unraveling thread. (my anxiety)
I really feel uncomfortable posting this, and of course, it makes sense… that’s part of the symptoms of social anxiety. I’m afraid of judgement. I’m afraid of how I would be perceived, and I’m also afraid of the messages and texts I’d receive. But now, I’m mostly afraid of how I am being perceived without this explanation.
I know it might come off as a shock to many of my friends but as I explain my recent changes in behaviour it will start to make sense.
I would like to start by apologizing to all my friends and loved ones for drawing myself out and becoming so distant, believe me it was not out of my own pleasure or conscious doing. It was something that gradually began to happen, like when you have a migraine and you begin to dim the light to the right degree but before you know it… you’re in the dark. That’s how I would describe how I developed my social anxiety. I began to distance myself thinking this way I wouldn’t overwhelm anyone with me and hoping that perhaps this would give me some peace of mind. I was wrong.
The reason for my anxiety is attributed to many factors and negative experiences. Due to the intense amount of activities/classes/events I’ve taken on this year I underwent an extreme amount of stress and apprehension. I was always afraid of something going wrong; that all that I am part of would collapse down on me. I became very jumpy and easily frightened by the simplest of sounds.
Every time my phone would ring (or when I’d receive a text), I’d undergo a sudden feeling of anxiousness if not fear and extreme panic. I’d be too scared to answer; too overwhelmed, and it would take me a while to calm myself down so that I could return your call/message. This is because most of the time every call I would receive would be carrying bad news whether about Syria, family, friends, planned events, and relationships. Consequently, I’ve developed learned helplessness and I’ve attached a negative experience to every phone-call and text.
Late nights were the worst. My restless mind would not let me be at peace. It would turn over and second guess every little activity or plan I’ve had, and just when I would think I’ve calmed down, an anxious thought would slither into my settled mind and shake all my resolution and I would tumble in bed trying to force myself to sleep. But it became self-defeating and my anxiety would take over.
You ever experienced that sickening feeling of a sinking stomach threatening to puke your insides out? That feeling of your heart racing faster than the amount of breaths you could take? You try to catch up, but it becomes harder and harder to breath. You begin to shake uncontrollably and all of a sudden your head becomes so light that everything fades to black ? That’s how it was for me most of the time.
It felt like an invisible thread that would unravel from my favourite sweater. I tried to find it. I tried to make it stop, but the more I searched for it, the more I moved and the faster I lost my breath and the quicker the sweater seemed to unravel leaving me out in the cold. Until I realized that there was no sweater. It was me unraveling myself… losing myself.
And I am so sorry for that. I know the majority of my friends have noticed this sudden change in me. I went from a social butterfly to a petrified turtle sheltered in its shell without an explanation and I’m truly sorry. I just could not handle the fear I’d experience with every social interaction and I didn’t know how to explain it to people.
I never knew what anxiety was until I’ve lived it. It is very much real and tangible even when you cannot place it, even when you cannot justify it or explain it. It exists and it consumes.
So this is me now consciously unraveling myself to you in the hopes that I would maybe overcome it.
I am currently second guessing posting this but… I owe you this much.