Friday, March 20, 2009

Anxiety

I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder for several years now. It runs in my family and while I am very high functioning I still always have a certain undercurrent of fear in my system. I do well, because I am afraid of what might happen if I were merely mediocre. Anxiety makes me obsess about my future, and to balance out that fear I turn my obssessive nature to fiber arts, which calm me and don't really have a capability to stress me out. Knitting can be frogged, projects set aside.

Closer to the beginning of this year I was struggling with more anxiety than usual, and I forced myself to stay away from the constant future-planning that triggered attacks. I've done better, I have managed to plan my last semester of school, make decisions about after I graduate and even take some personal risks without crumbling. However, disorders being disorders, the pent up fear bleeds into the other areas of my life.

Driving. It scares me, not so much on the highway, not on back roads, so I guess the root of the fear is traffic. It scared me before I had a fender bender this summer, where a car changed lanes without a signal as I was pulling out. I don't feel like I can make the right decisions, much less make them fast enough. Even if I knew what to do I don't feel like I can make the car go where I want it to naturally. When I ride with others they drive like they know exactly where the car is on the road and how to get it to move exactly how they want it to. When I drive I shake. I get scared in traffic when others are driving. Traffic is not in my control.

Simple decisions, like where to eat out end up paralyzing me. I know that there really is no wrong choice, but I panic anyway. Its frustrating for my friends and family, probably because it makes no sense why I panic over these things. I have no control over when it happens. Less if it is someone I am very comfortable with.

Anxiety is selfish. Everything is your own fault. This person is grouchy? You must have done something wrong. Its all about you, and at the same time its self hating. You mess something wrong, your brain tells you its going to screw you over for life. Its hell on every relationship and it is not fair to those you love.

2 comments:

peri said...

I so empathise with the majority of your post. I have agoraphobia and it causes similar reactions and I agree it is not only tough on the sufferer but on those they love.

{{{hugs}}} to you - I hope you find your path through this soon.

Peri x

OfTroy said...

I am permissive.

when i drive, i give other drivers permission to be idiots, to cut me off, to tail gate (well, not really, i give them permission to pass--an i encourage this by slowing down, (and down and down, till i am almost crawling!)

when i was a new driver, i learned, (figured out or just made a point of remembering!) which highways had easy (no merge) entrances! i sometimes went a mile or two out of my way to use these entrances!

we all have fears, (that what i tell my self!) its just some of use have learned some good tricks for coping.

(i am a bag of tricks.. I hope you can find the right tricks for you!)