• Ollie Horsfall

Anxiety: I'm a walking mess

by Petar Mrdjen

It's been almost a month now. A month of consistent, won't let up, excruciating anxiety. What does this mean exactly? Well it manifests in the following ways for me:

  • Short temper

  • Reclusiveness

  • Sense of impending doom

  • Fuzzy brain

  • Anxiety dreams

  • Loss of short-term memory

  • Getting lost in places I know well

  • Inability to construct sentences

  • Stuttering

  • Tight chest / inability to breathe fully

  • Back pain

  • Neck pain

  • Appearing calm whilst shitting bricks inside.

Yep, anxiety is a bitch. Compound that with life-events and a whole tonne of expectations I have thrust upon myself whilst healthy and I'm plodding along because I have to, but every day I get just a little bit weaker. Right now I feel 29 going on 50.

If not for the support of friends I may have shut myself away and hid in a box. We increased my meds at the last psychiatrist appointment I had, and whilst the sleeping pills are helping me to stay asleep for at least 7-8 hours, my anxiety dreams are sneaking in, meaning I'm waking up with that impending sense of doom, which then sits in my chest all day, meaning I'm holding tension all day, meaning I'm not just uptight emotionally but physically too.

People offer solutions: meditate, binaural beats, talk, listen to music, try and have some fun, relax, work on something, eat better, treat yourself, counselling... I could go on. I'm trying my best to try what people are telling me, but in doing so I've also stopped listening to myself.

It's like I'm being strangled, because no matter what I do it doesn't quite feel good enough. I'm disappointing myself, even when I succeed and I feel like I'm disappointing others when I don't manage to follow their advice. My mind is running from thought to thought, so much so that I can't get through a sentence without losing track of what I was saying. Songs get stuck in my head and then refuse to leave driving me loopy when I'm trying to concentrate on something. I'm cancelling plans because going outside frightens the crap out of me at the moment.

I'm messed up. I feel completely torn apart, and it's not just mental, it's physical too.

Listen, though, because I'm not done.

Yes, I'm really fighting through this whole episode, but the fact is I am fighting. It would be so easy for me to give up, to let this overwhelm me, but I'm not doing that. I'm still getting up. I'm still talking to people I love. I am doing better at recognising irrationalities and I'm using this as a learning experience as much as I can. I dread to think what I'd be like without my medication, but what semblence of rational self I still have, I am using to make sure this stupid mental wound will heal.

If I'm writing, I'm doing something, and I hope it helps you to know that if you're experiencing even a little piece of this stuff, I understand. I truly do. If I understand then others will too. I don't have advice other than keep talking, keep getting out of bed. Listen to the memory of your healthy self and try and take their advice. No-one knows you better than yourself afterall.

Peace and love. <3

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