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These Are the Many Forms of My Anxiety

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

Anxiety is inconsolable tears. It’s not being able to answer the phone. It’s pushing away the people you love. It’s uncontrollable shaking. Sometimes it’s not wanting to live. It’s missing out. It’s scars on my stomach, legs and arms. It’s horrible hatred that consumes your whole mind.

My anxiety is constantly changing, always taking on a new form. Although it looks different it is definitely not better, and it never becomes easier to manage. Going from separation anxiety from my mum, to suicide attempts, to shrinking my world, to medication and not being able to do the things I love, it takes all my energy and every time there’s something new. What worked once most likely won’t work the next time.

I have tried different medications and methods to make my anxious thoughts at least tolerable — exposure therapy, light therapy, aroma therapy, occupational therapy… I now think of each therapy I try as an extra tool I have to use in my box.

It’s hard, living with anxiety. The ultimate goal is for it not to affect how you do things — to be able to continue a normal life. I have had to come to terms with my disability. Disability? Strange but true — this mental disorder is a disability. It affects every aspect of my life. I struggle on a day to day basis with work, my relationships, even sleep. Emotional stability is something I am never going to be in control of — the unpredictability of my anxiety is the most difficult.

I have come so far, yet I have so much further to go. Only recently have learned life is not about winning the race but about finishing it, and it’s taken me a long time to want to finish this race we call life. It is something I wouldn’t wish upon anybody, and for those of you struggling, you are not alone and I encourage you to keep moving forward.

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

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

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Unsplash photo via AJ Yorio