Daily Anxiety

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I wake up daily with anxiety and have it throughout the day. I have OCD and intrusive thoughts and usually get fixed on something going on in Life or at work and just focus on that constantly. Work is the biggest issue because I'm worried that I will make mistakes.  this makes me not want to go out in the public and and make me become even more of an introvert which I already am and causes Rifts in the family because I don't have energy to do anything and just feel blah all the time

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Hi. Betsy. You are so right abut those who do not understand. Unless one has been there it is very difficult to know what it's like. Because it can't be subject to blood tests, scans or any other form of diagnosis, to some it doesn't exist. The only indication of anxiety is our behaviour.  'It's all in the mind!!', of course it is, where else would it be? The old brigade, as I call them, still exist. 'Snap out of it!' 'Pull yourself together!' 'Don't be so childish!'  Best ignored!!  I have never regarded anxiety as being a mental illness like  schizophrenia or paranoia.  Those are often incurable, anxiety is not. There is a book I suggest by Dr. Claire Weeks who was considered an authority on agoraphobia.  'Essential help for your Nerves' available on Amazon and well worth a read. She also talks about anxiety in general, It became my Bible years ago.  She wrote many books back in the last century, and this one is an amalgamation of all of them.

Never despair! It's an emotion that can lead to lack of effort. Oh I know, don't I just. Sometimes it all seems so overwhelming that to climb out of the hole we seem to be in seems impossible. It's not!! Given the right tools and help from those who know, it can lead to recovery. What a lovely word, but it is possible.  Take care and be kind to yourself.

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Jonathan I absolutely love Claire Weeks.  I have all her books as well as the audio.  I also love this that somewhat explains what it is like for those who don't understand.  Still we are considered a "stigma" but over the years I have learned to just ignore that. 

Some of my friends and family do not understand anxiety
“It can’t be that bad”
“You don’t have anything to be afraid of”
“Just calm down”
“It can be that bad” I tell them
Anxiety strings barbed wire across doorways and coats people in broken glass
You can’t go anywhere
Anxiety is like a room in an adventure movie where water is steadily pumping onto the floor until it’s up to your chest
Except there’s no magic lever or button for anxiety
It just keeps going until you’ve drowned
Anxiety is a boulder strapped to your back
It keeps pressing and pressing
Even when you’re tired and you just want to sleep, it keeps pressing
Even when you fall, it keeps pressing
Even when you stop struggling to move, to survive, it keeps pressing
“There’s plenty to be afraid of” I say
Anxiety is a monster with giant bulging eyes and thousands of teeth and claws
And the worst part is that no one else can see it following you down the hallways at school
Stalking you in the bathrooms at concerts
Hiding under your own bed
Anxiety is like an uninvited party guest
You never know when Anxiety is going to join the party
It just shows up
And you never have enough snacks or blankets for Anxiety
It always wants more
And it doesn’t leave until 4am when you’re shaking from exhaustion
Anxiety doesn’t even say Thank you
For taking up everything you had in you
It just leaves
And you know Anxiety will be back
What’s scary about Anxiety is that it keeps you from doing something you really wanna do
Like spending the night at your friends
You really wanna go but you just don’t
Because you don’t want to have to explain why your body has begun to unravel itself, time traveling back to when anxiety kept humans alive and why apparently your body thinks your friend’s sweet little French bulldog is the equivalent of a modern day saber tooth tiger
Another scary thing about anxiety is the fact it’s something your brain makes up and your body BELIEVES it of all things
“I’m dying” your brain says
And so your body believes it
Because why would a piece of your body lie to itself?
Why would you lie to yourself?
“I can’t just calm down” I say to them
The whole thing with Anxiety is not just the fact that the guy next to you could be a suicide bomber or that the girl across the isle could have a knife in her pocket or the fact you’ve got a test to pass or that your shoelaces aren’t symmetrical
It’s that anxiety gives you anxiety
What a beautiful self-destructive cycle
And if I could calm down don’t you think I would?
Do you think I would scratch myself raw trying to force the anxiety out of my skin?
Do you think I would spend my friend’s birthday party having a panic attack in the bathroom?
God why is it always bathrooms?
Do you think I would spend my every waking hour anxiously figuring out how I can avoid all the things that give me anxiety?
The thing about anxiety is that nothing can “get rid of it”
There is no cure
A million billion poems and hugs and dark closets and angry songs and therapists could not get rid of anxiety
Anxiety has embedded itself into me and I don’t have enough strength to dig the scalpel into my own skin and carve it out
I don’t think anyone has that kind of strength
“Anxiety is a part of me” I tell them
And the thing I ask now even gives me anxiety
Isn’t that ironic?
But I still ask it
I always ask it
“Will you still accept me?
Hi guys! I have no clue what I’m doing here, but hi!

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Hi Betsy. I have just come upon your interesting post that poses so many questions. They are all questions most of us ask ourselves at times, and so often no answer is forthcoming. Unless you have been there there is no way anyone can understand. No way!!!! People who do not suffer as we do have no concept of what it's like, and are best ignored when they come out with stupid uncaring remarks.

"Anxiety strings barbed wire across doorways and coats people in broken glass". How well put! Can you see why so many don't understand. Only those who suffer will understand. I had many years of this kind of torture, and my wife and a good counsellor helped me through it. Some of the remarks made to me at that time beggar belief. It sometimes took days to get over them and I seriously began to think I was to blame and I should be able to 'snap out of it'. That I was a coward and lacking in courage. I now know that anxiety sufferers are some of the most courageous people around. They fight and battle against their problems for years and seem to get nowhere. Dr. Weekes, as you know, was against fighting and struggling with 'IT'. "It’s that anxiety gives you anxiety". YES, that's it!! We get caught in that awful viscous circle of fear/ symptoms/anxiety/fear. Breaking the train is difficult because it can become a habit. 

Why bathrooms? Because they are places we can lock the door and let our emotions free. We can't do it in public, at least only with those who understand, and they are few. We can become ashamed of how we feel, as if in some way we are weak or lacking self control. This is an illusion that goes with anxiety. We should  certainly not feel ashamed or as if we lack self control. Emotions can take over, and controlling them is nigh impossible. But we come back to Dr. Weekes and acceptance. It took me a long time to realise the value of accepting and going with the flow. Bending with the wind! Also, it made me into a more caring and compassionate person. It so often does that and can be a valuable teaching experience.

Very best wishes. 

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