The Anatomy Of Anxiety

Christmas Eve 9:53 a.m.

I’m dressed, the spawn is dressed. We have to take my mom out to the hospital for a test. It might be nothing, might be cancer. And she has a history of it. Of ten children in her family, eight have died of cancer.
And still…
Me, me, I, me.
Because there is much to be done today, in addition to this, and my little brain can’t handle the pressure. So rather than focusing on my mom’s issue, I am selfishly worried about my own ability to get through this long day and night without completely coming undone.
Mental illness makes you incredibly self absorbed.
But the fact is, everything in your life is tied to your mental disorders and it’s a valid concern even in light of the problems of others.
It doesn’t make you feel any less evil for indulging your own neuroses.
It does explain it.

Anxiety is treated like little more than a personality quirk or drug seeking behavior. There is even more of a “snap out it” mentality when it comes to anxiety than it does to mood disorders.
I don’t like my anxiety. I’ve tried everything but shock treatment and exorcism for it.
So for it to be bastardized with condesending “suck it up” mentality is offensive.
There’s not one person out there who’d expect you to run a marathon if you had a broken leg. They’d have empathy and compassion for that.
It’s not your fault, after all. It’s a legitimate issue.
But mental stuff…
Oh, suck it up, get over it, snap out of it…
Which makes the anxiety even worse, not that those ignorant creatures can grasp that.

So here I sit, breaking out in hives, my heart slam dancing in my chest and my kid is making noise with a toy computer and my anxiety is creeping over the horizon…
And in addition to worrying about my mother, Christmas…
I’ve got this little war going on in my mind, feeling shitty because I have anxiety and I am not tough enough to conquer it.

It’s this that leads people to physically injure themselves. No one believes mental illness is as bad as it is. There is little compassion or empathy. But if you fall down a staircase and break a leg or cut your arm open on a piece of glass…
OMG, you poor thing, you’re injured, let me help you out, you should rest and not push yourself…
How is physical injury more legit than mental injury? Because it’s visible?

And this just keeps feeding the anxiety and making you feel lazy and weak so you’re more anxious. You beat yourself up for not being tough enough to snap out of it.
Rinse, lather, repeat.
Vicious cycle.
The anatomy of anxiety.
The futility of mental illness.

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One Response to “The Anatomy Of Anxiety”

  1. I can relate to pretty much everything you said in this post – you have my solidarity, even if my freakin magic wand is broken. Hope the tests are … you know.

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