He’s back again! I don’t know how long it’s been but he seemed to arrive suddenly yesterday, during the late-afternoon/evening. Anxiety. Fear. Hopelessness. However I like to label it, he’s here with me again right now.
As I haven’t written much at all of late, I’ve decided to try and compile a list of my specific anxieties; something that I can refer to later on and hopefully begin to assess and address each of them, one by one. This post is mostly for future reference.
My six-week evening course in Anxiety Management comes to an end this week. It’s been very educational, that’s for sure, and there are positive experiences I can take from having interacted with the group. But, I’ve barely been able to focus or concentrate fully on any given task, especially when it has come to homework. My mind is over-occupied with growing fear for a friend and I’m struggling generally to cope. I noticed during one homework assignment that I was criticising myself for not being able to cope in a situation, instead of fearing the generalised situation itself… If that makes sense?!
I’d like to thank each of you who has been there for me personally through e-mail and also, for those of you reading this who have also supported me through this blog. I am some way from giving up but, as much as I am struggling, I’m doing a better job of trying to hide it. I’m aiming to start the Low Self-Esteem course, which I think begins in July. But, if I’m anything like I am now then, it could be a waste of time.
For now though, he is my list of anxieties I’m aware that I suffer from. I’ll try to add to this if and when.
Toilet Anxiety – a fear of using shared, public loos that affects my diet and the irregular intake of evening meals on an average weekday.
Social Anxiety – fear of interacting with new people and feelings of inadequacy. A constant sense that people (even in passing cars along a busy road) may be noticing me.
Fear of Men – this relates to issues with my dad and a lack of a sustainable father figure growing up.
Fear of my Father – as above but more personal and much harder to avoid, as you’re ‘supposed‘ to love your family…
Fear for my friend’s safety, wellbeing and life at the hands of an abusive man.
It’s been years since I last visited the dentist. Now, I can’t even pick up the phone to make a new appointment (I’m not afraid of routine check-ups).
That’s my list so far and I may well add to it in future as I’m sure there are others.
Before I disappear to clean up and get ready to head our later for a gig I’ve been invited to this evening, I’d like to sit here and attempt to collect my thoughts on my experience during week one of the Anxiety Management course; funded by the NHS and available locally through Positive Step.
Why do I often feel as though people don’t believe me?
I’m not an overly sarcastic person; that side only really shows through when I’m feeling slightly confident and even close to relaxed around people. Yet, I can think of several occasions throughout my life where others don’t appear to accept some of the truths and feelings that I’m trying to share.
I was talking the mum about many things the other evening and, in my attempt to be completely honest with people from this year on; I began by telling her that I only needed her to listen when I talk. That her opinion or advice is not something I am asking for and that some things she said before Christmas only made me feel guilty. She took this well and so, the conversation went on and lasted for some time.
Mum told me about the first time she had seen me ‘like this’ and that was over a decade ago, when I was secretly skipping lessons during my A-Levels at school. This merged in to days before transforming in to weeks. I still don’t know how I got away with it for so long or, to be honest, why I ever did it. I can remember being home the day my mum answered a call from the Head of Sixth Form… I think I was supposed to be in one that day yet, I was hidden upstairs in my room. Maybe even lying in bed; listening and waiting.