Hi Dear Readers,
One reason for starting this blog was to be able to express myself and to write about whatever I wanted to. I wanted to use this space as a place where I could come to heal when times are tough. I’ve always found writing to be healing. Throughout my experience on here, I have written different articles that have helped me accept different pieces of my past or present. I have found that I’ve completely stopped thinking about them because they are at peace now! So on here, I feel like it’s time that I talk about my anxiety that I have had for many years.
I don’t remember when it all began, because it’s been such a big part of my life for so long that it feels like I’ve had more anxious moments than non- anxious. What’s kept my head afloat for all of these years is that I have an amazing support system! And I mean amazing! I am VERY close with my family. I can call anyone of them at any time and they will listen and give me the god honest truth. My friend’s have also been supportive. My best friend and I talk openly about our mental health. It’s apart of our daily conversations it seems. It’s like we check in with each, especially after either one of us has an episode. Like “hey how are you feeling now?.” This is all very important to both of us, because it is non-judgemental, and we are free to talk about whatever we want. We each have moments where we just break down and contact each other for moral support. This happens anytime/ anywhere. The other day she messaged me about how it was extremely important that she talk to face-to- face about something making her anxious. The time before that I had a panic attack and needed help. The point is, is that I have a good support group where I feel like I can talk about anything and no one will judge me. I’m not uncomfortable saying what I’m anxious about to anyone in my support system- I just know it’s something that has to be done. I also write. All the time. I have kept journals for years, and in every single one, I have talked for pages and pages about what’s making me anxious, sad, unhappy, whatever. I re-read them too. This way I can see what is it that is making me anxious, and then when I can target it, I write out my plan of attack. Like ok here’s a list of things I’m going to do to make this situation better. But most times it just feels good to write it all out. It’s checking in with yourself and the motion of actually writing versus typing or talking is soothing.
What do I get anxious about? It can literally be about anything. Here’s some of my day-to-day stuff:
- Time- I think a lot of people struggle with this. I sometimes feel like I struggle with all forms of time. Sometimes, I’m worried I’m going to late to work, so I start chewing my nails, fidgeting, yelling at traffic, speeding, etc. Sometimes it’s about age. Things like “ Oh my god I’m this old now and look where I’m at, I have no idea what I want, I work a crappy minimum wage job, when will my life start, am I getting to old for certain things, time is going by too fast, I’ll never be able to accomplish everything I had intended too, time is going fast and my dogs are getting older to fast which is worrying (this thought ALWAYS makes me cry), what if I die too soon? My parents and siblings are getting older. See? Time is worrying and scary and sometimes the anxiety I get worrying about it is crippling and other times I feel like I can push it away, distract myself.
2- Social Anxiety while being more of an extrovert. Yup. You’re probably thinking um what? Here’s the deal. I love meeting knew people! I find that I actually hate being alone most of the time! I always have my dogs, my family, or friends around. I do need sometime to myself to think about me, but I really don’t crave it that much. I love to go out and hang with people. I love sitting in cafes, or anything like that if I’m working. I love sitting with people in the same room at home doing our own thing, but still enjoying being around each other. However, I have social anxiety a lot of the time as well. Like I said, I love meeting people, but when I do, I get all weird and quiet and I completely change myself. I get anxiety about them not liking me for me. Will they be ok with how I look? What I’m wearing? Why is my voice sound emotionless and quiet? Why can’t I look them in the eye? With Dudes: Are they going to secretly be a serial killer? What if I like them and then they hurt me? What if this is all for nothing? What if they don’t like how I look- no they probably don’t? Is this me flirting? HOW DO I EVEN FLIRT? What if we sex? Am I even good at that anymore? Like what if they hate it though with me? What if they just want sex? Are they out of my league? What if I am alone forever? How do I even meet normal people? Oh god why are they messaging me? What if it gets awkward on a date, what do I say? This is just some of the stuff I can think of. In a relationship with a guy: do they like me? Do they still like me? Do they still like me?! What if they hate me? What if I made them super angry? How do I fix this problem that isn’t actually there that I invented? It’s worse with guys, girls I can relate to and I know I’m awesome at friendship- although there are still those people you are like friendship wise you might be out of my league, like you wouldn’t be caught dead hanging out with someone like me.
3- Irrational Fears- I have a lot of these VERY dumb fears that I shouldn’t even take time out of my day to stress over, but I do. Here’s an example, my parents went away last week so I watched the house. The whole time I was stressing about a break in and someone killing me. Every time my dogs went outside I locked the doors, but then I was like I would hate it more if they hurt them so I watched them out there the whole time, I locked the bathroom doors in case someone were to walk in while I was showering. I locked the door to my parents bedroom at night, so that I would be safe in there- just another lock for someone to get through if they broke in, any noise- I would mute and listen, I double and triple checked to make sure doors were locked. The list goes on for what I could be afraid of.
So, the last thing I wanted to talk about, because the post is SO long, is how I can tell when my anxiety is bad. Alright, so here’s what happens to me:
- I chew all of my nails off.
- I pull all of my hangnails off and pick at the skin until my fingers are bleeding.
- I’ve stopped writing.
- I anxiously cry a lot and may also hyperventilate
- My jaw is sore from grinding my teeth
- When was the last time I talked to someone again?
- I am fidgeting- I can’t focus on anything or I do in short spurts as in I’ll think about a lot of different things at once
- When you talk to me, I’m zoned out and not listening OR I’m talking to much about too many different topics
- I’m not really sleeping that well, and I’m hungry
- I’m irritated easily
All of these I don’t know I’m doing at the time, but when my fingers are sore and bleeding or my jaw hurts, it kicks in about what I’m doing and that I need to write or talk to someone asap.
I’m proud of how far I have come. I have tried different coping mechanisms over the years- some including self medication- and I have had some major downs. But it’s ok, because I learned the hard way and broke through to the other side! I’ve begun to learn how I can make my break through some of these fears and anxious moments. Sometimes you have to just act before you overthink. My gut is usually right, so I’ve been trusting that a lot more before I get the chance to overthink. Sometimes I can’t help the anxiety. So when I get to that point, other people or myself pick up on one or more of those 10 signs and talk it out to me or I talk it out/write it out. I also have some other things I do: yup I am a proud owner of a fidget cube- this helps me focus and also gives my hands something to do- especially if I am driving (I have a horrible habit of unlocking and locking my phone for no reason, or changing the radio station 30 million times even if I like the song playing), I get gel nails- these are unchewable! And also I’m less likely to pick the skin around my nails (sorry for the graphic details),I take a day or evening and relax using face masks and bath bombs, I instantly start writing, I usually message someone to talk or just meet someone to even hangout with- we don’t have to talk about my problem, but having someone there is what makes it easier for me. I have something soft on my bed. I used to sleep with a teddy bear for SO long and yes you guys can all judge and think it’s weird but having something soft was soothing. After it turned into soft blankets and now my dogs. People check it out! Texture was HUGE for me, and I realized that it helps me get to sleep to pet my dogs or have a nice fuzzy blanket. Sound is too. I have to listen to music and belt things out! Take the time to sing a song very off key!
Anyways, I really hope this page has helped you out in anyway! If you’re in a bad place, please seek help. You can get through this even if you feel like you can’t, and maybe those words aren’t comforting because you can’t control what’s happening to you, but that’s ok. I’m just speaking the truth to you and sometimes it’s nice to hear.