Anxiety Affects Daily Life
I don’t think I ever realized that I genuinely have anxiety. It is the way I have felt most of my life. I don’t know what it’s like NOT to have anxiety. My anxiety affects my daily life. Every single day I am fighting against what my anxiety-formed brain is telling me.
This post is the third blog post in what became an accidental series explaining how my anxiety went from a five to nuclear in a matter of fifteen minutes. To contain that anxiety, I defaulted to previous mechanisms to handle it, which is not handling it at all.
I think that is the thing, at the moment, I couldn’t recognize what it was. I had to think about it, discuss it with my therapist, dissect the events of that day, to realize that it was my anxiety rearing its ugly head. I wish I didn’t feel this way. I wish I didn’t act the way I did that day. But I did, and the only thing I can do is to use that day to become more aware of how anxiety affects my daily life.
My ability to remain calm was tenuous, I was reactionary, and the anger was building. It starts with a feeling, almost like a vibration, a generation of energy held within my body. As I continued to try to hold it within myself, it got worse. It got so much worse that day; I felt like I would explode.
As I wrote in Plan(s), A Day Derailed that all the plans I made for that day were out the window. And that was even before we got to the farmer’s market. It would continue to devolve. It was me that would eventually devolve. As the day continued, the plans we (I) had come up with were completely out the window.
What To Do
I realize as I write this that one of the things that sent me over the edge was my husband asking me what I wanted to do. Really?? I want to go back in time and stick to the plan I had developed. That would be great! Can we do that?
Time travel is not one of my superpowers. Sadly. That option was not going to happen. I continued to try to hold onto what little control I had over my anxiety. I don’t think I was doing a good job of it as I saw the way people were looking at me. They were warily watching the interaction between me and my hubs.
Seeing the looks on people’s faces just annoyed me further. But it also kept me in control. I would not lose control, not in front of these strangers, who were clearly judging me. Once we started walking towards the ATM, all bets were off. Did I mention that it was six blocks away?
And that is when I exploded. Not literally, obviously, but I wanted to. What I wanted to do was to throw a temper tantrum. Full-on throwing myself on the ground, flailing arms and legs like a cockroach in its death throws, wailing at the top of my lungs.
Unfortunately (fortunately?), society has taught me that doing those things is not what an adult does. But what does an adult do when they (I) am/are having feelings that I/they don’t understand? And an adult (me) has a partner trying to help me figure out what to do and how best to help me? But I had no answers for the questions he was asking.
Instead, I went with what I could figure out when my husband asked me for the millionth time how I was doing and what he could do to help. He means well; I know he does. But for the love of all that is good in this world, stop asking me. I DON’T KNOW!
I Have Anxiety!
After a moment of silence, I said, very loudly, “I have anxiety!!! Do you even understand what that means? How hard is it for me to do any of this? All of this?? OMG!!” It was a controlled outburst. I was so frustrated because I couldn’t elaborate. At least not yet.
Elusive Anxiety Answers
I so wanted those elusive answers. Those things that I could string together to provide my hubs what he was looking for; answers. I was desperately in need of answers too. I needed the names of the things I was feeling. It was to help myself and to help him as well.
If I can’t help myself, how can I express it to others? I can’t. Hence the desire to throw myself upon the ground and scream at the top of my lungs. To release the energy that was building up within myself, threatening to break the walls I have erected to keep myself from doing that exact thing. Without verbalizing what was going on, it was what I needed to do to release the energy.
I Am Still A Child
I look like an adult; I talk like an adult and act like an adult (well, for the most part), but I am emotionally, still a child. I realized this while observing my friend’s young child have a meltdown. She was overtired, but she didn’t have the words to express how she felt. Instead, she pointed at my dog, who was, as usual, lying on the couch sleeping, and said, “That’s how I feel.”
I am like that. I don’t have the words for how I feel. I never thought I would need to explain how I felt. I never thought that I would feel safe enough to share how I feel. I spent my formative years surviving.
Part of survivor mode is keeping your feelings locked up as tight as possible. Whatever you share can and will be used against you. It is never a matter of IF, but WHEN.