My Open Battle With Anxiety
My heart is pounding and thumping in my chest right now. Cue lightheadedness and over-thinking of what people might think when they read this. Sometimes I feel like I am about to pass out, drowning in feelings and thoughts. Overwhelmed is probably the best way to put it, the best way to make some people understand because not everyone will. Normally writing can calm and suppress my anxiety but writing about anxiety is a whole other beast. It gives me anxiety because honestly it isn’t something I fully can comprehend and sharing it isn’t easy. I know what it can do to me, how it can paralyze me and how it makes me feel. I can sometimes predict when I will have an anxiety attack, but rarely. My anxiety lurks like my shadow, constantly following me, just waiting to bring out the worst in me.
Anxiety is real.
I haven’t met a ton of people who can relate to how I feel, but I also don’t talk about my anxiety much, which helps me assume many others don’t either. But I’m sure I know people who know anxiety is there and they also can’t perfectly understand it. Trying to explain anxiety to people who can’t relate feels like you’re trying to convince people unicorns are real (maybe they are, they are pictured to be really cute). It’s hard to explain something you can’t see, something not many people can relate to. But it doesn’t mean you can’t be there for someone or say that it’s okay. Doesn’t mean we are crazy either. Anxiety tries to run my life especially when everything feels like it is falling apart but I choose to fight against it as best I can.
I tend to read things really wrong; emotions, tones, words, you name it. I think the absolute worst. They aren’t exactly pessimistic or realistic thoughts, but this part of me would rather assume the absolute worst, beyond pessimism. Over-thinking sinks in and tears me apart as I dissect every part of every conversation, every movement. I’ve also gotten a lot of looks from people when they see my brace and crutches, and my scars are definitely not beautiful by any means. I wonder what they see when they see me the way I am right now. It hurts me so much to see their reactions that I’m honestly not sure I want to hear their thoughts.
I read a post by Kirsten Corley called My Anxiety Makes Me Think Everyone Is Going to Leave Me and I have never read anything so relevant to how I feel all the time. I feel like I am always waiting for people to leave. I am waiting to mess up so badly or maybe they will change their mind because they see the anxiety in me waiting. Maybe they see what anxiety brings out in me, and at the worst and scariest of times. Maybe they don’t like it. But I don’t choose it, it chose me. I live it every day and every night.
My favorite part of the post is “People ask about enemies and the only one you’ve known is yourself. Trapped inside your mind that keeps you prisoner. Pushing people away who you want to stay. But you don’t want to burden or bother them with a problem that’s your own. It’s the want and need to just hear words, ‘It’s OK. ’That confidence boost that will shift everything. You feel guilty even asking. But you want to just hear that they won’t go.”
You feel guilty even asking. But you want to just hear that they won’t go.
I get anxiety attacks often but I learned how hide them. I usually feel like I am going to pass out or vomit. Sometimes I just can’t speak because my mind won’t stop moving. I get shakes and my heart rate rises absurdly fast. I feel alone a lot, even if I am surrounded by so many people. But sometimes if I am around a lot of people, it makes me anxious to be in a crowded room. If you don’t understand anxiety and you wonder why all of this is, well I can’t explain it. I don’t know the scientific reasoning for it and why these things happen and these thoughts come. They come and they stay. They keep me in bed in the dark for hours on end easily. Thoughts of isolation and un-worthiness creep into my mind, tiptoeing so they can come without any suspicion.
Anxiety creates a battle for your mind.
When you lose a part of you or when you fall short, anxiety hits even harder. Giving up a sport, failing a test. Getting into a fight. It’s an inward battle. No one can see it but you can feel it. The battle for your mind, so that you don’t settle into a dark place. Some days you lose and those are sad days. You feel overcome with utter despair and a loss for hope. Losing swimming made me feel as though I lost all of my friends, I don’t see them as often. I lost the ability to be talented elsewhere. Not being able to walk left me feeling vulnerable, alone, and needy, even though I crave utter independence.
I think anxiety is one of the most frustrating and self-destructing feelings I have ever had. I think anxiety tries to make me trick myself and tear myself down. We usually tend to be our own worst enemies, our number one critics. No one can take us down like we can.
However, there is hope. There is strength inside of you and me. Anxiety isn’t who we are, it doesn’t define our very being but it is rather something we have to deal with and understand. We have to work around it and try to control it. Fight against it every day. Find things to make you calm and happy. It’s okay to not be okay every day, but don’t give up on you and who you truly are.