– Or Just Hear Me Out –
This is mostly a self exploritory post. It’s bound to get messy, and either will not be posted or will be deleted after a few days. Bare with me, please.
On the right is a picture I took of myself in a moment of stress. This is not what my anxiety looks like. This is just me blowing off some steam and sending stupid pictures of myself to my mother.
I goof off when I’m stressed out; I hide and run away when I am anxious. The fact that I am making a distinction here is critical, because I feel like I hide more often than people realize. (Or, like so many other things, I am completely transparent and this entire post is moot.)
This picture (on the left there….no your other left) is closer to what I look like when I am about ready to claw my own eyes out. (It is important to note that, in this picture, I was actually a little annoyed.) I put on a show; I smile and laugh a little too loud, or I stay completely silent, hoping no one will pay attention to me. It’s not like when I’m angry or upset – I express those – but this state is a monster in and of itself.
‘Panic’ is the word that comes closest to describing this feeling, and there are months were I live in a near constant state of it. To ensure understanding of this panic, I am going to do my best to describe how it feels physically:
My chest gets really tight, so tight that it feels hard to breathe, even though breathing is as easy as it was before the onset of anxiety. The feeling spreads down my torso – sometimes causing intense stomach cramps – and into my arms and legs. My limbs feel weak and useless, my head feels light and empty, and I can think of nothing but what is bothering me. If it’s multiple things, I tend to shut down and hide; a single thing, and I go on with life, pretending nothing is wrong and searching for an opportunity to talk to someone about it. But then I inevitably don’t talk about it, because I don’t like burdening my friends with my ridiculousness. And then I get anxious about that and it all spirals out of control.
And this is all ridiculous because I know that whatever it is I’m panicing about is probably nothing. I took an idea and convinced myself that it was a world ending, friendship ending crisis, and 9 times out of 9, it’s not. To date this entry, I have been in a state of anxiety since….round abouts Wednesday evening (5/15/13). I didn’t realize that I was that anxious until Friday, when my car broke down in Salem, Va. and I spent about an hour in tears. Now, I’m panicing because a friend of mine hasn’t contacted me (they likely just forgot) and I have convinced myself that they are mad at me and no longer want to be friends.
There is no reason for me to think that this friend doesn’t want to be friends anymore because they haven’t gotten around to talking to me yet. NO. REASON. AT. ALL. And yet, here I am, writing a post about anxiety because I am so scared of losing this person (and I’m not going to unless I royally fuck up in the future) that I need to distract myself.
This is awful, and I’m not sure what to do about it. It happens rarely enough that I can’t justify therapy to myself, but, at the same time, I don’t have an outlet.