This is a personal piece I wrote a short time ago. Please be trigger aware when reading.
It’s eleven at night and I am wide awake with anxiety. I stupidly decided to look up a medical procedure I have to have and I’m now terrified. It suddenly seems a much bigger deal than I first thought.
This is anxiety that is acceptable but it is no easier to deal with than the waves that pour over me for no reason. I am still terrified to sleep. Still tight chested and struggling to keep my breathing at a regular pace.
Anxiety has been a part of my life for about four years now. I mean I always got anxious a little bit but this was when it started to get out of control and rule my life more. It stopped me doing things I wanted to. Anxiety became a prison. It trapped me in my own mind and in my house. It trapped me in situations I could not change.
People discard anxiety as not that serious, but it has been one of the most debilitating illnesses I’ve had. It has controlled me. Made it impossible to work. Taken away experiences in my life. Made things I should enjoy, unbearable. I hate anxiety.
Telling someone with anxiety everything is fine so why are they worrying is unhelpful. Most of the time we rationally know that the world will not fall apart but we cannot stop the waves that tell us the opposite. They come over us and drown us in doubt. The “what if’s” creep in and suddenly we are panicking. We cannot control this. If we could we would. We might learn strategies that help but the anxiety is still there.
Panic attacks come in many different forms. Everyone seems familiar with the hyperventilating panic attack, where the person is struggling to breathe. This is the obvious panic attack. But there is also the quiet panic attack. The panic attack where you sit quietly, feeling the dread come over you, unable to move. Or being so overwhelmed you cannot gather your thoughts together. This is the side of anxiety people don’t see but is as equally debilitating.
Having no explanation for your anxiety is highly frustrating. Everyone will ask you “why are you anxious?” and you just can’t answer that question some of the time. Oh how I wish I could. I’d love to know why my brain is finding a situation threatening. I would love to stop the panic of the unknown. But sometimes it’s not to be and anxiety just takes over.
So that is just a small insight into an anxious mind, though all of them are different. I just ask that you are patient with my anxiety and understand I’m not trying to be difficult. I’d love things to be different but some days it’s just not to be.