Varying Battles

Excuse me when I say this, but anxiety can be a real bitch. Seriously. I was just talking with Justine about it this morning. Friends with anxiety, you know this. You can relate. Don’t you want to tell your anxious thoughts to just get the fuck out?

Your anxiety can embed it’s talons into your mind and tell you, “Something’s off!”
You quickly become worked up and wonder, “What? What’s off?” and the worry in the back of your mind just says to you, “…….hm…something.”

Well great! Thanks a whole freaking bunch for helping to narrow it down. Now I’ll just overthink anything and everything and go about my day if I can.

Justine had said, “It’s like a game of hide and seek with finding the something that’s bothering you.” I responded to her, feeling more at home because she knows, she understands. “It’s so comforting that you understand, because explaining it to people who don’t can be exhausting.”

Not that we don’t appreciate any guidance, help, or attempt at understanding mental illness. We do – we appreciate it almost more than anything else. But when your anxiety can vary, and you worry about one thing one week, and something completely different the next, it can become even more of a battle to try and explain it coherently.

For instance – every single day, in the back of my mind, I worry about what people think of me. I have always been this way, since I was a little girl, and I can’t change it no matter how hard I try. But sometimes, depending on what’s worrying me the most, these thoughts are almost put on the back burner, like, “I’ll worry about that another day!”, because surely I will. But for the last couple of weeks, these insecurities and anxieties about how others view me have been right at the front of my mind – paining me no matter how hard I try and push it away…like a brain freeze from ice cream that won’t calm down no matter how much you try and make it.

I’m sitting at a bar, having a drink after a long week of work, and I’m in straight white pants and a button down shirt – a respectable business casual outfit for my day job. And in walks a girl – she’s taller, her hair is straighter, her legs are longer, her torso is skinnier, her skin is clearer, her arms are thinner, her eyes are bluer, her smile is brighter. Her outfit is cuter, her heels higher, her makeup is prettier…she’s just better. The media would describe her as hot. Everyone, everyone, e v e r y o n e is looking at her. I want to curl up in a ball, kind of like the pug in the cover photo of this blog post. My nose isn’t as perfect as that girl’s, my ankles aren’t as slim. She’s everything I’m not.

I’m invited to a party. Not even a party – a small barbecue. But how many people will be there? Do I know them all? How many don’t I know? How many new people will I have to meet? Am I going to remember all of their names? Do I have to go to this? If I say yes, but go and my shyness and anxiety gets in the way, everyone will think I’m rude and aloof and will view me just as that. But if I say no, people will think I’m not interested in meeting or getting to know any of them. If I take too long to decide, everyone’s going to get annoyed and tell me to forget about it. But if I make a decision too quickly, I may look too eager in someone’s eyes.  It seems like I just can’t win. I’m going to lose, each and every time.

I like to listen to instrumental music from movies. It’s calming and beautiful and it helps me to de-stress after a long day. But I’ll even listen to it when I’m not nervous. Some people think that’s strange. Who listens to instrumental music? Harry Potter soundtracks, Disney songs, violin artists? So when I’m driving people somewhere, or am playing music for someone, I put on big names that people like – Jack Johnson, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffet, Ed Sheeran, twenty one pilots – and don’t get me wrong, I like them all, too! I’d just rather listen to my string quartet instead. My choral songs, maybe because I’ve been singing in choir since I was about fourteen. But I don’t want anyone to know, so I hide it away. I hide away the most unique parts of me because I’m fearful that ‘unique’, to me, will come off as ‘too weird’ to someone else.

It’s reasons like these why I question myself every single day, why I question my closest friends and my family. Will you still love me, even if I don’t look like her? Will you leave me if I can’t bring myself to come to this party, get together, event, even if I really want too? Will you still be my friend even though I like things that aren’t ~trendy~ today?

I ask these questions everyday. And then I’m afraid that if I keep asking my loved ones these questions, that they WILL leave, or they WON’T love me anymore. Like Justine said, “And as soon as one worry gets off the wheel or cycle of some sorts, something else makes it’s way on there. And the vicious cycle continues.”

Sometimes I really hate how insecure my anxiety makes me. I hate, hate, hate, HATE it. Some days, it’s just damn demeaning and degrading walking around knowing I have a mental illness, and I envy the other people out there that aren’t like me. But I’m only human – I can’t be confident every single moment of every single day. But being confident is something I’d like to work on. We’re all only human. Everyone has thoughts like these once in a while. It’s just a little bit easier if you have someone by your side, right? But hey! I had a great cry, so it’s time to move on. So here we go, fighters. Friends. Colleagues. Fellow anxiety-ridden pals. We’ve all got varying battles, but it doesn’t mean we can’t fight, and win, them together.

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