‘Did I lock the door?’
‘Did I turn the gas off?’
‘Is this an earthquake?’
‘Are my parents dead?’
These are thoughts we all have, or had, maybe a few times in our lives. Perhaps not the last one, but the other generalized ones, Yes. Well, for me these thoughts are infinite, they will start when I open my eyes, and will only stop when my brain had enough of it and eventually tires itself off to sleep.
Take this example- You’re walking down the street in your locality, you see someone you know, you smile, share a few words and walk your way. For me the whole situation is a fight, a struggle. The mere thought of actually walking down the street alone, scares me. I would rather just stay under covers in my room, my safe place. On days that I do manage to get myself out of the four walls I generally confine myself in, I pray I don’t bump into people I know, because unlike you I cannot just smile and start a conversation with people on the street.
My friends tell me ‘You think to much, cool your mind’. What they don’t know or understand is that, if I don’t learn the route of commute thoroughly I will get panic attacks. What they don’t understand is that being around a group of people exceeding the number 10 at a given place and at a given time, makes me want to curl in a ball and sit in the corner of the room I’m in.
Anxiety for me is different, it’s inherently quiet and that makes it hard for me to function. There’s not a day in my life that anxiety has not made it hard for me to get work done, or travel. While you’re okay with letting loose, because you know you have put the right drop location in your cab application. I will recheck it 10 times, my muscles will start hurting because I’m unsure of my own ability to put the right location even though I confirmed it twice and thrice.
It’s the constant throbbing in my chest, that you define as heart beats but it beats so hard in my ears sometimes, I have to count my breaths as I let it sink me into nothingness. It wrecks me so bad, I can barely move. Yes, it’s a real issue, and I’ve been with it since forever.
It makes me forget mundane things, like calling someone I promised I would call. But makes me remember pain I’ve been subjected to sometime in the past. You’d probably laugh at that one time you goofed up on stage, but an incident of humiliation I faced sometime in my past makes my whole existence feel like crap.
If I had to define how Anxiety feels like to me, it feels like I’m a human super computer donned with the task to process everything, every single piece of information at once, until I go into overload and shut down. That’s what it feels like, when my heart won’t stop racing although there is no sign of danger, I’m in my room (my safe place), I’m doing absolutely nothing, I’m at peace, or that’s what I believe. But here it is, my heart keeps racing, my face gets warm, my hand starts getting sweaty, and my body acts like it’s surrounded by wolves,dinosaurs and death, when there is nothing. The worst thing is that I can’t do anything to stop it.
Anxiety may feel like different things, to different people. Mine takes a lot of forms. I can’t tolerate things not being organised, it triggers me. I keep fixing that one strand of my hair that falls on my forehead unless it’s perfectly in sync with the rest of my hair. I remember tearing off pages, because there was a small strike through in my perfectly written piece of work.
There’s always that voice, that thought at the back of my mind constantly telling me that the decision I took 2-days back is wrong and that I will soon face it’s consequence. The decision can be as small as deciding to shift my workstation to another room. It makes me believe in the fact that nothing is going right, when in reality everything is perfectly fine and OKAY.
Anxiety makes me question a lot of things, especially its existence. It keeps me up all night, turning in bed until its 3 AM and my blood shot eyes can barely stare at the ceiling anymore. Sometimes, if I’m very unlucky, anxiety makes me take all the wrong sort of decisions. I have landed in all sorts of trouble thanks to this.
It’s tough undoubtedly, but if I am able to pen around 900 words on something that makes life tough for me. I guess, I’m fighting it off good.
If you’re going through the same thing, or worst, remember that it does not define who you are as a person. Anxiety is just an extreme way of dealing with problems, it doesn’t mean that you’re crazy or there’s something inherently wrong in the way you function. It just means, you’re different and your body works differently when it comes to dealing with the curve balls of life. You just need to trust yourself enough, to seek help when things go wrong, until then take a deep breath and let your mind play it’s games, when it’s done voicing all your wrong doings and failures, and when all the worries are laid down on the table, you decide how you’re going to play the cards.
Image Credits: Taijin Kyofusho