Moving forward with the shadow of Anxiety.

“I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.” 

– Lewis Carroll.

28th May 2019.

I believe that everyone has a box in their head where all the nightmares are stored, filled to the brim with past experiences or just horrific things your imagination has conjured up. My rule was to not, under any circumstances, let that box open. You will live… but to regret it; it’ll torture and torment you. Thats what I thought, before today.

Today I had my induction to therapy. I knew I was going to have to wrap my fingers around the lid of that box and rip it open, let all the nightmares and horror stories of my past fly out and whisper my secrets into a stranger’s ears. I thought by doing that, it was going to cause a ripple effect of pain, hurt and disgust throughout my body, but I was wrong.

Letting out your pain to someone who doesn’t know you, can’t judge or belittle you, is one of the most freeing things I have ever done in my life. I honestly wish I had done it sooner. I’m not saying it was nice – of course it wasn’t. Replaying the list of reasons as to why your brain turns into goop, reliving memories and darkness from your past and present – that in itself is never going to be easy. However, what thing worth having comes easily? I don’t know how everyone else feels, but I’m more than happy to break myself a little more to get myself back. It’s worth it.

I learnt a lot in that conversation. I learnt that although I feel like I’m stuck in the deepest ditch and sometimes feel unable to climb back out, I am, in fact, so much closer to reaching the surface than I thought I was. It also opened my eyes and gave me the push to change parts of my life that need changing. The main one being something extremely important, that completely shapes you day in and day out.

My ongoing story of friendships is sadly a sordid one in a lot of ways. At the present time in my life, anyway. I’m sitting here, with metaphorical cuts all over my back from past friendships. People who I trusted, who have turned around and stuck blades deep into my skin. They’ve left marks that never go away, and burn with betrayal from their actions. Cut by cut, the tears and pain, they’ve torn away bits of the trust I have left to give. 

Do I care that those people hurt me? Yeah. Honestly, I’m pissed I allowed people into my life who must have not known me at all, or not cared enough about me, to then go and hurt me without a second thought. I allowed them to find a way in. I let down my guard. 

However, I’m not sad they’re gone. Those people who I thought were colourful, wonderful and full of light, were in fact black and white, dreary and dark and not worth one piece of my time. 

My anxiety had stemmed from friendships. Mostly the bad and poisonous ones – people who accuse you of being something you’re not because they don’t possess the ability to trust in their friends the way that they should, especially after knowing you for such an extensive amount of time. Getting called names because they believe you’re not worthy of being a good friend, or have woken up one day deciding they don’t think you’re worth it anymore. Thats tough and lonely, and just damn well soul crushing.

Anxiety found the tiny parts of my heart and my soul old friends threw away and trampled on. She gathered up all the broken pieces, sewed them together then made a counterfeit invitation into my head. Somewhere she isn’t wanted, and doesn’t belong. 

One of the fundamentals of friendships is support. Good friends support each other, no matter what the problem. Which leads to another reason anxiety is a grade A D**kwaffle – added onto the never ending list of her f***ery. This is that you can catch her like a cold, and anything that can be caught that can take a toll on your body is NOT good. 

You can be a hero, you can support your friends day in and day out, but it does, and will, take a toll on you. My anxiety has always been underlying, it’s no one’s fault I am where I am today. However, pulling back a little from other people’s problems – not to mention that trigger inducing cesspool, social media – can really help you start to heal.

True friendships are rare. You find the people who stand out amongst the crowd. They shine brighter, hold you up when you’re breaking, they love you through all your flaws, help you through the toughest times in your life. You’re lucky to have people like that beside you, fighting alongside you. They’re my soldiers in arms. They’re all I need. They’re my extended family.

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