My anxiety is loud.

In a group I belong to someone shared a picture saying “My anxiety is quiet” – it went on to say that others wouldn’t see an outward change. That they are not lazy, just overwhelmed. I understand this. Sometimes, my anxiety is quiet…

However, most times – my anxiety is SCREAMING loud.

My initial reply was, “my anxiety is loud… sometimes in volume and sometimes in action – i cry sometimes. i say ‘i can do this’ repeatedly under my breath until i can really do it, i get overwhelmed and pass out, i get about two minutes warning on that, my eyes start closing, nothing i can do will stop it. i stare off into space… stop talking… words trail off… when i shake my head and see again, it starts over… i organize ideas and shift them, i talk about what i’m going to do and how terrifying it is in hopes that someone else knowing will make it less scary… i have other people dial the phone or even just hit the call button…. i can’t even make myself make coffee some mornings… not because i’m lazy but because i’m afraid i’ll screw it up… my anxiety is so loud.”

But there’s more, isn’t there…

Sometimes i’m doubled over in pain from my chest. Sometimes I overheat until I get nauseous. My anxiety clouds my judgment. It forces me to forget things I am afraid of trying to protect myself instinctively. I lay awake for hours trying to quiet the fear that something horrible is about to happen.

My anxiety is deafening. So much so that I cannot always even hear people speaking to me. I become oblivious to what is around me because I’m so focused I can’t see it… or because I’m so hyper-vigilant in my fear that I see all of it. I fidget endlessly, or I’m stuck unable to move.

I see so many things that say “anxiety is… ” or “depression is” or “having anxiety and depression is…” but let me be really clear a moment. The only completion to any of those is “personal”. They affect us all differently. Knowing one person’s symptoms does not mean you understand everyone’s.

My anxiety is loud. What is yours?

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

So scared it hurts.

Sometimes people use the term ‘panic attack’ when they experience any type of anxiety, even mild anxiety. As someone that gets painful panic attacks, like physically painful, chest hurts, nauseous, having trouble breathing, not sure what to do, feel like hiding under a blanket and never coming out panic attacks… like the one I’m experiencing right now… I just want to say, this is extremely annoying. It’s frustrating. It minimizes what some of us go through.

If you suffer from anxiety but it’s not as severe, even if it is intrusive, please know “anxiety attacks” are a thing and they’re not the same thing. I am writing this to distract myself from the things I believe are causing it because I can’t do anything about them right now. I started all those phone calls last week but I’m a third of the way done, and I can’t do any of them on a Sunday.

The pain makes it hard to write, it makes it hard to remember to take deep breaths because the breaths have to be forced… If not, they’re fast and shallow and could lead to hyperventilation. However, for me, distraction is still my best coping skill, or rather most effective. I took my medication, and now I am sitting here trying to breathe and let my fingers go rather than think, so I’ll apologize now for any grammar and spelling issues. They’re not my main concern today.

Most people that don’t have anxiety don’t even realize how physical it can be. They think fidgeting is the end of it. With all the boxes and spinners in the world, my chest would still hurt. I usually fidget with my bracelet and necklace.

I forgot where I was going with that. Honestly, I’m having a hard time remembering my initial point which, looking back, was simply the difference between ‘anxiety’ and ‘panic’ but no matter which of these cards you’re dealt, remember it sucks, but it passes. My chest hurts a little less than when I started this. My breathing isn’t necessary to force to keep from hyperventilating but I am still focusing on deep breaths.

This too shall pass. Like a kidney stone. But it’ll pass.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Ingress, Anxiety and My Plans

Sometimes even when I really want to go out to do something, it still totally freaks me out. My anxiety kicks up in all the wrong ways, even when my excitement is trying so hard to override it. Later this morning, I’m going to go “people.” I’m going out to play Ingress with some friends, and some complete strangers, in a place I don’t know.

I’ve mentioned Ingress before (How I Got Out), it’s the augmented reality game by the creators of Pokemon Go that was the precursor. If you have anxiety issues, I still highly recommend it. Besides handling my agoraphobia, it’s helped with self confidence, making local friends and creates reasons to socialize in both small and large groups. Today should be a slightly larger group than I’ve been with through the winter. It is a cross-faction event, which means both my team and the other team will be playing together and competing together.

My friend Pretty Bit who has helped bring me to many events now, especially the larger ones, will be bringing me to “First Saturday” (on a Sunday) in PA. I’m glad she’s my ride, being with her makes me feel a bit more comfortable going into a situation where there will be many people I don’t know. There will be some I do, but meeting new people can go one of two ways for me. I could feel fine with it and seem a social butterfly the entire time, or I could withdraw and meet people one at a time, head down staring at my screen. Either way, I am determined to go, to have a good time, and likely will pass out when I get home.

No matter which way I outwardly handle this, I know it will take a lot out of me emotionally. I’m good with that though, it’s worth it. I want you to take note note of that… whether you have anxiety or know someone that does… I want you to hold onto the thought that sometimes no matter what you see from the outside, our emotional selves are being used and drained – that feeling I best explained in I can’t always be there for you.. We will need to recharge, whether that’s some time isolating, passing out, reading a book. That time to reclaim our emotional selves is important, especially if you are expecting to “people” again soon.

I will let you know how everything went soon. We can find out if I was a butterfly or a wallflower, or if I won anything (there are contests and a raffle). I suppose when you find out will be a pretty good indicator of how long I needed to crash for. Anyhow, this is me, checking in with my weekend, please feel free to let us in on your weekend plans as well and how you are coping with them.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~