What I Don’t Tell You About My Anxiety

Posted February 19, 2016 by Inge in Mad Talk // Personal / 16 Comments

Warning: this is not a happy post

About 99% of the time, Whimsicality is a safe and positive place, and I intend to keep it that way, but I needed to get this off my chest. Because a lot of the time, people still don’t really understand what anxiety is about or how deep it goes. That’s why I’m sharing these confessions with you today. Some of these will make you think, “Oh, I have that too.” And yes, to a certain extent, everyone has anxiety. And yes, to a certain extent, anxiety is healthy and helps you improve your overall performance. But when anxiety spirals out of control, it’s a crippling and debilitating thing. And that’s something others don’t always understand. My anxiety not just about not being able to leave the house. It goes so, so much further.

These confessions are thoughts and facts I’d rather keep inside, hidden away from everyone including myself. But here they are.

anxiety

  • I haven’t seen my friends in over two years because my anxiety deems them “unsafe”, even if I’ve known them for 10 years.
  • Telephone calls make my heart speed up stupidly fast. I will therefore try to put them off as much as possible.
  • I once sat through a two-hour-long movie in a really cramped position because I was convinced the guy behind me was going to stab me in the neck.
  • My parents can’t go on holiday because I can’t be alone at night.
  • I’m hesitant about starting new things because I automatically think I’ll be awful at it.
  • I long for adventure and places and people, but run like the wind when I get the opportunity.
  • I am always scared and worried about the future.
  • Some days, the most productive thing I do is get out of bed.
  • I’m scared of sharing because I worry about what other people think.
  • I love being at home with my parents and getting to spend so much time with them. But I also feel like running up the walls. It’s always these same walls.
  • I am constantly remembering things others or I have said that make me feel bad.
  • People sometimes tell me how they think I am strong and brave. I wish I could see it too.
  • My friends’ accomplishments give me mixed feelings. I’m genuinely happy for them, but I also grow sad because, once again, it’s not me.
  • I constantly need that affirmation that what I’m doing is good, or else I’ll get insecure and probably stop.
  • People automatically think I’m lazy or I’m not trying when in fact I am trying every minute of every day.
  • Simple things like household chores can feel like climbing a mountain.
  • My cat provides me with a world of comfort and I dread the day we’ll have to say goodbye.
  • I feel like a burden.
  • I am always scared people are going to leave me.
  • It is so incredibly hard to fight against myself every day.
  • My anxiety has turned my brain into mush. I am constantly confused and forgetting things. Like, right now, I can’t remember the name of the font I normally use for pictures, so I had to use a different font.
  • I need a hug.
  • I’m tired.
  • I wish I could take a break.
  • Making up stories inside my head is often easier than existing in reality.
  • Sometimes I wonder about not existing. Not in a suicidal way, just… if it would be easier.
  • I already regret writing this, because I know this will be hard on my loved ones. (I love you. ♥)
  • I’m teary-eyed writing this.
  • This post scares me, because it clashes with the image I like of myself. That I don’t sit around and wallow in my misery, but rather I choose to focus on the positive, laugh things away, and make myself feel better by making others feel better.
  • And wondering whether I should post this or just delete it and forget about it. It’s personal and makes me feel vulnerable.
  • But people need to know.
  • And so, whenever I decide to publish this post, I will swim in anxiety, wondering what you may think.
  • But I’m fine.
  • Really.
  • I will be.
  • It’s not exactly a picnic in the park.
  • But I’m getting better every day. I have hope.
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16 responses to “What I Don’t Tell You About My Anxiety

  1. Sending you so many hugs! You are brave for sharing this, and I hope one day you see that, too. If you’re wondering what I think, it’s that reading this makes me think MORE of you as a person and very glad we’re friends. <3 (And it also reminds me that I REALLY NEED TO WRITE YOU THAT LETTER. I will try to do it this weekend.)

  2. Sending you hugs. You ARE brave for sharing and even braver for trying every day. And getting out of bed is really frickin’ productive in my book tbh.

  3. Sending you all the hugs! You are never a burden, you can always message me if you’re having a rough moment (or a good one), and you should never worry about what other people think. If they are the kind who judge, they aren’t worth being in your life anyway, no matter what. You really are strong, because you have hope and you are getting better. Even if it’s the tiniest victory in the day, it’s still there. Sending you all the best in the world!

    • Thank you, lovely. I’m so happy I got to know you better during 30 Days of Yoga, and I’m excited to do Yoga Camp with you! You’ve been a wonderful friend ♥

  4. Saskia

    Well as I said before you are very brave for posting this and I do not think any less of you. You are strong and you get better everyday you kick anxiety in the ass, just keep going! If you need me, you know where to find me!

  5. Cait @ Paper Fury

    *hugs you*
    *hugs you probably twice because I love this post so much*
    *then cries because relates*

    Honestly I think because “everybody has anxiety these days” (said by people who have no idea) that most people just see it as a thing where a person worries too much? It. is. so. much. more. Omg. Least to say, I related to an awful lot of these so YOU ARE REALLY NOT ALONE IN THIS. Although you are way braver than me to write a post on it. <3 (And the one where you couldn't move because a potential person might stab you?…I understand that so much. *sad face* I go for walks very early in the morning to avoid people, who I know aren’t going to attack me. But…why, brain? Why do you insist that they might?)

    Anyway, I admire you sooo much, Inge, for a) being open about it, b) blogging about it (!!) and c) surviving it because omg, it is not easy and you truly are amazing although I know (from experience) that it’s not an easy phrase to believe.

    • *gives you much squishy hugs back!*

      You know my inbox is always open if you want to talk about your anxiety. You’ve mentioned it to me a couple times now — I know you’re uncomfortable posting about it on the blog, but you can talk to me!

  6. I haven’t seen my friends in over two years because my anxiety deems them “unsafe”, even if I’ve known them for 10 years.
    – I wish I could meet you IRL, just once.

    Telephone calls make my heart speed up stupidly fast. I will therefore try to put them off as much as possible.
    – If they’re too much, keep to chat. FB chat with you always brightens up my day.

    I once sat through a two-hour-long movie in a really cramped position because I was convinced the guy behind me was going to stab me in the neck.
    – I think you should sit on the back row, at least until you’ve beaten this thing -which you will. 🙂

    My parents can’t go on holiday because I can’t be alone at night.
    – Would a friend staying over help?

    I’m hesitant about starting new things because I automatically think I’ll be awful at it.
    – I think we all do this a tiny bit, of the few things I know you do, blogging, writing and reviewing – you are excellent at all of them. I only regularly visit YOUR blogs. They are the only ones that hold my interest enough for a regular visit.

    I long for adventure and places and people, but run like the wind when I get the opportunity.
    – At least you can read? You’ll do these things one day, you’re young. For now – keep up the good fight and try to move forwards. Slowly if needs be!

    I am always scared and worried about the future.
    – Things will get better. Give it time, keep fighting this thing.

    Some days, the most productive thing I do is get out of bed.
    – If you have to spend a day in bed – who cares! Yoko and Lennon spent FAR longer than that in bed and nobody batted an eyelid! 🙂

    I’m scared of sharing because I worry about what other people think.
    – I know, but honestly, never feel scared to share with me. I think you’re awesome and I’ve only ever thought that about you.

    I love being at home with my parents and getting to spend so much time with them. But I also feel like running up the walls. It’s always these same walls.
    – You’ll get there. It might not be easy, it might take time, but if you keep fighting this and moving forwards, you’ll get there!

    I am constantly remembering things others or I have said that make me feel bad.
    – I hope I never said anything that made you feel bad. Don’t feel bad about anything you’ve EVER said to me. Even when you thought you were bing mean or short, or too blunt – I’ve always appreciated your honesty and your willingness to tell me things that perhaps I needed to hear. Never change Inge, because as I cannot say enough – you’re awesome!

    People sometimes tell me how they think I am strong and brave. I wish I could see it too.
    – You are. Sharing this list of anxiety issues is something many would NOT be brave enough to do!

    My friends’ accomplishments give me mixed feelings. I’m genuinely happy for them, but I also grow sad because, once again, it’s not me.
    – You’re story you share with me is fantastic. Once you’ve finalised it and ironed out the creases I’m certain it will be publishable if you can find the right outlet.

    I constantly need that affirmation that what I’m doing is good, or else I’ll get insecure and probably stop.
    – As far as I’m concerned everything you’ve done the I know is amazing. Never let doubt stop you.

    People automatically think I’m lazy or I’m not trying when in fact I am trying every minute of every day.
    – I know how hard things are. I’ve followed your story for some time. I understand, sitting down to write this list probably took a supreme effort. You’re NOT lazy!

    Simple things like household chores can feel like climbing a mountain.
    – It won’t be like this forever. Always be willing to try, but don’t push yourself too hard, otherwise it’ll be another one of those days where you spend all day in bed! 🙁

    My cat provides me with a world of comfort and I dread the day we’ll have to say goodbye.
    – You need more cats in your life I think 🙂

    I feel like a burden.
    – You’re most definitely NOT a burden. Of all the people I’ve met over the last few years through my books, you’re the most positive, most amazing, incredible, helpful, kind, clever and generally awesome person. You’ve made a massively positive impact on my life over the last few years, literally you being you and your advice, and just chatting you – you make my life better. You have from the moment we started chatting.

    I am always scared people are going to leave me.
    – I’ll always be your friend, no matter what happens.

    It is so incredibly hard to fight against myself every day.
    – If fighting is hard, let yourself win some days. Tuck up in bed with a book, or a great movie and just escape.

    My anxiety has turned my brain into mush. I am constantly confused and forgetting things. Like, right now, I can’t remember the name of the font I normally use for pictures, so I had to use a different font.
    – This will improve in time. You WILL get better, I know you will.

    I need a hug.
    – I wish I could give you one. 🙁

    I’m tired.
    – Always be prepared to had a break. You can’t fight your anxiety all the time. Fight on ground you know you can win.

    I wish I could take a break.
    – Those photos you posted at the holiday resort, playing mini-golf and generally chilling out. You looked so happy, I hope you can do that again some day soon.

    Making up stories inside my head is often easier than existing in reality.
    – Your stories are great, you should write them down. I agree too. Fantasy is far ease than reality.

    Sometimes I wonder about not existing. Not in a suicidal way, just… if it would be easier.
    I already regret writing this, because I know this will be hard on my loved ones. (I love you. ♥)
    – My world would not be complete without our friendship. I wish you didn’t have to feel this way.

    I’m teary-eyed writing this.
    – You’re going to make me start! You’re such an amazing, awesome person. I wish there was some way I could help you fix this quicker. 🙁

    This post scares me, because it clashes with the image I like of myself. That I don’t sit around and wallow in my misery, but rather I choose to focus on the positive, laugh things away, and make myself feel better by making others feel better.
    – I don’t care about you any the less for your honesty. Sometimes a good dose of melancholy can help put things in perspective. Never feel you can’t be yourself to me.

    And wondering whether I should post this or just delete it and forget about it. It’s personal and makes me feel vulnerable.
    – I’m glad you did. You know if there’s anything I can do, you only have to ask.

    But people need to know.
    And so, whenever I decide to publish this post, I will swim in anxiety, wondering what you may think.
    But I’m fine.
    Really.
    I will be.
    It’s not exactly a picnic in the park.
    But I’m getting better every day. I have hope.
    – Thanks for posting this Inge. I’m glad you did. You may not feel strong and brave now, but in 6, 12 or 18 months time – however long it takes to lick this – you can look back at this and feel proud that you got through it.

    Martyn

    • Thank you for all of this, Martyn. I actually felt worse after writing this post? Like I really bummed myself out, haha. I think positivity is definitely the way to go for me, but I’ve been getting loads of positive reactions to this, which is really nice.

      As for having friends stay over, refer back to the first one — I can’t go see them or invite them over because my anxiety likes to be a tit.

      I’ll get there.

  7. Oh Inge. I love you so much. I just do. I know you hated posting this, but I can’t tell you how much it means to just know there is someone who “gets it”. I went to the movies with my mom the other day, and there were these two shady looking kids, and I was convinced that they had snuck in the theater and were going to shoot me. I had NO idea that anyone else in the world thought this kind of stuff. My mom had to like, convince me she saw them in line for tickets (even though in hindsight, she was probably lying hahha).

    I know what you mean about the mushy brain. I don’t have a clue what I am doing most of the time, I am just so damn TIRED. I don’t think people understand how exhausting it is fighting your mind every single minute of the day. Like, when you get to that point where you want to pull your hair out and just scream “Enough!” and have everything just be… silent.

    And I wish… I wish I was weaker, or stronger, but not whatever this is. Because maybe if I were weaker, I could fall apart, and then maybe someone would help me back up. And if I were stronger, maybe I could overcome it. But this day in and day out nonsense? I can’t. There’s no light at the end, you know?

    I don’t know if I ever talked about it, but the WIP I worked on during NaNo was about basically this. This and depression and how together they are a dreadful beast and should be shot. It needs a lot of work, but yeah, I will have to share it with you- at least a few snippets that don’t completely suck 😀

    But I think you ARE brave, and I will tell you so until the end of time, so you’ll have to accept that 😉 Just the fact that you have hope is brave, in my opinion. I KNOW you will get there. You’re just an amazing woman, and I know you have so much good to share with the world. And this is a hurdle- a HUGE one, at that- but I know you will get there. And you have a lot of support. Martyn’s comment brought tears to my eyes- for him to type out something so thoughtful- well, just know you are loved. And I am always here for you, always always always. Of course, I wish we weren’t on different continents, but… you know 😀 Excuses to come to Europe!

    So if you feel like you shouldn’t have shared this… know that you should have. You made me feel less alone on a night that I really, really needed to feel less alone. Love you ♥

    • My lovely Shannon, know that my inbox and Facebook inbox and Twitter inbox and every other inbox is always open for you whenever you feel alone. Seriously. Send me a smoke signal or a pigeon and I will find you. I will always be there to talk to you about little things or big things or if you need a laugh or cry or rant or whatever. I love talking to you and I am always here for you. I will never judge you. You are such a beautiful and wonderful person and you’re always welcome in Belgium so I can give you loads of squishy hugs ♥♥♥♥

      Also I’d love to read what you’ve written! I’m sure I can relate so hard.

  8. Oh Inge, thank you so, so much for sharing this! *hugs* I want you to know that you are not alone and I am always here if you need to talk. We don’t know each other very well but I love your blog and I’d love to get to know you better! <3

    I also suffer from anxiety. I've been getting panic attacks for the past seven years, but luckily they're not as bad as they used to be. I can't be away from my parents for long because they're the only ones who understand my anxiety, I can't go do things with my friends like go to the movies or sleepovers because I get panic attacks if I do, anxiety has also made it hard for me to concentrate and remember things which sucks. It’s so frustrating when people tell you to try harder, or tell you to “stop worrying and get over it” because it’s something that is so, so hard to do and you can’t just snap out of a mental illness.

    I know how awful anxiety is and how hard it can make the simplest of things, but I also know that we will get better. I’ve been through times where I have panic attacks around the clock and I can’t leave my house but then I get well enough where I can go to friends and feel like I’m “normal” again. We WILL get better! 🙂

    • Many hugs back, Kyra! I hope I can come to a point as well where I can go see my friends. I’m currently trying to get my driver’s license, so that should help in feeling more independent. I also rely heavily on my mother for everything. She’s such a trooper.

      Thank you for your kind words, Kyra. My inbox is always open if you need someone to talk to. ♥

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