A Rant About My Anxiety Which Makes Me Think About The Sharks That Aren’t Even There

A Rant About My Anxiety Which Makes Me Think About The Sharks That Aren't Even There
Tim Marshall

My boyfriend, Tim, asked me if there was something wrong with me today. I usually say no, but he’ll always make sure if I’m really okay. I eventually say actually yes because I’m frustrated at myself because I create this social anxiety upon myself which prevent me from doing fun things! I am my own enemy! He then gave me a shocked look and said, “huh”? I told him never mind and that it’s too complicated to explain.

It is too complicated for myself to even think about it.

To be honest, thinking about it will only just make everything worse.

My therapist gave me a scenario at our last session. He told me to imagine a huge flood. I’ll be in the water, with it being high up to my neck, what is my first thought? I said, “I’d be scared for sharks to be in the water with me.” He then told me how surprising that answer is. He said if someone asked him the same question, he would say that he would figure out how to get the heck out of the water and on land. I was like, oh yeah! That too. The whole point of the metaphor was that the flood was my depression, and I’m trying to deal with getting out of it, or what to do after the flood is gone. However, that brought up another point. He said that it’s interesting that I said a shark because that shows that I’m more worried and scared about something that might or might not be there.

I was SHOOK. He was right. I thought it was pretty logical at the moment because usually fishes and sharks are in the water too sometimes, but usually surviving from the flood should’ve been prioritized. I am creating fears in my brain. What if there are sharks? What if I drown? What if no one will ever find me? Which is normal for a human being sometimes, but is it better to float there and worry about all that, or figure out how to get out of the water? The latter sounds a bit better in theory.

That’s why I am so frustrated. 

I don’t physically see the sharks. I am getting myself ready for the sharks. I have the choice to stop worrying about the sharks, but it scares the heck out of me. I’m rambling again. The real reason why I’m writing this post is that I got invited to go out with some co-workers. Actually, I’ve been invited to a lot of things with my co-workers. One of my co-workers always suggests that I should come over for dinner. Another co-worker asked me to come over to play board games. This co-worker today and a few days ago asked me if I wanted to go out to a club or something downtown. I said no to all of them. It isn’t because I don’t like them, or dinners, or board games, or clubbing.

It’s because I’m scared how uncomfortable I’ll feel. 

What will we talk about? What if I don’t know how to play their board games? What if they’re having fun but I don’t know how? I always felt weird about hanging out with co-workers outside of work because I always talk about work. I never know what else to talk about, which makes me feel so awkward.

My therapist and a few other people say that ones with anxiety overcome it by embracing it. They do things that make them anxious, and they are okay with how uncomfortable they are. The real question I want to know is how do they start? How does one just do it? My therapist says I’ve done “it” many times, but I only focus on the negative so I don’t notice. I feel like it’s a magic bullet. There is no magic bullet. Even if there is, I definitely haven’t been shot by it.

I guess I’m writing this to express how I feel and hoping it’ll tell me something. Because I’m sick and tired of feeling this way. I want to have fun. I want to do things that can make me feel better. I want to swim the ocean peacefully, knowing that there are sharks. My brain is running an endless marathon, and I just want to take a break.

Well, this is just one hump I have to get over. 

I feel like I won’t ever cure my anxiety completely, but I believe in myself to keep trying. TC mark

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