Do you want to know what is the worst part of anxiety? It’s not the crippling sense of indecision, or cowering in the face of basic tasks, or cycling through all the horrible things everyone around you is thinking about you…nope, it’s feeling like any minute the other shoe will drop and what is currently leaving you a sobbing mess on the floor will suddenly become even worse. The fear of living: THAT is the worst part of anxiety.
Do I have anxiety? Yes. Do I have panic attacks? Also, yes. I take the meds and do the mental exercises and all the things I’m supposed to to minimize the effect of both anxiety and fear on my life. But I still have panic attacks, sudden bursts of heart-stopping fear that seem to come from nowhere, and also the long burning and deeply held suspicion that the worst to come is just around the corner. (Sometimes, fairly infrequently, I will have a panic attack and I know exactly what triggered the episode. Those kind of seem like blessings, really. Being able to name and identify the fear is a HUGE step in combatting it.)
I often feel trapped and claustrophobic in my own skin. I feel like this scary Thing is getting closer, circling around me like a monster hunting it’s prey. And sometimes I don’t know how to open a window, or turn on the light, and banish that fear to the back of my mind. I wish I knew how to do that. And I wish that when everything is The Worst I was able to remember the steps to bring back the light.
The last little while my panic and anxiety has been building, and some of it is coming from places I can identify, but in compounding itself the mountain of fear has become something so enormous I can hardly see it, I skirt around this Thing, careful not to poke it or irritate it, because I know if it wakes up it could destroy me. And I need it to NOT wake up right now. The damn giant needs to stay sleeping, gurgling and boiling just under it’s surface, but generally quiet, for just a little while longer. I am doing everything I know how to do to keep that scary mountain asleep, but I know that sometime soon it will explode like a volcano. I know it. I can’t control that part, I can MAYBE control when the explosion happens to a degree, but not if it explodes. The scary monster volcano mountain will always be there, it will always grow, and it will always–eventually–erupt into a fireball of ash and smoke and carnage. Anxiety volcanoes are never truly dead, just temporarily dormant.
Sigh. Living with anxiety is exhausting.