And back by increasingly unpopular demand, it’s anxiety!
Does this ever end?
The week has been a bit of a rollercoaster with so many things going on. My brain doesn’t feel like it’s had time to settle before it’s off again.
I’ve been quite busy with the blog this week. Mental health awareness week saw me putting up a blog a day telling other people’s stories. I like doing this, it makes me feel like I’m doing something constructive. Also, it helps create more awareness by showing the different facets of the illness, how there’s so many different permutations and ways for people to be effected.
Also, this week saw me finally make a decision I’ve been thinking on for a while and leave my band. It was a decision that both filled me with sorrow and relief. Even though I know it was the right thing for me I still have doubts. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be me.
I got messages of support from quite a few people. They knew what it meant to me and that the decision wasn’t one that I came to lightly. I found it reassuring and helped calm me. Then my anxiety decided to kick in a bit and ask why hadn’t any of the other guys in the band got in touch with me after my initial message. I realise that they don’t owe me anything, but still part of me felt hurt. My mood is amplifying anything negative it possibly can. My mood decides it’s going to stay at rock bottom, fuck anything that could be uplifting.
A few days on and I’m still feeling on edge. I feel tired even though I’m sleeping. My jaw keeps clenching tight. I feel the jitteryness of anxiety around me. Emotionally I’m raw and can feel myself get easily upset. Sometimes it’s all I can do to stop myself bursting into tears.
Of course my anxiety is over amplifying everything. It can’t be stepping up right now, it just can’t.
I had a strange message on Sunday morning. A friend of mine has been victim of someone on the internet harassing and generally stalking them. This morning I received an email to the address I use for the blog from this person. The email followed a similar pattern to one’s that have been sent to other people, threatening suicide. Obviously, part of me wants to help but most of me just wants them to stop making my friend’s life a misery. Still, it helped ramp up my anxiety a good few notches. What a great way to start the day!
The day continued in pretty much the same fashion. My anxiety continued to corrode the day and my mood. It started manifesting itself physically too. Usually it’s in a couple of places. My anxiety tends to sit in my right shoulder and also my jaw (which leads me to unconsciously clench it) which it did but today it’s seemed to also visit my hands. I could feel myself scratching at my left hand as as it trembled. I placed my hand on a flat surface where I could see the muscle between my thumb and forefinger pulse and twitch on it’s own accord.
In the evening, someone who’d joined the support group I set up reacted negatively to a post I’d been tagged in. After a couple of us reached out to her we were blocked and her profile disappeared. Cue more anxiety and worry.
It also made me question what I’m actually doing with things like the blog and the interactions I have with people. Things had stung me more than I believed they would. Personally, I was feeling like I was failing people around me. My anxiety, as it likes too, feeds this and makes the situation worse.
That’s part of the problem with anxiety. It robs you of confidence and the faith you have in yourself. No matter how strong you are anxiety will rob you and leave you with self doubt, fear and self loathing. It will leave you in the gutter looking up, trying to find a way out.
I reached out to the support group I’m a part of, explaining what was going on with me. I received messages of support and affirmations that I was doing a good thing. I had to try and not let the negativity win, no matter how hard it tried.
So, here I am. It’s Monday morning and I’m heading to work, Jason Isbell on my headphones. The anxiety and dark mood is still present. I face a day of trying to keep things on a normal footing whilst trying to regain my balance. It’s not about suppressing the negative aspects, it’s about controlling them and make them work for me.
I just wish I knew how to.