What Anxiety Actually Is – Reflection

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Hello Readers,

As I previously mentioned JustGeorgeJ is going to begin to focus on Mental Health. Specifically, anxiety. Due to the reason, this is a mental health issue I have dealt with since the end of my Second Year, as previously discussed. Also, I am keeping my promise of having a writing schedule and here I am, Friday’s post! If you missed yesterdays post over on The MA Life, please find it here.

Today’s article is a reflection on a post from ‘Thought Catalogue‘ which I retweeted over on Twitter the other day. The article in question is titled ‘What Anxiety Actually Is, Because It’s More Than ‘Just Worrying’‘. After reading through it, I related to the post and thought I would reflect upon specific areas of the article and share with you as a way of kicking off this new ‘season’ of articles.

What Anxiety Actually Is, Because It’s More Than ‘Just Worrying’ – Reflection

The article kicks off with the following quotation;

“Anxiety is the restless nights of sleep, as you toss and turn. It’s your brain never being able to shut off. It’s the thoughts you over-think before bedtime and all of your worst fears become reality in dreams and nightmares.”

I use this quotation to open the article due to the fact it reminds me of the first night anxiety reared it’s ugly head into my life and then relates to every single night of my life since. The first night it happened, I was laying in the dark in bed when all of the sudden, it felt like someone had flipped my heart into overdrive. Fast forward past the trip to A&E and it was my first truly restless night, I do not believe I really slept that night. I would truly have the tagline of anxiety as “It’s your brain never being able to shut off” if it was my choice. It is like your brain is hooked on adrenaline and it never stops craving it. It is double guessing every decision you have ever made and will ever make. It is overthinking every single word that comes out of your mouth. It is overanalysing everything situation that you face and being able to read another human’s body language in a super detailed way. It is a constant daily struggle.

“Anxiety is that critical voice that says ‘maybe they’re deliberately ignoring you.’ It’s believing every negative scenario you can come up with.”

Personally, I believe, anxiety is like adopting an alternate version of you. This version of you is that critical voice. It is a physical embodiment of every negative part of you from the darkest recesses of your mind and body and if is there to ensure you question EVERYTHING you do in life. It convinces you of the worst and ensures you never forget it. It is the niggle in the back of your head that will ALWAYS drag you back down, even when you think you’ve overcome it.

“Anxiety is apologising for things that don’t even require the words, ‘I’m sorry’.

These are the words that will leave your mouth the most. “I’m sorry.” You’ll often say these words before you have even done anything wrong. You will use them when there is no call for these words to be used. They will be second nature to you. Your number one most used phrase. You’ll let it slip through your slips at the end of every sentence. At the end of every situation. At the end of every bad day, you go through. It will be apologising on before of your anxiety, which by extension, you believe to be you.

“Anxiety is self-doubt and a lack of confidence both in you, yourself and those around you.”

This one is self-explanatory. It is thinking the lowest you could ever think of yourself in every possible situation. It is breaking bonds with people before they even begin because you cannot trust people and ruining the ones that already exist with people. It is consistently thinking you are not good enough.

“Anxiety is ruining relationships before they even begin. It tells you, ‘you’re wrong, they don’t like you, they’re going to leave‘. Then you jump to conclusions and ruin it.

If you were to survey everybody to suffer from anxiety or any mental health disorder, they will all agree on this one. We know we are not easy people to love and we know we are frustrating. We understand that the things we think and do are not normal, that they are silly and trust us, we are not consciously doing them. They automatically programme themselves into us and though we fight, it takes every part of us to be able to change even one thing and then even then, that can leave us exhausted. Therefore, we tell ourselves that our partners can do better and that they should do better and this leads to self-destructive tendencies. Even if we do love the person.

“It’s sweaty palms and a racing heart. But on the outside, no one can see it. You appear calm and at ease and smiling but underneath is anything but that.”

Anxiety is a CONSTANT war ground going on just beneath our skin 24/7. The only thing that changes is how much that war rages on any one given day. Anxiety has a lot of mental symptoms but also a terrifying amount of physical ones. Beating heart. Sweating. Twitches. Racing thoughts. Shaking. Dizziness. Sickness. Weakness. The list goes on. These are always going on (the majority of the time). No one can see it because these symptoms can often be so small to anyone from the outside but on the inside, it feels like our world is collapsing in on itself. We may look ‘okay’ and ‘fine’, but it does not mean that we are. You never know what’s going on, even in these moments.

“It’s friends listening to these conclusions you’ve drawn and not really understanding how you got there. But they’re there trying to support you, as things go from bad to worse in your mind.”

Again, we know that you do not understand how we go there or why we got there in specific situations and conclusions. Trust me, we do not know how either. With our minds racing, we desperately convince ourselves of whatever we have to in order to calm ourselves down, even if it isn’t a rational explanation or conclusion. We appreciate that you are trying, please, bare with us, so are we.

“Anxiety is that voice inside your head that’s saying ‘you’ll fail’.

“Anxiety is procrastination because you’re paralyzed with fear of failing so you hold it off.”

Anxiety is giving up on your passions because you’re convinced you aren’t good enough. It’s not even attempting to give things ago because you know you won’t be good at them. It’s trying but never feeling like you have done good enough. It is studying at university and procrastinating because you don’t want to fail, so, if you don’t do it, you don’t fail. It’s a vicious circle we struggle to get out of and one that we are always fighting whether it be at school, university and work and more.

“Anxiety is the want and the need to control things because it feels like this thing in your life is outside of your control and you have to learn to live with it.”

Anxiety is constantly battling to have a control over everything in your life, in every situation because, at the same time, you feel like you have no control. You feel like everything, even the things that directly affect you, are far out of your hands and there is nothing you can do about them. You want to ALWAYS know what is happening when it is happening, where it is happening and who is going to be there. And plans changing at the last minute, in less you’ve made the decision, is a big no-no.

All in all, this is a brief reflection on the article over on Thought Catalogue and if you haven’t read it, I would strongly suggest you going to read it whether you suffer from anxiety and even if you do not. If you have it, you’ll understand that you are not alone in what you are feeling and if you do not, it’ll help you to understand a little more of how people who suffer from it, work.

Obviously, throughout this reflection, it is my personal views and opinions and what I have taken from suffering from anxiety. I understand that everybody that suffers from anxiety handles things differently and struggle in different ways. But remember, you are not alone.

Thank you for reading, next Friday’s article will explore different ways I personally deal with the anxiety that I suffer and I will also provide other methods that people use.

Until next time,


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