10 Hidden Things You Didn’t Know About Anxiety
It may come as a shock to you guys but once upon a time I terribly suffered from anxiety. Yes, my anxiety was so bad that in some situations it had me shaking like a leaf, always reverting back to the worst possible outcome. There was no median average in my life, it was only feeling comfortable, or being leaf-shakingly petrified.
Anxiety was the start of my problems as a teenager; perhaps not the catalyst, but definitely the start of my problems. I stopped being able to sleep at night, and the doctors, the nurses, my mum, no-one knew what the hell to do. So I did the only thing that any sane boy in my position would do — I turned to the bottle. After a half-bottle of vodka per night my sleeping became so much better. I slept like a baby.
Panic attacks were regular, to the point when one came on I knew exactly what to do and how to handle it — and that it was really no big deal. Yes, the crippling of my teenage years was my gut-wrenching anxiety, and not having much information or services available for it. It was hard thinking I was going to die constantly. Which leads me to instance one.
A constant thought that you won’t live out your full life
I’ve always thought that I wasn’t long for this earth. I remember hitting my twenty fifth birthday and thinking I was on borrowed time. The lifestyle I was leading; the harshness of the alcohol and drugs I was taking, I always had in the back of my mind that death would take me soon. When I stopped being anxious that feeling eventually left. I wholeheartedly feel that I’m now going to have a long and happy life unless something unforeseen comes along. Yet it was losing that feeling that caused me to research it — and apparently it’s common, especially for those that have anxiety.
It’s not regularly talked about but stopping alcohol, getting myself into regular wholesome meals and having a good amount of exercise helped tremendously with this. You won’t believe the damage that alcohol, shit food, and no exercise does to the internal well-being of a person.
The feeling that people have it easier than you, or have better lives
When I stopped being anxious the first thing that waned was the feeling that other people had it easier. Whenever I was doing something out of my comfort zone I was always wishing I was someone else that knew how to do it far better than I did.
“Of course because I was just a failure.”
What I didn’t take into account is that they had been doing it for years and built up something great through hard work and determination. It didn’t occur to me that at the beginning they were just as rubbish and as terrible as me. Everyone starts from somewhere, more often than not it’s from the starter box. Anxiety had clouded me into not fully interpreting the struggles that some people had to go through to get to where they are.
The nagging feeling that the world is against you
Because of the latter I always felt that the world was purposely built to keep me down. That there was some invisible deity punching any successes I had back down where they belonged, in the trash. I couldn’t understand that bad things happened to everyone on the same scale as they did to me, sometimes worse. My anxiety caused me quite a lot of difficulty in dealing with those situations, whereas my friends took them in their strides. To me it often looked as if their lives were easier, but it was more-so that they were better equipped to deal with the circumstances that happened upon them. After all, they didn’t suffer from anxiety – so something normal to them could have been a HUGE deal to me.
The perpetual making everything about you
Thinking about the last two paragraphs that I just wrote can you imagine how much resources that would take in reality? That everything that happens in this world was designed to keep me down? That’s a whole lot of focusing on me and my life when in actual fact the world generally isn’t that interested, and would walk over my dead corpse in absolute disinterest. That’s why friends and family are important.
Sufferers from anxiety tend to make everything that happens to them about them, rather than just being a victim of circumstance in an uncaring world. That’s not a judgement on my behalf, it’s more so a protection system I find. I personally think the body and mind centralises itself more when it needs to heal. If it’s not focused on itself then how can it heal, right?
Being okay with other people’s mistakes, but crushing yourself for making any
I’ve always known other people weren’t perfect — and them making mistakes was fine. What I didn’t know was that “I” wasn’t perfect. One girl said to me one,
“Raymond, I really don’t understand you. You’re generally easy about letting people slide for their wrongdoings, but you will CRUSH yourself for making any”
Part of that was because I had these people on a pedestal. They could do no wrong, even when they did no wrong. In my attempt to constantly clamber up to where they were in life, and making simple mistakes myself that shouldn’t matter — in my mind my friends wouldn’t make those simple mistakes. Again, I had absolutely forgotten that at one point they were on my level, and that they too, had made the same mistakes as me.
The crushing effect of beating myself up for making silly errors, coupled with feeling like I was a failure anyway was both a symptom and a catalyst of my anxiety. Can you see how this is a never ending cycle? Only to get worse.
That knot in your stomach isn’t natural you know
One of the things that kept me addicted to alcohol was that after drinking a skinful, the knot in my stomach eased out — and for the first time in a while I felt at least normal. I wasn’t hiding behind some sort of mask anymore. That constant knot is your stomach anxiety, and being in a perpetual state of anxiety isn’t natural. It took a long time for me to ease it out without any assistance — but one of the main helpers to easing that know was giving up drinking and alcohol and working on myself.