Day Eight- Something I Struggle With
Anxiety is like a heavy blanket in my chest. A thick fog making it hard to think. An intense feeling of worry making my heart do flip-flops in my chest. Making it hard to breathe. The dread makes my heart pound angrily. Like it is jumping rope in there. Skipping along. Not caring if it scares the life out of me.
In these moments, I can’t be still. I am nervous. Anxious. I try to walk it off. If my legs will let me. Sometimes they feel like bowls of jelly.
I look for something I can see, something I can touch, something I can smell, and I count. I drink water. If I am at home, I try not to let my family see signs of smoke. I try to put out the fire myself.
On occasion, my arm is numb. Please not the left arm! Not the heart-attack arm! I am not having a heart attack! I am too young to die!
If my right arm is numb and tingly, I know I am going to live. I wiggle around like a worm. I pray to the God who hears me. I know I am going to live. I am strong and too stubborn to die.
If I know I have to be somewhere, I get nauseated thinking about it. I think about being around people, and it is a heavy weight pulling me down.
Talking to people. What will I say? What if they don’t like me? It might affect how they treat my children. My mind is like a blank sheet of paper trying to find the right words.
One of my issues lies within wanting to please everyone. My mother, my husband, my children, my family. If they are happy, then I can be happy.
When they are happy, my heart sings. When there is discord, my spirit is crushed. I hate chaos it makes me anxious. I feel like a caged bird flapping its wings unable to move about.
Another issue is social anxiety. For example: When I help at my daughter’s school, I feel the way I described when getting ready in the morning.
When I arrive, I have a headache that feels like it is trying to rip through the back of my head. (Though not anymore because of Daith Piercing.) I walk apart from everyone to take in a few breaths of air. The children do not scare me, ironically, it is the adults that intimidate me.
I put on a show and try not to stand out. Hiding behind this facade of confidence. Outside– I am Fort Knox. Inside– my stomach is a ball of knots. When it is over, I can’t wait to high-tail it out of there.
I don’t mind helping out. I love seeing my daughter. It feels good volunteering. The anxiety is my problem, and I am working on it.
In some ways, I feel so out-of-place when I go. Like Alice who was so very lost in Wonderland. But I suppose that is one way the anxiety gets “inside of my head.”
More than anything it’s the worry. The worry is the disease in itself. The underlying cause of anxiety. The infectious bug.
The thoughts seeping into my brain, “Am I good enough.. Wife, mom, daughter, friend, ____”
The obsessive thoughts. Feeling as though I have to protect my children.
“Will something bad happen in our neighborhood? Are they alright at school? Are they being bullied? Do I need to do anything to help them? What could I do to make them smile?”
As I lay in bed, I think, “Is my family going to be alright?”
My body is restless. My muscles are tense. Counting sheep doesn’t help when the corral is left open.
My thoughts wonder, and it isn’t a good thing.
Though my eyes feel like heavy bricks when I close them, no sleep comes. I chase sleep, and it eludes me.
This is what it feels like to struggle with anxiety. Anxiety is an invisible monster. It pulls on your insides like a puppet on a string. Makes you feel things you wouldn’t otherwise.
You want to feel normal. Do normal things, but you can’t.
We deal with stress badly, and we feel more deeply. Our bodies react as if these two things were contagious to our systems. So to purge us from these things, we have an attack.
You wouldn’t know someone has it unless they tell you. People assume we can turn it off like a light switch. Or calm down at the drop of a hat.
If it was that easy and we had it all figured out, we would have been free from anxiety long ago.
If you ever discover a person is struggling with anxiety, please do not judge them for it.
Instead empathy and understanding are helpful. We don’t want your pity. We are fighting a battle that one day we will win!
It isn’t easy talking about your struggles, but I hope this post encourages someone to open up about something they may be struggling with.
Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!