I’ve noticed in recent weeks that my anxiety is getting much worse. I’m noticing how it’s affecting me physically. I’m really struggling with it to be honest and don’t know how to cope with it.
I haven’t really blogged about anxiety before, as it was more under control in recent years… it seems to have got worse since seeking help for my mental health. Anyone who reads my blog might have an idea of what I’m experiencing at the moment, and my mind is pretty preoccupied with that right now. My mind feels packed to the rafters. I feel paranoid, although to me I don’t think it’s paranoia, obviously. And I feel almost obsessive. My mind won’t stop. I’ve had to become obsessed with crochet for the last couple of weeks, to try and stop my mind obsessing over my feelings and the situation I’m in…. I’ve done so much that I’ve damaged a nerve in my thumb now. That’s the level of obsession and emotions.
I’ve noticed so many physical symptoms attached to my anxiety. I’m sure some would sympathise when I say that IBS can be an issue. My emotions definitely affect my stomach. More recently I just feel discomfort and lose my appetite. Food doesn’t interest me. The discomfort of eating in public is coming back – any situation that might require eating in front of people I don’t know, I will avoid.
I don’t want to sleep – I stay up late thinking – I think I was awake until 3am last night, and only had about six hours of sleep. And when I wake up I’m straight into obsessing over everything, so can’t go back to sleep. I’m feeling impatient to sort out this issue that I’ve sat on for two weeks. I know I won’t feel better after having done it, as a new wave of anxiety and issues will start, but having to sit with such uncomfortable feelings on my own for this long, it’s been hard. Saying that, I sometimes just want to sleep through it all and wake up when I can handle it. But the whole ‘can’t eat, can’t sleep’ thing seems to be the main thing for me.
Very recently I’ve struggled with breathing. Feeling I can’t breathe deeply enough. Seeming out of breath when walking – and it’s not because I’m unfit… I’ve been walking more this year, so my fitness is doing better. I know it’s anxiety related.
I also have palpitations. I sometimes get ectopic heartbeats, so extra beats, where it can feel like your heart stops beating for a second and then it thumps extra hard – I think it’s something to do with electrical impulses to the heart that makes it add an extra beat. It’s odd that it’s actually extra heartbeats when it feels like missed heartbeats. I’ve had them before and the more you’re aware of them, the more they seem to happen. But recently it’s all the time. I’m not even aware of them in that sense. But if I’m imagining a scenario, or I’m about to go out, or exercising… or anything really, my heart is going crazy… like it hasn’t got a set rhythm. The trouble is that makes you start to worry there’s something wrong with your heart – which will then make it worse. I guess more than anything they’re annoying. But I do feel a little ‘off ‘when I get them. This is one of the biggest issues with my anxiety.
The other one being the tics. This happens mainly when I’m outside the house and around people. I’ll blink and it feels like I haven’t blinked hard enough. I know that sounds stupid… but yeah, I’d call it a blinking tic. And I feel sure people will notice it and think I’m weird or whatever, and that anxiety about people noticing it makes me do it more. It’s frustrating. I find it’s worse when it’s cold and windy – probably because I wear contacts, so it makes me need to blink more in the first place. I think the answer is to close my eyes and breathe. But it’s hard to do that walking along! I actually have a stomach tic too, which thankfully isn’t noticeable like the blinking one. I used to have this when I ate food, back in the days I was thin and didn’t really eat much food as I thought I was fat. I’d feel uncomfortable, so I’d tense the muscles in my stomach and once I started I couldn’t stop. But that’s not as often now as the face one.
Obviously I clench my teeth and get headaches associated with it. Same with other aches – I probably hold a lot of tension in my back, shoulders etc.
And my hair issues have become worse again too. For a few weeks I didn’t pull hairs out. I didn’t cut split ends off. It’s one thing that definitely improved. But it’s returned now. Obviously that’s something I do privately at home, but again, it’s obsessive…. it’s compulsive…. it takes over and I have to do it. I know it’s related to the anxiety and maybe the impatience I feel at the moment.
I just want to get on and resolve this issue. It’s the anticipation of it – having to psych myself up to confront it and follow through on it. Not knowing what reaction there will be. What consequences there could be. Knowing that once I’ve done it I can’t undo it, but also there will be nothing more I can do. Things are really bad at the moment… I just want them to be aware of it. I’m in a very triggered state right now, in so many ways. It’s too much to deal with alone.
I’ll write more about anxiety at some point, but just needed to get this out there. It’s a huge issue for me now.