Trigger Warning: This post delves into feelings of anxiety and depression.
There is a piercing pain in an individual’s heart when they experience anxiety. Not only are they always on edge but they second guess each and every action they take. Their perceptions of themselves are focused and analysed against the perceptions of others. Questions of self-worth are common and weigh in heavily on an individual’s mental health. They become worn, torn and eventually, they break.
“What do they think of me? Did I say some thing wrong? Am I not good enough?”
The thing is, sometimes I feel this pain like I am drowning in a sea of my own thoughts, with these sounds grinding on my brain until it is mush. It is like a frayed rope, eventually it snaps and everything you’ve been carrying from the past is let go. Sometimes we have to be content with that.
Society labels mental illness as being a burden with conversations mentioning ‘prevention is the key’ and ‘those poor people, god I feel sorry for them.’
We don’t want you to feel sorry for us, we want you to support us, encourage us and make us into stronger individuals. Instead of being seen as weak, empower people with anxiety to do great things because, sometimes, you just have to live with the discomfort.
It’s hard to look at my work and be proud of it when I get inside my own head, about what people will think about what I’ve created especially when it is a narrative from my life. Putting these words out clearly to see is also difficult, however, I feel as though it helps to breed clarity, being transparent with myself. The value of storytelling does not come from organic views, praise or criticism. The value of a story is consistent with the value I attribute to it.
I am chained to my bed with thoughts of fear, looking at the stars on my ceiling trying to grasp the very freedom they have. However, I am swiftly pulled back to reality with a thump from my mattress, and those feelings are back. My throats swells and tenses, my eyes feel heavy. I repeat the word ‘nothing’ in my head, but thinking about nothing when your mind runs 100 kilometres an hour is tougher than you think.
Insomnia drags me in and out of my bed, the tosses and the turns in my sweat draped sheets are infuriatingly familiar. The illuminated buzz of technology fills my ears and instinctively I jump towards it. Waiting, I’m always on, waiting for a message which allows me to feel secure, always waiting.
Anxiety to me relates to worth. It clenches and squeezes me like a wet sponge, no, a chamois after it has been used on a sports car. I make others look shiny, take the burden of their impurities and attempt to rinse them out. There is one thing wrong with this, everything fades and after a chamois is no longer useful, it is thrown out. Worthless.
It chews me up, spits me out and goes for another bite. When I think I’m in control I am put in hand cuffs with a thrown away key, I can’t escape. I’m a prisoner of my own mind and there’s nothing I can do to find my freedom.
Sometimes I think to much, but isn’t that what being human is about? Thinking about all the possibilities. I just happen to have a skill at focusing on the bad ones.
I have an inescapable fear of missing out, spending time with my friends feels like an eternity that I do not wish to stop. When I am alone, it is an eternity that I pray would end. I lay in my bed, soothed by the illuminated light of my phone. Always by my side, my best friend, a fabrication of what I wish I had. I am always on, never off, always thinking of what people can and will do without me, assessing my self-worth until I am broken down into nothingness. There is that word again.
I’m in bed, attempting to sleep, I think about my tomorrow. How I hope these feelings will change, that someone will pull me out from my hole that I lay limp in…
And as I reach to the ray of sunlight that shines before me, I still wait in my own self doubt.
I’m still waiting.
Why do people feel like this? Why do we as human’s experience these thoughts of self-loathing with a lack of self-worth. Is it because when we see that others do not need us, we see the value of ourselves diminish into nothingness? Is it because when we compare our work to that of others, we only see our flaws which will be judged and not our successes?
We are apart of a society which focuses on weaknesses and judges based on numbers of either great success or great failure. There is very little in between. When I write something, it takes every ounce of courage to post, I am afraid of what people will think of me. It makes me anxious to think about it. It all comes back to being confident in myself.
I feel like a jack in a box that is being continuously wound but I don’t want to be forced to pop out. I am usually a shy person, I try to play it off but when I meet new people my eyes dart to every possible exit to avoid awkward situations. It’s a coping mechanism and I hate it. Having control is a must, the need to have everything planned is a must. Why? Because failing isn’t an option, that’s what pits me against my endlessly thinking brain.
When I write I feel powerful, in control, pushing that publish button takes this power away making me feel as though I am in an aquarium of judgement. People looking, judging, laughing, taking pictures having fun around me while I swim around in my own waste. Is that what I should be thinking? In an industry which is reliant on believing in myself and my ability to get shit done, how will I focus on my own self worth? My own values of loving myself.
The answer at the moment is, I don’t know.
I just hope their are people out their who assist in constructing my confidence and character instead of slowly chipping me away to nothingness. It hard to see in the dark, it’s even harder to see yourself in the light.