I DON'T UNDERSTAND ANXIETY! but I DO get anxiety (what it is) and I GET anxiety. I get it and struggle with it every damn day. What the hell is it?
It's not even real. It's like a made-up thing with an irrational basis. How can something that doesn't make any sense be so debilitating?
Most of my life up to this point I didn't know it was anxiety. It wasn't as clear as one might think. Going back in my memory bank to my childhood and earliest memories it's all bright, sunshiney and clear (more like miserable and dreary if we want to be totally real here) and fucking obvious. It's so bloody obvious!
Anxiety. It was anxiety that made my first "living away from home in Toronto" experience one of the worst things that ever happened to me. It was anxiety those Sunday dinners at Nana and Poppa's place when I would routinely be found rolling around in a bed in GI distress. It was anxiety when I was 12 and lost so much weight due to nausea and not eating that my parents hauled me around to doctors all with no outcome. It was anxiety at about the age of 18 when I went through another round of GI distress and weight loss resulting in the same way. Doctors upon doctors with no answers. (Again at about age 25).
It's all so fucking apparent to me NOW. 35 years into my life.
It's been with me all along seemingly lurking in the shadows of the depths of my being. Driving me, berating me, darkening my entire existence. Anxiety is unlike depression but similar in some ways. It feels more palpable. Like if only I could just remove that piece... We should bring back lobotomy or electric shock therapy. I might be happier as a vegetable. Okay so that's an exaggeration because if I was a vegetable I wouldn't know what the hell was going on. Point is, to imagine life without this mangy monkey on my back I don't know what I would do! Probably dance around like those people in tampon commercials. Without a care in the world!! So THIS is what it feels like to be human without the oppression of anxiety? If only I knew what I was missing this whole lifetime. Perhaps I wouldn't walk around looking like I was going to murder someone. Can we say "resting bitch face" to the nth degree? I don't know but that's what people sorta convey to me.
After I got over the initial shock of my every memory being driven by anxiety, I was able to begin living with it. I'm talking EVERY MEMORY. Every single fucking instance that I looked back on. I have the unfortunate ability to recall these moments with great detail as if they all happened yesterday. I can remember specific times in my childhood that still keep me up at night if I allow myself to stew on them. It's a curse of a skill as much as some people envy it. I remember smells and feelings and colours. Like when you wake up from a particularly intense dream but imagine those feelings never go away - EVER, for 30 years... Dreams fade as the day goes on, these do just the opposite. Imagine those memories piling on top of each other creating a veritable pyramid of filth.
I have entered a new world with this realization. I know, I know, knowledge is power (said in a nasally mimicking voice of annoyance). In this new world I am trying to move forward. I'm not trying to shoo anxiety away but find a way to exist with it. Find a way to wrangle it in and keep it on a short leash. I'm learning skillz but they are kind of like throwing a bottle of water on a house fire.
I'm trying to find my way to less suffering, more fulfilling enjoyment and maybe this bitch face will ease up a little and people won't be so scared of me. It's just my face yo, I'm not actually FEELING that way. Talk to me, you will see.