Sometimes I wonder how I have attained even the smallest measure of success in my life – with demon lizards on my shoulder, chunky Sheniqua on my ass and the biggest hangup I possess hanging out with me 24-f*cking-7.
That huge hangup is ANXIETY….which in reality for me - is fear.
Sometimes it cripples me. Always it weighs me down.
Sometimes it’s just too much extra baggage to carry. Always I just want to be normal.
I used to be able to hide it better. Before I took on two extra jobs. And before Rambo became even more politically involved than he was previously. And way before he took on his 4th job as a semi driver.
Being social wasn’t so much of a requirement. One full time job for me and one for Rambo at the prison – neither required nothing of me outside of our home.
It feels like the phone never stops ringing. People never stop coming over. I’ve turned off the instant chat messaging on my Facebook. It’s impossible to stay a hermit these days.
So the anxiety level is often through the roof. The tension in my body is something I physically feel.
I say it’s a wonder I’ve been successful because my extra jobs and Rambo’s require phone calls and visits and meetings. All things for me that induce hives and often make my stomach physically hurt.
I wait until the last possible moment to “speak” to anyone. Even when it’s not business…like last night a friend called for the second time. On my cell phone. That I was holding in my hand.
I watched it ring. I couldn’t pick it up. I let it go to voicemail and heard her “annoyed tone” that this was the second time she called and could I call her back?
Um nope. But I’ll text you in the morning. Which I did. I did not call her. I could not.
There are only about 3 people I speak to without hesitation. Rambo, Jenny and my mom. That’s it. Everyone else is questionable and highly unlikely.
I use email like it’s the only form of communication on earth. I text about everything. Anything to not have to talk to or make eye contact with someone.
All of this makes me angry. It pisses me off. Even if I love you – it’s hard to talk to you or spend time with you or leave the house for you….even when everything in me misses you and wants to talk with you and love you.
I wish I could just say to everyone – how I behave or stay away or cancel is never personal. It’s all on me. And I’m sorry. Please understand.
I cannot control it…but I can force myself to fight it. I don’t want to be the girl who never shows up. I refuse to miss out on everything in life because of some asshole chemicals in my brain that try to control me.
And even if I could just tell people – I’m not sure they’d believe me. The people I have told often are in shock. I get the “but you look like you’re having so much fun” – “how can you be covered in hives and want to throw up when you’re so happy?” questions.
Ugh. Listen – my MIND is overjoyed to be here with you – people I love. My ENTIRE BODY on the inside is revolting and by the time I get home I’ll be sick. I’ve had 30 some years to master never letting it show….but trust me…I’m dying on the inside.
Pride wouldn’t let me tell you anyway. Instead of accepting this is a part of me and learning not to blame myself – there is still shame in not having the strength to have overcome this after all this time.
Irrational? You bet. Still true? Absolutely.
There is still hope for me though. In figuring out how to stop my 4 a week migraine cycle – I finally had to admit to my doctor that I suffer from debilitating anxiety.
I looked her straight in the eye and said, “I want to be in this office with you figuring my health out. I admire and respect and like you. I am not afraid of you. Yet I almost cancelled this appointment and didn’t come. My body would rather be anywhere but here. But my mind is exactly where I want and need to be.”
And then I showed her my chest. Covered in hives.
There’s no way things like this should be this hard for you. The amount of exhaustion you feel mentally and physically every day must be crippling you.
Um yah. By the way…speaking of exhaustion…I don’t sleep and if I do it’s never restful.
Holy Christ – no wonder you have migraines.
Sigh. I finally did it. I finally told a doctor the whole truth. It nearly killed me but then again – so did the migraines, anxiety and insomnia.
Fear of judgement is a powerful thing. Fear of being thought of as weak. Fear of not being in control. Fear of feeling shame and guilt. Fear of being less than the person I pretend I am.
Just fear. A little 4 letter word that can ruin me ….if I let it.
Little by little, I am learning to let go of the fear and shame….
….and embrace the warrior in me.
Warriors don’t get hives. They are fearless.