What a Night With My Anxiety Looks Like


Editor’s note: If you struggle with self-harm, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

7:28 p.m.

Dinner starts to wrap up, and where do I go from there? Everyone in my family starts to do their own thing, and I’m left alone to find something to distract my brain. Reading a book doesn’t help because it’s too quiet. Listening to music is just too much noise right now.

8:30 p.m.

Taking a bath sounds nice, right? Wrong. I am alone, and I just think. I think of all the “what ifs,” and on difficult nights, this is when I might be tempted to self-harm. I know it’s not what I should do, but in those moments it feels like all I have.

11:00 p.m.

This is where my brain starts to play all of its mind games.

“You’ve messed up with your family again today.”

“He doesn’t actually love you; he’s using you. He will find a girl he actually loves to replace you.”

“Why are you even dancing still? You’re no good at it.”

“His parents don’t even like you. They think you’re ‘insane.’”

“Just leave.”

My brain hates me; it’s the biggest bully I have ever faced in my life. I am my own worst enemy. I tear myself down so much at night, and I never realize it until I am at the point of tears.

4:00 a.m.

I am drained at this point. I know I need sleep, but my brain keeps going on and on. It gets so bad I want to rip at my skin. I feel trapped too often and I want to escape, but I can’t figure out how. Sometimes, to help get rid of this feeling (if I can even do that), I walk around the forest around my house. Or I will eventually cry myself to sleep if I’m in my bed.

Every day is a struggle for me. I never know what the day will bring. If I get triggered, I’m done for that day and it makes everything worse for the next 24 hours. The biggest fear I have is myself, because I know what I’m capable of doing. I know how strong I am and how fast my brain can make its own decisions. It scares me, because I feel alone at night. But getting over this is the first step I’ve taken to recovery. Yes, I still have difficult nights, but not to the extremes I’ve experienced before. My brain is my worst enemy, but letting my true colors show has helped me become the person I was before this all started.

Image via Thinkstock.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Anxiety

two friends hugging while getting coffee

8 Messages From Your Friend With Anxiety and Depression

Dear my friend, As you may or may not know, I deal with mental illness. It is as integral and innately a part of me as the color of my eyes, my distaste for mathematics and my love for breakfast burritos. In the moments when we smile and laugh and adventure happily, you may forget [...]
The last breath of the drowned woman under the water

When Anxiety Makes You Feel Like a Fish Suffocating Underwater

Imagine being a blue tang fish (like Dory from “Finding Dory”). You are just swimming around in your underwater palace. You enter the banquet hall and see there are a lot of strangers there. You didn’t know about the party. As you greet the guests, you feel like they are all staring. You know they [...]
A little girl holding up a drawing of a sad face over her face

20 Calming Strategies to Help Children Manage Anxiety and Stress

This is for anyone who cares for a child who can be anxious and stressed under certain situations. I have compiled a list of “calm-down” strategies to help bring a child back to a calmer, more relaxed state of mind. Many of these strategies have been helpful and have shown positive results. Please, keep in [...]
Female dreaming of colorful island

When Your Own Thoughts Frighten You

What is a thought? Thoughts flit harmlessly in and out of our minds, don’t they? thousands of different thoughts a day, some we pay attention to, some we like and enjoy, some we don’t. But what about those thoughts that frighten us? That cause our bodies to react with fear and worry, sometimes panic? What [...]