Pressure. Rising, Building, Consuming

1

“Oh, sweet little boy, beloved little girl, you are so overwhelmed by life sometimes, I know, by the enormity of it all, by the vastness of the possibilities, by the myriad of perspectives available to you. You feel so pressed down sometimes, by all the unresolved questions, by all the information you are supposed to process and hold, by the urgency of things. You are overcome by powerful emotions, trying to make it all “work out” somehow, trying to get everything done “on time,” trying to resolve things so fast, even trying not to try at all.

You are exhausted, sweet one, exhausted from all the trying and the not trying, and you are struggling to trust life again. It’s all too much for the poor organism, isn’t it? You are exhausted; you long to rest.” 

― Jeff Foster

So, now that you’ve got a peek into this scattered brain of mine, it might explain me a little better. Or it might not. I tried. I like to write because it helps alleviate some of the pressure in my head. Which for me personally, is a necessity. When there’s too much pressure in here, I have a hard time functioning. Life stops making sense, I tend to lose sight of boundaries. I spin out. It’s not good.

Having anxiety, depression, and bpd (along with the addiction)… well, it’s a fine line I walk. That pressure’s been mounting again. I’m not sure how much more I can endure. Which is part of the problem. I’ve survived worst moments in my life. In fact, there’s nothing really ‘wrong’. My mind is overloaded and I can’t figure out why. That is probably the worst thing about having poor mental health. Sometimes my brain feels like it’s ripping apart at the seams. For NO reason. Nothing is bad, I am not sad, nothing has gone wrong. Yet my brain feels like it is under siege. It is maddening. There are always 2 sides of me in my head, each fighting for control. That’s already a lot of noise in my head. I have to deal with the war going on inside myself, while still trying to convince the outside world I’m FINE. Mostly because it’s a lot to try to explain, and most people don’t understand. Most days I can handle it.

On the bad days though, I feel quite crazy. I feel like crying… and laughing.. and screaming… and soaring threw the sky… and plunging my body into the depths of the ocean to drown it… and crawling into a deep dark whole hoping it will swallow me.. and sometimes I just want to be by myself, nowhere, nowhere at all. Just by myself somewhere out in this empty darkness just floating around. Like taking a break from the world for a minute, or a decade… and I feel ALL of that in a matter of seconds. In a loop on repeat. Do you know how exasperating that is? It literally feels like I can’t breathe, like there are stones on my chest. Sometimes I feel paralyzed by grief or despair just this utter loss of faith in everything, sometimes I feel extreme rage and I just want to destroy shit. Sometimes I have the overwhelming urge to run, to just point my feet in one direction and just keep going until my body collapses because there’s nothing left. Sometimes I want to self destruct, and just cause pain. *sigh… It’s a lot of pressure to feel all that on repeat.. each time the intensity turning up louder and louder. FOR NO REASON. Everything in life has been pretty great..

Most girls are emotional creatures. I’ve suppressed my emotions for so long, that I’ve learned to be more logical. So when I start to feel this way, I fire up the logic side of my brain. Desperately searching for a way to make sense of all this. It’s a whole lot of trial an error though. Is it this? Or maybe that? I’ve come to the conclusion that it only takes one thing to unravel me. Some tiny seemingly inconsequential thing. Turns out those little moments have years a trauma laced in them, that I’ve been unable or unwilling to work through. I’ve been trying my hardest to keep myself in check in every way I know how. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I need more help. Life is good, and it makes no sense that I keep falling in this loop anymore. I made to choice to go back to therapy. I have an appointment set. Wish me luck. ❤

 

(quote: Click Here)
(image: Click Here)

Advertisements

Sexual Addiction. Mind Enslaved

3

“Thirty seconds of pure awareness is a long time, especially after a lifetime of escaping yourself at all costs.”
― Kiera Van Gelder

One last peek into my world. This is the single hardest thing for me to accept about myself. I am a sex addict. This isn’t something that I like to admit, or that is easy for me to talk about. Partially because of the stigma that goes with it. I can’t tell you how many friends that I’ve tried to have a serious conversation with about it. The general response is ‘Oh me too! I love sex!’ *sigh.. It’s not that simple. Being a sex addict is far more than just ‘I love sex’. It is a very serious problem. In fact years ago I used to be one of those people. Those ‘Oh me too!’ people. It was all said in joking, because well, I DO love sex. However I never for once thought I was an actual addict. I just thought it was fun to say, as stupid as that sounds now. I never really thought about it being more than just about loving sex.

Ever since I stopped going to therapy (for financial reasons) I started reading a lot of psych books. My way of self managing my depression and BPD. In one of the books they mentioned how sexual addiction is very controversial because a lot of people don’t consider it a real addiction. It intrigued me, I was bored, so I decided to learn more. So I started reading more about the actual addiction. Parts of it I laughed at and was like ‘pfft, that’s not me’…

There’s this part of me that closes things off/ blocks things out if it’s too much for me to handle. The more I read the more it sank in.. all those moments I’d blocked out suddenly started to become vivid in my memories. By the time I was done reading, I was in tears. I have had a severe problem with self-hatred for most of my life. I had been on this whole kick about learning to love myself, really love myself again. I thought I’d been doing good, because I’d felt a lot better about the ‘me’ I was becoming. I was doing better physically, mentally, and was starting to actually love who I was. Unveiling this ugly truth and forcing me to see myself for who I truly was.. was more than a little heartbreaking. I was an addict. Not in the fun, laugh it off kind of way. A legit addict, with a very serious problem. As much as it hurt, it was necessary for me to come to terms with the truth of who I was.

You might think I’m overreacting. But it’s all fun and games until you truly understand what this addiction is. Below, just like in my previous links I’ve listed some information about it, along with the different types of this addiction. I have/had a problem with several of them. To be completely honest I am a very lucky girl to not not have any life threatening long term problems because of it.

I have always prided myself on the type of girl I was. The kind of girl everyone wants. I was never really honest with myself about who I was though. Out of sight, out of mind. The moment would happen, and then it would be over, dropped out of my head like it didn’t exist. I knew I had a high sex drive. I’ve never been shy about that. When I was single I always had a “friend with benefits” arrangement. In relationships I drove my partners crazy with how much sex we had. I guess there is such a thing as too much. That was why it was just a fun thing to toss around, because I loved sex, so it was partially true right? The harder parts to admit, engaging in unprotected sex, not worrying about consequences, exchanging sexual “favors”.. those are the ugly parts that no one thinks about when they say ‘oh me too’. Those are the parts I am most ashamed of. Uncovering all these hidden truths within myself made me realize I didn’t exactly ‘love’ sex. I just wanted to BE loved. I had a really fucked up child hood. I know why I am the way I am (that’s a topic for a different day). Now that I knew what I was, I needed to work twice as hard to fix it.

So I made a choice. Instead of wallowing in my self loathing, I made a conscious effort NOT to sabotage myself for once. I was beginning to love myself again, I wasn’t about to throw all that work away. So I chose to keep looking at myself as though I was that little girl who never got enough love. I chose to forgive myself for not being the person I thought I was, instead of beating myself down further into depression. So I pulled myself out of that hole and kept going. It was off to a rocky start. I tried to quit cold turkey. I didn’t really acknowledge that there would be a withdrawal. There most certainly was though. It was hell. It took me a little bit to realize that was what was going on with me. I was barely eating, barely sleeping. I got increasingly depressed and moody. I felt like I was dying. Like, literally dying. I thought I was losing my mind. So I decided to keep a friend with benefits around, and to just limit how often I’d see them.. so instead of it being a weekly (sometimes multiple times a week, or daily) thing, I managed to make it a monthly thing, then a couple months in between.

For me personally, part of recovery was learning to re-wire my brain. Sex was never anything romantic or loving in my eyes. It was more of a stress reliever. Something I used to help alleviate the pain I was in. So I couldn’t really have a healthy relationship with sex if I was using it for the wrong reasons. That’s like trying to cut a potato with a knife, when you’ve only ever known how to use it as a spatula. Or something along those lines. Point is, it wasn’t going to get better just by my actions. My head had to be on board too.

I’ve come along way from who I was, I have the worst of it in check. I have my moments where I struggle a little harder. Sex is more than just sex to me now. At least with the right person it is. I feel much better about who I am today, without having to hide anything from myself. The shame of who I was is probably something that’s going to be around for a while. I’m glad to say that’s who I ‘was’ now though, and not who I am.

So, for a little more info. A brief overview, along with a link to answer more ??’s you might have:

What is Sexual Addiction?

Sexual addiction involves an ongoing preoccupation and/or obsession with sexual fantasies and behavior. For sex addicts, sex becomes a primary focus in their lives. Sex addicts are unable to quit or curtail their sexual acting out, despite a variety of negative life consequences.

Like other addicts, sex addicts often feel great shame about what they’re doing. In moments of remorse, they tell themselves, “This is the last time I’m going to do X, Y and/or Z.” But then, before they even realize it, they’re back at it, in the same or a very similar sexual situation; this is their “loss of control.” They want to quit and they try to quit, but they just can’t seem to manage it. Sometimes their acting out escalates to the point where their fantasies and behaviors go against their core values and beliefs (such as safe sex, marital fidelity and not hurting others). Because of this, sex addicts find themselves leading double lives, putting a great deal of effort into separating and compartmentalizing their sex life and their work and home lives.

Symptoms:

  • Compulsive masturbation, with or without pornography (including online porn and traditional forms of porn, like magazines, VHS tapes and DVDs)
  • Consistently visiting strip clubs, adult bookstores and other sex-focused environments
  • Engaging in multiple affairs and/or brief “serial” relationships
  • Participating in prostitution (hiring or providing), including “sensual massage”
  • Seeking and engaging in sexual activity without thinking about potential consequences
  • Repeatedly engaging in anonymous and/or casual sex with people met online or in-person
  • Repeatedly engaging in unprotected sex
  • Misdemeanor sexual offenses such as voyeurism and exhibitionism

(for more info; source: Click Here)
(even more info: Click Here)
(quote: Click Here)
(image: Click Here)

BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). A Mind Apart

0.jpg

“You are a warrior in a dark forest, with no compass and are unable to tell who the actual enemy is, So you never feel safe ..”
― Anonymous

 

Welcome to your third peek into my world. So, I’ve already explained why I chose to talk about Anxiety first (it being the most mild) and Depression second (it is more widely known/understood). So choosing to talk about BPD next really comes down to it being the next hardest thing for me to accept about myself. When I was initially diagnosed, I rejected it. Part of that might be how it all came about. Initially I went in to speak with someone because I felt I was losing myself to depression. I was dangerously close to that “line” (the line of where you’re still able to make rational decisions, the line where you’re still able to ask for help, even in the smallest ways). So I pushed myself to go. Which, in all honesty that in itself took quite a bit of pushing. So I went to a mental health facility to meet with a counselor to get the right help for me, hoping that they’d help me find a therapist that was reasonably priced. For the first time I decided to be open and brutally honest about what I was feeling. Normally I hold back, or pre-screen what I should say. I’ve never truly been “open” with anyone. I’ve always held back and gave a condensed less scary version of myself to the world. Especially with therapists. My circumstances are different now. I have people that depend on me. That need me. So taking care of my mental health is non negotiable (even with myself). So I finally chose to get REAL help. So I was completely open and honest. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and sent away. I was told that they couldn’t help me, that I needed someone more experienced. It was disheartening. I found this is a common situation. There didn’t seem to be a lot (if any in my area) of therapists that would work with borderlines. I didn’t really understand much about it, they didn’t exactly explain it to me. At the time I was too unstable to really care. I just felt rejected, upon already feeling so depressed that I wanted to disconnect with the world. So I more or less blocked it out. Like the whole experience never happened and just started drowning deeper and deeper into my depression. I gave up after that. I struggled to deal with me until I could manage to get myself functioning enough to deal.

Until the next time depression reared it’s ugly head. This time I chose to go to a medical doctor for help with my anxiety, lying about feeling depressed. I was prescribed medication to take everyday that inadvertently made me even more depressed. I was on it a total of a week when I stopped taking it. It had made me increasingly more suicidal to the point that I was crying on the kitchen floor with a butcher knife in my hand trying to talk myself out of using it. I got lucky that a friend showed up and saved me from myself. I don’t think he understood at the time what the gravity of the situation was. As soon as I heard the front door open I went dead silent, slowly picked myself up, wiped the tears away and put the knife back in it’s place, careful not to make a sound. I hold a lot in. I don’t want the world to see that side of me.
Getting sidetracked..

So I dealt with a few more pressing issues to ‘straighten myself out’. Then I decided it was time to really see myself for who I am. So I didn’t really know what BPD was, nor did I think it was something I even really had.. because I know me right? I have depression, I’ve developed mild anxiety.. but I think I’d know if something deeper was wrong with me right?.. I’ve been wrong before, so instead of being stubborn, I chose to get educated. How can I say I’m fine and don’t have it if I don’t even know what it is. So I did some research. It hurt. I don’t know why it hurt so much. I think because for the first time in my life I actually felt ‘crazy’.. ashamed.. embarrassed. I’ve always saw myself in a certain way. I’ve always blocked out the bad/crazy/shamefulness of my actions. I always just picked the good parts of me and focused on that and believed with unyielding certainty that THAT is who I am at my core. When I make a mistake, when I screw up, I just sort of make amends in my own way and shove it out of my brain like it never happened. Which I’m starting to realize everyone does. So I forced myself to sit and take a painfully honest look at myself and my life. I realized.. a lot.. I think most of why it hurt so much was that accepting who I am meant, I wasn’t who I have always believed I was. I didn’t feel like a ‘good’ person. I didn’t want to accept that I was that.. broken. That I was THAT messed up. *sigh.. It still hurts sometimes. The best way I think I can describe what it means to be a borderline (the way I think most people might understand), I’m sure most people have heard of bi-polar disorder or know what it looks like. (If you watch Empire, the oldest brother has it). It looks similar to that (they’re not the same thing though). It’s like being the manic part of that at your core. Constantly fighting your natural feelings/thoughts/reactions to find a stable ground.

If you look down below at the ‘symptoms’, I experience all of these, and more almost daily. I’m working through it to the best of my ability. Since I haven’t had much luck finding a therapist. I’ve done my best to keep myself in check. I read a lot about BPD, so I’ll recognize when I’m slipping. I have a select few people that I’ve opened up to about what I go through. I think only 1 or 2 of them actually understand, or at least somewhat understand though. I monitor myself closely, I’m hard on myself. Sometimes I don’t realize it but I try to stay on top of it. It’s exhausting. To feel a thing and never know if I’m being crazy or if that feeling is real. To have moments where I lose myself. Like, where I feel so disconnected from the world, from everything.. like I’m just here tagging along to this body but have no control over it. Feeling so empty and hollow sometimes that I don’t understand why I even exist. Getting irrationally angry to the point that I scare myself.

I hold it ALL in. It’s a LOT to hold in. It hurts to accept this about myself because of the stigma around mental disorders, because of the situation I’m in and how much it could potentially effect things, because of how deeply I’ve clung to this illusion of who I thought I was. I don’t want to be the crazy girl, the suicidal girl, the girl that scares everyone away, the girl that is always suffering in pain, the girl that everyone hates for needing their constant care. I’ve struggled my whole life NOT to be that girl.

I suffered a lot of trauma in my childhood. These are the lasting effects that my childhood gave me. It’s not really clear what causes someone to become a borderline, but it has been linked with trauma and genetics. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was partially due to genetics as well. It hurt for a long time, to the point that it shut me down. I was deeply depressed. I’d just barely started learning to love myself. I thought I was doing good until I realized I was still stuck in this loop of being someone I hated. So I dug deeper, and that’s what led me back to this. All the progress I’d made with learning to love myself.. forgiving myself.. it all got derailed. I fell deeply into a cycle of self hatred. It took a long time to dig myself back out of it. I knew that I needed to truly accept myself for who I am if I was ever going to actually be capable of loving me. That’s a whole other ugly mess though. I’ve accepted who I am. Even all the ugly parts. As much as that hurt.. it was necessary. I’ve actually started healing myself the RIGHT way. All those things that made me hate myself, all those loops, all those cycles have gotten increasingly smaller and I’ve been doing a LOT better.

You can’t fix a problem that you can’t admit even exists. As painful as it is, sometimes you just have to feel it. So you can learn to accept it and start doing better. Even if you fall/stumble/fail a few times. You start getting better at brushing yourself off and doing better. I’m a complex girl. My head is in a thousand places right now. I promise I’m trying to stay focused. Basically what you need to know is, i’m a little crazy sometimes. I hold myself together well, but every now and then I fall apart. I’m kind of a mess, but I will never stop trying.

 

So, for a little more info. A brief overview, along with a link to answer more ??’s you might have:

 

What is BPD?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental disorder marked by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable relationships. A person with BPD may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last from only a few hours to days.

Some people with BPD also have high rates of co-occurring mental disorders, such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, along with substance abuse, self-harm, suicidal thinking and behaviors, and suicide.

Symptoms:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
  • Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating
  • Recurring suicidal behaviors or threats or self-harming behavior, such as cutting
  • Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
  • Having stress-related paranoid thoughts
  • Having severe dissociative symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality

 

 

(for more info; source: Click Here)
(even more info: Click Here)
(quote: Click Here)
(image: Click Here)

Depression. The Drowning Mind.

d

“Because that’s the thing about depression. When I feel it deeply, I don’t want to let it go. It becomes a comfort. I want to cloak myself under its heavy weight and breathe it into my lungs. I want to nurture it, grow it, cultivate it. It’s mine. I want to check out with it, drift asleep wrapped in its arms and not wake up for a long, long time.” 
― Stephanie Perkins

Welcome to your second peek into my mind. (The first, as you well know, being anxiety. Which I probably should have gone more in depth about, but I’m sure you’ll see more of how it effects me later down the road). I chose to discuss anxiety first because it is the most mild of my issues. My depression is far from mild. I’m choosing to talk about it next because I feel it is more widely understood. I’ve learned that most people I encounter have or have had depression to some degree in their life. Whether it’s mild or major, most people can relate. Which is understandable given the state of the world. I’ve also learned that, depression is different for everyone.. everyone experiences it in different ways and are effected by it in different ways. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’d like to help you understand what it’s like for me.
I have MDD (Major Depressive Disorder; Clinical Depression). For me personally, it hits me in waves. Sometimes I feel it coming and try desperately to cut it off before it gets too close. Sometimes I’ve already sunk waist deep in it before I realize it has me. Sometimes something big happens, or maybe something small.. but SOME. THING. happens.. and it triggers it. So I am generally always on guard mentally, trying to stay 10 steps ahead to prepare myself for the fall. I expect it now. The fall.
It can’t always be prevented though. Sometimes, everything is fine, I feel happy even.. but then I realize I haven’t been taking care of the house as well.. I’ve been sleeping a LOT.. in all my spare time.. It usually hits me about the time that I start having these small moments where I just cry, for seemingly no reason at all. Then I realize I’m sad.. but.. I’m NOT sad. I FEEL fine. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I know, trust me.. it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me either. It’s like half of me is perfectly happy, and the other half of me is deeply sad. It’s an odd sensation feeling both extremes at the same time. (Which I’ll explain that better in my next post I promise). I normally get extremely depressed towards the holidays. Which honestly seems to be a normal thing. Maybe not to the degree that it happens to me, but most people tell me they experience some degree of depression towards the big family holidays. For me, I guess it’s for the same reasons they do. Lack of feeling close to their families, or being forced to pretend that you have this perfect thing for appearances sake, when knowing full well that your family is nothing like that. It is also because I am grieving. I lost the closest person to me around this time. Idk how to grieve right. It’s like when someone close to me passes, it opens the wounds to everyone I’ve lost, and I mass grieve all over again. Every year, I grieve. Like it is fresh. Like it JUST happened. I don’t know how to change that. I’ve tried. I can’t turn it off, I can’t stop the feelings no matter how hard I try. I just try to force myself to stay logical so I don’t “sink”.
That’s the best way I can think to describe how it actually feels for me. It’s like being thrown into the ocean with no boats or land in sight. No matter how hard you try to stay above the water, there’s too much and help is too far.. and you just start sinking. It’s easier to let go, to let it consume you. That’s very much how depression works. It floods your mind.. you can only fight so hard before you start to accept the toxic thoughts. Then those toxic thoughts start growing roots in your brain. Then it gets hard to “snap out of it” or “get over it”. Once those thoughts have taken root, it is hard to want to cut them down. They are the new normal. They become a comfort to hold on to. It’s hard to find the will to fight when you feel that it was useless to ever try. This is where you belong. What you deserve. Why fight it? This is less painful then trying frantically to swim with no help in site. How could you have expected to win when the ocean is THAT massive. Needless to say, it can get really bad.. really quick.
I have had a lot of pain in my life. My past is not pretty. I had a very rough childhood. My depression is a direct reflection of that. When life was at it’s worst, I tried to kill myself.. several times. Highly unstable. An emotional wreck.
Life has changed quite a bit since then. My circumstances have changed quite a bit since then. I am still very much that girl. The chronically sad girl that doesn’t always want to be a part of the world. That is tired of fighting for a life that I never particularly wanted. However, I have someone to fight for now. I am forced to be stronger. To fight for this life, even in the moments that it’s unbearable. Sometimes it’s all I can do to make it through a day. Put on my happy face and be all that I need to be for everyone else, while silently praying for a quiet moment. Even though those toxic thoughts prey on those silent moments.. attack in full force in those silent moments. I just end up laying there with tears sliding down my face. I just need some of the pressure to drain.
Most days I handle the pressure pretty well. I can push down the toxic thoughts, ya know, keep the “trees trimmed”. Most days I feel fine. Happy even. That side of me is still there though. I just try to keep her out of the driver’s seat while I’m learning to heal her.

 

 

For a better understanding on depression or to answer any ??s you might have, I put together the following (along with a couple links to more info):

 

 

What Is Major or Clinical Depression?

Most people feel sad or low at some point in their lives. But clinical depression is marked by a depressed mood most of the day, sometimes particularly in the morning, and a loss of interest in normal activities and relationships — symptoms that are present every day for at least 2 weeks. In addition, according to the DSM-5 — a manual used to diagnose mental health conditions — you may have other symptoms with major depression. Those symptoms might include:

  • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day
  • Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day (called anhedonia, this symptom can be indicated by reports from significant others)
  • Restlessness or feeling slowed down
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
  • Significant weight loss or gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month)

 

(for more info; source: Click Here)
(even more info: Click Here)
(quote: Click Here)
(image: Click Here)

Anxiety. Mind on Overload.

Anxiety

 

“I never do enjoy my breaks, long or short…I look forward to them intensely, but as soon as they begin, I can feel them starting to end. I feel the temporariness of my freedom, and find it hard to concentrate on anything other than the sensation of it trickling away.”
― Sophie Hannah

 

I’m sure most people know what anxiety is, and a lot of you probably suffer from it as well. Although I suffer from several types, I’m fortunate that it’s not extreme in my case. Of my disorders, anxiety is the most mild. (Forgive me if I don’t use the correct terms, or proper way of saying things).
I have general & social anxiety. I’m not so bad to the point that I don’t leave the house or anything. However, pushing myself to spend time with people (even friends & family) can be hard. Making phone calls takes a lot of mental preparation. I over analyze.. everything. I over think, and am always 10 steps ahead of myself. I stress a LOT. Small things, turn into HUGE obstacles within seconds. I get overwhelmed/drained being around people too long.
I have worked to gain control of the panic disorder I’ve had. The only time that it ever touches me is in extreme/intense situations. In which case I generally hyperventilate. Not pretty. It’s not as huge as it was though. I’m managing.
Phobias can cause extreme anxiety. I have one. One very stupid phobia. Driving. Stupid right? I’m not sure why it has the power it does over me. I’ve forced myself to gain control of it. Partial control. I can force myself to do the bare minimum most days. Go to the places that I need to go to. On a good day I can push myself to go out of my bubble and go somewhere new (or new to me.. meaning somewhere I’ve never or RARELY driven to on my own). On a bad day, I can barely manage to work and back. *sigh.. It’s frustrating. On a bad day, I have to mentally prep before I leave. I have to talk myself through the entire drive. If another driver does something crazy (cuts me off, swerves into my lane, someone’s hood flew off once) I start hyperventilating and have to talk myself through it, and most importantly force myself to BREATHE.
Lucky for me, I’m still considered at the mild end of things. The phobia is much more manageable than it was years ago. I hardly ever have panic attacks anymore. It’s mostly the social anxiety that gets me these days. Which I’ve been forcing myself to actively deal with. Rather than just letting it go (most people are too busy to actually hang out these days anyways).  I love talking to/helping others though. It’s just the face to face stuff that’s hard for me.
I have friends that aren’t as lucky as me. That have extreme anxiety/social anxiety to the point that they barely leave the house. Or that they have frequent panic attacks. I feel for them, I really do. I know what it’s like to live like this and I can only image how hard life would be if the intensity were turned up. I just thought I’d give you a small peak into my head. This is really more of an intro to Anxiety. So maybe my future posts will make more sense?

 

So, for a little more info. A brief overview, along with a link to answer more ??’s you might have:

 

What is Anxiety?

Everyone feels anxious now and then. It’s a normal emotion. For example, you may feel nervous when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.

Anxiety disorders are different, though. They are a group of mental illnesses, and the distress they cause can keep you from carrying on with your life normally.

For people who have one, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be disabling. But with treatment, many people can manage those feelings and get back to a fulfilling life.

Types of Disorders

Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term that includes different conditions:

  • Panic disorder. You feel terror that strikes at random. During a panic attack, you may also sweat, have chest pain, and feel palpitations (unusually strong or irregular heartbeats). Sometimes you may feel like you’re choking or having a heart attack.
  • Social anxiety disorder. Also called social phobia, this is when you feel overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. You fixate about others judging you or on being embarrassed or ridiculed.
  • Specific phobias. You feel intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights or flying. The fear goes beyond what’s appropriate and may cause you to avoid ordinary situations.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder. You feel excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason.

Symptoms

All anxiety disorders share some general symptoms:

  • Panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Sleep problems
  • Not being able to stay calm and still
  • Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Tense muscles
  • Dizziness

(for more info; source: Click Here)
(even more info: Click Here)
(quote: Click Here)
(image: Click Here)