It’s back again

I’ve always struggled with anxiety. As a kid, I would grow transfixed with some catastrophe; so transfixed that I was crippled with fear, I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t concentrate in school and I couldn’t stop crying. This would go on for about two weeks (it felt like two months), to the point where I was forced to make a resolution of some sort regarding the terrible fear I had of these catastrophies.

Once I accepted that bad things can happen and that there’s nothing I can do about it, I seemed to let the fear go. The three main sources of my worrying were the possibilities that my mother might die, the world might end, or someone would create a tyrannosaurus Rex and set it free in my neighbourhood. I’m not joking.

The mother-dying fear would return for a few days here and there, right to the end of my childhood. I can remember a few times when the anxiety that she might die popped up suddenly, and I had to call her from school and make sure she was alive to feel ok again. I also used to fret about our cats like that.

That all went away once I left high school, but then one day when I was 21, it popped up again, but not about my mother. It was about a boyfriend that everyone warned me against and said that he’d break my heart.

It’s not a fun feeling. Other people who I know say that you can’t understand or know what it’s like unless you’ve been through it. But I have a little more faith in my fellow man, or at least I want faith in them. So I’m going to try to explain what it feels like.

To me, if you were told something terrible was going to happen, and no one knew when, that is a little what it feels like. I’ll elaborate.

Imagine you were told your wife had cancer, or you had a hit placed on you or you had a son on death row. You would think about the inevitable a lot, in fact, even when you weren’t thinking of it, it would still be on your mind. It would never-ever leave you alone. You’d lose your appetite, you’d lose sleep and get behind at work. Take that feeling and you’ve got a pretty good idea.

What’s different from these examples is the build-up. These cases are a shock and wear off-type, but the anxiety that I feel builds up. Anxiety manifests itself through my silly worries where the more I worry, the more I have reason to worry, so I worry more.

I feel a bit like a crazy person sometimes. The places my thoughts take me that are so utterly ridiculous and insane don’t help. The ability to notice 200 threats to my existence in one minute is sometimes overwhelming.

Although I have to say that this time, it is no where near as bad as before. I eat, I sleep and I work, no problem. But a rumble of anxiety is always in my tummy.



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