Living with Anxiety

Anxiety isn’t a cute trend. Anxiety isn’t something I use as a crutch.

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“Do you trust me? Do you hate me? Did I upset you? Why aren’t you speaking to me?”

All of the questions I hear when people notice that I’m not in the right head space. It isn’t that I have trust issues. I actually do not hate anyone. People sometimes upset me, but I’m not one to hold it against them. Sometimes I just need me time to try and calm down.

I get nervous. No, not the nervous you feel before a big exam, or when you are about to go perform onstage. This nervous is never-ending. Well, let me take that back. The nervous feeling comes and goes.  By that I mean, when I start overreacting and worrying is when the nervous feeling comes full swing.

It hits me deep in my stomach. It’s uncomfortable. I can tell that my mind is about to go into overdrive, and majority of the time there is no way to control it. I get to the point I put myself into a depressive state and it is so hard to snap out of it. I think about negative scenarios that are completely made up in my head. I think the worst of situations. I get so out of control that I impulsively react.

When I impulsively react it is usually because I’m so worked up that I am scared. I am afraid that I’ve pushed someone away or that I’ve done something wrong to that person. In reality, I haven’t done either. Most of the time, the people have no idea what I’m freaking out over. It is like I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but there isn’t a molehill. I’ve made it up.

This is the moment when people assume I have trust issues. It’s hard explaining to someone that I don’t have trust issues. To be honest, I am probably the most trusting person I know (which isn’t always a good thing).  They don’t understand that my episode isn’t due to a lack of trust, it is because I need to hear or read in a message that everything is okay.  It is crazy how much calmer I will get after knowing that everything is okay.  I can feel myself come back to reality and everything goes back to normal, as normal as it can be at least.

I also have to factor in social anxiety. The tag team duo on Jailynn’s life. I never realized how bad my social anxiety was for the longest time.  When I am walking somewhere on campus and I hear people laughing behind me, I panic. I instantly think that they are laughing at me. One time at Buffalo Wild Wings I mapped out the best way to get to the bathroom so I wouldn’t have to encounter people just in case I accidentally tripped or have to say ‘excuse me’ to get passed them.

I used to believe the reason why I didn’t raise my hand in class was due to me being shy and quiet. I am a very quiet person at times however, I realized there were different motives as to why I sometimes remain quiet in class. I am afraid to be called on and say the wrong answer and then have the class laugh at me or make comments about me. I get so nervous when the professor randomly calls on me. I always say, “Um I don’t know” and then I give an answer that is usually correct. Most of the time I do know the correct answer. I get too afraid to say it. I’m learning though. I’ve been speaking out more especially if they are opinionated based questions.

Overall, I am slowly progressing. I write in a journal every night. I make blog posts which helps clear my mind. I even paint or draw mandalas to get my mind concentrated on something else. Some days are harder than others. Some days I truly do have a clear mind and it is lovely.

People may not understand my mind. To be honest, sometimes I don’t understand it. All I know is I am who I am and I’m learning.  Anxiety isn’t a cute trend. Anxiety isn’t something I use as a crutch. It’s part of me whether I like it or not. What means the most to me is people hearing my story and understanding they aren’t alone. We are all in this together (yeah I know HSM reference) and even on the hardest days we can still be over-comers.

The Wall I’ve Built With Anxiety

I built this wall. Now I have to be the one to tear it down.

I know that I have a wall built up.

I know there isn’t anything wrong with having a wall because it’s nice to be cautious.

I didn’t know that I have a wall built with the help of anxiety.

I’m used to having walls guarding my heart from being hurt. I’m used to staying cautious of guys I’ve talked too because it is all centered around my fear of being hurt. It’s normal. Once you’ve been hurt it isn’t the easiest thing to trust that person again let alone another person you are thinking about being in a relationship with.

Trust me, I know all too well.

The more walls I build seems to be better. I mean if a guy truly likes me he will take time to break past those walls, right? Maybe not. I used to think that if a guy who cared for me then he would take the time to break down my walls, but recently I’ve realized that my walls aren’t just normal walls. There are twinned with anxiety.

Not only is a guy supposed to break down my walls, but then they have to get around the overthinking, the irrational thoughts, the negative scenarios I’ve already made up in my head before he even has a chance to get to the wall itself.  Some people may say, “If that guy does care, then he will do all of that.” That could possibly be true, but let’s add in the fact once I get too deep in my overthinking I push people away. It’s like the guy is on an episode of Wipe Out trying to get to me.

It’s not that I try to make him jump through loops. It’s not that I want him to have to break down my walls either. He wasn’t the one who caused this in the first place. I sometimes don’t even realize how guarded I keep myself which is been hurting me more than it has been helping me.

I did not realize that once I let the overthinking take over then it has won that battle. I overthink. I make myself upset. I assume the worst. I become irrational. Then I unintentionally push them away. By trying to ‘protect’ myself, I am pushing away people that care about me.

Never in my life would I try to hurt someone intentionally. I could not imagine the hate and anger I would have to feel in order to make someone feel so bad about themselves. Yet, I’ve been doing it every time I have my wall built with anxiety as a layer of protective support. As weird as this sounds, whenever I am in my overthinking stage I let that take control of me and I stop thinking for myself. I am already convinced that I’m going to get hurt again, or that the guy is just playing me. Instead of being a double texter and using my communication skills, I go head first and react with the irrational thoughts.

When I first realized that I build walls with anxiety, it hurt me. It hurt me because I have done such an amazing job at pushing people away. If there were to be an Oscar given for the girl who is best at pushing people away, I would win without a doubt. Sadly when it comes to pushing people away, I don’t even give them a chance. I don’t even give myself a chance. How can I expect someone to break down my walls when I haven’t even managed to take control of it myself?

Great question, right? Doesn’t exactly sound like the easiest task in the world, but I’m willing to try. I can’t keep letting overthinking win. I can’t hurting people and pushing them away. That’s not me. That will never be me. I am not letting myself become so clouded with negative thoughts that I lose the heart and soul of who I am as a person.

I built this wall. Now I have to be the one to tear it down.