Inside my head

Monday, 30 October 2017

So for some context, I have anxiety, particularly over being liked and how others perceive me. See obviously, everyone wants to be liked, to a certain extent it's a basic human need, but when you crave to be liked it becomes problematic. I wasn't sure whether or not to put this out there, but I've had a really good week this week, things have happened that would normally trigger my anxiety really badly, which in the past would stopped me in my tracks, leaving me depressed and not wanting to leave my room, let alone my house, but I've worked so hard to manage my thoughts and symptoms, and I think I've managed to keep my head above water this week, I don't want to talk about what those things are, because in truth, I'm still deeply insecure about the things that trigger me, however I do want to talk about how I can feel when I react badly and an experience from a while ago...

A month or two back I felt terrible, probably in one of the worst places I've ever been in mentally. I went out on a Friday evening to meet my friends, I went to the usual place where we all get together and catch up and have fun, but this time I was the first one there; before I even knew it I was lost in my thoughts, not just any thoughts, but the most destructive thoughts that everyone hated me, that people were only 'friends' with me out of pity, after a while sitting in silence, I took myself for a walk because I decided I couldn't bear to be around anyone else, I just wanted to be alone with my thoughts and let the loneliness consume me. And that's the truth, sometimes I feel that way, and it genuinely makes me not want to carry on, at times like that I just want everything to stop and I don't really care how. But there comes a point where that's all you have, two choices; let it be the end, or carry on. I really have to push myself to get back into the right frame of mind, and that's so hard because you have to fight everything in your head that is telling you to give up just to carry on moving and breathing, like arguing with a devil and an angel on each shoulder, it's suffocating, and I get so frustrated at other people who don't have anxiety, I'm so jealous of how they can be so carefree, like they can just switch their feelings off and on. That night was probably one of the biggest meltdowns I've ever had, it wasn't dramatic, I just couldn't stay where I was, I had to let it engulf me and take over, just to see how it felt and be alone with it for a while. There was so much going on in my mind I had to sit back and observe it for a while and figure out how on Earth I could let it out.

And that's what anxiety feels like.

It's really not something you can understand unless you've felt it for yourself, I used to think I understood, but nothing had ever quite prepared me for my first anxiety attack, I didn't even know what it was until months after my first. I just thought I was going to die. Anxiety is really that evil, it changes you, it turns you into an absolutely illogical psycho who obsessively checks their phone every few minutes to see if they're friends have messaged because you think they hate you. It makes you question everything you do in case you come across in the wrong way or seem weird, annoying or clingy. You have to fight your own brain and it's truely exhausting.

At the beginning of the year my anxiety was at such a level that I was referred to a therapist, and I couldn't recommend it enough, I'm not cured by any means, what unfolded a couple of weeks ago proves that, but it does mean that when I put my mind to it I can challenge my unhelpful thought patterns and overcome destructive thoughts. Through therapy, I learnt a lot about myself, including that I am autophobic:

Autophobia; is the specific phobia of isolation; a morbid fear of being egotistical, or a dread of being alone, isolated or rejected. Sufferers need not be physically alone, but just to believe that they are being ignored or unloved. [...] The disorder typically develops and is associated with other anxiety disorders.”

Being this way is so up and down and to be honest I hate that part of who I am, you literally can't call one day from the next, so getting therapy to deal with it was super helpful, afterwards it took me back to time I'd forgotten about when I was younger, before I was this self-conscious and insecure, it's weird to think about now, I would say what I saw and not worry about how people would respond, and not overthink anything. But now I have so much happened in my head all the time, that nobody even knows about. Nobody ever asks, why would they? And I'm not going to volunteer it and bring everyone down.

The vicious circle in this whole thing is how hard I find it to make friends, - I try not to get close to people in case my anxiety is right, what if they do find me annoying or an embarrassment to be around? So I try and keep my distance from people, to avoid getting attached and then hurt when they leave me; but when your biggest fear is being rejected and alone how do you get through the day without making any meaningful connections? It's hard work, believe me.

So if you know me:

I'm sorry if I'm annoying, I'm sorry if I'm clingy, I'm sorry if I reply too quickly, my brains just a little bit broken, and tells me you hate me. Every day is a battle, but I'm determined to win, and to be honest, I'm pretty happy with myself this week.

- A x

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