Is it anxiety?
Is it anxiety? What is this feeling that affects me? Sometimes I’m ok and I don’t think I can feel it; I wish I always felt calm like that. I didn’t even know what anxiety was until I heard somebody mention that word, now I read about it all the time. When did this start? I can’t remember.
I lay in bed at night and so many thoughts go over in my head - did what I said earlier sound silly? I bet people think I’m stupid. I wish I could go away where nobody knows me, then I could start again. Why did I wear that? I regret it now - how could I? I should have stayed at home.
I’ve been invited to a party - what if nobody talks to me? I’m sure there will be people there who are interesting and funny. I don’t think I’ll be able to hold a drink without my hands shaking; or even sometimes my head starts to shake, I get a stiff neck, and can’t put my glass to my mouth. I have to sip when no one is looking. I can cancel, say I don’t feel well - it’s not worth putting myself through it but I really want to go. I hate this feeling - why am I like this? Everyone else gets to enjoy themselves but I can’t. Perhaps I could go if I have a drink first, relax myself, stop me feeling shaky.
Look at me - I’m ugly, overweight, have no decent clothes... who would want to talk to me? I wouldn’t. It’s easier if I stay home.
I really want to see that show in London but I’d have to get on the train. What if I don’t make it to the station in time? I’ll be late, then I’d have to walk into the theatre and everyone would look at me. What if I go to the wrong theatre? Also, I have to sit on the train - someone will sit opposite me and might start laughing at me; I’ll probably want to cry. It’s easier if I stay home.
I get so fed up with going in to work every day; it’s torture, but I have no choice, I need to pay my bills. I’m fed up with going to bed with this knot in my stomach every night and finding it’s still there when I wake up in the morning. I enjoy my job but I don’t think I’m very good at it; I get by, my boss seems to be happy enough, but I get this feeling that one day he’s going to come in and say we’re letting you go, so I try really hard but that just makes me feel worse - my boss must think I’m pathetic. I’m sure my work colleagues pull faces behind my back. I wish I could just stay at home.
You're not alone
Many people feel this way; often it feels as though we are alone in our suffering, we don’t want to speak about it - it’s embarrassing. Not to your counsellor it isn’t. Don’t suffer alone - share how you feel; knowing you will be listened-to in confidence by a professional can be extremely therapeutic and life-enhancing.
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