Why My Anxiety Makes Me Terrible (But Also Why I’m Sorry)

lauren rushing
lauren rushing

What if writing it down makes it more confusing? Is it actually anxiety or am I just overly sensitive? Was I spoiled?

The hover of anxiety and its victim maintain a strangely dependent relationship. Akin to perpetual dieters that center their lives around counting calories, cheat days, special occasions, and two­a­days. We wouldn’t be who were without it yet its persistent nag in the brain prevents us from fully relaxing. Dealing with this on the regular doesn’t make it any easier on our friends, family, and of course, you. Especially for us, we’re now sharing an apartment together, not­so­subtle cues appear left and right and out of nowhere: the hiding phase is officially over.

I hardly remember a time where I didn’t feel like I had to watch my back. I credit that to helicopter Catholic parenting from back in the day. Constant scolding by authority figures led me to feel I was always wrong and others were expected to adhere to a separate set of rules, mainly because they “know better”. I grew up fearful and paranoid with a compulsive need to say sorry. As I got older and had falling outs with truly terrible people ­ my anxiety arrived with wrath.

I hated myself for letting others get the best of me; therefore, I strived to be a stone. Unfortunately I transformed into exactly what I stood against: a bully. Self­defense became my default reaction to anyone and everyone; whether it was with a smile, a suppressed grimace, or full on bitch mode. My hostile persona became the ultimate security blanket. I f I act this way, maybe I’ll be immune to fear because I w ill be the one to fear.

The persistent rage was real…but as angry as I got on the exterior, it always took everything in my bones to keep from crying. It can be anything from losing my MetroCard or accidentally buying the wrong kind of soup for dinner ­ it didn’t matter. Afraid of looking soft (bad habit) I resorted to yelling, punching walls, kicking random stuff, cursing and muttering until I blacked out and question, “What, wait why did I do that, that’s stupid.” “I got nervous” was always the safest response to spew out to you after I take a breather. I absolutely hated being a disappointment.

What I abhorred even more were people that disappointed me. W hy though? I wasn’t perfect, why did I expect others to be? I actually believed the latter. My brain couldn’t grasp that there were other individuals that fucked up as much as I did because they all seemed so put­together! My basic logic: Everyone is a little better than me so when I make a mistake, it’s a real mistake. When someone else makes a mistake on my behalf it HAS to be on purpose and designed to make me look like some kind of jerk­off. It’s got to be a conspiracy, right? (S eriously?)

From your perspective, all you see is your girlfriend constantly berating herself to a fault for messing up miniscule details that probably didn’t make a difference, either way. You always wonder why my superhuman ability to read into everything is being utilized negatively instead of the opposite. You tell me all the time to let shit roll off my shoulders and realize that good things as well as bad things will occur. Most of all: it’s embarrassing.

Now I constantly worry about how I’m coming off when it boils down to my actions, reactions, and ways of coping. On top of worrying about the world’s problems, now I wonder if the world had a problem with ME. It became a vicious cycle of fear into paranoia to anger to embarrassment to frustration and right on back to questioning my fear’s root in the first place.

Inevitably, the continual emotional struggle left me more terrified, angry at the oppressor, angry at the privileged and jaded, disgusted with the ones who pitied me, and confused at the one who chooses me (that’s you). Where do I go from here? I write it down and reread it to to self­diagnose? Personally, my dance with anxiety fits like a toxic, familiar friend. You know it’s something you want to get rid of, but the certain rituals you do together are part of what make you more yourself.

However, when those episodes actually arise, all what materializes in my brain stings more than you can imagine: I ’m well­aware that I’m coming off cruel to you and crazy overdramatic, but why can’t I stop? Your face says it all: you’re hurt and confused…yet you’re still here, despite feeling helpless sometimes. I am so sorry. I will get the help I need, however long it takes. You deserve the best me that you is know there. It will be okay, it will be okay, it will be okay. “ I love you”, you say.

We will be okay. TC mark

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