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Another thing I’ve been doing for the past several months is avoiding writing anything about my mental state. It’s been bouncing around from dark places to lighter ones, and the extremes both haven’t made their way here. If anything, I’ve been a bit pessimistic.

Most of this has been the product of anxiety, a general feeling I get about things happening in the future. Change is something that sets me off, and all I do is think about it. I can’t live like I’ve been living for the past few years, but forcibly changing that sends me into a pit that I can’t crawl out of. So, I bounce between being excited and afraid of the future.

The most frustrating thing of all is that I know this is irrational. For example, I want to try to sell fiction, but then I get batshit scared that I actually might be able to do it. It doesn’t matter that most writers never become authors, and most authors never sell many books. I haven’t failed or succeeded at anything, and worrying about it is pretentious and stupid. On top of that, I bounce heavily between believing I should keep trying and believing I really shouldn’t write another sentence.

Putting all of this out in black and white doesn’t always help, either. Another symptom of anxiety that I have is this need to avoid things until I can maintain a balance in my thoughts. On a good day, I feel nothing at all. Happiness only leads to misery, and misery only leads elsewhere. Interacting with people does have a positive effect, but it’s like blowing up a balloon. Too much, and I burst. I never have figured out what happens when I’m near the breaking point.

I did that last year, and I became worried on some subconscious level that I needed to work harder at managing myself. I unfollowed every blog on my reader, I stopped posting daily, and I stopped reading as much as I used to. All of that was done with the noblest intentions, but it really hasn’t helped.

I don’t know if the pendulum is swinging back the other direction. A real shitty thing about mental illness (I have depression as well, for anyone who is not familiar with me) is that the whole world is one of those carnival hall of mirrors. Perception is what governs reality for everyone, and mine is broken. It’s like being lost in the wilderness with a compass that lies to me.

If I could have a wish granted, it would be that I would stop being terrified about the stupidest horseshit imaginable. I’m tired of being paralyzed by fear to the point that my mind has to get really depressed to compensate. It’s embarrassing, something that I can’t talk to people in real life about. People look at you funny when they find out you’re crazy. Worse, some people try to pretend that they can empathize.

There’s no way to empathize with someone trapped in his mind. That frightens people who don’t have that terror seize them in moments when they have to be honest with themselves. Even when I can recognize it in others, it’s more like hearing the shouting of another inmate too far away for meaningful conversation.

Or maybe this is another distorted reflection in the hall of mirrors. Maybe it’s a distortion I have to see because the truth is something else that isn’t good for me. I don’t know. And it gets tiresome looking for answers.

7 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. Hello S.B. I have learned a lot reading your descriptions of what you are going through. I am sorry you are going through this. I never realized how badly the issues of the mind can play on someone, and what it means to try to live with them. Best wishes always. Hugs


  2. I think the up/down thoughts are sort of risk assessment process. Your head is going through every possible scenario, especially negative ones, because that way you’re prepared for whatever comes your way. The fear may simply be an (imperfect) pain avoidance mechanism. Imperfect because it’s often worse than what we’re avoiding doing. But not always…
    What you describe seems neither odd nor strange to me; which I suppose makes me the fellow inmate screaming from the other end of the hallway.


  3. Sorry to hear that you too struggle this way. I also find myself over-analysing every possible outcome of every situation. It is so tiresome! But please never feel embarrassed about the way you are feeling. Speaking openly, (even in writing) shows a great deal of strength of character. Be kind to yourself!

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  4. Hello,
    Thank you so much for sharing. I can truly relate and understand what you mean when you say it is hard to write when your mental state is bouncing around. Be patient with yourself, and the fact that you are already expressing yourself, and this struggle is a huge step. It is also a struggle that many of us can relate to. ~ Bree

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  5. “Some people try to pretend they can empathize.” Never been a truer statement, and unfortunately, it doesn’t just apply to anxiety, but mental illness in general. Thank you for reminding me I’m not the only one that feels that way about that.

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