The anxiety

Last night I felt anxious and tonight I feel so much more anxious and sick. Its over the littlest things that seem so stupid. I’m sick of hearing myself talk about it, but also sick of not knowing how to turn it off.
I used to deal with it by drinking excessively and self harm. I felt like I had a lot of control over everything. I definitely don’t want to go back down the road I was on because it took years to get out of that place. I was anorexic and sick all the time, but it felt like control. I’ve gone from being emotionless/numb to an emotional wreck. I absolutely hate being emotional and ironically cannot deal with other people showing emotions.
One scenario has the possibility of so many outcomes and those outcomes have so many other possibilities. If overthinking were an Olympic sport I’d fucking ace it. 10s across the board.

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Hey @Galaxsea

Thank you for sharing your feelings of us. Emotions are nothing to be ashamed of, and while they can get frustrating at times, I know that there is nothing wrong with feeling them. I am glad you recognize that self harm and drinking will not help the situation. I am also proud of you for working so hard to get out of that place. If you can overcome that, I believe you can overcome this.

Maybe instead of talking about it, you journal about something else. Like literally anything else. That might take your mind off of the little things that are making you anxious. One thing that helps me is turning on some music and lighting a candle while dimming the lights. That helps with anxiety, so if you are a candle person, then that is a great route to go.

What does your support system look like? Is there anyone that you can talk to about your anxiety that might help ease it?

Show yourself some grace and feel all you need to feel. Sometimes you just need to sit with your emotions no matter how uncomfortable. But you certainly are not alone. I have been in your shoes before and it is a tough place to be.

But I believe in you. Keep fighting. This anxiety won’t last forever. Hold fast

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I’ve always been so strongly anti anything that remotely sounds like it could be emotional and … I’m not sure what the word is… like flowers and candles, I like them now and getting better at admitting that I like having a bath with candles and romcoms, but for so long I just saw so many things as a weakness that even enjoying something like that was not going to happen and was certainly discouraged. I felt that I couldn’t win with my family. I was either too needy or too shut off for them. When I was little I loved cuddles and affection and my family hated that, then when I was a little older I hated affection of any kind and that was “concerning”.
I still don’t love affection, but it’s not as bad. I don’t think it’s necessary for people to touch me or hug me, but if a close friend needs a hug then that’s okay.
I know that the level of worry I get to is so beyond realistic, and if it were anyone else I’d easily be able to say… You’re over reacting.
I do have some good friends now that every now and again I feel okay with talking to, but I hate feeling like I’m smothering them with problems especially when as stated, the reality is I deep down know the logical explanations, but somehow still can’t convince myself that it’s okay.

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I totally understand the dilemma. I know that deep down everyone need love and affection, no matter how much you have suppressed your need for it. I believe that we were made to love and be loved by other people. One of my favorite people always says, “People need other people.” I believe that is true.

I know what it is like to have your family think you are overreacting to things. My family would call me a drama queen or self absorbed when the reality was, I was struggling and I needed help. If you do have friends that you feel comfortable talking to, then confide in them and know that if they do push you away because of your problems, they either have too much going on themselves or they aren’t really your friends.

And I think for me, bottom line is do what makes you happy as long as it is healthy. If you want to watch a romcom and light some candles then freaking do it!!! I love a good romcom with Matthew McConaughey. If that helps you destress and not get so anxious, then by all means, do it. Try not to worry about the opinions of others (easier said than done, I know). At the end of the day, you need to take care of you and that is more than ok

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I know that the level of worry I get to is so beyond realistic, and if it were anyone else I’d easily be able to say… You’re over reacting.

One thing that truly sucks with anxiety is exactly this. To know objectively that it’s too much, excessive, but still feeling like we’re out of control - and sometimes for no obvious reason. I hate anxiety with passion. It’s sneaky, invisible for the most part, yet so crippling. I hate those moments when I suddenly feel overwhelmed by a diffuse, anxious feeling that makes me feel so vulnerable that it feels like something awful is happening while I’m just safe at home.

I’m sorry you’re struggling with this, Galaxsea. Honestly, I hear your frustration with all my heart. It’s frustrating to feel like dealing with the same pattern over and over - and being sick of talking about it. It makes sense to be frustrated. It makes sense to feel tempted by your old ways to cope, even while knowing that it wasn’t healthy. I struggled with eating disorders as well, with first a long time of anorexia. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I feel like it’d be better to get back to it. I miss the control I was able to have, over my emotions. But we both know that this was an illusion, and the cost of it is being even more at war with ourselves. It pushed us even more away from our main goal of healing and feeling better.

Your anxiety in itself is not your enemy. It’s a natural reaction, a survival instinct. Turning it off is not the main goal. But learning to decrease your level of anxiety is definitely something you can do. I personally don’t have all the answers, and I believe healing is always different from one person to another. But one thing is sure: learning to identify your emotions and approach them in a more peaceful way is definitely part of the process. And that includes expressing them, sharing your voice, not being afraid to be human before anything else.

I hear your background with your family and how it pushed you to see vulnerability and self-care as something good to be rejected. It really makes sense, and that’s something I also relate too. When you weren’t shown the affection you needed, it gets hard to give it to yourself or just see gentleness as a gift. Until recently, I wasn’t able to have just one walk or one bath without feeling incredibly nervous and restless. I’d accuse the activity itself to be boring and repeat to myself that I need more energetic activities. But the truth is… like you I kinda like baths. And I kinda like walks in nature, hearing the sounds of birds, of the wind, and enjoying the atmosphere around me. For a long time, I was able to have a kind of preview of how it could help, but it was still not enough. I thought I wasn’t really able to enjoy it because my mind was always somewhere else and my body was just restless. Now, sometimes I’m able to relax when I do it. It takes a lot of fails, but the more I practice, the more I walk through the discomfort, and the more I see changes happening. It’s worth it.

We have to act through those emotions to actually change them, change how our body and our mind reacts when X, Y, Z event or thouhgt arises. I thought for a long time that I needed to suppress my anxiety or that I’d only be able to take care of myself “once I’d feel (and somehow be) better”. Hell, I’m guilty to still think that way too many times. But healing can definitely be done while we feel messy and vulnerable. It’s like recreating new automatisms, one bye one, step by step. What was learned can be unlearned, or changed.

If this journey is heavy to you, it can be interesting to be helped by a therapist through all of this. Body-oriented psychotherapy but also therapies focused on thoughts (CBT or ACT for example) can be an interesting mix of approaches. Even just the step of going on therapy and putting yourself in a position of sharing what’s on your heart is an exercise in itself, and can lead you to some emotional growth.

In any case, you’re definitely not stuck with this or doomed to face the same level of worry all the time. There are steps to take, even if they’re really exhausting sometimes. And you’re not alone on this road. You have friends right here who are walking on it with you. You can do this. :hrtlegolove:

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I’m definitely hitting an overwhelming down tonight. It was kind of building up over the last few nights maybe.

I definitely do have good friends that I’m learning to trust and putting out my feelers a little. I tend to push people away. I had a bad habit of starting to get close to people and then just being so mean to them and trying to hurt them.

It certainly is, it’s draining and sort of feels like people won’t get why things aren’t better or why I’m not just over it already.

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It certainly is, it’s draining and sort of feels like people won’t get why things aren’t better or why I’m not just over it already.

That’s definitely a valid concern. And some people might not understand, indeed. But others can, or at least would be willing to understand - and even more, to not judge.

It takes time to break those cycles and learn new ways to process our emotions. And I think oftentimes our frustration makes us our worst judge and critic because we’re the first person to be disappointed. We expect something different, we crave something better. We want to be able to do better and feel differently. Not in an unknown amount of time, but now, because the urge of feeling something different is also very real. In these moments, it can be good to take the time to think about the progress you actually made. You didn’t do nothing during the last years - or even more. And I can tell, you have a great sense of self-awareness. It’s a strength that is conveyed through your words here.

I’m definitely hitting an overwhelming down tonight. It was kind of building up over the last few nights maybe.

I’m sorry you’re having a rough time tonight. What’s been helping you lately when you were feeling down? Did you find ways to replace your old coping mechanisms so you could take care of yourself in a healthy way?

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@Galaxsea

Keep talking about it. @Micro is awesome. I will reply in a few more hours, but it is currently 6am and I have yet to sleep. Once I catch some Z’s I will be back to encourage you if you still need it.

Don’t forget that you are loved and your life matters. I know that life is hard right now but the pain won’t last forever. Just wanted to say that I’ve got your back. Have a good night. Hope it gets better. I will talk to you soon

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NOW is right. I like to know outcomes and I like to be in control as we were talking about. I used to joke that even my spontaneity is meticulously premeditated. The longer I’m left waiting for anxiety and depression to subside the more it seems like any chance of overcoming it fades. Even when I know realistically it will pass.

I tend to start to shut down so I lose interest and enjoyment in things I usually like. Instead of the old coping mechanisms my new ones are to just isolate and withdraw. At the start of the year before lockdown all happened I got into a state where I didn’t really move from my beanbag in my lounge for a few days before someone came looking for me. I tend to go to work and come home and cut off communication elsewhere. Which isn’t healthy, I know, but it’s the system I moved on to for the meantime.

You are sooooooo kind. Thank you for this. Mate I might pretend to be emotionally deficient in front of other people, but I can appreciate this level of kindness, so thank you.

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The longer I’m left waiting for anxiety and depression to subside the more it seems like any chance of overcoming it fades.

Wow, 100%. That couldn’t be said more rightly. Avoidance can be super tempting when you’re facing this reality. As you said, it will pass. And it’s so important to hold on to that truth. Though there are still ups and downs and questions such as “for how long am I going to deal with this shit?” are so valid.

Coupled with what you said about shutting down and isolating yourself this year, I feel like we have in common the strong temptation to avoid how we feel by any means sometimes. Which doesn’t erase the possibility to be aware of it at the same time. But still, how to navigate those emotions when it becomes crippling? How to live rather than feeling like just functioning most of the time?

You’re already aware that it’s not a solution in itself. But at the same time, if it’s helped you to push through this year and to not hurt yourself, then so be it. The very fact that you’re aware of what’s healthy or not, also that you know yourself well, puts you in a position of learning to make more and more different decisions. Even if it’s just one step forwards and two backwards. That one step is a strength you acquire and it sticks with you. For example, it certainly feels more comfortable to talk through written messages, but yet you’re here. You’re reaching out. You’re sharing what’s on your heart while feeling low. Maybe that’s not something you would have done at the beginning of this crazy year.

PS - Somehow what you said about depression and anxiety reminds me a little of a video of DrMick (a very neat streamer on Twitch, also a licensed therapist) who talked about procrastination (as one of the numerous ways to avoid anxiety): https://www.instagram.com/tv/CB3UMXEHA7e/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

You are sooooooo kind.

Echoing that - 100%! Appreciate all the support that Sarah shares around here. It’s highly valuable. :hrtlegolove:

And the fact that you are here, Galaxsea, is really appreciated as well. It’s good to see that you allow yourself to share a part of your story and who you are. That really means a lot. <3

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Hey Galasea. This video reply is from the Oikon community down in Houston :slight_smile:

LINK

We’re here to support you in what you’re going through - let us know how we can help!

  • Oikon
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As a cowboy somewhere once said… yee yee! That’s exactly the struggle. Trying to actually feel like whatever has brought me to this point hasn’t just been a waste and that there’s some sort of point to it all.

100% I thought it was easier to just ride it out, but that particular wave was a bad one. I don’t as often get to a point where I feel like I want to not be alive, but I was definitely there at that stage.

You guys, if anyone said this to me face to face, I’d have no idea how to respond. So I hope thank you is appropriate. My brain hears too many nice things and is like “RECOIL”

@HS_John wow thank you so much!
I did not have permission to be on that feels trip. It definitely is hard (or at least I find it hard) to stop and sit in the moment because it feels like in the moment, it’s not good enough. As in, I should accomplish more, I should be doing more or I should have it all together. Deep down I know I have done a lot of things to get to where I am and have worked hard to have what I have. I’ve always felt this expectation to achieve more right from when I was young. It felt like no matter how much I achieved someone else or my brother achieved more and why wasn’t I as good as them. And then you said “you’re worthy” and my brain went into frenzied panic mode for a second. There’s a level of uncomfortable i get when people speak things like this and I don’t know why.
I have actually tried meditation before, although I get very distracted it still was kind of a nice experience, so that’s a good idea to try.
Literally people from the other side of the world have taken time out to be so kind and I appreciate it so much.

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How are you feeling this morning? Feeling a little extra loved today?

Thanks for your words Galaxsea - hey you said other side of the world - where do you live? (If you’re not comfortable sharing that no worries at all).

Sorry if we were super strong on you - especially with phrases like “you’re worthy”. We do believe that of you - but man I hear you that that can be scary. It feels like it carries, I don’t know - responsibility or something with it I guess.

Anyway, maybe a better way to say it is that we think you’re great and we mean it.

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I’m just really tired because I woke up extremely early and now am at work, so I haven’t had time to think about how I’m feeling if that makes sense.

I’m from Australia!

No that’s totally okay, it was really really nice and I appreciate it so much especially since you all took time out to be so encouraging.
It was honestly one of the nicest things people have done for me and even nicer since you guys don’t even know me and still did it!

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I totally get it. I am running on low sleep myself. Have a good day at work and keep us updated. We care about you!!

Definitely feeling better today, things have calmed down at my house too which is nice. Feels less stressful

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That’s awesome! Thank you for sticking in there! Keep going

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