Anxiety’s Unfair Advantage
It’s hot, but I shiver. My hands are clammy and cold, vibrating like I’ve had too much caffeine. (I probably have had too much caffeine.)
I want to get dressed, but my heart is pounding and maybe if I just sit here a couple more minutes, I’ll start to feel better, so I wait. In pyjamas. For what turns out to be hours at a stretch.
I protect myself by avoiding triggers when possible. I shy away from social functions, certain topics of conversation. . . but the thing is, you can’t really prepare yourself for the onslaught.
Anxiety’s unfair advantage is that it can pounce at any time, in any place, with crippling precision.
My breath struggles within the walls of my tight chest. I can’t get enough air into my body to feel fulfilled. When my body finally allows it, I draw in a huge breath and hold it. I hold it as long as I can, willing my heart to slow down.
My stomach contorts in knots and I can feel my pulse in the soft gap above my collarbone.
My ears ring and my scalp tingles.
You wonder why you don’t see me more often. I wonder where I’ve gone.
Logic screams from the depth of my brain: THIS ISN’T REAL.
But I feel it. Doesn’t that make it real? It’s real enough.
My life is filled with constant what ifs and whys. They terrify me, despite my understanding that it’s illogical to let irrational fears win.
I shout, “STOP!” silently to myself to halt the thoughts whirring by too fast to process.
NOT NOW. NOW IS NOT THE TIME.
Right now we’re going to get up from this chair, work out, and be productive.
Maybe in five minutes.
I’m constantly exhausted, whether I have three or fourteen hours of sleep.
How can this be when I’m so happy? Life is great. How unfair. How ridiculous of me to think this is worthy of complaint. I worry that because life is so good, I’m due pain.
I fight the worries away like cobwebs, but anxiety still has the advantage.