Some of you may wonder what it feels like to have high functioning anxiety; others may know someone who deal with anxiety and wonder what it is like for them. I am sure everyone is different, but I will try and explain what it is like for me. So pretty much all my life I have been described as shy. I am not the first person to usually strike up a conversation; I keep to myself often in social interactions. I observe everyone and everything around me, and it depends on when I feel comfortable when you will see me come out of my shell. Deep on the inside is this quirky, goofy person with a huge heart. Sometimes the outside doesn’t see this and judges me. And other times they do see this and use it to their advantage. To say that people mistake my kindness for weakness would be an understatement.
Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, my head already hurts, my brain is ALWAYS going a million miles a second. I have been trying for years to find an “off” button. I can literally be in the middle of a conversation and think back to a time in the fifth grade when a girl made fun of me for wearing a black sports bra under my shirt. Still to this day I am not even sure what the point was about that or why I even fucking care so many years later. When something bothers me I either immediately bring it to attention or I let it fester. There is NO in between. I still need to find the balance of letting someone know when my feelings are hurt and just straight standing up for myself and coming off as a bitch. This behavior comes from enduring two years of mental, physical, and emotional abuse from a former boyfriend, sexual abuse as a child, and a sexual trauma I survived while serving in the army. I feel such a strong need to defend myself now because I was defenseless for so long, in so many different ways, and my power and control were stolen from me.
When I go out in public, it takes a toll on my mental state. I hate crowds. I am easily frightened or frustrated. My mind is on high alert. I also zone off. A lot. It takes a lot for me to be mindful, a skill set that I am currently working on. My mind is always in the past or the future and I want to learn to live more in the present. I go to two therapists, a civilian and a military one, and I see one psychiatrist. I have seen an improvement in my mental state since I started attending therapy regularly again. I would encourage anyone and everyone to talk to a therapist, it really helps, honestly. Sure it it is hard to deal with your demons, but you’ll be stronger for it. I promise.