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Snapshots of Anxiety

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I have several posts on this blog related to mental health issues. I write these blog posts for three reasons. The first is that I want to raise understanding about mental health. Mental health issues are prevalent, debilitating, and widely misunderstood. We need more conversation surrounding mental health.

The second reason I write is to reach out to other people who might have similar struggles with mental health. When I first began experiencing mental health problems, I had no idea what was happening to me, which only made the experience more terrifying. Thankfully, I had friends who did know and helped me understand. I would be lost without their support and bravery.

Finally, I write to bring peace to my soul. In many ways, sharing my experiences is scary. I often don’t know how to react to shows of support or concern from my followers. (Know that if you’ve ever left a comment on one of these posts that I only responded to with a “like” I appreciated the comment immensely but didn’t know what to say) Posting about my experiences can feel exposing and vulnerable. But it’s also a way to control my own narrative. When I put things in words, I’m in charge, and I find that empowering.

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This semester has been stressful, and I’ve had a number of anxiety attacks. I’ve experienced anxiety in the past, but this semester was the first time I felt like I had anxiety. I took to writing to try and sort through some of those intense feelings. Throughout the semester, I wrote a series of snippets, trying to put into words the things I was feeling.

I was hesitant to post these. I like my posts to have a happy ending spin on them, and these don’t. The truth is, I’m not there yet. And that’s okay. I’m okay.

It’s a work in progress.

I. Buried

Can’t breathe

Can’t breathe

Can’tbreathecan’tbreathecan’tbreathe

Can’t

II. Spider Sense

There’s a tickling sensation

the back of your skull

just under your skin

Not quite right, it says.

Is this how Peter Parker’s

spider sense works?

No.

Peter Parker has superpowers.

You are like any regular spider

Sensing nothing more

Than a boot about to fall.

III. Fixation

70 calories in an egg

90 calories in a banana

400 in a PBJ

The calories add up to something

but you’re not sure you ever will.

IV. Hands

You couldn’t keep your mind still

Now your hands won’t be still either.

Shove them in your pocket

maybe nobody will notice the shaking.

V. Future

Planning for the future

and worrying about it

are not the same thing.

You do more of the later.

Maybe that’s why

you’re never prepared

when the future becomes

the present.

VI. Loyalty

You think about all the things you might lose.

Your job

Your friends

Your mind

But there’s one thing you’ll always have

The fear.

VII. What if

What if you fail your paper?

What if your your friends secretly hate you?

What if you never love anyone like you loved him?

What if you do?

What if you’re wrong about everything?

What if

the what ifs

never

end?

VIII. Paranoia

Sometimes

it is just as bad

as you worry it will be

IX. Clock

tick tock

tick tock

says you’re running late

says you’ll never catch up

tick tock

tick tock

says you’re behind

says you need to focus

but I can’t think

can’t hear my own thoughts

over the incessant

tick tock

tick tock

tick tock

X. Volume

On good days

worry sounds like static.

On bad days,

a siren.

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One response »

  1. For the first several years of our marriage my husband called my the what if girl so VII resonates with me, but they all got home. Beautifully written.

    Reply

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