Right, here goes.
I am going to be completely honest and open with you about my anxiety. 100% truthful about the things that go on in my head. And I warn you, it’s not pretty.
I don’t want to talk about anxiety in general as it manifests differently for everyone.
Let’s talk about how MY anxiety manifest…
I am going to list the many ways in which my brain thinks it’s acceptable to screw over my day.
Let’s start off small, and I know that some of you can relate…
Did I turn my hair straighteners off?
Did I leave the hob on?
Did I lock the car?
At this point in time, I can assess these and rationalise them. For instance, I very rarely use my hair straighteners, I don’t have much hair! I will still worry about the hob being left on even if I haven’t cooked that day, I have been known to text Chris when I’m in bed, asking him to check that I’ve turned the oven off!
And worrying about whether or not I’ve locked the car is something that pops into my head the moment I have locked the car! It’s just ludicrous.
I have an anxiety attack every time I need to go to my sons school, mainly because of their door to the reception area. It makes no sense and it causes me to panic. I don’t quite understand why they’ve decided to make a door so complicated.
There’s no indication as to whether the door is push or pull. It’s usually locked on an intercom system, so you have to speak through the speaker in order to gain access, and the people who control the intercom can see you through the great big glass fronted wall, so they can watch you not having a f**king clue what to do!
Do I have to press a button? Do I speak into the intercom? Where’s the f**king button? The intercom has no button! Can you already hear me without me pushing a button? I feel that the whole process is unnecessarily complicated!
Those worries are slightly mild, every day paranoia…here’s a few slightly more unnerving ones…in fact, they are quite severe…
My son has been murdered on his way home from school…
My son has choked on the food I’ve just given him…
Has his headphone cord wrapped around his neck…?
Has he slipped in the shower and knocked himself unconscious?
My concerns for my son are clearly about him dying. And when I write these things here and read them back to myself, I think ‘what the hell are you talking about?’. I know that at the time these thoughts are genuinely real and awful, I have very nearly brought myself to tears with some of the anxiety-ridden thoughts I have. And I know how ludicrous they seem now when my head is being rational.
I once took the giant leap, in my damaged brain, to the thought that my son had been be-headed. It makes me sick.
He was late home from school one day, about an hour, and I couldn’t get hold of him on his phone. I was frantic, and a frantic mind will go to some really weird places.
I heard a bang at the front door and instead of a rational thought, my mind automatically decided that someone had thrown my sons head at my door. Now, why? For a start, why would anyone do that? And secondly, why would I think that?
This was actually quite disturbing to write down and I do know how messed up it sounds, unfortunately, I can’t stop my head from processing things in the way it does.
As of now, whilst I’m writing this and for some time now, my thoughts have been rather rational and calm. I am still checking windows and doors several times before I go to bed and I will check my car, but just once for good luck!
My anxiety brain goes from 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds.
I have made so many giant mountains out of tiny molehills, sometimes though they aren’t even molehills, to begin with, they’re barely even anything at all!
This is what anxiety does to me, it might be very different for you. That’s just the way it is, it doesn’t mean we don’t both have anxiety, it just feeds on our fears, therefore it presents differently.
Also, this is anxiety as a condition. This is not me just feeling anxious or nervous about something, this is full blown anxiety attack, complete with uncontrollable shaking, crying, palpitations, nausea, feeling tired all of the time but not being able to sleep, being scared of EVERYTHING in some way, itchy skin, tension and a boat load of other unwanted symptoms.
So there we have it. This is the beginning of my totally open and honest anxiety encounters! I just want people to feel comfortable enough to share the ludicrous worries that anxiety likes to create for them. You’re not going mad, your brain is just being a giant arsehole!
The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker. – Helen Keller.