If you read my previous post you’ve learned that I’m starting to open up more on the story of my anxiety here on 4therace. This is my first time opening up about it, so I hope I increasingly grow better at expressing myself over time. Perhaps I didn’t explain the history of my anxieties too well, or it isn’t clear how exactly I feel when I’m anxious.
What does it feel like to be anxious?
The answer to this question honestly depends on who you are asking. Personally, I know that I may appear completely normal on the outside, but on the inside it’s constant turmoil. My stomach feels as if it’s in my throat, my heart is practically beating out of my chest, and my head will not stop racing from negative thought to negative thought. Most of the time, I put on a façade in order to hide it from people so they don’t think I’m “crazy”. When I’m by myself I completely release all the turmoil within me and it is translated physically. I am visibly closed off and clutch my own body, I’ll pace around a room and act overly excited. I catch myself not only speaking too fast but speaking to myself. The most uncomfortable feeling has to be that my heart and lungs aren’t synchronized when I’m anxious and it makes it hard to breathe. It feels as if the world is closing in on me. Like I’m being buried alive. The worst part about it is that no one can ever tell.
The video above best represents what my heartbeat is like when I’m anxious. Unfortunately it cannot fully elicit the uneasiness I feel internally and, in fact, the heart rate heard is still slower than mine when I am extremely anxious.
My Worst Attack???
I don’t think there is a “worst attack” for me but there are instances that have remained in the back of my mind for a couple a years and this is simply when I was invited to a party. My friend was leaving the country and wanted to have an outing with all of her friends as a “goodbye” celebration. When she invited me, my heart literally sunk to the ground and my head was racing, pleading that my lips would spew some excuse that would result in my not going. I said “yes”. To most, I know I may sound like a “pooper” if I say this, but I just don’t like party environments. Especially if the majority of people are drinking, smoking or doing drugs. I knew that I’d feel uncomfortable, left out, and people would ask me, as usual, why wasn’t I drinking or smoking or whatever they were doing. So in the days, possibly weeks, leading up to the goodbye celebration, my insides were tearing me apart. The hours, minutes and seconds before heading to the party were literally unbearable. My heart was pounding right through my chest. It was hard to breathe. My hands and legs were trembling. When my friend came to pick me up, I was speaking fast, acting very jittery, laughing awkwardly, and speaking different. What made me more anxious was not knowing if my friends could notice that I was acting strange. soon as we got to the location I wanted to leave. Every laugh, every smile, every gesture, movement of the limb, and every breath was forced. It hurt. I was putting on a facade, like I usually do, to disguise the internal battle I was fighting. It kept attention away from me and I seemed fine, but it hurt. For about 4 hours I fought this battle. Every exhale and inhale was a fight, but I somehow got through it. My heart finally stopped beating when I was heading home. My head was clear and after the weeks of this stupid party eating me alive, I thought “I’m finally free”. This wasn’t until I got home to my bedroom and wondered if anyone could see my awkwardness. If anyone was talking behind my back after I left. I questioned if the people who I spent the night with even liked me or cared for me. My mind began to ruminate and I became anxious again. I went to sleep on edge that night.
To some who have anxiety this may sound completely familiar, and to others, understandably, this may be foreign to you. If you are the former or the latter, feel free to comment or ask anything.