ANXIETY IS FUCKING BORING

I’m not the most exciting person. Most days, the most exciting thing I do is break our geriatric tap in the kitchen. Whoosh, there is goes again. The momentary crisis of grabbing cloths and jumping back and hot geysers, a tiny little flood. That’s about as exciting as life often gets for me. Occasionally, I might say something slightly witty at an advert. Or write a tweet that gets FOUR likes and retweet. Put on the good bra to go to the shops. Pulse quickening.

I get plenty pulse quickening with my anxiety. Constant, worsening anxiety that turns every single thing into the same thing. Heart palpitations, hard to breathe, floaty, distant, shaking anxiety.

It used to just be Some Things. The Big Things. I’ve written at length about my fear of death and the therapy that I uselessly underwent to help it. I still have that but my more constant anxiety has even turned that heart stopping, face clawing, screaming existential terror into a mundane nightly chore, like brushing my teeth (just kidding, I don’t brush my teeth nightly, I’m not the Queen).  I climb to bed (it feels like a climb because I know what’s coming, that huge boulder perched on the precipice ready to flatten me), put on my sleepy sounds (an app that has waves on it), try and read shit on my phone until I can’t stay awake, but then I invariably do because I’m reading shit on my phone, then a word, a thought, death, dead, older, you’re 32 in a month, I wonder what it’s like to be 82 and know with utter utter certainty you’ll die soon, some sort of black jellyfish thing floats into my brain and sting sting stings until I can’t breathe, and want to fling myself out of the window, just to not feel this way anymore. I’m in bed, I’m safe, nothing is happening to me.

Every night. I could set my watch by it, if I had a watch. I don’t, because ticking clocks make me think of death and I can’t be in the same room as one. WHAT A CARD I AM.

How BORING IT IS to not be able to be in the same room as a ticking clock.  I just go through my nightly panic attacks alone. Occasionally I’ll have flung myself across the room. Reader, in previous years, I’ve even wet myself from fear. Really quietly. Try not to wake up Robert. “Why don’t you wake me up?” Because it’s fucking BORING. BORING. BORING. How many times have I talked this out, with you, with him, with a therapist, with this blog and Facebook and all the other things I fling my feelings at when I’m sick of them clinging to my heart like tar. It is BORING. I have reduced the most primal feeling of all men, all, since the beginning of time, to something so FUCKING BORING.  So self obsessed, so insular. Panic or paralysis, that’s about it.

It makes me angry.

It makes me angry it’s just gotten worse and worse. When is it my time to be okay? Over the past year or so my anxiety has changed from something that happened to something that just is. Everywhere, always. It has infested every single aspect of my life and made every single thing in my life bloodless.  The only exception is my son, because he is life and also because he is so attention consuming in his tiny toddlerness and I have to stop him walking into traffic it’s hard to think or feel anything else but hypervigilance.

Twee cartoons, though helpful for many, don’t capture the boredom of anxiety. They convey chaos, a mind racing with possibilities and thoughts and fears.  And that is anxiety, but racing isn’t the right word. It’s tumbling, jumbling, crashing, smashing and smithereening. Over and over, so it’s just a hum.  Just one catastrophic thought after another. From the big. I am going to die. Smash, bang. I am going to die soon. Smash, bang, thump. Then you panic. Smithereen. Rinse, repeat. (I am not going to do this thing at work well.  Now I’ve wasted so much time panicking I have no time to do it well. I am scared if I don’t cross the road at the right time I will get hit by a car. Now I am dissociating at the traffic lights and can’t remember how to cross the road. I think I fucked this thing up. Everyone must know I fucked this thing up.  I am anxiously obsessing over this thing to my friends. Now my friends must be annoyed at me.  I am coming across as a weirdo because I am feeling anxious and spacing out. Blah blah blah).  I am not suicidal in the least but I think about killing myself with alarming regularity just to never have another day of anxiety.

I am just really bloody tired of it. It is really exhausting. I don’t know what to do about it anymore. I have to think everything over a thousand billion times. It doesn’t feel like an exaggeration to say that. I find it hilarious I was once described as “impulsive” when I’m now everything I do is at a glacial pace because I have to investigate every other known option and settle on none of them.  I know in a sense it’s habit. Useless CBT tried to break that habit, it didn’t work. I can’t do mindfulness because so much of my anxiety is wrapped up in mortal things; hearts beating, breathing and all that, so it actively makes me panic more.

I was off work for months due to anxiety.  I had counselling, and was kicked out for missing 2 sessions (one flu, one sister visit). The counsellor was also clearly a bit unsure of me, having expected some sort of 12 session wham bam you’re cured mam and getting someone trying to process trauma and manage a mental illness on top of the day to day stuff (and it is the day to day stuff now really, it takes up such a huge amount of my energy to stay relatively sane while holding down 2 jobs to live and trying to keep everyone in my house not homeless). So I went to a private therapist for an assessment, begged skintness (despite having 2 jobs, I am skint) and will do more therapy, and maybe it’ll help, and maybe it won’t. I can’t take SSRIs because they kick off mania which would be another whole boring pile of shit to contend with. I’ve taken propranolol and it does its business but doesn’t do anything about my head.

Here are some ridiculous things my anxiety has made FUCKING BORING lately.

  1. Booking a holiday. Being in the privileged position of being able to take our first family holiday thanks to my mum in law, I decided the most fitting way to celebrate was to faff and worry so much I didn’t book anything for weeks until it was really expensive and we picked somewhere almost at random. Then I worried about that and felt responsible for preemptively ruining everyone’s holiday and terrified of wasting a lot of money we don’t have on not going somewhere utterly perfect and anyway taking a 2.5 year old on holiday is fucking stupid so I’ll have to ask Facebook for opinions and talk about it constantly until I eventually have a panic attack in the street while I’m holding an emergency sausage roll. THANKS BRAIN.
  2. A meteor shower. The splendor of the heavens! Shooting stars! The inky canopy dotted with bright stars, so beautiful and visible at my mum’s up in the mountains of Northern Ireland.  OH HEY BY THE WAY YOU HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA WHY THEY’RE THERE AND YOU’RE GOING TO DIE BEFORE YOU FIND OUT. Time to go back inside.
  3. Watching a beautiful sunset from my bedroom window. Aaaah, isn’t this nice, and it’s light enough still you might not have a panic attack in the dark. Try to go to sleep now. Go on. Sleep like the dead. What are you doing with your tiny finite life YOU COULD BE DOING SO MUCH MORE FOR ALL IT MATTERS ANYWAY. ARRRGGGGH.

NOTHING HELPS. Talking about it doesn’t help because there’s no solutions. That sausage roll might have helped for a few minutes, just like this glass of wine I had might have helped too, but that’s it. No baths, no walks, no runs, no good food, no wanky “self care” helps. Because it, all of it, becomes part of the same stair climbing routine with a panic attack at the end.

I’ve mentioned it before but the insularness of it makes me angry. I wonder sometimes if my anxiety is some sort of pressure release system due to feeling constantly and rightly worried about losing my jobs (therefore I must be perfect at them but then I worry so much I am shit at them) and making my family homeless. It is so internally focused that I have tried to block out the world in case my brain just fucking collapses.  Since I last wrote here a thousand awful things have happened and are still happening so I focus all my anxiety on internal, BORING things, some of which are in my control, and if they aren’t, then I try to wrench them into it. Of course, you can’t control everything, and then you freak out.  And this is the biggest thing in my life I don’t feel I have any control over whatsoever which just frightens me more. And bores me, because I am constantly trying to keep it socially acceptable, and that’s boring.  To just be a stuck record that skips over and over. A voice from a speaker in the distance garbled through air, a static buzz.

I’m bloody fucking sick of it.

 

 

 

 

 

I think I might be in the Observer magazine on Sunday

(Edit; Not writing about world events right now as it would sound trite, but I hope Japanese readers out there are okay).

I think, anyway.  I’m not entirely sure but I wrote about confessional blogging for them, and to my knowledge it’s being published on Sunday.  So if you want to read it, there you go!  It’s about the pros (and pitfalls) of being a non-anonymous blogger.  I haven’t read the final edit of it so it’ll be a surprise to me, too!

So much for not blogging anymore, eh?  I sneakily lost about 70% of my readers in the process, which I don’t mind, and I’m a lot more comfortable here now I have privated a lot of my posts.  I let the domain lapse, too, which I regret a bit, but I didn’t know how to sort it out.  I had started to become freaked out by it all, which I’ve explained before (see above post).  This is a quieter place now, come to my lounge, let us drink tea and talk of times past!

If this is going to be a pluggy self obsessed post, I may as well get it all out the way now…

I wrote an article for lovely One in Four, too, about recovery.  Their current issue is now out. It’s over here:

http://www.oneinfourmag.org/index.php/what-does-recovery-mean/

I also have a backlog of emails to respond to- I’ve been on a shitty mobile connection for two months and I haven’t been keeping up. I was doing blog posts on Word then emailing them and copying and pasting.  I’m aware it’s self important to say such things, but I feel like an arse for not replying to emails when I know the balls it takes people to write them.

I finally have Internet Proper, which means streaming Robocop and fantasising about making tiny armour for the cat.  Aside from wasting my time doing that, I am inundated with school work, which is pretty much sapping my life.   The knockback from KCL somewhat dented my momentum on my course, but I’m shaking it off and trotting on.  I missed my ICT class tonight due to needing to do a presentation on Tuesday.  About polycystic ovarian syndrome.  Anything  you need to know and be delivered nervously on endocrine disorders, I’m yer girl.

Aside from that, I really have almost nothing to say for myself!  I have inadvertently become someone who tidies up the kitchen without being asked.   I have more than two clean dishes on the go at a time.  I’ve taken up fucking BAKING.  Life is quiet and mostly happy. Except…I am struck often by the feeling I am wasting my life and that I have wasted the past five years. I had all this time, and what did I do with it but bitch and moan?  I haven’t done much, haven’t written much that I wanted to (still haven’t written a bloody book, but that’s due to fighting discomfort about being that open to boots in the balls), few jobs, no qualifications.  Starting again, in a way, twenty five and potless for pissing, screwing my eyes up at Harvard referencing and dreaming of being a nurse-writer, or a writer-nurse, depending on how infuriating I am finding the formally mentioned Harvard referencing.  But then I find myself on the toilet downloading PDFs about mental health nursing and psychology and reading them in bed or at the bus stop.

It’s something I’m finding hard to face and reconcile- I know, rationally, I haven’t wasted my life, I’ve done Stuff, some interesting, awesome, fun and unusual stuff.  (Radio 4 is still surreal when I think about, working with Rethink has always been brilliant and fun things are as fun as running over the, “This is a fucking deathtrap” bridge in the Dog Kennel Hill Adventure Playground on Wednesday, and smiling, fondly, like a mum, at the football table I’d gotten for Robert two Christmasses ago, residing happily between the warring arms of two teenagers in the youth portacabin).  I know this, but part of my surprise at enjoying baking and doing the dishes, being domestic, is because I don’t feel 25, as my life- the 9-5 working life, the saving-up-for-the-future-life (impossible on benefits) stopped when I was 21.  I might have had a 15 month old baby by now.  When I hear upstairs’ baby bawling its balls off at 1am I’m relieved, and then I hear it laughing at 8am, and I feel, briefly, wistful.

It’s ordinary, it’s a normal feeling to have.  Everyone goes through phases of thinking, “My life is a waste!” and wishing they were more windswept, more interesting.  They’ll write that novel and travel the world and they don’t, few do. Some try, have a kind of spasmodic crisis.  But it’s not a waste.  Not really. I know this, too.

I’m still doing fine.  Bit hermitty and lonesome, as my social life is dead these days.  I’m too busy doing school work anyway.   I continue to look as though I am storing food in my cheeks.   My writing ability has somewhat deserted me, and it takes a lot more effort to write than I’m used to. I keep missing out words. I know this, I was aware of this before. But it’s irritating, especially as I have essays. They’re supposed to sound dull and dry. But duller and drier still. Ah well.  I am mostly happy, though.  Having small adventures.

There’s a tank in Bermondsey.

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Go and visit it if you’re in London, it’s here!  It’s just there, at the corner of a street on one of the busiest roads in the city, near the monolithic Elephant and Castle.  It’s like walking into an animation.

Anyway, I’m tired, sick of looking at Powerpoint and bibbling!  Goodnight!

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