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Anxiety: at High Pitch

Major trigger warning: anxiety, depression, Dark imagery, Obsessive Compulsions, violent imagery

Anxiety isn’t ever fun, but it can have a purpose. Your instincts need to tell you to get away from a situation because something within you tells you it is threatening in some way. It is a basic instinct there to help you survive.

But what if it is always there, whining away, regardless of the situation?

That is what life is like for me. I’m living it right now in fact.

In the past, I have avoided situations that make me anxious. A lot of the time they are situations which have a societal expectation from me, an expectation to deliver an emotional response (Christmas) or to deliver an experience… yes, Tea and Jam features here too; I worry that it will fail and that I will have to spend funds on paying artists for an event at which they did not play.

I worry that I’m just going to be looked at like someone who just had no fucking business trying something, trying anything.

Because as if she would get it right.

Assuming I don’t cancel The Thing, the expectation of my delivering The Thing is the worst bit, the most stressful, and my stupid head sees only one way of trying to deal with this stress: by playing imagery of self-harm or suicide.

Just to be clear, I don’t think I would ever do anything about it. Aside from anything else I would feel like I was putting a burden on whoever would find me, let alone the pain I’d cause those who love me. And, believe it or not, I know why people love me.

I have a heart; I love people. I try and do what I can for them. I have a loving family.

I am talented, I’ve done gigs with people who know their shit and who have said that I’m a good player ‘a star’ even (an actual quote of a respected sax player which just made my day, week… hell it made my month).

Just because the compulsion to actually hurt myself isn’t there, doesn’t mean the obsessive thoughts are pleasant in themselves. They are at best, unbelievably distracting; at worst they feel like they physically claw at the inside of my head and heart.

Just imagine, when you make that social mistake, you can FEEL the goddamn blade against your skin. Serrated is best, your mind tells you.

Or those pills, just imagine the bitter taste… Or are they sugar coated?

How can I just Stop Being without someone having to find me and report me dead?

Often it’s that thought that stops me from actually doing anything.

What those lovely, beautiful people in my life, people who say I am Enough do not see are the bits in between those glorious moments when I’m in my element.

It’s so dark, so cold and just so stressful being me. I feel like I don’t deserve to hope that I can get better, with my health, with music, with anything.

I defy anyone to do ANYTHING worth doing with this level of hell going on in their heads. And when it gets this bad, people often (understandably) confuse you cancelling on them or lack of organisation (due to executive dysfunction) to do stuff with not wanting to reach out.

I can take up to two hours to leave my flat because I feel like I need to take many things with me, “just in case”.

By the time I’m physically ready to leave my little flat, a lot of the time the anxiety is so high I almost immediately cancel whatever it is I’m preparing for.

If I end up cancelling and staying in my safe space, this whine does stop.

Cancellation of Big Plans is followed by a kind of relief, a decompression… But after decompression comes empty space. Without the warmth of stars.

I’m desperately lonely, but I feel like I keep falling into traps or screwing up with people because I rush into something, arms and heart open so wide it’s quite off-putting sometimes.

 

It will get better; it just has to right?

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A friend was in need a few weeks ago; he was in the hospital and in a bad way. and I went to help. I would have and will do it again in a heartbeat because they mean the world to me.

But helping them involved doing some stressful things for me. Hospitals mean booming acoustics and their minimal personal touches in the name of clinical efficiency. My routine was screwed, and there involved a lot of logistical thinking, a kind of Think I Detest.

Hospitals, in short, make the very inside of my head rattle painfully, and logistical stuff makes everything hurt more.

I was so tired for about 4 days afterward. Bone-tired. And I get like this every time something like this happens.

I feared that my inability to give my all will somehow mean that I am now invisible. I am faded. I make myself endless cups of tea because tea is a comfort and actually an achievement; when I am like this, executive dysfunction is at its worst.

I was for want of a better phrase, useless. I can sit for hours, in the same position, wondering how I was able to move and talk, just hours previously.

Helpfully, the more I have to do, the worse it gets, and the more likely I am to refuse to look at what I need to do; I fear movement for fear of disappointment. So I still sit.

I fear the things I Meant to Get Done as if they are living things.

Each day then becomes ridiculously scary, until it is finally time to Not Function each night. Then, blessed relief, only to wake up again a few hours hence.

It’s a long, heartbreaking life when you are not in the habit of living.