Anxiety, my old friend

david-marcu-4066

I’ve decided that it’s time I was a little more honest with myself, and whoever reads these posts, from now on.

To be clear, I don’t think I present too false an image of my life. What you see is pretty much what you get, bar the filters I slap on my tired old selfies on the daily.  I choose not to go in on work or things that are happening that suck but that’s because I’m an optimist and prefer to think positively. Those times pass and I get through them, as we all tend to do. So what’s the point of dwelling on them?

But over the last year or so my anxiety has been out of control and I’m going to start talking about it because it has become such a big part of my life. I need to work it outward basically.

Film reviews and other topics will continue as normal, but I will be exercising a more ‘honest feelings’ policy around here.  Skip if you’re not into it, I understand.

I’m not good enough

I don’t know when I start freaking the fuck out in my mind but I would swear I wasn’t an anxious child. I’ve always been sensitive but I don’t think I had anymore self-doubt than my friends or the other people around me.

As a young adult I did crazy brave things and even at rock bottom, in the midst of my very worst period, I was fearless enough to (eventually) say fuck it and live in a new city alone, with no concern for the future.

Can I blame my bad relationship for my anxiety now? I don’t think I can. He made me walk on egg shells for six years and I always feel sorry for taking up space, talking out of turn – most days for simply existing. That lot is firmly his fault but the anxiety I have now feels different.

Anxiety ruins my evenings and stops me sleeping at night. I swear down every single person I encounter on certain days hates me and I have upset them irretrievably somehow. Not only that but I’m a total failure with no hope for the future and I will never make anything of my life. I actually believe more often that not that I bring nothing of worth to anybody.

I tell myself I’m no good, not worthy of a better job, say, of earning good money because I didn’t go to University, that I’m stupid, slow, clumsy (I am clumsy). That I’m lucky to have got the things I have because God knows it will never get better. I have no right or reason to feel this way and yet, here we are. Here I am worrying about everything ever in the history of the world.

I know I’m not alone. A very close friend of mine has panic attacks and although I used to sit with her at work until they subsided, I couldn’t empathise fully. I had no idea then what anxiety really was or what it felt like to have a panic attack. Until I had one walking home from town just after Christmas, and then another one in the middle of the night. I genuinely thought that was it and I’ve had it in the back of my mind ever since.

So there it is. Anxiety and I have become well-acquainted over the last year or two – and it’s pretty toxic. I wish I could shake it forever but then, isn’t it just one of the things that makes me who I am? Doesn’t it attune me to the people in my life who feel the same? My fellow anxious ones.

Mental health is so important and we can’t afford not to be open about it. What it is, how it feels, how we cope with it. I don’t have any answers by the way, some days I struggle to leave the flat but maybe I’ll find a new way to live if I’m more honest with myself and others.

I love my life so much despite the anxiousness, and I’m sick of being scared all the time. I want to do great things, even if they’re small things that only please me. I want to stand at the end of my life and be chuffed that I got on with it, even when my inner naysayer was trying to stop me.

I want to be fearless again – or half-way fearless. That’ll do.

Anyone else out there feeling me? How do you cope with that ol’ devil called anxiety? ❤

10 thoughts on “Anxiety, my old friend

  1. ❤ ❤ ❤ Much love to you, as always, grrrrrrrrrl.
    It's hard not to fear humanity and the direction we're heading in at times. I srsly need to stop looking at the news before work b/c it just sends me down an existential spiral.
    Mental health kicks my ass a lot of the time, but I'm trying to roll with it a bit better and accept that it's something so many people struggle with. I feel anxiety and depression were the reasons fried pickles and Netflix were invented.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ILY! I know you suffer too and I’m so glad we have each other when shit gets real. Yeah, you’re right, most people have some form or another and there is comfort in that, even though it sucks. Also, mmmmmm fried pickles xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. *raises hand* Yup. Feeling ya.

    I’ma condense this little story your post reminded me of — cuz maybe it’s relevant and maybe it’s totally not, but it’s what happened for me. Seven years with a controlling man meant, by the end, living with near-constant fear that I would f*** things up. That just, I dunno, BREATHING wrong could cause a fight. And, like you say, I too left that “walking on eggshells” feeling behind when he was totally out of my life.

    But.

    The anxiety I got afterwards was different — and yet still related, I eventually realized. Because in our marriage I had learned deep distrust, not just of him, but of myself. Distrust of my own judgement. My ability to human, or to adult, in any vaguely responsible way. Left to my own devices, I had picked HIM, after all. And that was the trust I needed to rebuild.

    Still am rebuilding, tbh, though it’s much much better now. Which I mostly did by writing the sh!t outta those feelings, and being as completely honest with myself as I could.

    Anyhoo. That’s my bit of tale for today. I’m glad you’re talking/writing about this. All good wishes for the journey you are on…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Alice, Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me the way you have. You really struck a nerve there (argh, why does it still hurt though?)! I think that’s exactly the issue, I’m disgusted with myself for taking such a long walk down an awful path and for not being able to get out of it soon enough, in fact barely getting out at all. I’m so happy we can talk about these experiences and be empathetic towards each other, it means a lot to know other women go through it not least because it’s easier to be angry about other women’s situations than your own somehow. You definitely feel me, thank you. I’m glad you’re out of your situation and rebuilding everything that was broken. I keep saying thank you but I genuinely mean, I am so grateful to the core for women like you for sharing your experience and perfectly nailing how I feel about myself. Might go for a sob now though (a good one). Lots of love xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “I am so grateful to the core for women like you for sharing your experience and perfectly nailing how I feel about myself.” And *I* am so grateful I can do this for you. Other women sharing their stories were an invaluable support to me along my path — now I pay their love and support forward the best I can…

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank for such honesty beauty. It’s a very personal question and perhaps not one you want to answer directly but, I wonder if you are take the contraceptive pill? Because when I did I suffered from.crippling anxiety and was very worried about my mental health. My GP was dubious about the possibility that the pill was the cause but said it couldn’t hurt to come off it for a while and see if that helped. It did, virtually overnight. In previous years I have suffered from depression and after Logan was born I had a few years of therapy which really pretty much fixed me and I would highly recommend talking therapies for long term issues. Your feelings of not being good enough could well be eased through this process. That’s why I knew something else was going on when the anxiety kicked in, I’m good at handling my emotions now and can spot when my thinking and/or actions are self-destructive/defeating. The anxiety turned out to be a chemical thing, and quite a few people I have mentioned it to since say they had similar issues with The Pill. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello you! Ask away, I’m all for honesty, especially right now! No, I’m not on the pill but I am on the implant which has me up and down emotionally quite a lot, mostly for about six months after a new one has been put in. Weirdly I forget about it all the time and hadn’t connected it to the anxiety, I might look into that a little deeper. I think you’re wise about therapy, it’s something I believe in for everybody. Thank you for sharing your experiences and offering some practical coping ideas, I’m so glad I wrote this now! You’re a love and it sounds like you’ve really go to know yourself well, which is what I hope to do. Lots of love to you, you beautiful supportive woman xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear heart, it’s hard, I know. You know I do. I’d like to say the crippling anxiety gradually simmers a bit, but I think it depends on what you are truly willing to let go of and/or forgive yourself about. Well, all of that AND it’s in our nature, unfortunately, to compare ourselves to others. Creative types especially — you, Jillian, Alice, me and so on — we’re the absolute worst when it comes to suffering anxiety, such anxiety that’s often served with a big side of self-loathing.

    You’re loved though. Always keep that in mind. You’re loved.

    Liked by 2 people

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