Anxiety manifests in many different ways. I don’t think two people have the exact same experience with anxiety. With awareness, people are talking about anxiety, and how they struggle with it. People are learning that it’s more than a panic attack.
I’ve talked quite a few times here on the blog about my anxiety expressing itself as anger, rather than panic. I pick fight instead of flight. It also shows itself in other ways, ways that are more subtle. To be completely cliche, it’s all in my head, and at the opposite pole to anger. It’s about making myself smaller, rather than attacking when I feel threatened.
I take things personally, I roll them around in my mind and apologise for my existence through my actions. Fuck, it sounds so conceited. Why would anyone care? I tell people to stop feeling judged, to stop judging and yet here I am feeling the full wrath of my own words. That’s the crazy thing about anxiety. It’s not logical.
On one hand I have this white hot rage that spills over people. I yell, I push back, I don’t give a fuck. Then in a complete polar opposite I am too afraid to press the stop button while riding the bus. I have to build up the courage. I don’t want to upset the driver. I don’t want to be a burden.
I demand better mental health treatment, pushing when things don’t feel right. Yet I curl in a ball of fear when asked what I do want. I feel that I can’t say what I want, that to make demands makes me less sick. If someone else suggests it, then I must need it. I don’t know what I want, but I don’t want that.
My subtle anxiety is in response to my volcano anxiety. If I think those things about others, then surely others think those things about me. My anger attacks the behaviours I hate about myself, the behaviours I wish I saw in myself too. I wish that I could assert myself better, without an eruption. I wish that I didn’t feel the need to apologise for daring to exist.