What does it feel like? What is it? If you don’t have it, it must be difficult to imagine why and how you could just all the sudden feel so anxious that you can’t work properly.
It goes like this: Life is wonderful! I enjoy every moment, sometimes so much that I want to scream out of joy, smiling to random people at the town. I make coffee, sunbathe at the balcony, go for a long walk, read a good book, play a good game. I keep myself busy, I go places, I have stuff to do, I enjoy life.
Until one day I wake up. Either something has happened, I’ve gotten a message, something bad has happened, some horrible news, or then nothing out of the ordinary, just a normal morning. But all of a sudden it takes all of my energy just to get out of the bed. I dress myself, feeling so bad that I can’t even think about eating. I can’t imagine calling anyone, opening the TV or sitting in front of the computer. I lie in bed and stare at the ceiling. I’m so tired that I can’t even really think.
If something has happened to set this all into motion I might cry. Or then I just lay there and think how the hell did I end up here again, why did it happen all over again! Why!
And how do I get back to normal? What do I have to do to feel good again? Why does it always come back to this? There are a lot of good days nowadays, it could be weeks. But then, always at some point, it comes back to this. Always.
When you feel like life is finally getting better, it comes back to this. Anxiety, so huge that it paralyzes the whole body and mind. I can’t move, I just do not have the energy to do anything. Everything makes me anxious, why am I here again!
Why can’t I be normal? Why does anxiety take control of me, how do I stop it? How, next time when I feel it coming, when I feel it eating me from the inside out, when all the colours have been swept out of my life and everything is turning grey, how do I return the colours back into my life?
My stomach aches, my throat is suffocating me, my neck is hurting so much. I sleep for 12 hours and wake up tired. I wonder how long it will take this time. I wonder how was I ever happy. I can’t smile anymore, I forgot how. My chin hurts so bad that I can’t even try.
When I make it trough, I’ll feel better. I know it. I know I have to fight, to climb out of this hole in the ground until life is good again. But when the hole is so deep, that you cannot even see light or feel warmth, it is very difficult to imagine it getting better. I wonder how I could laugh just a few days ago. How did I? How did anything feel so good that it made me laugh? How did I laugh? How did I do anything? How did I even want to do anything?
And yet, I still grab on with the last of my strength. I’ve promised myself to never give up, no matter what. I am stronger than this disease! It is going to get better, now matter how fucking horrible it feels right now. I get up. I hurt and feel dizzy but don’t care. I go out. I walk in a park without seeing the beautiful flowers around me, without hearing the birds sing, without smelling the freshly cut lawn, without feeling the warn summer wind. But I am out, away from the walls that were trying to suffocate me.
When I get back home, I fall asleep and don’t dream. At night I awake and stay up half the night, tossing and turning, feeling the weight of the world. The next day is the same. Repeat of the last. Nothing feels better, nothing feels. And still I try. I try my best, with the energy I have left. I sleep a lot and do very little, but I still do something.
It’s been five days and… You never get used to this. You can’t. You go to sleep and wish for a better tomorrow but your hope is so lost that it’s very faint. But tomorrow is still a new day. It can bring a surprise with it. You can never know with life.
In the morning I wake up and the first thought in my mind is, that I want to cook something. I might even realize what a good turn this is, or then not yet. I cook a dinner and the delicious smell from the oven makes me sniff the air. I wait the moment I get to taste the freshly cooked delicious food.
Suddenly I smell! And await something. Even dream! And so the slow return to normal has begun. Once again. Soon things don’t seem so overwhelmingly difficult, as they did the day before. I get things done without thinking about it too much. Life is not smiling yet, but I’m no longer in a deep dark hole either. I open the balcony door and notice some blue amongst all the grey. And rays of sunshine landing on my feet. I smile. Without noticing it. I can’t be happy yet, but soon I can do that too.
This is life with an anxiety disorder.