The most troubling part about anxiety for me is trying to explain it to someone who has never experienced it on the same level I do. Problems I’m presented with are so easily solved in another person’s mind, but in my own the simplest answer may seem like the most puzzling equation.
The things I tend to obsess over and worry about always end up being little things blown out of proportion. I take one thought and twist and manipulate it until it becomes something completely debilitating. I could find myself having the best day, non-stop laughing, feeling positively happy the entire day, then I can run into one thing. A single thought. Which from there, leads me down a path of conclusive hysteria.
I’ve always managed and handled these episodes on my own. Never letting anyone in to see where my mind might go to when I start to slip down into this dark place. I never let anyone in because I know how scary it is there, and I don’t want anyone to have to go there with me. More so, I don’t want to let anybody in because a part of me believes there isn’t anything they could do to pull me out of it anyways.
I work myself past the point of exhaustion constantly, but all people will ever see is someone held together with a smile. It has come to the point however that if I don’t start reaching out I’m afraid of the irreversible damage I might cause onto myself and others.
The hardest part about reaching out is learning how to ask for help. How do you ask for help when you’re not even sure what is wrong? Or how do you ask for help when it feels like every single thing in the universe is wrong at the same time? How do you ask for help when you fear you’ll just be a burden onto someone else? These questions echo in my head every time I go to talk to somebody.
It’s not easy to explain what’s happening when it’s happening. In hindsight to a recent “episode” I’ve encountered, I pulled together a poem to try and illustrate what it feels like to lose all control of your thoughts. If anything I hope it might help those who are trying to understand for the sake of helping a loved one, or I hope it might help those who also struggle with the same issue and motivate them to reach out or ask for help.
To Feel Unsure
To feel unsure for a moment until you feel it pass,
Not a second later you’re thrown into relapse.
Waiting for your mind to regain control,
But then feeling as if it was never up to you at all.
The thoughts follow each other more quicker,
Every one shouting their hurtful bicker.
You ask for the noise to stop and cease to be,
Which makes it worse until you’re left to plea.
Falling to your knees you hold your head,
The irrationality of it all leaving you with dread.
Knowing it has to be your fault,
And at any moment you could make it stop.
Yet, nothing seems to work and slowly the thoughts start to turn,
What starts to seem like a better solution then to let them burn
Is if you could find a way to make it all pause,
Even for a moment would be worth the cause.
Before you can stop yourself you reach a point,
Where you’re brave enough to leave and appoint
That one thought that surpasses them all,
The very one that leads you to pick up your phone and call,
And as the phone dials you listen to the ring,
Holding your breath as you stand on the brink.
Someone picks up and talks you down until you’re okay,
You wonder what would have happened if you heard that voicemail play.
If you do not understand what your loved one is going through and want to help, please just be patient with them. Our thoughts might be irrational and magnified inside our minds sometimes, but it is not an easy battle for us to overcome. We are trying our best and all of your love & support is appreciated.
For those who are going through what I am going through. Never be afraid to reach out. It’s not an easy thing to do and sometimes it might seem scarier to ask for help rather than just to work through the mess alone, but it’s not worth the exhaustion. A single person can only go through and handle so much before help is a necessity. There are people who care about you and want to help. If going to a family member or friend is not an option, the national suicide prevention lifeline is (1) 800-273-8255. You deserve to feel happy and safe. Allow yourself to heal, you are worth it.
Above all else, no matter what brought you to this post if you leave with one thing, let it be the notion to help each other heal. Life can be hard but it can also be beautiful if we can learn to shower our love and kindness onto others.