Sometimes My Anxiety Gets the Best of Me & Takes Control
“Anxiety is a sly parasite. It creeps slowly into your mind, until one day, it takes over completely.”– T.A. Massa, Silent All These Years
There are some days where my anxiety gets the best of me. It completely takes over and I simply lose all control. Unfortunately – today is one of those days.
Like so many mornings, I woke up with anxiety today. It hovered over me from the moment I opened my eyes. I knew right from the get go that today was going to be a challenging one.
I immediately noticed that my chest felt heavy and tight (a classic symptom of anxiety for me). My stomach was in knots and I wanted nothing more than to stay in bed and go back to sleep.
But like so many of us, I had my obligations and had to face the day.
So, I let out a big sigh and reluctantly, I pushed off the covers. I despised that I already felt this way and I wasn’t even out of bed yet. It made me feel completely helpless.
After struggling for a bit, I quickly became aware of how intense my anxiety was. In addition to the chest pain, I was having difficulty breathing, and overall just felt shaky and lightheaded.
I knew these symptoms alone can sometimes indicate that something much more serious is going on. So, I quickly convince myself that my ultimate demise is just around the corner. And that I must be having a heart attack or something of that nature.
I know it can sound silly, but that is what anxiety does. It can cause you to panic and that panic can make you feel like you are dying at this very moment.
As the day went on and my anxiety remained, I began to feel like I was in a complete fog and that I really wasn’t here. It felt as though I was detached from reality. I wasn’t my usual self and was struggling to focus on work and personal priorities.
I also didn’t have an appetite and skipped breakfast without even realizing it. That’s when I knew my anxiety had complete control.
In a sudden panic, I abruptly stand up from my computer desk and begin to pace around my home office.
I wonder, as I often do with anxiety, “is something really going on? Or is this just my anxiety? Am I ignoring my symptoms, or should I really go to the hospital? If something is really going on, I’m alone at home and no one will find me for hours!”
Unfortunately, anxiety can spiral out of control that fast. My anxiety can go from zero to ten in just seconds and oftentimes without warning.
If you’re anything like me, you beat yourself up because you know that likely, it is just your anxiety convincing you that something terrible is happening. And then you shame yourself even more because you feel like you’re dismissing yourself.
In moments of intense anxiety, it can sometimes be extremely difficult to gauge what is really happening. And because of the toll anxiety can take, I typically have to call my day as done once I’ve had dinner. That is – if I don’t skip dinner altogether.
Whatever the case may be, I usually crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, curl up in a ball, and sleep it off (hopefully).
As you can see – anxiety is disheartening, debilitating, and just plain exhausting.
It’s not fun and isn’t something that you can wish away (although, it would be nice if you could). It definitely isn’t something that is made up either – it is very real.
We all have our own anxieties. And like any other illness, it can be stronger on certain days and it can come and go. But no matter your anxiety levels, it’s okay to struggle with them. Even if you’ve struggled with it your entire life.
And it’s also okay if your anxiety “ruins” your day every now and then.
I admit – I’m usually quite hard on myself when anxiety takes over my day (something I’m trying to work on). Whenever anxiety gets the best of me, I feel like I’m absolutely crazy and blame myself for being the reason why my day was ruined.
And while that is true to a certain extent, as we all have control of our choices, there are some days where I absolutely lose to the struggle. And you know what? That’s perfectly fine.
I know (from personal experience) that oftentimes, whenever you find yourself in the middle of those anxiety packed moments, it can feel like it’s not okay.
Anxiety can knock you down and cause you to question everything you thought you knew about yourself.
You see as I’m typing this, I’m still experiencing intense anxiety. My day has been completely overtaken by it and there will probably be no end in sight until I get some shut eye. Sometimes, my anxiety lingers on into the next day. But that doesn’t mean that I failed at controlling my anxiety.
Anyone who struggles with anxiety will feel defeated by it at some point or another. That’s how it goes unfortunately. But struggle doesn’t mean failure. It just means that you’re human.
I’m certain that this won’t be the last time that my anxiety gets the best of me. But the best thing I can do for myself in those moments is to be fully aware and just breathe. It sounds so simple, but many times it has been the only thing that can bring me back to reality.
Whenever you have those dark and difficult days, please remember that your anxiety isn’t you. It definitely knows how to make you think that – but you are so much more than your anxiety. Anxiety may decide to take over at times, but it doesn’t define who you are.
So how about you? Does your anxiety ever get the best of you? If so, how do you handle it?