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What a Night With My Anxiety Looks Like

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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.

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Originally published: December 14, 2016
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