21 Mar Life update: anxiety is making me anti-social
The last month or so has been a struggle. I’ve lost my zen and I’m trying to get it back.
I’ve been off my game lately, I’m not feeling particularly sociable and to be honest I just want to stay in my cocoon, my own world. The thought of leaving my home to mingle with others has never been so daunting and I psyche myself up to do so when needed. My anxiety was tamed a long time ago but it seems to be rearing its ugly head and it’s thrown me off kilter a bit.
If you haven’t suffered from anxiety before you’ll never understand, you might have empathy, but you’ll never truly understand.
It metaphorically crippled me as a teenager, I suffered from massive panic attacks and it kept me from being a care-free teenager like everyone else seemed to be around me. I didn’t want to go out to many parties or be a rebel by staying out all hours and get in trouble. That said, it wasn’t all bad, my anxiety led me to a coping mechanism – books, which I still love. They were my escape from reality. I would carry a book wherever I went and whipped it out in restaurants, shopping malls and friends’ homes, basically whenever I started feeling anxious. Fact was that losing myself in the words and other worlds calmed me down.
I still carry a book with me most places, it still has a soothing quality just knowing it’s there. Like a security blanket, I suppose.
My twenties were less of a struggle, but was still an anxious struggle non-the-less, but by the time I hit my thirties, I felt like I had it under control…until now. I don’t know what the trigger was but I need to get it under control again.
Staying at home in familiar surroundings and my small office are the only places I truly feel relaxed at the moment. Just the thought of being in public surrounded by strangers makes me break out in a sweat.
Being a hermit is great for a bit, but it’s not sustainable, nor do I want to miss out on all the amazingness the outside world has to offer. This caterpillar needs to break free of her cocoon and be the butterfly she is again.
I’m doing everything to get my zen back – exercising, eating properly (mostly), cutting down on sugar and alcohol and trying to get a good 8 hours of sleep every night. I am also very lucky to have the most supportive partner who is there for me every step of the way.
Baby steps. Hopefully I’ll be able to manage my anxiety again in no time.