3 Good Things: Day 34
#3 good things
- I helped my friend get motivated enough to actually start her thesis writing which she has delayed for a year.
- I stood up for myself and how a woman should be treated.
- I still like the cat.
I think I have been dealing with anxiety attacks for longer than I thought. In summary, I have decided to go a lot easier on myself and communicate to others when I am anxious and stop hiding it with intellectualised waffle.
I am educated on a normal physical bodily response to stress so I have good intellectual insight into how my body responds to a perceived threat.
What I am starting to realise that I do when I am having an anxiety attack, and the one thing which I cannot seem to control, is that I cry spontaneously. A lot.
I cry a lot whilst hiding the primitive panic on the inside.
I feel suddenly very alone and terrified. Recently, because of personal events, I feel the urge to make contact with my boyfriend when I have an anxiety attack. I will phone (more than I should if I get no response) and send emails because I know I will calm down very fast when I hear his voice because he makes me feel safe. I can often feel like I am losing my mind. I’m aware that I’m not but, at the time, my thoughts race and I feel like everything bad that can happen in a scenario will. If the anxiety attack starts near to when I have talked to my boyfriend I can suddenly think I was a burden to him and feel the need to contact him to make sure I have not ‘destroyed’ us. All I can focus on is hearing his voice again because I know that usually calms me instantly.
I don’t think I even explain it to him. I’m pretty sure I don’t explain it because he’s a great guy and his reaction is usually to shut down and withdraw from me and I know he’d never intentionally do anything to hurt me. I’m embarrassed. How do you explain to someone that all you would like is to hear a phrase or literally their voice as it is associated with safety in your head? I don’t know how to. I probably seem like the most annoying girlfriend in the world. It’s difficult because I was raised to see annoying as a hell of a lot better than temporarily weak or anxious.
When I look back in my life I can see that a lot of the times I have harshly judged myself for being ‘irrational’ in public I was probably experiencing an anxiety attack. I have burst out crying in front of my boyfriend when I was in a hairdressers. I was so ashamed of myself. I didn’t know how to explain the pressure I was putting myself under. I have had crying anxiety attacks before I am expected to socialise. I used to cry in class in school when I had to read out loud. Looking back on those times I can admit that I was incredibly anxious and overwhelmed but I did not know how to express it. In reality I am deeply ashamed I did not act ‘as I was expected to’. I had very high expectations on myself to remain in control and perform perfectly in that situation. I have been raised not to express any anxiety as it is weakness.
So I am not going to be ashamed of my spontaneous crying anymore.
If I’m not ashamed then, in theory, it should fade in intensity.
My boyfriend doesn’t seem to think it’s the end of the world when I cry so slowly I am learning to let it happen so that I can better understand what triggers anxiety attacks. I am going to stop intellectualising my experience to others and admit it is anxiety. I will explain what makes me feel better and learn some more coping skills myself.
He lets me cry.
I used to hate when people called me "silly." I hated how stereotypical it made me sound (look at me, I'm such a manic pixie dream fluffy girl). Now, after following you, I'm like: "YEAH. I'm silly. I'm awesome." I now associate "silly" with cute panda avatar and your range of posts (serious to funny). Thank you Ne and you!
I had toyed with the idea of changing my username over the past few months but realised that to do so would be apologising or hiding a part of me which has helped me find beauty and humour in the darkest of times.
People will always sterotype, label and categorise.
Leave it to others to realise that silliness can exist in parallel with intelligence, insight and existential crises. The inevitable look on someone’s face when they have to break their little mold for me amuses me greatly.
We’re silly. We’re awesome.
#manic pixie dream girl
3 Good Things: Day 33
#3 good things
- My boyfriend and his infinite patience, compassion, support and understanding whilst I deal with my current family issues. I can never express how much it means to me. I try to and then I get messy and emotional and the message I want to convey is lost and I look clingy. Then I overthink everything and try to spend the day resolving everything. I’ve never felt such support. It’s such a novelty that I am still learning how to accept it in a healthy way.
- There’s a cat living in my house. I never thought I was a cat person but my housemate rescued her and I think we’re bonding over our general feeling of fear and wanting to be safe. She’s snuggling next to me on the sofa.
- My nephew. When I tucked him into bed last night I whispered to him that I loved him. We never say that out loud in our family. He just smiled and said he loved me back. Wow.