So I’m sitting here waiting for a phone call. Two, in fact.
The first, to find out if I got the new place I’ve had both my eye and heart set on. The second, from someone much more important. But here’s the problem: I’ve already got it twisted around in my head so badly the reason why that second phone call has not yet come in that it’s tearing me apart inside.
Rationally, I know it’s nothing. I know things are fine and great and not in need of such intense emotion. But when it happens, it’s like trying to reason with an overtired angry child in my brain. It’s a circular battle, and it more often than not always results the same.
I want to throw it away, this burden of mine. I want to shred it up into a thousand tiny pieces and burn them in a jar and toss the ashes into the wind and watch them dance away on invisible currents, never to be swept into my head again.
But how do I do that?
This is my anxiety and I fear it has the potential to ruin my life. I am so afraid of losing those who I never want to lose. It tells me that I will fail before I’ve even begun. It’s the ever-tightening grip somewhere between my lungs and my throat that squeezes away all reason, all logic and replaces it with cold, irrational fear. A heavy weight which I grow tired of bearing.
On any given day, my heart is racing. My stomach is turning and my palms are sweating because my brain is telling me that I should be in fight or flight mode, as if it were derived from sleepless nights under the stars when every sound could kill you and there was no such thing as “taking it easy” if you wanted to survive. It feels as thought there is something that I should be afraid of and it’s just… around… the corner… But it never is. For each corner I turn, all I see is another stretch of long sidewalk and another wall to brave. Each wall bears it’s own unique set of fears and thoughts, worries and physical reactions. Though usually it’s the regulars- self doubt, guilt, fear, and that constant sense of impending doom- there is sometimes also an exotic blend of shakiness, loss of breath and the always popular reddening of the facial area. Then there’s the over thinking. Then before you know it, panic takes hold of your brain and casts aside the ability to hold a normal train of thought and suddenly you feel like there are bits of time from your life that are plucked out, as though celestially, and set on a shelf display for you to look upon and dissect with your limited knowledge of why you are the way you are and why you don’t “match” everyone else. And even if just for moments at a time, you feel you may be losing your mind.
It’s a great way to shake the confidence of anyone who experiences it once, never mind on a daily basis.
A romantic interest of mine tells me he will text me and doesn’t, and now in my head we are breaking up. I am asked if I “have a second” and immediately in my head, I have done something wrong. I have an idea to share and someone questions it, and it crumbles like the remnants of a burnt city.
I wish so badly that those who don’t get it could just understand. I wish so much that you could just see what it feels like to be in my head- and that of the others like me- for a little while. It’s in the non-issues that everyone else sees, but for me- for us- it’s disaster, it’s monumental. It’s the way that I see the worst possible outcome based on the worst possible things that I’ve already experienced. My brain knows better, of course, but there’s something deeper, more powerful than logic that rules over and makes itself known louder and stronger.
Most times, my mask hides the turmoil and chaos happening inside. I’ve gotten better at it. But sometimes it shows through. These are the times that are the hardest because that’s when I feel most alone.
So I ask of you- those who cannot relate to this unwanted vice: Please. Be kind and gentle and sensitive to these unknown waters to you. For there are those in this world who fight daily battles of magnitudes you cannot fathom.