My second published article on TheMighty.com
When my anxiety takes over, I fall back into a pattern I know all too well. I create distractions. I jump into everything head first and just go. The less time I have to let my anxiety take control, the better.
When my anxiety tells me I’m not good enough or can’t do this, I’m competitive by nature, so I push harder. This sounds like it would be a good thing, but it’s not. Average isn’t good enough. I have to do better, no matter the cost. So I shut everyone out, I lose all interest in any social interaction and I push everyone away. I stop looking forward to days off and start to dread them.
My anxiety won’t allow me to slow down. I can’t take any breaks. I sleep more, or I sleep less, depending on the day. I keep my head up and a smile on my face so no one knows I’m coming undone.
My anxiety tells me no one cares so I don’t need them. I shut down and go on autopilot. I become irritable and stop returning phone calls and texts. I don’t want anything to do with anyone. I’m hard to live with, hard to talk to. People who know me well know to wait it out, others call me “selfish,” “bitchy” or “stuck up.”
This is my anxiety when it’s at its worst. This is a time when I need to push through it and work it out. This is a time when I need to be in control of my surroundings and this is a time when I see clearly which people need to be shut out of my life. Those who truly love me understand what I need and give me space. Those who don’t, cause drama, back stabbing and name calling.
To understand me, please understand my diagnosis isn’t imaginary or an excuse to be “lazy,” “stuck up” or “selfish.” Understand it is a disorder that involves high levels of self-care that can be exhausting.
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Published by Liz Zemlicka