Thursday, June 18, 2015

The familiar is comforting no matter how bad it is

I go through life with anxiety. Some days or hours (or weeks or months) it’s more prominent than others.

I go through phases where I feel like the mastermind boss with anxiety firmly squished beneath my thumb. I get a false sense of security out of this which makes me feel invincible even though I know it’s fake. Like a fist bump of epic proportions inside my imaginary mind if nothing else but temporary.

It never lasts. I know this because it’s still here on and off throughout my entire life. I have memories as a small child. If I could remember my first few years of life I bet it would have been there too.

So I've mentioned before how empowering it feels when I hit pockets of existence without debilitating anxiety. I live it up like a college student fresh out of exams for the summer while staying at the parents’ house with no expenses other than booze and drugs.

The ultimate freedom.

I'm coming off what feels like a few solid weeks of stifled anxiety. I hesitate to say “anxiety-free” because one with severe generalized anxiety disorder does not simply become anxiety-free... EVER.

The familiar comes back to haunt me slowly at first until it stops me. I sensed the nausea and discomfort which caused more nausea and discomfort. I continued to push through it as if it wasn't even there. As if I was WILLING it to give me a few more days or hours without it’s fucking presence. You’d probably be surprised at how bad I feel sometimes and yet on the outside you’d never even know. I have become supreme at hiding it from the outside. It persists. I try my Jedi mind tricks with it. By that I mean some of the skills I learned through cognitive behavioural therapy which really are just Jedi mind tricks. Perhaps if I believed them to be true they wouldn't be tricks but I have a hard time forcing myself to believe that which I feel is irrational.

I don’t even know the trigger.

Anxiety is an asshole with too many fucked up facets. I can rarely nail down the cause unless I am in a situation that is obvious. Like in a group of people in a social situation surrounded by food. WORST FUCKING NIGHTMARE. As in, not sitting quietly at my desk plugging away seemingly unaware of the world around me. 

It still creeps in. I ignore. It stops creeping and starts screaming. Okay, okay you little fuck face, listen here! You’re like a bad goddamn boyfriend who is an arrogant self-serving control freak that’s inconsiderate to the world around him. Shit, that’s my ex-husband in a nutshell. I wonder if learning to live with anxiety is like living with my ex. Perhaps I need to exercise a loss of will and give up on any semblance of self confidence. It seemed to work for years with him, until it didn't of course.

The thing is, the anxiety is familiar. It’s so familiar that it’s almost comforting in a way. Oh, you again. Yeah, I know what I'm in for. I know I need to get my stash of ginger tea and Zofran while not counting on being able to eat much for the next while. Two days? Two weeks? Two months? How long this time? At least I don't need to make lunch for tomorrow.

It’s an eerie feeling when badness washes over you and you’re all like, “yeah, so what?”. Welcome home I guess. It's uncomfortably COMFORTING. I don’t want to be here but I can’t run away from myself.


  1. So, I'm super-glad that you've had some good times recently. And I'm sad that you're preparing for a rough spot. Just keep doing what you've got to do and know that we're all here rooting for you and will help any way we can if you need/want it. And don't forget: anxiety and depression are lying, sneaky motherfuckers. Don't believe them.

  2. What Jeff said. And thanks for bravely telling your story and holding nothing back.

  3. This reminds me so much of a Diabetes Blog Week topic from a year or two ago. The prompt asked if you could trade diabetes for any other ailment out there, what would you pick. Overwhelmingly (and shocking, to me) the answer was to keep diabetes.

    It's about the devil that you know versus the one that you don't know. Even though you dislike (to put it lightly) anxiety, you know where it comes from and what it does - and that can be comforting. More so than the unknown. Makes total sense.


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