Anxiety Central

I’ve been trying to think of just one aspect of my life that isn’t affected in some manner by anxiety. And I can literally not think of a single thing.

I tend to usually go about my day with a sort of soft, underlying feeling of dread no matter where I am or what I’m doing. If I concentrate on it or pay it any kind of attention, then it sort of grows rooty fingers like the mould in Resident Evil 7, and quickly takes over my brain. For example, I’ll think too hard about the fact I’m having caffeine in my coffee, and then become anxious about it making me anxious. Yes, it’s silly. But it’s a physical feeling and its incredibly uncomfortable.

The biggest sufferers from my anxiety are my relationships with other people. Friendships cause me a huge amount of anxiety – do they want to see me? Are they just being nice to me? I can’t bother them, they’ll think I’m clingy. Are my friends all out tonight without me?

I’ve had 5 boyfriends in my entire life, and each relationship was tainted with constant worry. I simply cannot date a bloke, no matter how much I like him, without analysing every aspect and applying some kind of negative connotation to it. He’s not messaged me since this morning? He’s gonna dump me. He’s mentioned his ex in passing? He’s totally still sleeping with her. He didn’t hold my hand in public? He hates me.

I suppose with the relationship thing, it’s not just the anxiety that’s a pain in the arse – it’s my own lack of self-worth. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for four years – bar the 1 month at the 2 year point where we split up – and I still can’t shake the idea that if I go out wearing a skirt my boyfriend will call me a slut. If a male friend makes a move on me, I’ll feel like it’s my fault even though I know it isn’t. I feel like that relationship has ruined all potential for any future ones.

Trying to keep a cap on the anxiety is hardest when dealing with any kind of interpersonal relationships, because while you may know its irrational, the other person doesn’t know you think that – they don’t get it. I’ll say to my friend or boyfriend I’m incredibly anxious, and they say “why? You shouldn’t be.” Well yes, I agree, I shouldn’t be. But I am, and it’s making me come across as a mentalist.

Since my channel surpassed 10k subscribers, the anxiety has skyrocketed. My much bigger Youtuber friends tell me not to let negative comments bother me, and I know they shouldn’t – however, I get huge anxiety about upsetting other people. And my brain seems to think that someone leaving a nasty comment is upset, and then I feel bad about it. I’m also starting to get more than a little uncomfortable at the kind of attention I’ve started to get from some people who are a little *too* admiring of me. I’ve started having some horrible nightmares.

It would be great to be able to switch this anxiousness off.

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3 thoughts on “Anxiety Central

  1. good morning, sarah. I’ve just read your blog and wish I could say something to take away your anxiety. 10k subscribers is an amazing achievement and I have nothing but admiration for those keeping the retro gaming scene alive. take care and happy birthday! apologies for the capitals if they come through when I post this comment.

  2. The coffee thing is completely rational, isn’t it? I know that when I used to drink a lot of coffee I could not control my anxiety at all. I’d get that tight, breathless feeling in my chest. I’ve certainly found in my experience that coffee can crank up your anxiety levels, so if I have any important event that is upcoming I tend to try to not drink coffee or just drink decaffeinated.

    It’s the physical aspects of anxiety that scare the shit out of me. I had quite a bad attack just before Christmas where I just could not breathe at all. I thought I was going to die. It’s completely terrifying when it happens. Thank goodness I was at home when that one happened because I was absolutely floored by it.

    I certainly understand your feelings about friendships. I’ve had quite a few friends over the years, but I’ve never really been able to keep them. I always seems to let friendships slide. I don’t put the effort in to maintain them. I find them very stressful in the real world. There’s always pressure with relationships because you have to concern yourself with the feelings of others which can be quite difficult when you are struggling with your own feelings, and unsure of who you are.

    As for the self-worth thing. These days I have a new coping mechanism for that: I try to think of myself as insignificant. I often think about the universe, I look up at the starts at night and consciously try to see how insignificant I am within the universe. It just help me to get some perspective. I think we all fall into that trap about feeling bad about ourselves because we don’t meet the expectations of what society deems successful.

    If you do find something that switches off the anxiousness could you let me know, Sarah? That would be great!

  3. Whatever someone thinks about you is their business. Whatever hang ups they have about you, the way you dress or behave.. guess what? That’s their issue and it really isn’t yours. Bad relationships have a tendency to make us examine ourselves and think “if only I had done ____ ” then this wouldn’t have happened. The reality is that in abusive relationships it doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do, because they were the ones calling the shots and pulling the punches. You were just trying to get from a to b and keep everyone happy. But, were they trying to keep you happy? Probably not.

    I have m.e and it’s something which makes it very difficult to get close to women. There are alot of periods where the self doubt becomes overwhelming because there is nothing I can do to change that aspect of my life. It often leads to the question “who would really want to live with someone who can be fine one day and then in bed for two weeks?” Plenty of people would shrug it off until the realism of it hits, it’s not simple nor straightforward.. or is it? I’ve come to realise, no matter what illness, condition or disability. There is a person first and foremost. Those that can’t cope with who you are. Well. They are just living out their own lives the best they can and it’s really never a reflection on you (if they say it is then they are covering up their own short comings). Because, you deserve to be cherished wholey and however you come. Anxiety and all.. Because you are more than the sum of your parts.

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