Sixteen

The build up of Saturday morning before a party consisted of an warm unpleasant feeling in my stomach, a heavy pressure on my chest when I inhaled and a tingling sensation in my legs, my arms, my fingers. I’d vomit multiple times before lunch had hit, making me weak and shaky. I’d be yelled at to eat something constantly- repeatedly. Pacing and pacing the house I try to contain the increased panic in my mind. Checking the time panic would fade with distraction from chores and cleaning and then increase with the thought of what might happen later that night.
Being at a party or generally being around people, I worried that they would laugh at me or that I’d be left alone or that someone might want to talk to me. All of which I learnt to calm myself with by a flood of negative insults towards myself. I breathe deeply reminding myself that nothing can happen if I don’t speak, I won’t be humiliated. I remind myself that people might not notice I’m there so I can be assured no one will look at me- so no one could laugh at me. I remind myself that if I stay out of the way, I won’t do anything wrong and I won’t have to feel scared, so there can’t be any expectations of me. I tell myself that I’m not pretty enough for a boy to like me or notice me, so no one would kiss me.
It was all this negativity that I fed myself, to hate myself, that calmed and rationalised me going anywhere with people my age or older.

I sit on my bed tapping my pressure points, reminding myself that its okay, that I’ll be okay- but only believing it because I had lost all hope that I was going to see friends, to meet new people, to meet boys, to have ‘fun’ and laugh and drink and dance…
I was focused solely on getting there, getting over getting there, being there, dealing with where to sit to not involve myself to, to how to stop myself from vomiting and how I was going to get through this and be okay.
It would always get worse when I had to get in the car with my mum. I would become an emotional bubble waiting to burst. I would get so violently angry, trying to hold in all of my anxieties for what my parents thought was a fun night. I’d feel faint from not eating for 24 hours, in hopes I wouldn’t then be able to vomit to settle my mind. My leg would shake in the car, constantly tapping on the floor, my body would heat up trying to make me vomit again and again. I’d put the air conditioner on full, with the radio off- I’d snap at noise and sensitivity towards repetition of sounds and anything related to the cause of my anxiety. The closer I got to my friends house, the closer I was to being sick. I’d clench my jaw shut with the driest throat, I could dry retch at any second. Getting to the destination I’d always feel like crying when I got out of the car, so in turn I gave anger and frustration instead. I feel sorry that my parents had to deal with that every weekend, the same routine, I was so on edge.
My friends always made everything better, I love them for accepting me and I tried so hard to learn from them, to cope with these situations. I seen how excited they were, how fun this would be, but I always slipped back into my mind, of what could happen and the questions of my anxiety. And for what could have been hours of me not saying a word out loud, felt like a few seconds inside my head. I would disconnect myself from others just to address the panic in my mind, to calm myself of the worries, the what if’s and the nerves that I had built inside of me.

I can recognise now that it was and is humiliation and rejection that I constantly feared. I became so fixated on trying to deal with the anxieties that I pushed people away.

The more insignificant I made myself feel, the more comfortable I felt around people. To me the more I convinced myself that I wasn’t worthy of good things, the more I convinced myself that I was unattractive and fat and boring and a shit person, the more accepting I would be if anyone was to tell me that is what I was. I wanted to prepare myself for what people would or could think of me, so that I wouldn’t be humiliated or ashamed or embarrassed, I’d be okay with the thought of being seen as ugly and fat and sad and anything else ‘bad’.

Because everyday I persuaded myself that its only me, no one is looking at me. Its only me, no one will be interested in me. Its only me and I don’t need to let anyone in.

 

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Understanding The Mind Of Anxiety

No big surprise, but I’ve been battling anxiety as defined by a psychologist and psychiatrist since high school but for me personally it’s been suffocating me my whole life. Anxiety is from my perspective another word that they throw around that just tags alongside depression. Anxiety just sounds like worry and being scared and it doesn’t sound debilitating. It has become very normalised in today’s society. I can respect that there are more and more people being diagnosed, but for the people that aren’t suffering a mental health issue, it’s seen as a ‘label’ for a little bit of ‘stress’. Label though. Important.
Label that other people bring onto themselves to express an exaggeration of their emotional state. Sorry to say, but I know that people do that we can all be guilty sometime or anther of doing that.
But it’s a label to me though that I want to burn, that I would do anything to get rid of. A small label with a huge impact to my life- my life without such label would be wonderful. It could have been wonderful. It would have been everything.

Off track, so my anxiety is something I’m learning to seperate from myself. Almost give it another name, so that it can no longer be associated with me. Because the more that I allow myself to believe that anxiety is apart of me, the more I believe my mind will always remain this sick and the wonderful person inside wont be able to come out anymore.
Every day I write, trying to understand my mind, and the mind of my anxiety. I write about how I know it’s silly, but then how my emotions show I’m in pain that the pain feels real. I write how I know this disappears sooner or later, but that I still can’t think past anxieties thoughts. I write how frustrating it is to ignore anxiety, and almost like human, how it increases in retaliation, getting worse and worse, testing me when everything seems to be perfect. I write because its crazy to hear it with a normal mind what I’ve listened to, what I believed, what I’ve cried for, what I’ve missed out on because of, what I’ve stopped eating for, what I’ve lost people for and what I learn to hate myself for. A 20 year old girl with a voice in her head that says

the basics..
life is too hard
this is too much
how will you get through this
you can’t get through this
why am i so weak
why can’t i deal with this 
this is normal
why cant i make a decision 
i’m so scared
I wont get through this week 
how will i get through this year
how can i be happy

to an increase panic of:
what if even though everything is okay now, tomorrow everyone see’s me for what I am and they leave me.
what if really no one cares
what if really people stick with me only because they don’t want to leave me, to hurt me.
what if i was no longer here would i be missed
what if people laugh at me
what if I’m a bad friend
what if I have no purpose

to an irrational..
what if i spend $50 on a dress, I can’t do that, I don’t have a job – money is important – money shouldn’t be abused – I don’t deserve a nice dress – it wouldn’t look nice on me anyway – i need to lose weight –

then a conclusion of..
theres no reasons for people to really like me
and theres a reason I have so little friends 
and theres a reason why boys don’t talk to me
– i give up

All in the course of 5 minutes. All while I’m sitting on the couch or going for a walk or driving home. All while life goes on around me and everyone is on mute- on pause while anxiety talks to me, letting me know how things really are. Letting me in on what’s ‘the truth’. All because of one small trigger but usually it comes from nothing at all. Ending not with words of insult, but questions, because by that point, I give up, I give in. All while I know this is a voice, but that sometime, this voice makes sense, and if one thing adds up, then maybe the next does, and the next and the next. And it’s hard to seperate myself from this person, or this thing inside my head, the irrational anxiety. But I’m trying, maybe not hard enough, but I don’t like it and I’m sorry for sharing that, that you have to see me in days where it consumes me. Because I wouldn’t like me them days, I wouldn’t know what to do and I would feel like giving up and it’s okay to. I’m sorry because I’m an okay person without it and maybe one day it will let me go.

And people ask me or people question anxiety, and this is part one.