The first memory I have of that knot of anxiety in my stomach was in bed on a school night at about nine years old. I lay awake wondering why I felt so scared but I couldn’t be sure, was it because we had sports tomorrow? Was it because I had homework due in? But that feeling would be there the next day and the next. Life would change around that feeling; but it would always be hanging over me to make every day life that little bit harder.
As you grow up life gets more complicated and trying to mask and integrate that anxiety into an ever changing mould is hard hard work. It never really fits neatly in. And nobody seems to quite understand it, in fact it tends aggravate people after a while.
It makes you realise that the people who accept you are incredibly precious.
I have a few friends who have walked this journey with me without judgement and with acceptance but I lost many people along the way who just could not handle the intensity of my emotions.
I cannot simply brush something off, my mind clings to any perceived negative and analyses and analyses until only the bones remain.
The more people tell you to just chill out or calm down or forget about it the more you begin to feel ‘different’ to others. I envy others ability to just move on from something. Holding onto it only builds upon the weight you carry round with you. sometimes I could scream until I’m blue with frustration. Its exhausting having a tornado of feelings and worries swirling around all the time. But they do not go on their own.
It has taken enormous focus and will to change me; I have had periods of antidepressants and anti anxiety medication, several courses of cognitive behavioural therapy and attend meditation and exercise classes.
Events within my life have bought upon intense episodes. Including deaths of friends or relatives and the ending of relationships one of which took me at least three years to begin to emotionally recover! But that’s a different story. However each time I draw strength from my recovery and it shows me that if I can come back from those awful times I can do anything. The strength it must take for someone like us to live in the same world is amazing.
Our brain has a full on workout every time it has to process something
Anxiety has fueled my worst moments, but it has also helped me; it taught me that people will come and go and only the truest stay when things get tough, sometimes anxiety is a form of intuition and you actually should listen to it, I have the ability to plan well into the future and cover every eventuality and know exactly what I will and will not accept! It helped me mature and to focus and it’s one of the things the people I love find endearing about me. I will worry enough for all of us and they can relax
I’ve experienced ‘stigma’ over the years, from people looking at me like I’m some sort of alien, too someone I truly loved using it against me to try to take everything from me (that is why I have chosen to keep this anonymous, I am not ashamed, I simply cannot risk loosing everything because of other people’s judgement) But it’s who I am and I am at peace with that. Bring on tomorrow!
Photo from http://mightymockingbird.tumblr.com/