The Truth About Anxiety

There’s only so long you can take anxiety before it makes you loathe everything around you (and everything about yourself). Because there’s only so long you can beat a dog before it bites back. But where do you direct the anger you feel toward anxiety? Who do you bite? All the anxiety, everything that makes you hurt, seems to be coming from inside you. And it starts to eat at your insides, causing you to want to rip them out, throw them across the room, and scream. Imagine that: ripping your guts out and just chucking them 10 feet, seeing them splat against the wall. Imagine that actually being satisfying. That’s what anxiety does. Even though that image is disgusting, it can be preferable to letting that horrible, clawing feeling stay inside you. 

Or there are the times when you feel guilty for feeling sorry for yourself at all. You don’t have cancer, you’re not really going to die, and a lot of people don’t even think anxiety is real. With everyone doubting you, with you doubting yourself, it’s hard to feel sympathy for yourself. When you ask yourself Is it okay that I feel this way? Is it okay to cry because I want it to stop? Is it okay that I don’t want anyone with anxiety to sympathize with me? Because why the hell would you want to commiserate with some other poor sap who also hyperventilates in the middle of the night when you can’t even “commiserate” with yourself? Odds are, you see yourself as weak for letting the anxiety get to you in the first place, so you’ll likely not want to blabber about it to others.

Sure, you say you’re open about it. You tell people you have an anxiety/panic disorder, but you’re so cavalier about it. “Yeah, I get really anxious. I have panic attacks. They’re scary.” But you never go into the heartbreaking/gut wrenching details. “I used to think I was going insane” or “I automatically think I’m unsuited to be a parent whenever I have an attack.” Because talking about attacks, and what they do to you, terrifies other people. No one likes a psycho.

Attacks. What a way to put it. Accurate, yes. Possibly dramatic? Sure. But not really. Everything you’ve ever hated throws itself against your heart at once. Every unknown that ever scared you jumps out of the bushes again. Every bad memory, no matter how deeply buried, troubles you once more.

But it’s all you, all inside you. And unless you rip your guts out and sling them across a goddamned room, you don’t know how to make it go away.

Every single person in the world needs to understand this, because I’m sick of hiding myself to everyone else. Sick of having to pretend that everything is fine, sick of skulking off into a dark place so I can flip out in solitude. Not that I’d want to have another panic attack in public, because that’s more traumatizing than anything else I’ve experienced. But I don’t want to feel like it’s this big secret, like I’m some monster that comes out at night. It doesn’t mean I can’t function in normal society, it just means that sometimes I can’t function within my own head. 

When nobody else understands this, or maybe they even act like you’re being dramatic and lying to yourself, it’s hard to get better. So I’m getting better through therapy, because psychologists understand. 

There’s no one to blame for the way that my brain works, and that’s including me. I am not to blame, because I do not do this on purpose. So I guess this is sort of an education session for y’all: People with these problems aren’t being dramatic, and they deserve support, not skepticism. 

So go out and accept everyone, my little muffins! I know how wonderful you all are, and you give me support on a daily basis. Go do good for everyone else. 

xo

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23 thoughts on “The Truth About Anxiety

  1. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Totally following you as of NOW. Had my latest (and hopefully final?) panic attack last night, and not being very eloquent will probably direct all future skeptics to this very post.

    • Oh, that is so great! I’m glad it will be a good resource for you :P
      I’ve found that sometimes I go for months without a panic attack and then I’ll have one and freak out that it’s gonna get bad again, but you have to remember this: just because you have one doesn’t mean you’re doomed to have another. So good luck, chin up, and take it day by day.
      All my love,
      Cappy

    • Writing helps more than I even understand. And people like you help, too, Monica. You guys are my rocks, and I’ve never felt such immense support from a group of strangers before :) I really do love you, Mon!

      • I love you, too, Caps. I hope you’re okay but if you ever want to talk, and get a “stranger’s” perspective, one who’s been around the block that is, just let me know and I’ll email you my number. ;)

  2. You sound like someone who is self-diagnosed. And even if your doctor did diagnose you, this blog just makes you sound whiny.

    Your blog is bad, and you should feel bad,

    Anonymous

    • You sound like someone who is a self-righteous jerk. Just for future reference, don’t ever tell people about their problems, especially when you don’t know anything about them. You sound like you’re in serious need of some therapy yourself. Tell the psychologist you have a problem with Internet harassment.
      Your lack of compassion is bad, and you should feel bad.

      • Who is this wanker?

        Thank you for being so open and honest about it, Cappy. You’re strong, clever and a brilliant writer. I love reading your blog! From the ‘how to make any twit fall in love with you’ posts to the posts you write today. Receiving the ‘new post’ mail from WordPress always feels like a small present. Hope you never stop; not even when you’ve become rich and famous.

        • Wanker is right!
          Your kind words are especially appreciated right now, as that last comment was hard to take. I’m so glad I can brighten your day a little, and please know that you brighten mine all the time :)
          My heart is full of love for you and all of my other amazing subscribers!
          Cheers :)

      • Awwwww I just saw this…weirdly, it made me feel so loved and protected. You’re gonna be a great, feisty mama. And thank you. Hurtful comments on here suck, and I appreciate your sass :)

        • awwww… shucks! thanks Cappy! you are brave to talk about all this stuff that is so common to so many, but often so stigmatized. you bring such a personal touch to it, and humour (yes, Canadian spelling), so i really effing hate to see people try to rain on your awesome parade!

          • YAY Thank you, I appreciate it. My parade is super awesome. There are elephants. It’s too hot to handle for some people, but you are always invited.

          • omg, i MUST see an elephant when we are in India. it’s on my bucket list i will take a pic and post it for you…. fingers crossed we are going in three weeks!)

          • I am SO JEALOUS. Get outta here! I’m so excited for you :) Have a fabulous trip, and I’ll definitely have to see pictures! Find an elephant and tell it hi for me!!!

  3. Am enjoying reading your past posts and this one rings so true. Although I have now left the cause of my attacks one will creep up and bite me in the chest when I least expect it.
    It’s not often you find someone else who suffers or admits to it. Good post, fab blog!

    • I’m so glad :) I wish you the best of luck with your anxiety. I’ve found that I’ve gotten so much better in the last few months, but there’s always that little worry that it’ll get bad again, so I understand and sympathize with you!! I hope everything turns out for the best, and I appreciate the kind words :) xoxo

  4. I am new here, I can not say thank you enough for writing this and finding the words I have been unable to find to describe mental illness. I was diagnosed bipolar, and this week has been a horrific week of horrible mania and depression. Your words perfectly described how horrible and frustrating it is to be ‘trapped’ inside our minds. Even now, my words are failing me and I’m tripping all over them. Please know that you gave voice to my thoughts and feelings this week in a way I couldn’t. And I just wanted to say thank you

  5. Pingback: My Truth About Mental Illness | Welcome to My Life

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