High Functioning Anxiety 8

I have been trying to take better care of myself, sleeping well, exercising, saying no to things immediately if they don’t feel good to me, just doing things for myself, by myself… like taking walks and taking pictures …


I’d rather just drown in a field than anything else. My chest hurts right now… I wish it weren’t raining so I could go on a walk.

And as much as I’ve been trying, my world has continued to seem rather gray. I still lack energy and motivation most days, and feel as though I’m scraping by doing the bare minimum in my PhD program, even though there is evidence to the contrary. I still meet a cohort member to learn Muay Thai, even though I hate gyms and feel anxious/stupid/like he’s humoring me most of the time. I got my hair cut today, it looks nice, but I felt awkward the entire time. This had nothing to do with the woman cutting my hair, she did a great job. I just didn’t want to sit there staring at myself in the mirror. And because I often feel anxious/repulsive, I don’t want to be around other people/offend anyone/bother anyone/repulse anyone, so I don’t like being physically close with people. So that was hard.

I also think I’ve realized how my home life growing up has contributed to my anxiety, and making that connection is something that I hadn’t done before. I might be genetically predisposed to anxiety, or whatever, but recognizing how I grew up and how it wasn’t normal has been sort of informative. I never really felt comfortable at home because I was never sure how my father was going to act. Sometimes he was nice and expected me to give him attention, other times he would get angry for no reason and yell, other times he would be distant and want me to keep away. I never knew which one I would get, so I tended to try to stay away.  I’ve grown up always feeling tension in the house and that I had to cater to his mood, which I sort of learned from my mom. Now, as an adult, I recognize that, but my nervous system has been hardwired to feel like I don’t have a way out and just have to accept how people treat me aka people can say they love me and not act like it, and I have to be ok with that. I know that’s not true anymore, but that’s how it feels and I think that has manifested in my relationships with men and how they’ve failed… or rather, how I lost myself in them … and failed myself.

The one good thing that happened recently was going to visit a friend I haven’t seen in a while and her two young boys (3 months and 2 years). Babies make me anxious, so I didn’t hold them, but I did get to visit with my friend who has been through trauma similar to mine. It’s nice to be able to talk to someone who understands what it’s like to intellectually know that you shouldn’t be anxious, but your body still responds as if there is a threat and your mind dissociates and you’re just gone. She asked me to come back some time soon because she’d like to spend some time talking to me while her boys are sleeping. That sort of made me happy, but I just hope she doesn’t think that I have everything under control with my anxiety/trauma response… because I really don’t. I don’t know. I enjoy spending time with her and talking, so maybe that’s all she meant. She talked about how when her kids are loud it triggers/activates her, and I can definitely relate to that. When people yell I just go away… and sometimes I can’t bring myself down/back until the next day. I still haven’t mastered that. Oh well. I’m exhausted and just gave myself the day off because Wednesdays and Sundays are pretty much the only days I don’t HAVE to be physically at school or work. I don’t know. And then I always feel guilty or judged by my father for not doing work when I’m at home   (I live with my parents). But whatever … I know I could support myself if/when I choose to move out. I just often feel guilty about everything, again, likely going back to my situation growing up. I think I’m rambling and done for today.


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