The Anxiety Is Ripping Me Apart

My chest hurts. It’s been hurting for a while now. It’s heavy to breath and I have this constant uneasy feeling of discomfort. I can’t stay still, my body has to move. But I can’t move, I feel heavy as a steel beam. Still, my feet is in constant motion, my brain flutters and my chest hurts.

Anxiety, I have been suffering from it since I can remember. I didn’t know what it was when I  was a kid of course. I didn’t tell anyone what I felt. Didn’t everyone feel like this sometimes? Uneasy, wanting to flee from their own mind? And I don’t think it would have mattered what I had said, I wouldn’t have been able to put words to my feelings anyway. And if I by chance would, no one would have believed me. I would have been laughed at, at best, or admonished and not believed in at worst. That’s how my story goes.

Chocolate and canned peaches. It sounds stupid right? That was my drug back then, when I was nine. After school, at my grandmothers house. She had a bakery and her cellar was filled with chocolate and canned peaches. I binge ate them when I was sad, and felt uneasy. She of course had all sorts of delicious cookies and cakes, and ice cream in an abundance too, which we had free access to, my brother and I. And so I learned to lessen my anxiety by binge eating. But no one understood or no one cared to find out why I ate three chocolate bars each afternoon after school. I have talked to my mother since I became an adult and she tells me it wasn’t that bad. Well, she chose to not see.

Eating is one way to find the eye of the storm. It helps but only for a little while. Eating is a way to harm oneself. I still do that, eat my way through the anxiety that tears me apart. Chocolate is still my go to drug of choice, together with ice cream. Old habits die hard I guess. But I have found other ways, worse ways too. Ways I am less proud of that shows more. People tells the younglings that they are emo, searching for attention and that they should just clean up and get a grip. What do you say to a woman who is grown up and have two kids when she choses to cut her hand and smash it to pieces against a bathroom sink? I didn’t do this when I was a teenager, I didn’t start to do this until I was over 30. It hurts, the pain takes focus from the raging anxiety slowly killing you, and the bruises and cuts remind me for weeks that I am alive. I can bleed and I can bruise even though the anxiety is there.

You who follow my blog knows that I binge shop manga. There have been several other things in my life I have binge shopped; baby carriers, art materials, coloring books, notebooks, soft cover books, cd records, glasses… I can probably make the list a little bit longer but my memory is failing me because of a medicine I eat. A medicine that has actually helped me a lot with my anxiety.

I know people talk a lot about how self care is the way to master your mental health. “If you do this you will get better” they say and then you get some advice on training or sleep or food. It’s of course out of care they say it, but it doesn’t always help but has a negative reaction instead. At least I work that way. Because in the end, don’t you think I have tried? I have tried to trained at a gym, take long walks in the woods, do tai chi, work out in group. I have tried several different diets that is said to be good to your body and mind. I have tried to get my sleep pattern in check. It works to an extent but in my case one anxiety attack can ruin it all. I know that people don’t know how my anxiety works but even if I tell people I always, and I mean always, get back that you should try, and if I try and fail I get to hear that I should try again or that I didn’t try hard enough or long enough. It’s all bullshit in the end.

And right now my chest hurts and my mind is racing, throwing thoughts at me in 200 miles per hour. I don’t work properly, haven’t for weeks. Today was the day for my dentist appointment. An appointment I should have done for the last eight years. You see, I have a fear of dentists, like many people do. The minute I get my appointment the anxiety starts to build up and it has been building since August when I got this date a little shy of two months ago. There is no real reason for me to be afraid, I have the sweetest dentist. It’s irrational but so is my anxiety. There is nothing in particular, except the dentist, that I know triggers it. Suddenly I got an irrational fear of dogs and couldn’t keep taking walks in the woods. Just the thought of meeting a dog gave me anxiety. I’ve worked that away now, and dogs are no longer a problem. I sometimes have an irrational fear of people. Or birds. Or it’s something else.

Back to now, I can’t focus at the moment. I am paralyzed, laying on the sofa making up stories in my head. That’s my only way to silence all other thoughts. It’s either that or playing cellphone games; rhythm games to be precise. Anything else and I fly off and start to think about any catastrophe that might happen, or I think about all things that has happened in the past that I should have done differently. That is also a form of anxiety, to dwell on past events, to not be able to let go. I did that a lot before I got my miracle medicine. I say miracle because it feels like it. It has saved me from many bad episodes. Those panic attacks where it gets so bad I have to hurt myself. They are far between now but back then I had regularly occurring episodes. Not anymore.

Panic attacks yeah, another back side of anxiety. I get those too, but thankfully not as often. Those attacks when you are convinced you will die. Your heart beats so fast you think it will explode, you sweat, you are dizzy and your body goes week. You think you have a heart attack. It’s a different kind of anxiety. If, and I say if because it’s hella hard, you can just remember that it will pass you are okey. Because, it will pass and you will be fine once it does. It’s hell in the meantime though. They are worse than the other anxiety, but only in that exact moment. The other anxiety is a lot worse in the long run because sometimes it lurks around in your mind and body for weeks. As I mentioned, I’ve been in a constant state of anxiety for the past month now. I have a meeting tomorrow as well that is even more anxiety provoking than the dentist. Once that is over I hope this episode will end. For now. I’m not good with planned unwelcome meetings. I’m not good with unwelcome sudden meetings either but those are over fast at least. I’m not even good with welcomed, sudden meetings. I often cancel those in the end. Sadly. I am a bad friend like that but my mind can’t really cope with unforeseen events.

This post turned out to something completely different than I intended it to. Well, this is me and my anxiety. A little bit of an insight of me and my mental illness once again. Thank you for listening.

(I don’t have anything anime related to give you anyway because the only thing I have watched the last week is Free! I watched the last episode of Dive to the Future yesterday and I have been watching Octopimp’s parody on YouTube with my kid (and totally corrupted her so now she’s watching Free! the first two seasons. She is a total MakoHaru shipper. She even asked me if they will ever kiss. That’s my girl. So, now I need to figure out what I should show her next. It needs to be a dub because she is only 10 and she can’t really master subs in English yet. Suggestions are welcome.))

Feature picture: American Psychological Association 

Other Pictures: Shawn Coss

28 thoughts on “The Anxiety Is Ripping Me Apart

  1. So sorry to hear things are so bad for you right now with the anxiety, hopefully you can weather this out and find small comforts until then. I wish I had more to say to help but I guess that’s the tough thing about anxiety like that, only you know how it is and very little other people can say will make a difference. Just know I hope you feel better soon.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I feel your pain. I also suffer with anxiety and panic attacks, and really haven’t found a super-effective way of dealing with them. I’ve never done any self-harm (aside from occasional angry outbursts where I just want to “hit” something — usually the floor — no cutting though) but I’ve certainly had problems with eating to deal with mental health issues, which is why my weight is in a really terrible place, and I feel awful about it.

    For me, it’s all about finding those distractions and making a specific effort to engage with them. When the bleak feelings hit me hard, I want to just stare at a wall and do literally nothing. I have to force myself to play a game, write something, make a video or whatever. When I do, I feel better. I can’t always succeed at the forcing myself to do something step, but I’m getting better at it.

    Stay strong. You can do it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for taking time to comment. ❤ Anxiety sucks. The weight issues is hard, I have it too. And it just makes you get even more anxiety knowing that it is the anxiety that started it all. :/

      I want to be like you; to be able to force myself to do more things. Be more creative when I get these anxiety episodes but it's so hard. I have days when I lay in my bed and stare at the ceiling all day.

      We can do it, not just me. And we are strong. (God, I sound like the worst kind of cliche right now but it is true.)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, as one of those friends, I can tell you without even a single doubt that I have never considered you to be a bad friend. I can definitely understand how unforeseen things can have an impact on you.
    As someone who suffers from anxiety at times as well (though mind you, not as bad as the attack that you have), it’s always a thing that you at times just have no control over whatsoever. And people can tell you many times, as good advice, to do this or that, but as much as they mean well as you say: it just doesn’t always work.
    I’m really sorry that currently the anxiety seems to be at it’s worst for you. I can only say that I hope that things will go better for you soon. In the meantime it never fails to amaze me how open you are in telling your story, and I just have to say that I have so much respect for you that you are able to do that. Because it’s not easy sharing something like this. Before this turns into me rambling and saying things like brave and stuff like that (which I know you hate, so I am not saying them), I really mean that I though this post was amazing. Feel better ms Penquin, and that is something that I also truly mean 🐙❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am the Merida of the mental illness internet. 😎 No, but seriously, it isn’t that hard to be open about it on the internet. I write about it to strangers. The chances that someone I actually know reads this is next to none. And even if they do I don’t care really. I am very open with anyone who asks (and don’t ask too really). My mental health is a part of me and if you ask how I am I will answer you truthfully. You won’t get the same old bullshit “I’m well, thank you”. But I can understand that it might seem like a brave thing to do, to talk about ones life openly like this. It’s therapy to me. And it will always help someone I hope. It helps me anyway and you get to understand me a little bit better too so that’s a huge plus.

      (oh, and I will answer the message… 😎)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, I pretty much know it well always help someone. In fact I pretty much am convinced it will.
        I also understand that what you said about this being therapy. While different there have been times where I was keeping a journal, and it helped me cope with things as well during certain dark periods in my own life. Writing about stuff does seem to help. And I know: you always answer truthfully, and I totally respect that in you. Still, as I said, I do think it’s amazing that you write these posts and I will always admire that 😊
        No problem, take your time, really..no rush! 😊😊

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I had another blog for a while. Well, I still have it actually but it’s been in hiatus for like, almost ten years now. 😳 It’s a good thing though because it was my suicide blog. Yeah, I know, it sounds horrible but it was my blog where I wrote my darkest deepest thoughts. It was really bad and in the end I was admitted to the psychiatric ward for almost a month. It didn’t help me then but i have been reading it afterwards and it helps now. I have never been that sick after (although yeah, there’s been times…) Anyway, writing is good if you can manage to do it. I have always been writing. I was cleaning out my parents basement a while back and found an old diary filled with desperate, anxiety ridden notes from my teens and early 20s. It was a horrible read, realizing how bad I was back then. But again, it was sobering to understand too. Ugh, sad subject, moving on. 🐌

        Liked by 1 person

      3. When I was still at highschool, I had a really dark periode myself too. It never got anywhere near as bad as you, mind you, but my parents were both very afraid that I was mixed up in something bad (wasn’t the case though..it was just bullying, not having any friends etc.). But writing about it at the time, certainly helped. These days I don’t write a lot anymore (well…not counting my blog of course) but I might pick it up again at some point😊 I’m glad to see a comment from you again. I hope you are feeling somewhat better: worried about you😢

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’m feeling… mixed. Yeah, I’m in a mixed state I suppose. I’m trying to catch up but I don’t think I can. And after I wrote my last post I feel like people might think I am fishing for sympathy when I bring up myself in a post about an anime like that. I don’t want people’s sympathy. Not at all. That’s not why I write. But I just felt like maybe I shouldn’t write so much about myself. Maybe I should just write about anime and make it goofy. Idk.

        You should write a journal. Even if it isn’t a dark one I think it’s a good think. I think a lot about doing it but I never get around to do it. But really, just three sentences about the day in a note book would be enough. Maybe one day…

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I don’t think that anyone is thinking that at all Lina. And it’s what I have always said, making a post personal, is only something that I think a lot of people can only appreciate. Not only that, you help people with it as well, that are going through the same things. So really don’t worry about it😉Don’t worry about catching up either: just take all the time you need, and feel better first. That’s the most important thing😊
        Well, who knows, maybe I will get back to that again. Writing a journal that is. Haven’t done that in a while, but I never say never.😊

        Like

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your anxiety issues. I really hope that you can get better.

    I’ve certainly had my own issues with anxiety and anger as I’ve tended to internalize a ton of things. Some of that has shown up in my blogs where I needed to vent out some of this frustration like my Fandom Hypocrisy post. I’ve dealt with other things like isolating myself or not talking to anyone because I felt like no one believed me. Keep on fighting, Lina.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Isolation is one part of my anxiety too. When I was younger and had no family I tended to do that but now I have a husband and kids and I can’t. But sometimes I just want to flee and hide from the world. As you say, the feeling that no one believes you forces you into isolation.

      It sounds like you have a rough time too now and then. ❤ Ugh, I am only writing stupid clichés in all my answers today it seems like but let's fight this monster both of us.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome, Lina. Thanks for understanding especially when it comes to people not believing you. I couldn’t imagine how those fears could feel like when you’re married and have kids.

        Quite so. Some more stress has been added since I’m now figuring out how I can increase my career prospects by taking a certification class. Because of this, I won’t be blogging as often over the next couple of months besides some fiction posts. Don’t feel bad about writing cliches right now. I appreciate the kind words.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m always uneasy when people try to diagnose others. Long walks…exercise… Some people still think that a psychological issue isn’t real. As if the human brain and the billions of processes and chemicals thetein are somehow less concrete than a simple pump like the heart.
    I hope you find the cure that works for you. Whether its a drug a behavior or a person.
    For what it’s worth we’re here to listen and I am very happy and a little honoured you chose to share.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am so very glad to have such a loving bunch of people here in the community who reads and comments on these posts. It means a lot to me. I write because I need to vent but I also write because I need someone to listen and you do so thank you. ❤

      It is interesting (no, that might be the wrong word 🤔) that there still are people who believe that mental illness isn't real. That it is curable by the right food. "Eat a carrot and you will be fine". I have heard so many times that it is wrong to take medicines for my anxiety and my bipolar, that I can handle it without chemicals if I just decide to do it. As if it is matter of how decisive I am to beat my own brains chemicals. Many times I have heard what a weak person I am for not being able to quit my meds. I did once and my life got completely fucked up. Not doing that again.

      Thank you so much for reading and replying. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is beautifully written Lina! You were able to express something I was never able to explain. What, in fact, was on my mind when I had anxiety 24/7 and panic attacks every single day.

    Should I say… Stay strong? Hope you get better? I don’t know… Of course, I want that (I don’t even need to say that), but if you are like me (which I think you are) those words are not really doing a difference, are they?

    I’m not giving any kind of tips, hell I already did that on my blog… The fact is… Each one of us copes with anxiety in different ways and only you will able to find what in fact works best for you… Yeah, tips may help, they can in fact even work… But, in the end, it’s always a shot in the dark since our minds are all different.

    It’s funny how we have similar ways to cope… I mean, eating was never one of them, just because I had an irrational fear of choking and dying, so… Yeah, I didn’t really eat much. But with the games… I remember every time I felt a little more anxious and seeing that a panic attack was coming I would go and play League of Legends right away… Something that just made me focus 100% and shut off the high-speed thoughts which seemed that were going to crush me in a sec.

    Really great post Lina! If you ever need something you know where to message me 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you. The post wasn’t at all meant to turn into how my anxiety works. I’m not sure what it was meant to be but I am glad you liked it. I like it. I sometimes feel like I can’t explain well enough and i just ramble on and on but for once I got through clearly they way I feel. And I am glad that others understood too. 🙂

      I think your anxiety school (can I call it that? I will call it that.) was a good series. I do believe that it helps many people, especially people who might have anxiety in certain situations. There are different degrees of anxiety and in many cases I think much of that is enough. Then there are nutcases like me who can’t gather my mind and organize my brain enough. I might be a lost case (god forbid, I hope not, but i am prepared if it is so).

      Oh, choking yeah. I had a friend like that. She got anorexia in the end and had to be admitted to hospital, several times, to learn how to eat again. It was really bad. I do not envy you at all.

      When I had just finished high school and was still living at home I used to play Ratchet and Clank 24/7 because of my anxiety. I didn’t sleep more than a few hours and then I was plastered infront of the TV, numbing my pain with R&C. I don’t have that luxury now because kids and husband in the house all wanting to play too. But my iPhone is always with me so that’s good. Actually, it’s perfect. And that is also the perfect way to scare people away so I don’t have to talk to them when I am having one of my scared of people episodes. (I am such a nut case. 😳)

      I know where to find you and I am so happy I do. You and everyone else here are so nice and loving and it warms my heart to know that you all see me. Thank you. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  7. People who like to tell those of us who have anxiety, especially when it starts in childhood or adolescence, that it’s emo or a phase are the same people who like to pretend that mental illness is “in our heads.” Yes, it is in our heads. It’s a legit physiological thing, not some conjuring of our imaginations. I remember when I was a child struggling with these things, that’s all I ever heard. It only makes those feelings and conditions MUCH worse. I know it’s not all in your head or anything like that. Anxiety and panic can be a bitch to live with.

    While I was reading your post, I became so emotional because I felt like I was reading something out a personal diary of my own, or that someone had reached into my head and heart and stolen my feelings and experiences. Sometimes (most of the time) it is so difficult to do self-care. I write those posts and share what has worked for me, but the truth is they don’t work all the time (I’m lucky if they even work half the time) and sooner rather than later they start becoming ineffective. It’s definitely up to the individual and on what will work for them and what won’t, and most of the time there isn’t a single fucking thing that can help us in the moment.

    I think you are very brave and one of the most remarkable people I’ve met so far. I know it’s super easy to be hard on yourself, especially when you don’t have a support system that is willing to LISTEN and take the time to fully understand what you’re going through. It’s so bloody hard. But I think you’re doing good, even if it feels like the complete opposite. I used to never think I’d be able to talk about my anxiety to anything other than a journal or a snoring cat (no joke), but opening up has helped me realise I’m not alone and that was a comfort. It didn’t make everything go away or feel better, but just knowing I’m not the only one helped alleviate some of the stress that went with having anxiety and panic attacks. If you ever need anyone to talk to, ever, you are more than welcome to contact me. Even if you just need someone to listen. My email is: capn.neko.baka@outlook.com I check it daily.

    I hope that you will be able to find some solace or reprieve, even if it’s only for a little while. Those little breaks can be lifesavers. Sending you tons of love, warmth, and comfort always. ♥♥

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your comment, especially the part about self care. You know, I often used to read posts about self care and then I got so down and started to think that there must be something wrong with me. Why didn’t that work on me? It has taken me so many years to figure out myself and my brain and in the meantime I felt like a failure. In the end, it sounds so easy. Not only blogs don’t tell you it’s okey to fail or that it won’t work on everyone but all these magazines that has the perfect solution to heal your depression or anxiety. Who wouldn’t want it to work. I wish some portion would work and it is a real downer when it don’t. So it is a relief to hear someone who actually writes self care posts tell someone like me that hey, I admit, it doesn’t always work for me either. Thank you. ❤

      Yeah, people are a drag when it comes to mental illness. I get that they want your best but it often comes out wrong. My mom is an expert at that. And then she has even taken classes in how bipolar works. 🙄 She still says comments like how I don't work like this and that about all things bipolar. It's exhausting. As if the mess in the brain isn't enough, you have to deal with all the people not being able to listen and/or trying to understand too.

      I'm glad there are people like you who listen. It means a lot. Thank you. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Man, I wish things worked consistently, life would be so much easier. But they really don’t, and more often than not it stops working fairly quickly. I’m glad that it can bring you some comfort. You’re definitely not alone with your experiences, I promise. And I would never tell you things just to “make you feel better,” or shit that I believe will help you even though they are entirely for my own benefit. That is the worst thing and just makes things so much fucking worse. I get comments like that often as well, and I try to ignore them as much as possible when my mind allows me to.

        Wishing you all the very best always. Just keep doing your best. Even if it doesn’t feel like it’s working, or helping, know that it’s okay and you aren’t alone. Sending you tons of love and warmth. ♥♥

        Like

  8. I wish there were some advice I could give you, but, at least in my experience, anxiety is so unique to each person that any idea I might share could have negative effects.

    Have you been able to find a counselor or other professional who can help you? Unfortunately, even that’s hit or miss, but if you find someone knowledgeable who you can trust, the result can be worth the effort. If you can find such a person, they might be able to help you evolve techniques or find the right medication.

    Thanks for sharing — you never know when your words could give someone the comfort they need to make it one more day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your comment. I have been going to different psychologists and therapists for 10 or so years. Not only for anxiety but I also have bipolar and I have had a lot to process. In the end I was fed up so I ended it on my own. But, I have a wonderful psychiatrist who I meet with every third or so month. If I feel like I want another psychologist I can just tell him and he will make it happen. So I am well covered. And, I can just call him whenever I feel like it is too bad. I am lucky that way, I live in a country with good health care. But yes, it is hard to find someone who to trust completely when it comes to therapists and alike. It has to be right. I’ve met complete idiots who didn’t understand at all but I have also had super stars.

      Liked by 2 people

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