I spend most of my days worrying about everything, mainly the small meaningless shit that doesn’t need to be worried about, whilst most people worry about me. I have learnt that some things in life you can choose and deal with, anxiety has chosen me.
Over the years of me having anxiety I’ve learnt it can’t be cured but either managed by pills or you just learn to live with it, which in my case I am. I refuse to take pills the rest of my life, so I try and deal with it on my own. The way to try and manage it, you need to accept it first. My mind is constantly active thinking random thoughts, problems, lack of solutions and I wonder why I feel exhausted all the time. Having a mental illness such as anxiety is draining, your mind never stops, never switches off, even for minute, so you can get a bit of peace and feel a bit of normality again.
I hear about some people with anxiety who are worse at night, for me its the opposite, I am by far worse through the day. I consider myself a lucky anxiety sufferer, if thats such a thing, because I can sleep through the night, well as much as I can with a five month old in tow. Sure, I will have the odd occasional bad night but other than that I sleep well. Every day will be the same, same thought and the same feelings as the previous day, but its like my mind is set to do that daily. I try and distract myself, kids help a lot with that and I also do adult colouring in my spare time which helps calm me down if my anxiety levels are high, but as soon as Oscar goes to pre-school, and Luna naps I’m back to thinking about the same shit that racked my mind earlier that day, or on a previous day. The same guilt I feel day in day out for previous mistakes I have made, I can’t forgive myself. You may have forgiven me, but I can’t forgive let alone forget.
Routine. I have to have routine, if I don’t have routine it will mess my day up and my anxiety will be through the roof. Spontaneity freaks me out, I can’t handle it. I need to know things ahead of time, way before they happen. I am at least twenty minutes early for everything, doctors appointments are probably the worse. I will get down there and wait in the waiting room for at least the twenty minutes before my appointment is booked for, I end up waiting down there for on average about forty minutes because doctors are never on time, but regardless of me knowing this, I will still be early. If my plans get cancelled, again that will freak me out too. People don’t realise how much effort it takes to mentally prepare for something that is days or weeks away, then for it to get cancelled completely screws up my thought process. I think this is why I am so doubtful to do things and make plans, I prefer to stay at home with my own company because I know nothing will get ruined.
Paranoia. This is a huge problem for me, this is where most of my anxiety stems from. If i message people, I expect an instant reply, regardless of what time of day it is, thats what I expect. If I don’t get an instant reply or if my message has been read and not replied to expect to get more messages that are completely irrational and blown way out of proportion. Whether our relationship is perfect that day, if the message seems a bit off because you are busy I will still think I have done something wrong and that will be replaying in my head until you explain otherwise. If you don’t want to see me, I will think you hate me, lets face it, if you’re my friend, partner or family you will know I am needy. Ridiculously needy. You can thank my anxiety for that. If I have an illness or if something isn’t quite right with my body whether its a pain, a headache, literally anything I will always assume its the worse. I remember I had a headache for a week straight once, I booked a doctors appointment and told her I had a brain tumor. She laughed. Turns out I am fine, but this is what my anxiety does. I am a hypochondriac. It’s because I am terrified of the unknown, because its out of my routine.
Perfection. I try and keep everything perfect if it strays from the path I will freak out. If I cancel on you or completely change the plans its because I want it to be perfect. I have learnt now that its not possible to make everything perfect, there will be things that go wrong and no matter how hard I try and control the situation there are somethings that are uncontrollable. I take on too many things to try and make perfect, I have unrealistic expectations of pretty much everything again these cant be achieved and I end up failing. Then blaming myself, its a catch 22 but then most of my anxiety attacks are catch 22 situations.
Seclusion. Everyone that is closely involved in my life, I push or have pushed away at some point. I want to be alone and then moan I am lonely. I push people away when I need them the most, I say I want to be on my own, deep down I don’t. I need and want the attention, it makes me know that regardless of me pushing you away you’re still standing by me. I sit quietly, I won’t explain if there is a problem or I wont explain how I am feeling or how you can help me, I just expect you to know. For that I am sorry. I am so unbelievably hard on myself and probably the most judgemental person you’ll meet. I am so insecure, not just with the way I look but the way I act, the things I do, everything. If I mess up the slightest thing I always think my partner will leave me, I am still waiting for him to see sense and leave me. I treat people like shit and its all my fault, then I moan when I need them and they are too scared to come back.
I really appreciate everyone that accepts me despite all of this. It takes someone very rare to stand by someone with this illness, knowing it wont be cured. It’s extremely hard for someone to accept that their lives will change whilst they stand by the person they love knowing every day they are treading on egg shells not knowing what will spark off the next anxiety fueled argument. The love I share with the people that have stood by me is unconditional, they accept me for who I am and appreciate why I am like this. I don’t say thank you enough for you who do stand by me. You have no idea how much it means to me, I have a feeling of wholeness knowing that you wont leave me. Thank you. Thank you for letting me do things the way I have to do them, thank you for not moaning too much when I over react or blow things out of proportion, thank you for everything, I am beyond grateful.