That feeling came back. The one where I feel like I’m an inch tall and there are hundreds of boots overhead, trying to crush me.
Anxiety, for me, is best described as dread. Not fear. Fear can usually be tied to something tangible. Dread is that nagging feeling, but you can’t quite put your finger on its source.
And anxiety doesn’t play along well with logic. Logically, I know large crowds, sudden noises, other such triggers, will not necessarily result in my impending doom.
But I feel the dread. It creeps up the backs of my arms and down my legs. I stare either straight ahead, or down at something in front of me. My eyes focus on nothing.
I want nothing more than to bolt from the area. To return to something that feels safe. And where I’m alone.
After it passes
When I think back on those times where I’ve been nearly paralyzed by anxiety, I wonder if all the good days were just a vacation from my problem.
While on vacation
I’ve been able to do some sightseeing on my trip. The paralysis stopped long enough for me to peer into the lives of happy people around me. And the upbeat, joyful emotions I get from seeing how other people are free and positive feel real to me. Even if it’s a prescribed medication I take that helps abate the anxiety, I don’t care. Feeling can be as real as you want it to be.
But it doesn’t last.
Sometimes I feel like I’m a tourist in my own life. The stress that comes with anxiety goes away long enough for me to truly enjoy my life, my family, my hobbies. Once again, it all feels real to me. And so it must be real because I want, and need, it to be.
Back to work
The first days back into the realities of anxiety are shitty. I’m sure you can imagine why. You had a nice time off from some of your problems, but it’s time to get back to the grind.
Some days, the grind isn’t so bad. Little things pop up (e.g. boss stressing you out about a project, or the kids getting on your nerves). Garden variety things that I have no trouble calmly addressing.
Other days, it’s worse. And I come to this place to pour out all that frustration, lack in self-esteem, paralysis, onto you.
Thank you for listening, even if you might not understand what’s going on in this confusing mess of a mind I have.
The best part of the vacation (when anxiety goes away for weeks on end), and the times I overcome my anxiety, are the positive feelings I have. I have real, solid memories of times I’m truly happy. I’m reminded of those around me that I love, and love me, that helps pull me through.
And, of course, I have Daphne, the maroon goddess, who gives the powers of flight and invisibility.