My Anxiety has taken four perfectly acceptable blog posts from me just today. Yesterday it took six idea’s and three different strategies in a game. My Anxiety also took a perfectly acceptable dinner conversation and turned it into a frustrated mess that ended with the need for both me and my girlfriend to vent our frustrations, neither of which were each other. My Anxiety takes from me every day. Today I needed to hear this so I’m going to write it out, because I know that tomorrow things will be taken again because of my Anxiety, and I will succumb to it, but I also have hope. Let me tell you what it means for me to say I have hope.
I have hope that there will come a day that my Anxiety doesn’t control me. I have hope that there will come a day that I can vent my emotional frustrations that are controlled by Anxiety long before my Autistic mind considers them a threat and freezes me in place emotionally until I am able to process these things. I have hope that one day I will choose my success and my Anxiety will allow me to fail. I have hope that all these things will come true. Yet to have this hope I must be realistic, I must accept the truths of my Anxiety and what created such Anxiety, what fuels such Anxiety.
Being realistic about this topic means I must accept that I am a victim. This does not mean that I desire to be a victim, or that I want sympathy. No this means that I have to accept that there are some things that happen in this world that do not allow someone to fight through victimhood. To move past such issues means to accept them as they are succumbing to all of their issues, giving into the weakness and using it as strength moving forward. This has been how I dealt with many things in my life except I never truly understood what I was doing until recently. See if you’ve read this blog since its inception you will have read about my Autism, the turmoil surrounding diagnosis, and especially how it has affected my life. I bring these things up to shift for a moment to express that answers are powerful. Powerful enough to change perception of the world around us at a moments notice, this can be seen everywhere especially lately in the political atmosphere of the world. Everyone feels a little bit weaker today than they did in January of 2020. Yet Anxiety does not have the same answers that other mental health issues can provide.
If you are depressed the answer can be a pill, or exercise, maybe a chemical stimulant, it can even be something external like electro shocks. In extreme cases depression cannot be cured but can be accepted. Autism is the same way, accept the person you are, accept that you can move mountains and still feel a little different, and accept that inside of your house you need to be comfortable. Anxiety is not these things; it to me is a paradox. Such a paradox that it is a circle which feeds upon itself creating more problems.
The Anxiety circle as illustrated by Beacon House.
This image is amazing to describe what the Anxiety cycle feels or looks like to others who do not experience anxiety. Yet when I am experiencing Anxiety it does not look like this, I cannot find an image that would properly describe how Anxiety feels so I will describe it.
The trigger point does not need to be anything significant; it can be something as simple as the greeting, “How are you?” because there’s so many socially acceptable ways to answer that question. So now we have our trigger, right? But for me the trigger point that creates the feeling, is also part of my behavior. So, follow me for a bit, try not to get lost. The trigger of a question has created a thought, a feeling, and a behavior, which have all created a trigger, that creates more thoughts, feelings, and behavior. I have learned how to mask my body and behavior, so the other individual does not see my Anxiety building, but my thoughts, and feelings have succumbed to a circular feeding that creates more Anxiety. Now this may only have taken second, of which now my body especially my face begin to feel flush, this is also a trigger for me, so now I have thoughts directed towards my body, which creates more thoughts and feelings. The mask of my behavior is my more resilient coping skill as I have taught myself through life experienced to be able to mask my behavior for months at a time, even if it seem as if my mood is deteriorating because of any types of frustration. So now those mood deteriorations which are breaking down the behavior masking which I utilize to make sure that I am socially acceptable become trigger points. This could be something as simple as saying something wrong or not realizing my tone is quite different from what I expect it to be when I spoke. This can easily come from something as simple as a question like “How are you?”. Autism makes this even more complex, but we will save that for another time.
I chose not to give a number of trigger points because I did not want anyone who experiences Anxiety to have to read what I wrote and potentially be triggered because they got lost in the writing, as I lost myself a few times writing it. Please do not get it twisted, I will deal with these issues, and someday I will be able to reflexively deal with these issues with a different and more comprehensive coping mechanism. The truth is if you’re reading this you will have the ability to do the same thing as well, or if you have not experienced Anxiety you will not be able to recognize it better if you want to, that is not my choice though so I cannot tell you what you will do. Thank you for reading this, and if you would like to keep me accountable for succumbing to my Anxiety commenting on my Blogs is the best way.