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Vogue Williams' feeling of 'absolute fear' will resonate with countless anxiety sufferers

“I constantly had this feeling of absolute fear in my stomach.”

EARLIER THIS YEAR, Caroline Foran launched a podcast based on her highly acclaimed book Owning It: Your Bullsh*t-Free Guide to Living with Anxiety.

PastedImage-89594 Source: Spotify

The podcast examines anxiety in all its forms as Caroline interviews her guest about their lived experience of the condition, and its various manifestations.

This week Caroline sat down with Vogue Williams, who has always been open about developing anxiety in her twenties.

I never really understood it and then when I was about 22 I started feeling it. 

“It’s such an annoying thing to have. Yesterday I was like ‘why do I have it?’ Vogue told Caroline. “I hate having it. If you could get rid of it, it would be the best thing in the world.”

Vogue went on to say she is skeptical she will ever be ‘anxiety-free’ and believes her anxiety needs to be consistently managed in order to live with it.

Revlon x Adwoa Aboah Photocall - London Fashion Week September 2018 Source: Doug Peters

Reflecting on her worst period of anxiety, she told Caroline: “When I had it at my worst was maybe three or four years ago, going through a break-up.”

All the things that went with that just made it absolutely spiral. There was just one summer when I was an anxious wreck. I was so upset all the time. I couldn’t sleep properly for a whole summer. I couldn’t eat. I lost loads of weight.

“I just constantly had this feeling of absolute fear in my stomach,” she continued. “I never didn’t have the whole butterflies in my stomach; not nice butterflies. It’s a painful feeling.”

As many who suffer from anxiety will attest, the feeling of constant dread is one of the most debilitating aspects of the condition; a symptom which can prevent a sufferer from navigating their day with any real semblance of normality.

When I sit, I sometimes have to remind myself to stop clenching my hands or my shoulders are up, and that’s another way anxiety manifests in me, but the worst is the feeling of absolute dread; the feeling of fear and you just cannot get rid of it.

During pregnancy, Vogue noticed a decrease in that symptom, and as such she feels that alcohol can cause its manifestation in her.

BUILD Series LDN Source: PA Archive/PA Images

As a result, she has tried to reduce her alcohol intake in recent times.

I think that for me, I realised not drinking is a big help. Last night, I had a few drinks so I will feel anxious today.

“I’ll probably feel anxious tomorrow and that’s why I drink once a month, once every two months,” Vogue added.

I was doing it every weekend and then I was just feeling horrific for three days of the week, and it was down to that.

Caroline acknowledged this, saying she understands how it temporarily takes the edge off, but ultimately causes further problems down the line.

“Sometime I feel like I’ll have a drink because it takes the edge off and it’s sort of therapeutic in a small dose at the time,” Caroline responded.

But then obviously if you have a few and then there’s the next day…. it’s like a short term relief but long-term, making it more of an issue for you.

Indeed, both women agreed that cutting out alcohol during times of bad anxiety is advisable.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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