Why Are You Anxious?

I must admit that I’ve written this blog post before. In its previous incarnation, I was plagued with anxiety—trapped, you could say, in a cycle in which I believed that something bad was going to happen as a result of events that occurred previously. It made for sloppy writing; and, in my opinion, was not as coherent as I wanted to be.

So, with that being said, you might be wondering:

What is this blog post (and was the old one) about?

It was, and is, about anxiety, and the way that I don’t deal with it well.

You might also be wondering:

Why don’t you deal with anxiety well? Isn’t it a normal feeling?

Yes. Feeling anxious about something is a normal feeling. It’s a biological construct that has allowed us to survive over countless generations as our brains evolved. Unfortunately, evolution is a slow creature, and has not yet caught up with the reality of the modern-day world. Most people don’t deal with the fears we used to hundreds of years ago—mainly: the fear of the night, of the monster, of early death. Now we have fears such as taxes and governments and the ability to survive in a society that is oftentimes not as sympathetic as we like it to be.

You might also be wondering why I mentioned evolution. In this case, it’s meant to display the downfalls our brains can impose upon is.

I’ve written about why I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the past. What you might also not know that I also suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, both of which contribute to my already-erratic thought processes caused by distressing events from my childhood.

When I originally wrote this post, I was suffering from anxiety related to my day job. Though I can’t go into detail about it due to confidentiality agreements, I can say that the situation I originally wrote about hasn’t presented itself as a larger problems. At the time, however, the fear that it would affected me immensely.

Why?

I will use the original metaphor from my old post to demonstrate, as others who have read my original post stated that they identified with it.

Imagine you’re throwing pebbles into a lake. Normally, those pebbles would create minuscule splashes upon contact with water, then ripples that would extend as far as their force of impact would dictate. However—what would happen if you threw a say, quarter-sized pebble into a lake, and it created an impact that you would expect from something much larger (in this case, we’ll say a fist-sized rock?) You would be shocked, naturally; and as you watched the ripples from this new impact extend, you would wonder: why did this happen? Why is it doing this? And where did this sort of reaction come from?

With this metaphor in mind: many people with mental health disorders experience magnified levels of stress. One stressor (pebble) is different from another (pebble,) and the impacts they cause (ripples) depends widely on the person and their ability to handle stress (the undulating waves.)

Most people can brush off simple stressors as if they are nothing. Others, like myself, feel the residual energies from the impact as the aforementioned waves crash against the shores of our consciousness. One ripple can be doubt, another frustration, another paranoia and then panic. In my case, my stressors are amplified by conditioning relating to past events. In this way, my brain constantly goes from zero to one-hundred on the panic scale. In that regard, it postulates: if I’m not freaking out about a stressful situation, surely it isn’t stressful. Right?

That’s wrong, and I’ve fought for years to try and recondition my brain to defeat this form of hell. Fortunately for me, I have recovered some, in a way. But like all brain damage, there are scars. And if we know anything about scars, it’s that wounds run deep, and once there, never truly leave.