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Anxiety is a funny old thing. It swoops in and takes control when you’re least expecting it. Even in the middle of the happiest events, a chance remark can be enough to set of those thoughts that the spiral out of control. The thoughts about whether you said the right thing or if your clothes look alright. The thoughts about if you’re good enough to even be there, surrounded by these people that are so much better than you. And the problem is, once those thoughts have taken hold, it’s hard to get back to the feeling of happiness you had just moments before.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re desperately tired or just about to go out with friends, anxiety doesn’t wait until later, it simply creeps in and slowly fogs your thoughts until everything becomes negative. You know that those thoughts aren’t who you really are, so you put a smile on your face and pretend everything is ok, but inside you are a fighting a ball of fear that is growing bigger by the minute.
There’s no rhyme, nor reason, to the anxious thoughts either. One day they can fill your head with feelings of inadequacy – am I rubbish at my job, do people like me etc. and the next you are questioning every little action – will the kids be safe if I let them hang out with their mates (even though they’re plenty old enough to not need supervision), what if somebody tries to hurt them, what if they’re being bullied but they don’t feel they can tell me. It’s relentless. Every tiny issue snowballs into something huge and before you know it is out of control.
In the middle of the night you find yourself tossing and turning, trying to find peace from the thoughts that are plaguing your mind. You try to reassure yourself that you did do the right thing, that you are worth what you think you are, that you do have people that genuinely want to be your friend, but the reassurances you so desperately need don’t come.
Other people, strong people, don’t understand how anxiety takes control. They tell you that everything is fine and they move on. They don’t understand that you’re so bogged down in the quicksand that is anxiety that you need more than a cursory comment. You need full on reassurance. You need hugs. You need to discuss every tiny detail of whatever is worrying you so that you can be 100% sure in your mind that you can release that bit of anxiety, otherwise you know that it is going to come creeping back in at some point.
When the good days happen you feel awesome. It is a day for happiness and laughter, for enjoying anything and everything. They are the days you long for. The days you want more and more of, and sometimes there are periods of time when there is nothing but good days.
But on the days when anxiety visits, you get up and show up with a smile on your face, but a cloud in your heart. They are the days I hate and one day I will beat them.