Jump to content
  • entries
    41
  • comments
    391
  • views
    14,624

Anxiety

Sign in to follow this  
Thorn Wilde

154 views

It takes many different forms in different people, really. It took me a long time to recognise my anxiety for what it was, because it wasn't like what I saw in the movies, or what friends with anxiety told me it was like. My anxiety generally manifests in one of two ways.

 

The first is anger. This was especially true when I was younger. My panic attacks manifested as temper tantrums. Instead of panicking, I would scream, shout, throw things. Nobody ever recognised this as anxiety. I began to realise that's what it was as an adult, looking back. I know that temper tantrums are common in young children, and these are not generally a symptom of anxiety, they're just kids who struggle with expressing perfectly normal feelings constructively, because they're kids. But when someone is still throwing temper tantrums at the age of eleven, twelve years old, I think somebody ought to ask why. With me, they didn't. I don't know what they thought it was, but I can't recall anyone ever trying to help other than attempting to calm me down in the moment. As I grew older, these became less frequent, as I learned to reign in my emotions and bottle up that fear, but I still remember being a teenager and literally hitting myself in the head with a hairbrush to prevent myself from breaking something. Shaking, hyperventilating, screaming until I was red in the face. This all started to happen after my father died, when I was eleven, which is when I believe my bipolar disorder was triggered.

 

The second is a physical response, settling in the pit of my stomach and making me feel sick. It doesn't often cause me to throw up, most likely because I'm emetophobic and terrified of vomiting, but yesterday it did, in combination with a coughing fit. (My phobia is reasonably mild; once it actually happens I deal with it, whether it's doing it myself or a friend. The smell and sound of it easily sets me off, though. Needless to say, this phobia does nothing to help alleviate my anxiety when it takes this form.) Nausea is how my anxiety has manifested in the past few days. In the past, I've felt this way for several weeks straight. I particularly recall the summer many years ago before I went off to do the final year of my bachelor in England. I could barely eat. People commended me for losing weight. How fucked up is that?

 

My anxiety is most often triggered by social situations. The fear that I have disappointed or upset someone, that I've fucked up in some way that either causes someone harm or just pisses them off. Then I fuck up even more by trying to fix it and over compensating and making things worse. It's all irrational; most of the time it turns out that I haven't actually done anything wrong at all. Sometimes it turns out that I have, though, and that's what makes it so difficult. That's why it's so hard to tell one from the other. The most destructive thing for my anxiety is when nobody tells me that I've fucked up, or what I did wrong. It gives me no way to fix it, and I continue to feel anxious for days, often can't bring myself to eat proper food, and can't sleep unless I utterly exhaust myself because my brain just won't shut up and stop telling me, 'You're a fuck-up, everybody hates you, you did something wrong, they're all going to abandon you.'

 

I would never do this shit on purpose. I grew up being bullied and having few friends, and those I had often forgot about me or abandoned me. You start to wonder why that is, start thinking that it's really you there's something wrong with. You start thinking, no wonder they bullied me and shut me out when I'm this pathetic. When I do make friends, I tend to get kind of... I don't even know what to call it. Over-zealous, maybe. So desperate to fit in that I either suck up, or talk up a storm, and I don't know when to stop. Suddenly I've said the wrong thing, or I feel like I've said the wrong thing, and it all just starts all over again. I am terrified that people won't like me. And really, what's the worst that's happened to me? I was bullied, I lost my dad. I'm bipolar. So many others have gone through so much worse stuff, so what the fuck am I whining about?

 

I'm not writing this because I want pity. I'm writing it in part because I think it's important for people to know how anxiety manifests differently in different people, and how destructive it can be not to recognise it for what it is. Mostly, I'm just writing it to get it out, to explain to myself why I am the way I am. I've been writing a lot of poetry the past couple of days to try and get these feelings out as well. I posted one yesterday. It's here, on the off chance that anyone is interested. Writing about it, whether figuratively or literally, does help. Right now I just want to crawl into a hole and hide, but I'm gonna try not to. I love GA. You guys are my family, and I want to be here. So I'm gonna try to be, even though I'm scared.

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2
Sign in to follow this  


7 Comments


Recommended Comments

I hear ya. Two thoughts...

 

Have the same compassion for yourself that you would freely offer to anyone else. Don’t be so hard on yourself!

 

You seem to have a good grasp of your anxiety triggers and the resulting fallout. What’s the next step?

  • Love 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
5 minutes ago, Ron said:

I hear ya. Two thoughts...

 

Have the same compassion for yourself that you would freely offer to anyone else. Don’t be so hard on yourself!

 

You seem to have a good grasp of your anxiety triggers and the resulting fallout. What’s the next step?

It's tempting to just avoid situations that cause me anxiety... But that's not terribly productive, is it? So I guess the next step is to try to convince myself that my irrational brain is irrational.

:hug: 

Edited by Thorn Wilde
  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

Anxiety definitely sucks :( I hope you feel better soon.  :hug:  

  • Love 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
3 hours ago, Thorn Wilde said:

convince myself that my irrational brain is irrational.

:hug: 

There you have it.  It IS irrational, but that does not make it any easier to deal with or any less real. Like a phobia, ( irrational fear) it can still be debilitating.  Ask any claustrophobe, we know that the tiny powder room is not going to keep us prisoner, but that doesn't stop me from leaving the door slightly ajar unless there are guests in the house

  • Love 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
3 hours ago, Valkyrie said:

Anxiety definitely sucks :( I hope you feel better soon.  :hug:  

Thanks, Val. :hug: 

 

1 hour ago, Kitt said:

There you have it.  It IS irrational, but that does not make it any easier to deal with or any less real. Like a phobia, ( irrational fear) it can still be debilitating.  Ask any claustrophobe, we know that the tiny powder room is not going to keep us prisoner, but that doesn't stop me from leaving the door slightly ajar unless there are guests in the house

That is exactly it. And sometimes it can be hard to tell the rational and the irrational apart as well.

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

My anxiety manifests as anger sometimes too, and it sucks.  I hate lashing out at people who love me, I hate that they feel like they have to walk on eggshells around me, and I hate when I start screaming and have to leave before I hit someone.

 

The other is a constant feeling of dread and doom and as horrible as it is, I prefer that to the anger.  At least this way, I'm the one miserable, and not the people around me.

 

Hang in there friend.  :hug:

  • Love 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
7 hours ago, CassieQ said:

My anxiety manifests as anger sometimes too, and it sucks.  I hate lashing out at people who love me, I hate that they feel like they have to walk on eggshells around me, and I hate when I start screaming and have to leave before I hit someone.

 

The other is a constant feeling of dread and doom and as horrible as it is, I prefer that to the anger.  At least this way, I'm the one miserable, and not the people around me.

 

Hang in there friend.  :hug:

You too. Anxiety is awful no matter which form it takes. :hug: 

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Thorn Wilde
      When you've been depressed for a while, and you've found writing really hard, getting back into it can be a bit of a challenge. I'm feeling a lot better now. Going to school to study sound engineering this autumn, and it feels like my life is back on some kind of track. But the writing is still difficult.
       
      The problem is that I have lots of ideas, and I want to get back to writing properly, I really do. But I'm mostly motivated to work on my new ideas. So I sit down thinking, 'I'm gonna write now,' and open up one of the new, unpublished ones (my new viking story, my detective novel, the Pride & Prejudice pastiche). But then I remember that I should be working on my unfinished novels, Lavender & Gold or Nemesis 2, and so I open those and read through what I've written and get to the point where I've got more to write... and then stop, cause I don't feel motivated to write those things, I just want to write the new things. It's like my attention span is shot. And I have readers waiting for L&G and Nemesis, and I don't know what to do.
       
      So, I end up playing Skyrim instead.
       
      I know all I have to do to finish L&G and Nemesis 2 is just sit my arse down and start writing, but it's like when I try my fingers just won't move, and my mind wanders to Detective Inspector Templeton, or Trym the viking, or Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley. And nothing at all gets done.
       
      I have to find some way around this. I really, really do.
    • By Qboi1956
      I have been thinking about writing professionally for years now but have never managed to go through with it. Much of my trouble stems from me being a rather random thinker in addition to being unfocused and lazy. When thinking about things in greater depth, I think the problem lies deeper in my psyche. I know I am capable of writing because this is flowing easily out of my mind, through keys on a keyboard, onto the virtual page on my laptop’s screen.
       
      Throughout my life I have been quite capable in expressing myself both verbally and through writing. My experiences at high school and university attest to this fact. Only when I was a small child in The Netherlands did I struggle with writing- the physical act of putting pen to paper and creating something legible- until I was challenged by my teacher in year 4. He ‘took no prisoners’ and insisted on me producing better quality work, daubing messages of disappointment all over my untidy and messy written work: “Sloppy” appearing on nearly every page in my various notebooks.
      I soon learnt to put more effort in right from the start, and even though it required more thought and forbearance, it allowed me to actually go out for recess. When I moved to a new country (Canada) and new school, I found myself blossoming as a student and managed to produce such good quality work in grades 7 and 8 that I ended up with the General Proficiency Award at graduation. My diligence in the presentation and content of written work continued through high school and university. I have had some work published in university community publications too. Apart from teacher’s appraisals and input, never have I received harsh negative feedback on my writing.
       
      When I launched into my career as high school English teacher, I knew I was capable of writing and assessing the quality of others’ writing too. Incidentally, the children’s picture book I wrote for my Teacher’s College English module was enthusiastically praised by my professor who said it was outstanding. Then why did I go on putting my own writing career on hold? Why am I still struggling and procrastinating? When I dig deeper, I think it all has a great deal to do with my self confidence and its manifestation in the anxiety I experience when it comes to producing written work.
       
      What am I scared of when it comes to my writing? As my personal life coach I have been working with over the past few months put it to me (paraphrasing) “Who decides if the writing you produce is good quality?” She also suggested I pose myself the following question: “What would it take for me to set my own benchmark and not to require external validation?”
       
      Writing this blog in a public forum is my first step to acknowledging that anxiety around my writing is a concern I have. I think the only option I have is, using Susan Jeffers’ words “to feel the fear and do it anyway.” Only by putting myself and my work ‘out there’ can I move forward and progress. Every writer has to deal with criticism and rejection along the way- I accept that- and who knows, maybe the worst critic is the one I’ve always feared most: the inner one that exists deep within me!
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..