Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What's the worst that could happen? Oh, that? Okay, then I'll worry about that all day.

There are a lot of things wrong with me.

My eyes are too close together, my hair is often a mess, I have one front tooth that's longer than the other, and I tend to overdress but somehow still look disheveled.

But of all the things wrong with me, I think my anxiety is the worst.  I would rather not have it.

Imagine that every time you sneezed, you punched yourself in the face.  Now imagine that instead of dandruff, everyone has flakes of pepper in their hair. That's kind of what social anxiety is like.

And there's tons other stuff to be anxious about, not just people.  Illness.  Social faux pas. Violence. Natural disasters.  Abandonment. Failure. Moral degeneration. Spinach in your teeth. Toilet paper on your shoe.

I worry nearly constantly.  It is as much a part of who I am as that lightening bolt on Harry Potter's forehead is a part of him, seered in. Did nature or nuture put it there? Did God? Was I marked for special suffering?

Do I worry the worries of five other people so that five people in the world can run free?

Because there's people in this world that don't really worry, and not-worrying seems to come naturally to them.  They jump out of planes, they wrestle alligators, they buy whatever toothpaste is available.

Ignorance is bliss?  Do I worry because I know exactly what level of evil this world is capable of? Do people with more security have more of a chance at maintaining confidence even when the inevitable shit starts hitting the fan and the gig is up on whatever utopic ideas they had?

I use the word "worry," and that maybe makes it relatable, but the truth is that I worry at a diagnosible level.  Anxiety feels like a cold or flu descending. I don't want it, I dread it, it's going to really mess up my life for a while and waylay some plans, but it's here, for sure it's here, and I can't stop it.

Meditation, by the way, when I'm in a full-on anxiety state is as about as helpful as Zinc or Vitamin C are for acute respiratory infections (ie, not very helpful at all, sorry, but read the studies on supplemental cold treatments). It's best just to grab a blanket, some comfort food, and some bad television until I can ride it out.

What's really bothersome is that my particular body sends an inordinate amount of stuff down the pipeline to trigger my anxiety - I have a fluttery heart, a weak stomach, and am accident prone. And bugs think I'm dipped in bug-sugar.

Not only that, but I stick my foot in my mouth a lot. That sounds like another physical problem, but it's more of a social issue. I laugh too much, cry too much, tell dirty jokes then get embarrassed, say something mean when I'm just trying to show that I'm smart and observant and have good analytical skills.

But none of that is here nor there because, honestly, I can get anxious just sitting alone after the sun goes down.

And I wish it would stop. I'm getting weary of worry, but it seems to be my thing.

Are there five people out there reading who don't really worry a whole lot?  If so, I would like to meet you, because I think I may be the person giving you your life force.


Jim said...

Luckily I only have social anxiety... I like your analogy to explain social anxiety to others!

Though my social anxiety has been managed successfully with zoloft, even with my ADHD meds. I recently upped my zoloft dose and there was a weird feeling when I stopped feeling panicy around others. I went to a family reunion after that and didn't feel like I was going to freak out by having to be around (and talk to!) so many people.

Not that this helps your situation, I'm just sharing my own with you, although a lot less elegantly. :-)

Amber said...

I'm so glad the Zoloft is working for you! That is excellent!