I no longer live in Florida.
I can’t say I’ve never seen snow anymore.
I miss the beach like crazy.
I’ve grown a lot.
Oh and I chopped my hair off.
I’ve learned a lot about myself.
I’ve discovered who I am apart from familiar surroundings.
One of the biggest struggles I’ve had to face is my anxiety.
It’s easy to ignore crippling anxiety when you’re surrounded by familiar, comfortable things and people. It’s much harder to do when you are in a complexly different, new, and uncomfortable place. Moving two states away from my friends and family has forced me to come to terms with the fact that I have severe anxiety. I never wanted to focus on it while I was home, but looking back, I can see how much it had a hold on my life even then. I really didn’t want to be controlled by it, or to let it take over. But I didn’t realize what it really is and how it works. It’s almost like I have two versions of reality: what I know is happening, and what my anxiety tells me. The two almost never match up, and it’s an exhausting battle to reconcile what my anxiety tells me to what is reality. One I unfortunately often lose.
This is a relatively new discovery for me, considering I used to think my depression was a bigger concern than my anxiety. But lately, I’ve realized that my anxiety controls almost every part of my life. It’s a strange thing, because I recognize that what my anxiety tells me isn’t the truth, but that’s not how it FEELS. Even now, just writing this, my anxiety is going crazy, telling me that people will read this and judge me and not understand, while my logical side knows that’s not the truth. My anxiety is convincing me that I shouldn’t even post this, and to be honest, I don’t know that I will.
Often, I don’t like to post, or even write something, that doesn’t have a satisfying conclusion. I know that won’t be the case with this, so I’m writing it to help me understand myself better, and maybe others too.
Something I struggle with a lot, is assuming that people criticize me for things I do and say, and then the conclusions they make based off of some token words or actions from me will alter the way they see me and will not want to be friends with me. And if you’re my friend, and reading this, and thinking “she might have thought that about someone else, but not me!” I really do hate to say this, but that’s not true. Nobody is safe, not even my family. My anxiety attacks every relationship I have. I try my best to not let it cloud them, but that’s doesn’t change how I have to actively battle against it. A huge part of it is just telling my anxiety that no, that off-hand comment isn’t going to make my friend of many years hate me, you don’t hate your friends when they say something slightly off-color. The other part is having friends who reassure me they care, they see me, and they have chosen to be my friend, it’s not something that a little wrong thing (or a big wrong thing) I say or do can change. And I truly appreciate those people.
Anxiety is absolutely exhausting, and irritating. I don’t fully understand it, or how it effects me, but I’m working to catch and understand it so I can deal with it and not have to fight it so much. I think I am getting better, but I still have a long way to go.
As I write this, I am fighting a headache and some sleep deprivation, which makes it hard to think, so I feel like this isn’t very articulate or well written, but it feels good to write it out for once. Maybe I’ll be able to do a couple more posts in the future on this topic, as I understand it better. And get more sleep. Also, maybe I’ll explore my enneagram type (I’m a 6) sometime. No promises, but I do want to.
I want to thank everyone who reads this for being my friend and caring about me. It means a lot. I appreciate you.