February, 2018

Anxiety

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

This is something I blurted out on a Facebook group that I thought worth sharing more widely about anxiety and other matters that are hard.

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My strategies are not going to be your strategies. I saw spiders all over everything for 20 years, my mind was therapizing me; it was better to hallucinate a known fear than relive, again and again, childhood trauma. (It was violent) That reliving those moments, that’s PTSD. Soldiers get it. So do civilians, but getting it diagnosed is a nightmare. I have some controls on my own mind, so I set the problem, that some memories were so traumatic that they would take over my vision and hearing, (even when driving, inconvenient), and let my inner mind solve it. My fears were the solution, because I spent a lot of time learning to tell what was inside my head from what was outside my head, i.e. spiders. I wear my hair shirts with the hair on the inside.

I’m a complete monster when riled, because childhood, and completely soft when not.

I spend a lot of time going over conversations, every single one. I got a service to check and see if I had Aspergers. (No, I have “too many social skills”) I have a stutter they cannot detect, I had to explain it to them; I get more and more anxious the older I get, and I’m transitioning so that causes anxiety. There’s no escape.

I don’t see spiders anymore, I miss them. I stopped taking my anti-depressants because I want to feel, but I live alone and just about everyone annoys me sooner or later so alone I am likely to stay. All the conversations replay in my head so I rarely live with silence, there is music or talking or something even in the middle of the night.

And so many people think I’m so well adjusted.

I just copy the things that I see the people who seem to be well adjusted doing, they’re probably faking it in their heads, and do that, when I can be arsed. Which a lot of the time, I can’t.

The only thing that really works, the thing that truly gives relief, is getting out of my head.

Reading, writing (particularly), teaching, riding my motorbike, sex, (If that was ever going to happen again, unlikely), roleplaying, (because usually I’m running a game and that takes a lot of concentration and penis jokes, because they’re cheap), teaching (usually online, not frightening because I’M IN CHARGE except I CODE LIVE and that’s scary as all arse, but it does focus the the mind wonderfully), in fact often doing shit that scare the hell out of me because it requires concentration.

From where I sit this is the secret. Anxiety is the enemy, but you cannot defeat it, it will always be there, waiting. My prompted recall is crap, but anxiety means I have perfect recall of anything embarrassing. Perfect, in every detail, as if every petal of a perfect flower contains a precise and pristine mortification of me waiting to fall into my consciousness and embarrass me near unto death again, and make no mistake, embarass me enough and I do want to die, most assuredly, badly enough that if I could have found a non-emotive way of doing it I might have died already, but this would damage my sons and my friends beyond repair.

I shall not let it defeat me, for I am here and I am strong, I have learned to bend int he wind, but not to break, I have learned that to occupy my mind, truly concentrate on something is the ultimate and only relief, and I hope that you can find something too that occupies you totally, that you might get that relief. I hope that for you this comes from your inner selves, for I believe that if you can be self-aware enough and brave enough to acknowledge, then you can be brave enough and self-aware enough to overcome, each in your own way, as befits your circumstances.