About anxiety

She says, by @mammapolitico

Anxiety

Someone asked me if I suffered from anxiety and I answered truthfully that right now I don’t. I get stressed, I get upset when someone does something that hurts me but usually after not too very long, I can file it those feeling aways and carry on. There have been times though when I have had the devil called anxiety on my back. When I was at high school I was in state of permanent anxiety or that’s what it felt like. I wasn’t particularly shy, had my own group of friends, did really well in the subjects I was taking. It was stupid things that set my heart racing. Having to eat in the dinner hall was a big one. I’m the eldest of six children and for a time we got free school dinners. At my high school if you got free school dinners  you had to tell the lady at the till that you were on free school dinners. The school had obviously never heard of such a thing as piece of paper with a list of names on.The lady on the till was a sadistic woman who took great pleasure in pretending that she couldn’t hear you when you told her your dinner should be free. It would end with free school dinners kids having to repeat themselves and her invariably shouting “ What’s that love ? You’re on free school dinners?” sometimes causing a comment from kids in the queue. It gave me all day anxiety. A paranoid feeling that I wasn’t as good as everyone else. Anxiety so bad I still dream about that dinner queue sometimes and I often went without dinner at school rather than face the humiliation.I had anxiety about other stuff at that time. Big stuff like whether my Dad would have had a drink that day. Anxiety about whether my mum would survive Leukemia and the bone marrow transplant she was having at the time, but it was the little stuff like the free school dinners that seemed to get to me more.

Fast forward to 2012. I’m sitting listening to someone I love more than life itself, tell a psychologist how she has unendurable routines to complete before she can leave her bedroom and that if she doesn’t do them she thinks that I will die. For six months I sat in on sessions and talked about ways to make her anxiety go away. The psychologist asked me about things I had been through and then commented that she was surprised I wasn’t the one needing CBT. She went on to say that I was lucky. Some people no matter how much bad stuff life throws at them, have the inbuilt ability to cope. That’s me. A few tears and minor meltdowns but on the whole I keep calm and carry on. Happily CBT worked for my daughter, as well as a new version of family life. She still has wobbles and has learnt to keep a close check on how she is feeling, but for now things are good.

As for me – I feel lucky. Really lucky. I’ll always have huge amounts of hugs and understanding ready and waiting for those who still have anxiety wrapped around them.

***

He says, by @ADadCalledSpen

I’ve never felt more anxiety in my life than I do right now, and this has been going on for the past few weeks.

In the middle of the night I wake up and my chest hurts, my heart racing. When I can sleep that is, and that’s not been very often recently because of the anxiety. Catch 22. I can’t sleep when I’m anxious, and then I’m tired which will make me more anxious.

It’s a bastard.

There are lots of reasons why this is, too complicated to go into here, but it’s crippling sometimes. I’ve never had them to this extent before, but know that others have them on a regular basis. Mum suffers from anxiety, constantly, and always has done. Things have been sorted for her recently and on Sunday she found herself suffering from anxiety because she had nothing to be anxious about. She’s so used to feeling anxious about something that when she had nothing to be anxious about she suffered a full-scale meltdown.

You can’t win.

Do men suffer from anxiety? This one does. Is it something men talk about in the pub, over a pint and a pie? I doubt it. We’re supposed to be strong and take it like a man. Deal with the slings and arrows of a fucking outrageous situation and battle on. Not feel anxious. Be there. Supportive and strong and help others out of their problems and with their anxiety.

What will stop me from being anxious right now? Sorting a mess out is what. And sorting out another situation too, but I’m afraid I can’t go into what those are. However, resolving both situations in a way that means we can move forward is… well. Anxiety making.

Someone I care a great deal about told me recently ‘If it all seems too easy a solution, if it all seems too good to be that straightforward – it probably isn’t going to be.’

Probably not. In the meantime, I’ll just be anxious. I’ll worry and then, maybe, find out what to do.

Perhaps the anxiety is necessary. Forcing you into a state of mind where you have to do that thing in order to quell the anxiety that’s come from the problem in the first place.

Dunno. I’m no expert. I’m just anxious. And right now I feel an expert in how that feels.

***

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2 thoughts on “About anxiety

  1. It’s so funny, I was thinking about this exact thing the other day. Anxiety is basically what is wrong with the western world or at least how we deal with it. I’ve had problems with depression on and off in my life but it’s only been recently that I’ve realised it’s how I deal with anxiety which causes it. My solution tends to be overwork but also I suffer sleep deprivation too and the tiredness, overwork etc, leads to making mistakes and depression.

    Most people get anxious to some degree and have something unhealthy they do to control it. Many people do this with alcohol, food, drugs, anger etc. Resolving or not getting to that point of anxiety is really the route of it all.

    I read a couple of quotes the other day “don’t measure the mountain until you get to the top, only then will you see how low it is” and (I may be misquoting) “worry gives a small thing a big shadow.”

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