I woke up very early this morning and could not go back to sleep. I played a little Overwatch and couldn’t really get into it, so I worked on my website for a little while and now that I’ve finished that I decided that I wanted to write a little more about my topic from last night (if you haven’t seen it you can read it here: The struggle ) .
Anxiety for me is like being yanked out of the drivers seat and shoved into the back seat. Rational me sees everything that’s going on while Anxiety Eric is at the wheel. Anxiety Eric is a jerk…and a poor driver. He gets mad at little things that go wrong, he slows down when he should be keeping up with the flow, sometimes he stops the car in the middle of the freeway and won’t move (obviously I’m speaking metaphorically…I’m a good driver and would never stop in the middle of the freeway).
It’s difficult for me to watch myself get frustrated and angry about things that I know I shouldn’t. Sometimes just the way someone says something to me starts my brain to overthinking. I start to wonder, “Did that person mean this or that? Are they annoyed with me when all I was trying to do is be helpful? Did I say or do something to make that person think I don’t like them? Did I say something insensitive and not realize it? Maybe I should just never talk to them again. Maybe they’ve been trying to make me look like a fool. Should I be angry with them for saying that? What if they were just joking? What if they weren’t? Should I apologize even though I’m not sure I did anything wrong? Was I being bossy? Am I letting this person walk all over me cause I really just want them to like me?”…all this and more is streaming through my head every time my anxiety kicks in.
Growing up I had very low self esteem. I was meek, easily intimidated, quiet, and kept to myself. Being gay in a rural desert town with no resources and not knowing anyone else who was also gay, I stayed in the closet. I took Karate classes to learn to at least defend myself and I began to come out of my shell a little. When I hit 23 I decided I needed to do something to escape my little hometown hell and joined the USAF. I came out of my shell a little more, but I struggled a lot with my anxiety. When I came out to my parents it was a disaster. A couple years later when I met my husband Randy and left the Air Force to stay with him, my parents flipped out even more. While my parent’s have since accepted Randy as part of the family, they never came to our commitment ceremony or years later to our wedding when gay marriage was legalized.
Meeting Randy was the best thing that could have happened to me. He’s patient with me (though I push that a little too far on occasion). For quite some time I’ve been able to keep my anxiety in check because of the support Randy gives me. Recently though, I’ve been made aware that I’m sometimes very rude to Randy and it makes him and our family and friends uncomfortable.
I’d like to be able to blame this all on the stress I’ve been feeling lately; the Trump election, the move, the new job, living in a new area where we haven’t established very many social connections. Sure these things contribute to my anxiety, but I’ve also been to blame for not seeking help when I knew I needed it. Admitting that you have problems is hard, even harder when you always try to project being tough and in control.
I have anxiety and I need help. I’ve put myself on the path to healing and I want to get better. To everyone who my anxiety has affected, I’m sorry and I hope you can forgive me. To the most important people in my life, I love you.