It started just a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know what triggered it, or if it was anything in particular. I remember feeling safe and secure, and suddenly I was a nervous wreck, and the only way I can describe it is to say I suddenly felt “cold.” I was suddenly unsafe and exposed. Every word that came out of my mouth was at risk of being judged by anyone who was within earshot, and I would ruminate for the rest of the day about every possible reaction to my words and actions and what they might mean. This is my anxiety. A loss of sleep, a loss of appetite, and an increase in stress.
Anxiety comes and goes in my life.
Lately, it has been rearing its ugly head, mostly for no reason at all. Or at least that’s how it seems.
The anxiety I am experiencing lately has been mostly generalized, but also social.
I wish I could make it go away.
This anxiety is disruptive. It gets in the way of my daily activity, my social life, and especially my work productivity.
Over the past year, I have been recovering from a severe episode of depression, and I have been doing considerably well. I have finally been able to hold down a job, though it’s part-time and on-call, it’s more than I have been capable of in a long time. I have been able to have a sense of accomplishment in my life.
Anxiety robs you of these things. It makes you think you’re unworthy, and it’s especially difficult when the people closest to you misunderstand it for something else.
It’s frustrating, to say the least, when your loved ones say things like “you need to get back to being your old self” or “you were doing so well before,” or “you need to stop making excuses.”
I’m doing the best I can. We’re all doing the best we can with anxiety. In fact, those of us who struggle with anxiety are probably working harder than normal, healthy functioning human beings. That’s what people don’t understand about anxiety and depression. These disorders are not defined by laziness and excuses. They are endless effort and a struggle just to keep your head above water on a daily basis.
It takes work to cope with anxiety. There are so many wonderful people working to share their coping skills and ideas on how to deal with this debilitating disorder. It takes work, but it’s worth it to find coping methods that work uniquely for you.