Yup, that description is pretty much me. Every day, pretty much for as long as I can remember. Years ago, when I was first diagnosed with a panic disorder, PTSD and all the other things that have come to pass, at first, well, just the diagnosis made me super anxious. It took me quite a long time to come to terms with the fact that I was a victim of years of trauma. Whether at the hands of my mother, father or other family, or eventually the physical and severe verbal abuse and trauma I lived with during the years my husband was alive and the horrible way his parents treated me, it has been a long road. I’m still traversing this path and I find that I am triggered (yes, I used the damn word) by many things that have happened in the past.
Sometimes, people try to tell me things to try and make my anxiety better. I’m sure they mean well and they are “only trying to help”. However, sometimes they don’t see the tears (which I hide every chance I get), the overthinking and the depressed state I can enter when people try to…help. Oftentimes, they make things worse and propel me deeper inside myself without perhaps recognizing it. I can’t express how often I feel very, VERY alone and overwhelmed and think that my life will not get better. This is where the depression comes in, although I do try hardest of all to fight that I believe.
Sometimes, working up the nerve to speak my mind about something is a big deal. More often than not, I’ll be quiet in order not to spark a conversation that might increase my anxiety. I can’t tell you how many times I’m sick to my stomach, vomit, have a headache, feel like crying, am overwhelmingly anxious for no reason and I try too hard to keep it in. I have what I like to think is a rich, full life and that I’m loved, but there are hundreds of times when I feel terribly alone, frightened about my life, both current and future and more times than not, I just don’t say anything about it. I keep it all inside. I have a terrible therapist and yes, I know I need to change, but that causes even more anxiety.
Over many years, people have asked me many things when I’ve tried to speak my mind, especially: “Why are you always like this?” or “Why is everything gloom and doom with you?”. When your thoughts are on overtime and you feel that everything is negative, it’s hard to talk to someone and tell them about it if you believe that you’re just going to hear something that makes you feel worse. When my husband was alive, any attempt at expressing something, even something as simple as not wanting the same thing for dinner could result in violence or severe verbal abuse, leaving me hurt, shaking, having a panic attack or crying for hours. So yeah, I still go to therapy because I feel it truly is the only place I can say what’s on my mind, even if I don’t think that person is helping me much.
So….what usually happens is that I start thinking about something and whether or not it’s a worry I don’t need to think about or something that’s happened, anxiety often takes over and you feel like you can’t stop thinking about it. It’s different than thinking about an upcoming fun event or an evening out with friends, or planning for a party. It’s intrusive. You simply cannot stop thinking about it. While you’re eating, trying to fall asleep, drinking coffee, chatting with a friend. It’s everywhere. It’s like psychological pollen that keeps irritating you. Sure, you have choices. Rationally, I know that if something is bothering me, I should seek out a healthy outlet to figure out what the problem is. The problem is that anxiety makes you overthink until you’re past that point and you’re either angry, irritated or otherwise so distracted you can’t focus on the right thing to do. So, the above meme usually happens to me.
I really wish I didn’t have anxiety. Sometimes I feel that I’m broken, that I’ll never be whole and will never be understood, that people have to “put up” with my anxiety and it’s a pain in the ass. Other times, I feel like it’s something that happened to me and it’s not my fault. Often, I feel that it’s all my fault and that I just need to change. I do spend a lot of time wishing things were different and how sad anxiety makes me.
A final meme…please excuse the language, but this one just stopped me in my tracks…