PARALYZED || The Hostage Situation With My Anxiety.
I recently went on vacation. Stripped away from a home that needs cleaned, a business that needs constantly managed, and the construction in our home that seems to never be finished.
With each mile we drove, I took time to evaluate myself. I took deep deep cleansing breaths. If I was going to travel 500 miles away to relax, I was going to REALLY try to relax and come back with something that refreshed myself.
I thought about a lot of things. About my career, my health, and how I can better myself. I thought about my anxiety. It’s gotten worse over the years. Every time I feel forgotten or I fuck up, my anxiety gets 100x worse. I tremble. I lay in bed, refusing to leave my house. Technology makes that easy. I can order food, groceries, clothes, anything to my home. My anxiety tells me, “Well, if your friends don’t care about you, neither will the world. You’re only meant to work and die. That’s all you’re good for. No one cares and if they do, it’s because they just want something from you.” Yeah, that’s my mind. It’s a shitty place to live sometimes. During these times, I literally curl up in a ball. I don’t want the world to hurt me anymore. I don’t want people to see me, judge me, talk down to me, talk about me. I tell myself I don’t want to exist. Then enters depression.
So I evaluate this self talk. How can I control this evil bitch that lives in my head and tears me down to the studs and never builds me back up. Meds? Yeah, I’ve tried them. I take one kind and I’m a zombie. I take another and I never sleep. I take another kind and I become a manic. Another kind and I can’t find the consequences in anything. All of this since I was 16 years old.
I go over and over in my head where are the triggers? Where does it go from bad to worse? What can I do to stop it? I realize that if I reason through my triggers - being forgotten, imperfect, used - then I can usually ‘get over them’ in a sense. I realize that I need to do more of what scares my anxiety. I need to get her used to what she hates so she will eventually calm the fuck down. Anxiety tells me ‘Well, no one wants to do anything with you, so you should probably just never go out. I mean, you’re going to be alone anyways. What’s the point?’ So instead, I am going out. That started this morning. I’m going to go out a lot. Alone. And I’m going to be okay. I went on a mile hike, got myself a drink, and I feel fucking amazing. It’s not even noon and I am so bright eyed. I’m not perfect, but I’m functioning. Even when I got my drink, a former client of mine said, ‘Do I know you? Aren’t you ENV? I thought you moved away.’ AHAHAHA Dear God did Satan just try to fuck up my whole plan. He just had another human being tell me to my face that they forgot I lived here… Mind you, this poor woman had NO idea of that. She has no ideas of my struggles. She didn’t know how this would effect me, but Satan sure did. He used her mistaken thought as a way to hurt me. See how that works? See how that happened? Any other day, this would have had me crying. I would have let the thoughts of ‘Who told her that?’ — ‘I’ve always been here, I’m constantly sharing my photography online’ — ‘Why would she think I was gone?’ and my anxiety would have told me I just shouldn’t exist.
It’s amazing what you can achieve when you become more aware. I’m now thinking about my anxiety like a rubber band. As first, it’s strong because you’ve never stretched it before. But after you’ve used it ten times, you can easily stretch it. Over time, it eventually breaks from being worn down. I’m wearing down my anxiety. I’m lucky enough to have a husband who will listen and talk to me what I say ‘I’m not doing good.’ or ‘I’m in a bad place.’ My family is great about giving me space, or love, or whatever I need.
I encourage you, if you struggle with your mental health, to explore yourself. Examine the rabbit hole your mind takes you down. Where can you stop your thoughts, where can you catch yourself? When you hear your mind tell you one thing, how can you distract yourself and turn it around. If you ever need to talk, need a lunch buddy, or help, I’m here. Reach out. Get a family member to check in with you weekly. That Sunday phone call or Saturday morning walk could change everything. Realize your mental health, seek help if needed. Just know that how you feel today is not how you’ll feel forever. I know because I’m living it.