Lately, I have challenged myself, well my anxiety really. I will do something that gives me anxiety. Like today I went for a steam with my friend and I went shopping with wet hair. I did feel the stares and it freaked me out. But I was still able to dome shopping and function as a normal human without wanting to crawl into a hole. I still want to do that sometimes. But my real question is, Does it work? I have no idea. I like to think it does because deep down, deep deep down, I know that if I am put in that situation again I know I will be able to handle myself.
See I am an awkward person by nature. It takes me a while before I can be open around some. Or just my goofy self really. I see this being a problem when it comes to dating. I mean I might really like this person and if I can’t even look them in the eye. I don’t see the relationship going far. (no pun intended) But I think there is someone out there for everyone. And hopefully, there is someone out there who will be able to out wait my awkwardness and see the real me. I guess we will have to see. Yet in the same breath, I am happy being single right now. I do not need a boyfriend to be happy I can make my own happiness and I have other people in my life that I enjoy being around. I am working on a career and future that I can be proud and happy with.
There is so much pressure on people finding a SO and I have always felt like I am failing someone by not having a boyfriend. When I think about it right now when the logical part of my brain is in control. I am not failing anyone. I have friends who enjoy me and a family who supports me.
People in my high school always want to be different. They wanted to be the super cool hipster or something that was like everyone else. As I watched them I was confused because I wanted none of what they wanted. I wanted to be normal. Well, I am normal and having a mental health issue doesn’t make you bad or inferior in any way but I didn’t know that back then. Even now I wish I didn’t have to deal with this heavy pressure on my chest that stays there for days. Or breaking down for no idea. Being scared of going over to your really good friend’s house, even when you nothing bad is going to happen but that little monster bully voice whatever you want to call it tells you different and it is so loud and overpowering sometimes it is hard for the logical side to win. Tangent sorry.
Back in high school, I watched all these people try to be different and that’s great. I love it now. Yet back then I didn’t know why they would want to do that. I was different and felt so alone and isolated from everyone around me. I wanted to be normal by their standards so much but I never could be and I never will be. It is okay because I know who I am even with my anxiety and depression. And I think I am still pretty cool. And I am sure all of you are too.
Life is a tough thing to handle. And some people, unfortunately, are better at handling it. Everyone has their off days and that’s okay.We are allowed to be a little bruised and broken. Life throws things at us that we never expected, and we are just supposed to catch it in time and hope for the best. Sometimes we miss the catch and it hit us and we get hurt. We learn how to deal with the bruises and the brokenness that are the result of us missing the catch. But we need to keep trying to catch the ball as the little monster in our heads keep throwing them at us so we can hopefully learn how to catch a few.
Honestly, my mental health is a struggle not only for me but my family as well because they see me hurting and want to help. But it’s nothing physically wrong with me that can be covered up with a bandage. It’s something that is hard to fix and even harder to overcome. I think we need to be able to talk about our mental health without fear of being judged. I know when I talk about it openly with some people they give me strange looks and it scares people off sometimes but they obviously were not meant to be in my life.
It is has taken me till now because I have had anxiety since I was in about grade three, that is the first time I remember an anxious memory. In grade five, I would wake up in the middle of the night absolutely terrified and wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep unless my mom was up. Grade nine I hated myself. Grade ten I was diagnosed with anxiety and wanted to end my life. Things do get better, it takes time, a lot of time but it does get better. Or you get better at coping with it.
Yet here I am writing this for random people to read on the internet because there needs to be a change. And I want to be part of that change.
I love the night. I am a huge night owl, I get more done in the hours of 5pm to 10pm then I do in the day. Which many people find odd. I think it is because that’s also the hardest part of the day for me. It’s when the dark thoughts see your shields are down and then decide to attack. They creep their way into your mind making you worry about something that might have happened years ago. It drives me crazy because I have no way to stop it. I have a few tricks that I have picked up over the years to keep me distracted.
I read until I can barely keep my eyes open.
I listen to music. (My therapist said this isn’t the best can your mind can still wander)
I draw what I am feeling – and I am not an artist by any means I mean I can draw stick people and flowers.
But the best one I have found for me is writing. I write everything that is running in my mind and don’t stop until I have nothing else to write. It helps get the thoughts out in the “open” but no one sees them. As Atticus said in his book “Lover Her Wild” “Some words are safer on paper”
I once had to call my best friend from outside a coffee shop before I went in because I was going to stand the guy up and text saying came up. Really Classy right? But here is the thing, with anxiety and throw some depression into an already awkward person, you do not get a good combination. Low self-esteem, not a good conversationalist and I can’t sit still. So with this one situation, I was having a full-on panic attack for multiple reasons, which I think are all logical reasons to have a panic attack about meeting another human being to have coffee. (lol the probably not)
1 I meet this guy on a dating app,
2 automatically gives me a 50/50 shot that this guy is a creep.
3 I don’t know what he looks like.
4, We could have nothing to talk about,
5 I could spill my drink all over him or me or a complete stranger cause I am clumsy.
6 He will think I am Ugly.
The list goes on. But she was like okay I get that ( mind you, she has anxiety to so she gets where my mind goes) But you are never going to go anywhere if you listen to your anxiety all the time. And she gave me all the actual logical reasons
I am one of her strong friends. I am still strong. I am a fighter. I am a warrior. Just because I have anxiety doesn’t mean that I am weak, it means that struggle every day. I am able to get out of bed every day even know I had not slept that night. I make myself eat even know I know I feel like I am going to throw up and can’t keep food down. I still do everything in spite of my anxiety, I always want to hide away from the world but I still have to face it. Every. Single. Day. So if you can’t see that as a strength then that is your problem.
The first day of school is always an anxious time for anyone and no one ever wants summer to end. This year was a strange start for me. There were lots of things that seemed to happen all right before school started. So I didn’t know if it was school or the multiple different things that were causing me anxiety. I have had this problem for as long as I have had anxiety. I won’t be able to pin point what is making me anxious. So my brain would just pick an old problem that has been resolved and will fixate on that. Then that makes me hyper aware of what my brain is doing and thinking and then I will start to pick apart everything and make problems that aren’t even there. Making a Mountain out of a mole hole is an understatement when it comes to my anxiety sometime. It has the quiet imagination. When this happens I always have to take a night and just do something that is mind numbing and doesn’t take much effort on my brains part. Whatever it maybe it helps for me to be able to sort through all my thoughts and work through what is wrong. This doesn’t always work sometimes I feel like I am anxious for no reason and I can honestly say sometimes I am. But I just keep going one day at a time.
*Disclamer Mild self harm*
I went on a road trip with a friend and her family. No big deal just a few hours away but for some reason, I was super anxious. Maybe we were going down to see her grandparents or this was my first big road trip with out any family but I noticed something about me. As my friend stopped talking to me cause she was anxious. We seem to flock together. I was super anxious and nervous and just wanted to go home. My mind had taken a wrong turn and was no longer in the good part of town. I was anxious about everything, from how her grandparents would see me right down to how I was breathing. I was a mess. I had felt like I had gone back to square one. Which I did not want to be back in the square. So I dug my nails into my hand. I was making a fist. So it wasn’t noticeable to anyone else but me, it hurt and it distracted me from my anxiety. Which was I needed at the time, and all that weekend if I felt anxious I would make a fist and the pain would distract me. And now I seem to do it all the time. Which isn’t good cause this is not a healthy way of coping but it sure is a quick fix.