Anxiety is a monster that grabs you in the night
it possesses your life, controls how you feel, eat, think.
All that is good about you is gone
all of your faults fill your mind
with all the bad things you’ve done.
Any accident that may occur will doom your life.
Anxiety will leave you obsessing over how people think of you,
what the consequences will be (if there are any).
You obsess over how you are perceived in the world,
how people relate to you, what is being thought of you.
You want the world to like you, to think nicely of you.
So much of your life is constantly swirling around in your mind
events, mistakes, interactions.
The perfectionist in you combined with the anxiety
causes you to obsess more and more about these things.
Anxiety consumes you to the point of breaking
and takes you even further.
Everyone knows I failed that test.
Everyone is judging me, hating me
Was that stain always there?
Will my heart stop pounding.
This is what my own anxiety often feels like – an obsession that I can’t shake, that damn spot I can’t quite wash away. Coming close to a fender bender but stopping in time has me questioning everything about myself, failing a test made me wonder if I really deserved to be in college. I wonder if I’ll be arrested for things that I rationally know aren’t against the law but I still worry about my life being ruined over a mistake.
Even just the littlest things and mistakes call everything bad I have ever done back into play. I shut myself off to the world, my hands start to shake, my stomach in knots, all I can ever think of is what happened. And so much of the time I realize my mistake and I want so desperately to learn and move on but I can’t. I’m stuck, left with demons taunting me for what happened and I can’t face the world.
Toby Allen is right with his monstrous depiction of anxiety – it’s irrational, whispers in your ear, brings worries and fears of things that might not happen. It’s always right there on my shoulder, in the back of my mind. I always wonder if I’ll ever be rid of it but a part of me knows that won’t happen.
2 thoughts on “In My Shoes: Anxiety.”
While at a community training a few weeks back I sat next to a young woman who ended up mentioning that her seven year old daughter had anxiety, for which she took her to therapy and had made some changes to their living space. I didn’t know the woman very well so I was polite about it, but I really wanted to hug her and say “THANK YOU, you have no idea how much of a difference you’re making in her life”. I wish my anxiety had been more of a red flag when I was younger.
That makes me so incredibly happy to hear because I just want that mother’s reaction to be the norm!!
And I’m the same way – I also wish that my own anxiety and depression were red flags and taken care of significantly earlier in my life.