I’ve written about my anxiety before and how it affects my life. It can make me feel many different feelings scared , angry, exhausted but one of the worst feelings is loneliness.
I have high functioning anxiety which means I experience symptoms like worrying a lot, racing thoughts, over thinking , fear and losing sleep etc but I get through everyday life anyway. I carry on with all of my every day activities , go to work and generally get on.
This can be so lonely as everyone thinks I’m ok as they can’t physically see a problem. Only I know about what is going on in my own mind. You are the only one who knows what you are thinking and no one else sees that so they can’t offer to listen or help as you isolate your feelings because you feel ashamed.
Lonely because no one hears my thoughts as I lay in bed awake at 2am , 4am or 5.30am. It’s just me and anxiety which is the worst kind of company to have. Anxiety is like the opposite of a cheerleader , instead of cheering you on it’s there questioning everything you do , taunting you.
Lonely because it’s just me thinking and nobody there with me to rationalise and process my thoughts. Instead I amplify something so simple and it will build and build all day until my brain is ready to explode and I can’t think anymore , I can’t feel and I just go off in to my own bubble.
Lonely because even loved ones don’t get anxiety and what it mean , how it feels. No matter how much I try to explain they just don’t understand. It’s so hard as you want people to really get it,to say hay I know how that feels,let’s work through this together , I can help you. I guess because if you have someone else there with you feeling it and guiding you then your not alone.
Lonely because you feel ashamed that you have this illness and that you have let it control so much of your life. Ashamed because I think people will stereotype me , label me , think I am weak. It took me years to admit to myself and then others that I have anxiety and I still feel embarrassed talking about it sometimes.
The worry can also be a lonely place. I’m worrying about something and someone else dealing with the exact same situation is so chilled out and not worried at all. So why am I worried ? Why am I building this up so much? Why am I different?
I worry that people won’t like me if I say I have anxiety or I will loose friends. I also worry that people will think I’m a bad Mum for letting anxiety sometimes rule me. I even decide in my head that people don’t like me. This can feel incredibly lonely as you want to let people in you really do but anxiety tells you they don’t like you , so you just keep yourself to yourself sometimes as that’s your safe place.
I am learning to control my anxiety and sometimes for days even weeks it disappears. Then from nowhere and totally out of the blue it sucker punches me right there in the pit of my stomach and again it’s just me and it. The lonely place.