"This is my anxiety in an easy to describe series of pictures. Anxiety has been my companion for as long as I can remember, though from time to time it does take a holiday and sometimes it loses its voice.

This is how I feel. I used chairs in the picture because I often have dreams where I’m sat on a chair that is balanced on other chairs in space.

I feel as though my whole world is balancing on the top of an upside down pyramid of chairs on the edge of a cliff over an angry ocean. At different times I may be at different places as depicted in the pictures.

I genuinely believe that at any time the roof could cave in; or the floor could fall through, that fire could kill us all in our sleep or we could die in our sleep of carbon monoxide poisoning. I have lost years and years of my life afraid, living in terror and being unable to let my children out of my sight. Fearing for family and friends when I’m not with them and imagining the very worst if they don’t answer the phone when I call. Some of my earlier memories are worries, the horrific deaths suffered by my nearest and dearest. Sometimes all day I would see these terrible things play out in my mind. Of course none of these visions ever came true, thank god. But they were very real to me.

Now that I have got through the worst of it almost unscathed I feel able to be open. It is not something many people know about me, except for a few friends. Anxiety is a manageable condition but it can take years. I believe the worst is behind me, but never more than a step away. The struggle to stay ahead is a daily one and one that I don't always win. But I appreciate that I’m no longer living in the constant high alert state of anxiety that I did a few years ago.

I hope these pictures ring true for you help you to describe your anxiety. After years of not being able to talk about it for the lack of a suitable description, this came to me during a panic attack. If I can give voice to one person by sharing, then it was worth it."

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