My anxiety is my anxiety

Why do we like to torture ourselves? Whether it be consciously or inadvertently, I am constantly causing myself grief, and I have finally acknowledged that I need to stop. So many of use hard on ourselves, if we don’t get the results we want. I only got BCC in my A-Levels and to me, that wasn’t good enough – I wanted BBB. Sure, this didn’t affect my university choices, and I’ve been able to pursue a career in marketing, but it’s never been good enough, and it’s something I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for, completely. Likewise, I was 2% away from a 2:1 in my degree. I want to kick myself every time I think about this.

Still, this is in the past and there’s not much I can do about it. However, it helps massively in demonstrating how we all kick ourselves for not being ‘better’. Skip forward to today, and I’m still beating myself up about things. Whether it be because I didn’t get that job, or I didn’t make that sale, I’m often dwelling on things that I don’t have much control over. I’ve always been a worrier, I have Mummy Douglas to thank for that. In recent years, I have tried to not worry so much, but quite frankly, I think I’m always going to worry about the silly things. I accept this.

What I don’t accept, and where I get annoyed, is when I worry about things, but can’t put my finger on what the actual issue is. My mind is unnecessarily worrying about things, and sending me into a state of high anxiety, but won’t let me into the reason why.

Take today for example. I’ve had a couple of things on my mind, but nothing major – the usual feeling like I need to do more, but knowing I can’t take on any more. There isn’t anything that I would be worrying about, enough to lead to an anxiety attack. And yet, an anxiety attack is just what I got, at lunch.

Stomach churning, feeling like I want to be sick. My head is banging and fuzzy, good job I’m just in my car at lunch. I have plenty of things to distract myself – I’ve just started a new book, and I’m becoming more and more obsessed with Pinterest. The perfect distraction. Except it didn’t work. Even now, back at work, I just want to close my eyes, curl into a ball and hibernate. How I wish I was a squirrel, on days like today.

I try not to use the phrase ‘anxiety attack’ as I don’t suffer with them very often, and they seem insignificant, compared to what other people go through. However, the speedy heart rate and inability to focus on my book isn’t normal. I feel anything but comfortable, and I can’t find a way to calm myself down. To me, this is my anxiety. Every person experiences different things, but each experience is horrible, there’s nothing worse than feeling out of control of your body.

I’ve never really thought about what anxiety feels like, but having written this post, it’s easy to see how much of a monster, anxiety is. What’s worse, is trying to disguise the monster. I work in a place in which there is a huge stigma attached to mental health. If I were to ever admit I had anxiety or depression, I fear I’d be laughed at. Let’s not go there.

So instead of discussing it out aloud, trying to put my emotions into words, is my therapy. It doesn’t replace talking face to face, but it sure as hell helps, when I don’t have that option.

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