Another Night With Anxiety


I struggle mostly with depression but also experience anxiety. Sometimes I find myself contemplating which is worse. But without a doubt there are some unbearable nights where anxiety is in control. Many times it not only makes me feel bad emotionally,
but physically. I get a pounding headache, I feel like I’m going to be sick and on a few occasions I actually was sick.

When you eat something bad and throw it up later you may feel somewhat better, but with anxiety you only feel worse because now on top of your worries you feel sick, and then your anxiety somehow convinces you you’re dying.

I want to tell you what it’s like for me at night time as someone with anxiety. Although each night is different and the thoughts and feelings vary, I want someone out there to understand what I — and tons of other people — are going through nearly every night.

I wake up in the middle of the night with my heart racing. I hear a little creak in the house. I’m suddenly wide awake, my heart beating harder than ever. I feel cold and hot at the same time. I’m shaking and sweating. I’m scared. I’m alone.

“There’s a burglar in the house,” my mind tells me. “He’s going to hurt you. He’s going to hurt your dog.”

A takes a few minutes, sometimes even hours, for it to sink in that if the dog’s not barking then no one’s in the house.

I try to go back to sleep but can’t. The voices inside my head are still talking to me.

“Don’t forget you’ve got to get up early in the morning. If you stay awake all night you won’t be able to function properly in the morning”

“Hey, remember that time you were with that person and you… well I bet that person still remembers and is still mad at you. She’s planning a cunning way to get back at you. You’ll be sorry.”

I go on Facebook and start a conversation with someone else who’s online to try to calm myself down. They don’t answer straight away. In fact, they go offline.

Immediately the voices start up again.

“You get on her nerves.”

“She can’t stand you anymore. She’s just not blocking you because she feels bad for you.”

No one really likes you or cares about you.”

I toss and turn trying to get back to sleep, but more thoughts come in to my head.

“If you carry on like this all night you won’t be able to get up in the morning, and you’ll miss your bus. You won’t be able to get to work, and then they’ll fire you just like when you got fired from your last job due to your crappy mental state.”

I get up and turn on the light. A rush of relief flows over my body. I go back in to bed slightly more relaxed now, but still feeling a little uneasy. I close my eyes and try to get back to sleep.

“If you fall asleep with the light on you’ll run up a large electricity bill.”

I get up and turn off the light, still hoping to get some sleep before it’s time to get up.

Eventually I fall asleep moments before my alarm rings, and it’s time to face yet another day.

***

The anxiety — and the depression — are still there throughout the day. But for that I can write a whole new post.

Image via Thinkstock.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Anxiety

door in a brick wall

When Mental Illness Finds a Back Door

While I’ve spent the last nine months fighting anxiety and a recent episode of depression, the last three months have been fairly easy. Depression can be episodic, so it recently fell by the wayside, but I still remember what it’s like to be in the full swing of it. While I feel better, I can sense it [...]
paining on a man with no facial features

10 Things Only People With Anxiety Disorders Understand

This piece was written by  Richard Lucas, a Thought Catalog contributor. 1. Constantly feeling on the brink of death. The truth is that we are not literally on the brink of death; in reality, we are quite safe. Nonetheless, our minds believe with great certainty each breath may be our last. When our brain believes, it [...]
a woman walking up the stairs with a heavy ball shackled to her ankle.

When You Live Shackled to Anxiety

Sometimes my brain feels like there is a 360 degree vice grip on my head, pushing and crushing it until it feels like there is no possible way to condense my skull any more without bursting the inside. In those moments, if I close my eyes, it’s almost as if I’m no longer in the confines [...]
silhouette of a woman with her hair flying behind her

If You Could Imagine What Anxiety Is Like

Editor’s note: The following description of anxiety may be triggering for those who live with anxiety disorders. Living with anxiety is not for the faint of heart. It means continually living your existence “on-edge.” In limbo. From worry to worry. Fear to fear. Panic to panic. Guard constantly up. Terrified to let anyone in. Petrified [...]