I’m in bed, I’ve been here since 9.30pm It’s now 2.00am, but still I can’t sleep. I’ve come close, twice actually, but every time I feel as though I am drifting off to sleep I have a sudden feeling as though I’m falling. Impossible I know, seeing as I’m lead flat, so there’s only one culprit, and it’s anxiety.
I’m falling hard in the dark and as soon as I’m about to hit the ground I am startled awake. That’s not the end of it though, oh no. I startle, my heart racing, mind on overdrive like an update on your ancient laptop doing the loop for hours.
I even get anxious about being anxious. It makes absolutely no logical sense but it’s there just the same.
I take medication, practise breathing exercises (which I find are bollocks btw) I do everything I’m supposed to, even have talk therapy. The fact still remains that I have an anxiety disorder.
It’s aggravated of course, by life’s stressors, but sometimes it’s there for no fucking reason at all, other than just to be the mental version of thrush, in layman’s terms that’s an irritating cunt.
What has she got to be anxious about? You ask. I hear it all the time, whether to my face or through third parties. Well guess what sista, anxiety doesn’t have a type!
It might be your turn next love, and I can pretty much say truthfully, (unless you’ve committed crimes against children, in which case, suffer) that I wouldn’t wish this on you, or anyone else.
Maybe the bloke who cheated on and gaslighted me a few years back, or maybe the bitch in River Island who wouldn’t give me my parcel without photo ID, but I definitely wouldn’t wish it on your average Joe.
It sucks. And not good sucks, seriously fuckeduppy kind of sucky. Makes you question your own sanity kind of sucky. Makes you hide from the world and push people away through fear and exhaustion kind of sucky.
It can literally come on for me whilst I’m enjoying a nice relaxing bath or doing my shopping in Aldi. It takes one tiny thing, and here I am catastrophising and questioning my reasons to live. If you’ve never experienced anything like it, I beg you please stop dismissing it as if it’s nothing. It’s soul destroying and it takes strength to get through an attack, it takes strength to live with anxiety. It takes strength to talk about your anxieties and it takes that bit more strength to ask for help.
Most people in my experience who have an anxiety disorder are afraid to ask for help. It frightens them. What may be reasonable to you, is magnified 1000 for someone suffering from anxiety.
Sometimes the signs are obvious, like a full blown panic attack, hyperventilating, sweating, feeling faint. Some are much more subtle, a silent tear, a slight change in mood, irritability, lack of sleep. Some people are put off their food, where others purge and so on, basically you get it, it’s not always visible.
It’s not one size fits all. You can have all the money in the world and still be troubled. You can have family and friends who have no idea you’re even suffering. Or ones that stop asking because they’re tired of hearing about it. Or ones that are supportive but don’t know how to help.
I’ve kept things in and I’ve talked about it. Neither particularly work for me. I still feel just as anxious either way. I’m not saying don’t talk about it, do keep talking, as it gives others an opportunity to at least try and understand.
What does help me is recognising that anxiety doesn’t have a type and it’s not because I was a bastard in a past life, or that I’m clinically insane. It’s just my body’s reaction to fight or flight mode. More importantly, once I recognise it’s triggers I can sometimes even turn it off. Not always, but sometimes if I can find logic to my thoughts I am able to rationalise better and thus slow down the physical symptoms at least. Sometimes though your anxiety is so bad everything is a trigger, and that’s when for me, the only thing that works is medical intervention. I’m not ashamed that I take pills to relieve these symptoms when they are all consuming.
Of course my other chosen therapy is to write, that’s the main reason you’re reading this now. I hope someone reading this takes comfort in knowing they aren’t crazy! The brain is just a complex and sketchy place.