The emerging blogger series is aimed at community building through giving mental health bloggers who are early in their blogging evolution the opportunity to have their work seen by a wider audience. It’s also a way to introduce you as a reader to some newer members of our community.
This post is by Peter of Reflections of an Anxious Man.
Anxiety is a Cruel Mistress
As I write his post, my anxiety is at what I would call my peak. I am also rather medicated, so these ramblings, or “reflections,” may come off as incoherent thoughts, messy and unorganized. And that is ok, I wasn’t expecting perfection with these posts when I started writing them anyway (although I consider myself a little bit of a perfectionist).
Everyone’s anxiety looks and feels different. I am going to tell you about mine. Some things you might be able to connect with, others you may not, and that is ok too. I just felt like in order to write this genuinely, I needed to be in the proper place with my anxiety so that I can talk about what I am feeling right now.
For me, anxiety is that heaviness in your chest, often caused by nothing other than your own thoughts. It is a reaction to something going on in the world that your mind and body doesn’t know how to deal with or react to. It is wanting to be able to do everything all at once, but being able to do nothing at all. It is wanting to be everything for everyone, without being anything to yourself. It Is an extreme desire to create as much control around you as possible, knowing that you are never going to be able to get to that place where it is “all alright.” It is that feeling in your gut that won’t go away no matter how hard you try to relax and tell yourself that everything is going to be ok. Anxiety is looking around your apartment to find something to clean or organize, only to find that you have done it all 6 times already so there is nothing left for you to do but sit in your own thoughts and make things worse. It is about looking at your schedule 20 times per day to try to let some things go, knowing that you have already made your schedule as efficient as possible. It is about missing your friends and family enough to cry. It is about grief, loss and the hope that things will go back to normal.
Anxiety is also that worry that you have that extends outside of yourself, and focuses on things that have nothing to do with you at all. You have no reason or purpose to be thinking about these things, and yet they are still in the back of your mind. It is about It is about wanting to contact and talk to and hug everyone you know, but realize that you can’t for several reasons (and not just because of quarantine). It Is crying when you hear a song that reminds you of a bad part of your life, and crying even harder because of a song that reminds you of a good part of your life. It is the simultaneous feeling that you are doing everything you can to get better, and feeling like none of it really matters, so what’s the point.
I have been doing a lot of different things to try to fight off this anxiety, and while it gets pushed back at times, it never goes away, and I have had it for as far back as I can remember. It is scary to me because I literally feel like having this much anxiety all time is taking years off of my life. I don’t know if that can actually be true, but it is yet another thing that I worry about. It is a vicious feedback loop that sucks everything in until it is the only thing consuming my mind.
I had an appointment with my therapist last night, and even she was expressing how stressed she has been with the issues going on right now. I know that the covid-19 stuff is definitely a factor in everything that I am feeling at this moment. There are so many things that I want to be able to do with people that I can’t right now, and it is hurting me so much. This is probably what is fueling my current extreme anxiety.
In every Myers Briggs test that I have ever taken, I have always been an INFJ. The “I” stands for “introvert.” This means, in part, that I draw from and recharge myself from being alone and secluded from people. I am learning now that this couldn’t be further from the truth. This quarantine, or “stay-at-home” order, or whatever you want to call it has shown me that I need human interaction in order to recharge and keep my grounding in this world. Without that, I have been an anxious wreck. But it is just something that we need to do in order to stay safe and keep others safe.
This all feeds directly into depression. For a long time, I thought that depression and anxiety were two completely different things. Yet, as I have been learning through counseling and personal growth, they are two sides of the same coin. I will address this in a future post, but for now, just know that despite the anxiety, I will never give up the fight.
I am an anxious man, but I am working on it daily.
Visit Peter on his blog Reflections of an Anxious Man.
Thanks so much Peter for participating in the emerging blogger series!
You can find a listing of all of the posts in the series directory.
Do you want to be the next emerging blogger?
- you have a personal (rather than business-oriented) blog that’s focused primarily on mental health and illness
- you’re a new(ish) blogger, with WordPress following <100 preferred
Interested? If you fit the criteria above:
- email me at mentalhealthathome (at) gmail (dot) com
- let me know the topic you’d like to write about and include your blog name/URL
- don’t think of this as having to “pitch” an idea – I’m just trying to make sure people actually fit the criteria and spirit of the series