6 Jul 2017

I am not my anxiety.

I hate my anxiety. I hate who it is and what it wants. I hate how it makes me feel and I hate how it makes me act. I hate my anxiety.

There are many people who don't understand my illness, so let me be your informant.

My anxiety is greedy, irrational and confrontational, it takes what it wants leaving nothing behind except the ruins of my friends and family should they reach the wrong end of it. My anxiety is angry, it is exceptionally pissed off, it is the sleeping beast I try not to wake. My anxiety is uncontrollable; I cannot stress this enough actually, my anxiety has a mind of its own.

My anxiety attacks me, when I least expect it and when I've got my back turned to it, it is not always a loud elephant galloping through the wilderness, no, it can be a sneaky cat that treads softly and eats me alive. When my anxiety hits, IT is in control, I have left the building - I am hiding in the dark recesses of my mind waiting for it to decide it's had enough and goes back to sleep. Its then, and only then, that I get to take the reigns again.

When my anxiety attacks, it's not always throat closing, unable to breath, choking and shaking uncontrollably - although it can be; it's sometimes a little more vile, that even I don't know it's taken over till it's too late. My anxiety can present itself in many different ways, for those that have never encountered this (or think they haven't), anxiety is actually a lot like the flu, it can come in many different shapes and sizes. My anxiety can come out as anger, dead space staring or 'ants in my pants'. My anxiety can take me from extreme happiness to extreme irritation in a matter of seconds.

I get heart palpitations when people don't text back, when I have to leave the office (I really don't understand that one), those milliseconds before the other person picks up the call (I never used to be able to make calls), when I'm driving, when I'm waiting on any kinds of results. I get angry when I'm greeted in the morning and I'm unable to speak to people because I know my anxiety is in full control - if I do say anything, I'm generally not the nicest.

I hate it when I've had an 'episode'. I hate it when my anxiety has taken over from me, because while everyone else thinks I've just been angry and need a bit of time, it's much, much more than that. When my anxiety has taken over from me and I am 'coming down', I start to feel terrible, I feel like the worst person around because I've probably said some things that weren't meant to be said and then because I have anxiety it starts eating away at me. That's the fun part they don't tell you about this illness, you know you are screwing up, you know that you shouldn't be doing what you're doing but you can't stop and you don't understand why.

My anxiety does not define me. I am me, living with anxiety. My anxiety is not who I am but rather who I don't want to be. I have never experienced as much self hate as I have when thinking about my anxiety, I don't want this I am not this and I don't have a say - at all.

So the next time when someone close to you explains why you probably shouldn't say stuff like "Just Relax Man" please rather take a listen - it's not something that's easily controlled (or even spoken about) but if everyone steps in and holds their end of the deal, it makes it a little easier on people like us.