This is the second installment of a two part blog where I try to explain something about what I suffer with and how I’m affected by it. It is meant to compliment a piece I wrote on the history of my depression that you can find here.
What does anxiety mean to me?
Anxiety seems to dog me more and more over the years. It’s not just a sense of worry. It’s not just a sense of fear. It’s not just a sense of panic. These form just a part of it. Anxiety is a sum of many things.
Anxiety is something that consumes me. It starts of negligible, hidden deep away within me. A while later, with my brain and feelings nurturing it, it grows. After time – days, weeks, months – it takes over.
Anxiety is many things. To me it’s like hearing a thousand versions of my own voice going through my head at the same time whilst trying to pick out the one I’m trying to listen to. It’s like feeling every emotion I have all at once and trying to decide which one I’m feeling out of the multitude. It’s like being given a thousand food choices from a menu and trying to figure out even if you’re hungry nevermind what you want to eat.
Anxiety is like going through all your problems, worries and insecurities with a microscope, blowing them all out of proportion, no matter how ridiculous they seem. It’s over amplifying everything, all of life’s dials being turned up to ten when all you want is peace and quiet.
Anxiety is white noise, a static that bleeds into your life. It makes things hard to listen to and understand. It drains the colour and vitality out of everything. It is confusion and panic, it is relentless, it is never ending.
Anxiety is feeling like you should be doing something but you’re not sure what to do. Should you go out? Should you stay in? Should you hide away from the rest of the world, hoping nobody will find you and you can stay secreted away in peace?
Anxiety works constantly on you, draining you of your energy. You feel exhausted through the day as the nervous energy burns through you quickly leaving you tired and drained.
Anxiety sits in my chest leaving me feel breathless, butterflies in my stomach when I’ve got nothing to be nervous about. It’s the ache in my jaw as I realise it’s been clenched tight. It’s my shaking fingers and the tremors in my hands. It’s waking up in morning feeling exhausted as my brain has been working overtime through the night giving me no peace.
Anxiety is the guilty conscious you feel when you’ve got nothing the feel guilty about but because your brain has messed with you enough that you’re convinced you are. The feeling you’re letting yourself down as you’re letting others down as you don’t want to do something they do.
That is what anxiety means to me.