To paint a background, I have a loving family, an incredible wife and two wonderful kids. My brothers are two of my best friends and I’m very close to my parents.
“You’ve always been a worrier”. This is true, but I mostly managed to deal with or largely ignore it. However, the past couple of years have become uncontrollable, and at points, quite unbearable.
You know that feeling you get in your stomach on a roller coaster, or going over a humpback bridge? Imagine having that permanently. Day in, day out. It stops you wanting to eat, and it means you can’t sleep with the irrational thoughts in your head.
I say irrational thoughts, because that is exactly what they are. I know they are! But I just can’t switch them off. The worry sets in immediately. I’m always thinking “What if?”, with the impetuous, uncontrollable sad thoughts sitting in the back of my head.
Anxiety makes me wonder what I’m missing when I say no to that dinner party, makes me think what I’ve done to upset someone when they take a while to text or call me back, makes me uninterested in what people tell me, makes me think people don’t care about what I have to say…the list goes on.
Anxiety makes me push people away. I don’t want to mix with friends, I don’t want to go out and I don’t want to engage in conversation while struggling to keep eye contact. It drains me of motivation and the only place I feel happy and safe is at home with my family. They understand, but they are the only ones that know.
I manage to hide it, but why should I? What will people think of me? Why should I care?
I may look happy and you’ll always find me cracking a joke. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Illnesses aren’t only physical. Occasionally I would just prefer a broken arm. Life would be so much simpler.
I have people to talk to, that helps, and I have family that are aware of me not being well. They are there for me if I want to talk about it, but I just don’t. I think that is part of the problem, my inability to talk. I’ve never been one for discussing my thoughts. I suppose I find it embarrassing and I don’t want to be judged.
I’m often just waiting to be asked: “What have you got to worry about?” or “Why are you worrying about that?”. Those are two questions I ask myself everyday but I can’t find the answer. A question I also find difficult is: “How you doing?”. I’ll say, “I’m ok”, but let’s leave it at that. I know people care but I don’t want to talk about it. If I do, let me come to you.
I’ll tell some people about what I’ve been through because I actually want people to know, but only when I’m ready to. I’ll talk to those I think will understand without the judgement.
I will beat this, I’m sure of it, but it’s going to take time. Granted it’s taking longer than I thought but I will get there. It’s never going to go away completely. I know that. But it’s learning how to deal with it and finding the answer to: “Why are you worrying about that?”