I’ve been talking a lot about how anxiety has affected me. It’s ever present, it’s painful, and it’s fucking exhausting. I struggle with it every day. I have all these feelings that overwhelm me consistently, but only one really stands out tonight. I feel guilty.
I’ve grown used to the daily worry, and the occasional sadness, and even the physical symptoms (pounding heart, shaking, restlessness, nausea, etc.). I experience these things all the time. I accepted each of them as just something to work on. Today, I completed some pages in an anxiety workbook instead of writing. From one of the pages I gained a new perspective on the way I present my symptoms.
I began with the internal symptoms, which I’m already pretty familiar with. I went through that section rather quickly. Then there was a question about how my symptoms present outwardly, which I must admit I hadn’t really considered, except on a fairly superficial level. I knew that I become very restless and fidgety. I learned to flip pins and roll coins across my fingers and solve a Rubik’s cube, just to have something to do with my hands at all times. I knew that sometimes I get really tongue-tied and have to repeat the same sentence 4 times to get all the words out. I knew that I often just shut down, and let everyone else do the talking.
As I moved on, thinking I had finished (how silly of me, of course not), a thought suddenly popped into my head. I noticed then that my shutting down had, on many occasions, forced my friends to make excuses for me. “He’s a little shy,” or “He’s not feeling well” or some other bullshit excuse. Meanwhile, I isolated myself from situations that, for some reason, I though I would enjoy. It made me wonder how my outward displays of my emotions affect the people around me. I know that I’ve ruined relationships because I couldn’t feel confident. I know that I’ve pushed people away instead of solving the problems that I had. I was sure there was more.
I’m still sure of that, separated from that moment by over 8 hours. I feel very bad. People who care about me have been picking up my slack. They’ve been carrying my burdens for so long.
At this time, I choose not to think deeper into this. I think that’s progress, stopping myself before I’m drowning in self-loathing. Instead, I want to take this opportunity to thank the people who propped me up every time I fell flat on my face. Thank you for sticking by me. My friends all suck, but I love them anyway. Anyone you’re reading this, thank you for being a part of my story.
First, what is social anxiety? Social anxiety is one of the most common ty...
Michael grevais and Tim Ferriss discuss how to win the war against anxiety,...
It is amazing how many methods people find to fight and cure anxiety attack...