Every day when I wake up I take three little blue and white pills to keep my anxiety monster under control. But, if you don't suffer from severe anxiety, then you don't know that just because I take medicine for my anxiety doesn't mean that it goes away.
My little anxiety monster likes to sit in the back of my brain and whisper small thoughts all day long.
"You shouldn't have said that."
"You're embarrassing yourself."
"You didn't try hard enough."
"They don't want you around."
"You're annoying them."
"You're not doing enough."
I can ignore those little thoughts now, thanks to working with my therapist for so long, but sometimes they start to add up. Every once in awhile a thought will stick in my head and I can't shake it off. Then another thought won't go away, then another, another, another, and another, until they're stacked like Jenga blocks in my brain just waiting to tip over.
This is when I am most vulnerable. It can happen when I've had a long week or when I'm going through something emotionally. I can feel the little blocks stacked on top of each other. One anxiety sitting on another, filling my brain with thoughts I know aren't real and I know don't make sense. I tell myself over and over that these anxieties are ridiculous, but I swear my little monster feeds on that.
Finally, there is one little event that knocks my anxiety tower over, one moment that causes a tidal wave of emotion. It can be something so small it wouldn't bother anyone else, or something that I've been annoyed with that I wouldn't normally express, but, for some reason, has pushed me over my edge.
I snap at a friend or my family over something unnecessary, I curl up into a ball and cry until I feel like throwing up, I listen to sad music and isolate myself, and all of the carefully stacked Jenga blocks come tumbling down. I can feel every little anxiety all at once. I feel like I'm drowning in thoughts that I accidentally let build up. Thoughts from months and even years ago, and anxieties I haven't felt in a long time come rushing back. It feels like being smothered by an invisible pillow, weighed down by my now massive anxiety monster.
This doesn't happen all the time, it takes a lot to get to this point now. It has taken time, but these break downs have slowly grown farther a part as I learn more about my anxiety and myself in general. It's rare now that I have these days, thankfully. Those who are close to me normally see through my snappiness or coldness and know that I'm having a difficult day, and when they don't I try my best to calm down and then let them know. I rarely have a full blown anxiety attack with intense muscle spasms, nausea, the sweats, and the inability to move. I've moved on to emotionally difficult days, and for that I am proud of.
No, my anxiety is never fully under control, I have days that it sits on my chest and makes it difficult to breathe, but even those days are far and few between. For those of you who are struggling with your anxiety, you are not alone, and, I can promise you, it does get better. It's cheesy and probably annoying to hear by now, but from someone with a handle on their anxiety, I feel like I can say that.