It is an eerie feeling in the pit of my stomach that no amount of breathing can stop. It is a sinking feeling that holds me back from saying something or speaking my mind in fear that I will sound like an idiot or uneducated. It is a heartbeat frantically trying to find its own beat through the clutter of paranoia and ultra-aware state. The beats rise up from the pit and lodge itself into my throat while I attempt to swallow it down for fear that my heart will leap out of my body. It is sweaty palms and an itch in your very bones that nothing can cure. It is this overwhelming state of mind that nothing you do will be or can be good enough and that no matter what you will fail. It’s the tears that beat down your cheeks while eyelids and lashes flutter about attempting to hold the dam back – but it’s a losing battle. They spill over and you’re undone.
Anxiety has been a part of me for so long that I don’t think that I can remember a day that I didn’t have an attack at least once. Before it was just a pit in my stomach or a cold sweat that wouldn’t go away, and now it has morphed into sometimes something so debilitating that it takes away all my will and want. It has raised my blood pressure and curved my social outings to few and far between.
Perhaps it’s because I am alone up here. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m finally coming to terms with things from my past. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve just handled it for so long that now – in a loving and safe relationship I can finally let it go and be myself. For whatever the reason may be I have found that the more I think about it the more that I have lived with anxiety for longer than I realized.
How do you deal with it? How do you cope with something that feels like this big force is coming crashing down upon you?
For me – I’m dealing with it by talking about it. I’m pointing out this wolf on my back and giving it a name and stating that though I deal with it I will not let it define me. I will accept that I will have bad days and I accept that some days will be better than most. I will talk about it and further work with my doctor or counselor about ongoing treatment because I can’t stand by and watch it take my will anymore.
What will you do?