I know I’m not the only one who’s had a dramatic change in their life because of constant worry. It didn’t get this way overnight. For seven years, it built up. It was so subtle at first, I couldn’t tell it was there. Then, it grew. I’d get one symptom at a time, starting with only a little bit of worry, nothing serious. The physical change started happening. I no longer felt energetic. I wanted to sit home because I was scared of things going wrong. When my panic attacks started, it was all over. I am basically a stranger to my younger self.
Before: It was so much easier back then. I was able to do just about anything! I mean, I was still scared of dolls, but at least I could get on rides at the fair without crying like a baby. But, it wasn’t just fear that had changed. It was my social interaction. It was so much easier for me to talk to people. I was friendlier and always smiling. I took better care of myself, too. I never wore make up often, but I never saw the need to wear it. My self-confidence was high enough so I didn’t think bad of myself. I didn’t mind how I looked, because, to me, everyone enjoyed my company. Not in a conceited sense. I just thought everyone was honest and liked me for who I was. Let’s not forget the patience I had. I could have put up with a lot of crap, back then.
My favorite part, though, was when I never had health anxiety. It’s kind of funny, actually. I was never sick or hurt anywhere, back then. Now, I hurt in places I didn’t know could hurt and I’m sick several times a year. I’m guessing it’s because I pay more attention to my bodily functions, now, and I do that thing where “if you think it hurts enough, it will start to hurt” or whatever that crap is.
After: Where do I start? I already said it has taken seven years for it to get to this point. I’m scared. I am scared of just about anything. Even when I try new foods, I sit and wait to see if I’m allergic to one of its ingredients. That is crazy. I’m always saying how much of a hypochondriac I am, and it is, sadly, worse than I make it out to be. I said I was sick in one of my past posts. I’m still sick. I know it’s just a terrible cold, but when I look at each of my symptoms, separately, I see a serious problem. I have a hard time seeing my symptoms as a whole. Google has been my worst enemy the past week. I’ve been drinking Theraflu Severe Cold like there’s no tomorrow. And, no, it doesn’t taste like Lipton tea like the packaging says.
As for my social life, I don’t have much of one. It seems as though I’m always angry. I even feel like I’m angry, but I don’t know why. I don’t like to speak to people, that much. I don’t even like to talk to Dillon over the phone. I’d rather text. I don’t know if it’s because of my confidence, either. When someone says “hi” to me, a million things run through my head. “They’re probably judging me.” or “I look so bad, they are laughing at me, oh my God.” My first instinct is to push away all friendliness. My response to them supposedly judging me is to fight back with all the snark my brain can make. Thus, my permanent frown.
It’s not like I want to be this way, though. I want to be able to be social and friendly, but when I try, I care too much of what people think. Heck, I even say I don’t care what they think, but in the back of my mind, I’m a little sad and angry about it. Even when there is no judgement, whatsoever.
I wish I could have the same personality as I used to. I know it’s there, it’s just buried under years of hardened depression and anxiety. I’d give my pinky toe to be able to find it, again.
Your anxiety does not define you. Remember this, because you were, most likely, a different person before it started. You were once that person you wish, so badly, you could be, now. And it just goes to show you, anxiety is only a developed mindset that has turned into a sickness.
It’s just another roadblock that has to be moved aside.
With a bulldozer.