I’ve been wanting to write a blog post for a few days now, but am finding it hard to think about anything other than panicking and wanting to lie down and quietly read a book, or be asleep, expect perhaps not the asleep bit because then I wake up and get the rush of adrenalin and fear that makes my hands and feet go cold and my chest feel tight.
And that’s not very jolly is it?
That’s not the witty, light entertainment you’ve come to expect from me, and so I don’t know whether or not to share it.
People are always saying that the posts they like best are the really personal ones, that I write just about me, but when you’ve built a character for yourself online, or even in real life, who is chirpy and funny and in control, you wonder whether people really want to hear the angst ridden moments, or whether they’d rather not, thank you very much.
But I’m going to write about it anyway, and then maybe I will publish it or maybe I won’t, but I’m sure I can’t be the only person who feels like this sometimes, so perhaps it will be helpful.
I’ve never been an anxious person. As a child I really was the cheerful one, regularly dispatched to perk up people who might be feeling glum. I’ve had periods of stress, when I’ve felt sad or a bit hopeless, and cried a lot, but the anxiety is relatively new, creeping in over the last few years. Because of this, I wonder if it scares me more, because I don’t have the experience to cope with it or understand it – I just feel terrified of feeling terrified, and it’s hard to break the cycle.
I don’t feel anxious about a particular thing – I don’t imagine myself to be dying, or worry about my health, or focus on a particular event – it’s just a general sense of dread, of feeling on edge, like something bad is going to happen. I imagine it’s the sort of anxiety you’d feel if you woke up at night and heard a noise in the house, a burglar rummaging through your treasures, except that for the last couple of weeks it has felt like that all of the time, and it’s pretty exhausting. When I wake up, I immediately feel tired, and the thought of having to get out of bed and go to work fills me with a rush of fear and I can’t imagine how I will make it to bed time again without something happening.
That’s where the stress comes in I think – that feeling like something surely must happen. How could I just feel like this as a permanent state without something happening one way or the other? The pressure builds to the point where I want to cry just to let something out. Things I read say that you just have to carry on doing all the things you know you should be doing, and that it will pass, but how do you do that when you feel like everything is upside down and the wrong way round and is sure to go bang at any moment?
I feel sick and my mouth is dry. I feel thirsty all the time and the thought of eating anything turns my stomach. I know things are a bit wrong when I lose my appetite as I love food and pretty much 99.99% of the time I could eat whatever you put in front of me, regardless or not of whether I was hungry.
I feel shaky and my head hurts. My jaw aches from subconscious clenching. I can’t concentrate on any of the things I need to do. My washing basket is full, as is my email inbox.
I have nothing to feel anxious about, there is nothing at all wrong with my life. As I write this I am listening to Jack Dee on Desert Island Discs; he says that perhaps the more you have in your life, the better things seem, the more you fear you have to lose.
I know that it will pass. I have felt like it before and it has passed, but the fear is that it won’t, that I will feel like this forever, or that it will go away, but then it will come back when I’m least expecting it.
It scares me, not feeling like myself.
Image – Fabrik Bilder/shutterstock