What happens to our thoughts when suffering from severe anxiety?
When anxiety squeezes the life out of my brain, and makes me feel physically ill, I think to myself; I don’t feel well.
I don’t feel well. Is that all it is? A feeling?
When I ponder on a wider scale, feelings are all we have to live our lives by. We feel with our senses; and our senses are who we are.
So every sight, sound, smell and touch is lathered with anxiety. Because anxiety lives in my very senses. How then can I fight it?
I begin to severely doubt my ability to do anything. Work, study, make and maintain friendships and relationships. I get angry, and sad, and everything in between.
When the world ignores me I’m anxious, when it puts me in the spotlight I’m anxious. Everyone seems to point and laugh.
I’ve been battling my social anxiety for years. I can almost handle any social situation now. That’s right – handle. Not just DO like a ‘normal’ person would.
But to this day, a simple activity such as walking through a park has me thinking; these people around me walking their dogs must be thinking; ‘this girl is strange’.
Why do we, those who suffer from social anxiety, think so highly of ourselves, that other people would take the time out of their day to think something mean about us? I know I don’t think anything as mean when someone walks past me in a park. All I’m thinking is; he or she is just… well, normal.
So it follows that they must be thinking neutral thoughts about me, or not at all. Sure, there may be one odd person who feels it necessary to, in a public bathroom, point out the length of my top; essentially shaming me for wearing something a little too short. But who really cares what one person in a world of 7 billion think?
Well, I do care. I care because my social anxiety is centred around the humiliation of ME. The exposure of ME.
Yes, anxiety is linked to my very senses, and is therefore a part of me. So navigating through these complex feelings and fixing them is not as easy as self given CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).
Sure, I train myself to cope in social circumstances, hell, I went from a mouse who couldn’t answer the telephone to a ‘caged’ lion without courage. But hey; I’m now a lion, right? I’m just a lion who isn’t feeling very well.
But that’s okay. Because life is transient. It’s full of ups and downs, side to sides and round and rounds. We’re doing just fine, there beneath the blue surbuban skies; my amazing anxious friends. We’re doing just fine.