Note on Anxiety

October 11, 2021

I particularly don’t want to have an anxiety.

But like many things in life, this is not one of those things where you have much choice.

I’m saying the word ‘anxiety’ but sometimes it’s ‘panic attack,’ so if you’re a psychological expert and you see the mix between the two, that’s totally fine. I’m simply recalling my experience.

I didn’t realize what I have what anxiety until I started seeing a psychologist earlier this year. The sessions lasted around 6 months and I’ve come to learnt many things about myself. I always thought what I have was sporadic depression, which was not entirely wrong, but mostly it was anxiety. Depression often clocks in only before a menstruation period, a.k.a. PDMS, but apart from those times I’m often kept out of it.  

However, anxiety is another subject.

The angst itself is not easy and feels like a constant force. I often feel like I’m running out of time to do things or to be something. As I’m getting older, this has ever increasing become difficult because I feel like the clock is always ticking and I’m still trying to catch those hands that are running away from me.

I really don’t want to feel what I’m feeling.

I practiced Headspace and have tried, successfully sometimes, ‘noting’ technique. I would note that this is only ‘thinking’ and thinking comes and goes and I should let it go. I also did the ‘naming’ techniques (from the Internet) where I would look around the room naming 5 things I see, 4 things I can touch, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell and 1 thing I can taste. It helps. But only to a certain extent. These things are never guaranteed. It is not easy. You’re able to let it go sometimes and sometimes you’re completely at the mercy of your thoughts. It overwhelms you. It consumes you. It dictates how you feel. It directs your tears. Then you take another deep breath and if you’re lucky, it’s gone again, and this time for a while. If not, it’s gone and it’s back, seeping through your head.

There are days when I wish there were less thoughts in my head, that I’m not the person I am, but as I grew older, I learnt that this might be innated. Some people were born with a lot of chatter inside their head that can neither be stopped or denied. This gets intensified with experiences as times go on.

Of course, it has its perks. You’re always full of idea. You’re more thoughtful and also full of thoughts. But it has its worse days – when your head just run, run and run, like a marathon with a finished line being constantly pulled away.  

Anxiety is different for everyone.

We all have our different subjects to be anxious about. It often comes as a paradox. I, for example, with past experience, have become really anxious about loneliness and relationship. There are times when I’m really scared of what’s inside people’s head that I feel the immediate need to retreat and be with myself. Yet, in those times, I would feel extremely lonely as if I’m not fitted to be with other people. On better days, I would really want to venture into new relationships, but then without meaning to, I would be triggered by something, and here I am again in that dark and lonely corner, crying inside and outside, patting my head, comforting myself that everything will be okay. You’re okay. You have all the time in the world. The only way to go through the world is to go through it slowly, one step at a time. There’s no shortcut. Breath. In. Out. Breath. Breath.

11 October 2021

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