View Full Version : What's Annoying About Anxiety
05-29-2011, 01:26 PM
So I'm anxious. I deal with it. The panic, the breathlessness.
What annoys me though, is because I don't cope well in certain situations that are anxiety provoking to me, a lot of people think I'm stand offish.
The anxiety? I can get away with that; hiding the symptoms and stuff. However, I can't change people's attitudes.
I'm not a bad person, it's just that I have allowed my life to be controlled by my emotions. I can't change. I can't be sociable if it's going to put me in an anxious position.
I just wanted to vent. I know I can't change it.
Oh, and I wanted to know if there are other people who think the way I do about their anxiety.
05-29-2011, 03:09 PM
Oh, and there's another thing that annoys me about being anxious. This is the first time I've ever admitted it to anyone outside myself, but it's the time I spend in the toilet. I'm envious of people who can sit in the toilet. There are some who can even read! Me, I spend as little time there as possible. Something else is always more important.
I suppose that's comical to some but not to me. It means that I usually return to the toilet, because I never stayed in there long enough the first time. Sometimes, I don't go back there, but there are consequences I don't like to write about.
Why am I like that. I suppose while I'm in the toilet, I'm unable to control anything outside of it. I get very anxious, and out of that little room as quickly as possible.
There's another thing too. I hate anything to be different in my life. This includes inanimate objects. There are a lot of people who like what they know, and because I can be indescisive that's not a bad thing.
It's hard to believe but I bought a cupboard for my living room. I've had it a couple of years now. It took me 9 years to decide on a cupboard I wanted and if I'm living here when I die, that cupboard will still be here. I can't change it now. If I get anything new, it has to be a duplicate of what I've had before. The only reason I'd get anything new is because the old piece of furniture is broken.
I was going to log out, then I remembered that annoyed me. That dialogue box always comes up that says 'Are you sure', and I always think 'I'm anxious not mad. Of course I'm sure.
Serious stuff, eh?
05-29-2011, 07:10 PM
I know how you feel - there are certain situations that make me uncomfortable and if it means I'm a party pooper for not going along, so be it!
As for the toilet issue, I am at my smartest on my toilet. If I could bring my toilet to my desk at work and sit there, I'd be a genius. I remember stuff on the toilet (or in the bathtub or driving) that I can't for the life of me remember at other times. Wish I could figure out why someone wouldn't want to sit on their toilet very long. Maybe I should go sit on my toilet and it'll come to me!
The things about the furniture is a bit quirky but not a bad thing at all. In fact, that's a heckuva lot better than these people who buy something and get tired of it and buy something else 2 years later. People today are so wasteful! Most of my furniture I've had for decades. So, don't worry about it, that's actually a nice quality. You are probably very loyal, even to your inanimate objects! :)
05-30-2011, 06:38 AM
Dear Itz Omni,
Your reply's first paragraph with "So be it" phrase helped me to realise something further beyond what I was thinking when I wrote. I do have the right not go along with situations that are not right for me. My 'honesty's the best policy' opinion would be a lie if I did what I thought other people wanted me to do, rather than what I feel is right myself.
As for the toilet, I'm jealous of you. I don't begrudge you the toilet, but if you get genius thoughts there, maybe I need therapy. The only problem being I'd be too embarassed to tell them about my toilet issues.
You're right. I'm certainly not wasteful when it comes to owning furniture. Loyal to my furniture? I never thought of that, but none of it will ever have to get anxious that I might throw it out. Although it might worry that it won't last long enough for me!!
Thanks for your reply. It's made me feel quite sensible (if you discount my toilet story)!!!
05-30-2011, 02:50 PM
That is so right - you have to do what feels right for you, even if it doesn't make sense to anyone else. If that makes you seem a little weird in their eyes, oh well! It's not like you're being rude, you just know what your boundaries are. That's better than people who DON'T know what their boundaries are... I'm willing to bet you get in a lot less trouble (likely none at all) that these friends do!
Also, people will try to control you. What angers me is when people tell you, "You just need to get out of your comfort zone." My "comfort zone" is none of anyone else's dang business. People who say that are only doing so to shame you into getting you to do what THEY want. People like you are a lot less likely to get into accidents, find yourself "in the wrong place at the wrong time," be a victim of crime, go broke, etc. The ones that are bugging you to take more risks are the ones who eventually will find themseles in trouble...and who do they look to for help? Or to loan them money?! You guessed it! Because all their other risk-taking friends are broke, too.
You are probably one who values "safety" and, somehow, there's a sense of safety/the familiar in keeping the same furniture and whatnot. Again, if people think that's weird, that's too bad. I was a very late bloomer...didn't have my first boyfriend until well into adulthood, because I just wasn't ready, what can I say. I always thought people would think that was weird, but I was comfortable with that. I'm still with the same guy who gave me my first kiss, and have a wonderful relationship, while almost everyone else is either divorced, unhappy, or whatever. Again, I get the last laugh!
05-31-2011, 10:15 AM
You're right. I do value safety. I rarely take risks. Yes, that is a positive. The negative is that any kind of safety feel comfortable, which means that I'm not necessarily in the right place for me.
You were right, too, about me not getting into trouble. That is good for me. I'm a bit obsessed with honesty. There used to be a downside where I believed everyone else should be honest, but I got over that (not with therapy, but I did go for that once. It didn't sound right telling the therapist about my honesty then. It doesn't while I'm writing to you). I realised that if people wanted to be a certain way, and tell me about the best side of them, I shouldn't really mind, as long as it didn't hurt me. It seems like I'm turning my back on honesty there, but I'm not. I'm being realistic. I think we all have different faces and if someone sees a side of us they like, we're likely to let them see that side again. So I realise maybe there's that dishonesty to all of us.
You seem to be happy with your life, and know it's where you always want to be (now I envy you with that, not just the toilet issue). So why are you and I writing on this forum because of our anxiety?
05-31-2011, 11:31 AM
Hmm, I see what you mean about honesty regarding the face we show others, but in a way it's good that people put their best face forward when dealing with others. Too many people are jerks, and if they treated strangers the way they treat their wives & children, the world would be even more messed up. It sucks if that person is the one you marry and - surprise! - they weren't who you thought they were, but everyone else (that you don't have to live with), I see it as a good thing. Maybe it's because I enjoy shows from the 50's where it was all about Mom & apple pie & being a good neighbor. I'm sure real life wasn't quite like that, but I really don't want to see that side of people. They can keep it to themselves. (Obviously, then, I'm not a fan of reality TV!)
I am indeed content with my quirks, but my ever-present safety net does cause some frustrations. I'm stuck in a dead-end job, and that's the story of my life. I'm unambitious and therefore shoot too low for myself, because it's safe. I'm a good worker, reliable, & great at what I do, but am burnt out. I'm capable of more, but I'm afraid to take the risk of failing. On the plus side, I'm always employed!! I may have less than other people, but people with better jobs, homes, & cars are struggling to make their payments. My income is very modest, but I live within my means and have never been one red cent in debt (and I never make payments - always pay bills in full - have never paid a finance charge). So, I'm not so bad off, looking at it that way. But, I DO need to stick my neck out and make some changes and move forward, but I'm just not quite ready... As I said, though, I am a late bloomer, so eventually I'll get things done, in my own time! :)
Sorry to ramble about myself. Just letting you know you're not the only quirky one around here! :)
06-02-2011, 06:52 AM
I posted here yesterday, but my computer's got a mind of it's own and I seem to have trouble posting everywhere. Anyway, I'll try again.
I saw a CBT therapist yesterday afternoon. She seemed to think that my anxiety was linked to my late mother's hangups. And I did tell her about the toilet issues I mentoned to you. She asked me if I could link that particular anxiety to anyone. I related a story, where my mother used to keep her coat on indoors so that she was always ready to go out if I was ill (I was physically ill as a child, and my mother would be forever going out to get the doctor). So the therapist believed my mother's need to be ready for any eventuality became mine, when I've been unable to sit on the toilet for long.
I went to the therapist with one intention, which was to stay with the anxiety. I usually avoid doing things that will challenge that fear. I'm too scared to write down what I promised her I'd do, in case I can't do it. However, she says she'll push me on a lot of things I spoke about. I explained that my ability to actively live with this anxiety was not how I always felt, and that I wanted to use this opportunity to do something. I really believe she will be able to help me if I can help myself.
This therapist is only a young thing, but she's not silly. She didn't blame various life events I'd experienced for how I am, although she sometime used them to explain my beliefs. For instance, my mother believed there was good in everyone. She always said what was she believed. I've adopted so many of her attitudes. That's not always good. I still live in a Mickey Mouse world where everything will turn out for the best. I so often hasn't happened. There are nasty people and I don't think I'll ever come to terms with the fact that my mother wasn't always right.
That's my rambling for today.
06-02-2011, 03:11 PM
It's not just you! I was here last night posting and saw your post and replied to it, and now both those posts are gone!
I also was trying to answer another thread and it would show a reply by someone else, I'd post to it, and that post would end up in someone else's thread! Then the post I was answering would be gone, then show up again, then gone... Weird!! My reply to that person is gone as well.
That's sweet, your mom wearing her coat in the house so that she can rush out on a moment's notice to get help for you! Sounds like you had a doting mother. That makes sense why you can't sit on the toilet for long - you always saw your mom ready to sprint, so you're too on edge to enjoy a good long sit with a book!
I'm glad the lady sounds helpful! It's hard to change beliefs that you've had all your life, though. I hope things work out!!
06-02-2011, 08:09 PM
You're right again. It is hard to change a lifetime of living with a particular mindset. With me though, and maybe with other people too, certain beliefs make no sense to live with to the degree that they prevent you from doing anything.
My mother died in 1985. Since that time I've known the bereavments of natural death, death through choking and murder. Natural deaths supposedly take approximately two years to get over. While a distress study of the relatives of murder victims showed they have a grieving period that doesn't end.
I wonder if my mother would have thought that murderer had any good in them. The other deaths have led me to question other people, in terms of what led to the deaths. More importantly, I have hidden behind those bereavments and the finding of the distress study of murder victims relatives for too long.
The people who died had no choice but death. I have a choice and have always believed I should live because they couldn't. Instead, I feel guilty, because I can't live.
So I have to take responsibility for my life and realise that what we experience is almost unimportant. However, it's our responses that determine who we are in life.
When I think about it, and it doesn't consume me, I remember the feelings in me before they found that murderer. There was no fear. To help find the murderer, I gave my address to the newspaper, hoping that whoever they were they would come to me. They didn't
and the police found them and put them away for life. The point is, I had no fear. Me, who wouldn't say boo to a goose stood on busy streets handing out leaflets so that I could hopefully find someone who connect the murderer with the victim before they were found.
I also learned a lot about myself, in that I will never treat people badly or do wrong things. I think I'm a valuable person (although I so often think I'm not).
I learned too that other people's worries are no different to mine. So many people used to say "I know I haven't gone through what you have but..." They were so wrong. People can only know the hurt they have and I can't understand weighing one person's problem up against another in order to make judgements as to whether their problems are worth worrying about. We all have our hurts and we all have to deal with them alone.
Yet, now I only know fear; day in and day out, with the knowledge that I will experience the same anxiety the day after.
I learned a great thing back then, although I push it away, that another focus makes anything possible for me. So I will try to get myself together for whatever it is I want to do.
This is a want, but not necessarily likely. I have a window of opportunity and a therapist to motivate me. I hope I can make something of myself before the window closes again.
06-02-2011, 11:06 PM
I am so, so sorry you have been through so much!! What a horrible thing to have to live through, the passing of your mother at the hands of someone else - I don't know how you maintained your sanity!!! I am so glad the person was caught, but would prefer such monsters would be put before a firing squad immediately upon conviction. Screw their "rights." :mad:
That's interesting - my major anxiety period after I lost my parents lasted 2 years, like you said. But it didn't start right away. When you're in the middle of it, you gotta do what you gotta do, and you deal with it. But after the dust settled and I got in 2 minor car accidents 2 days apart, and fainted I think the next day, that was the beginning of it all. So, I can see how you were so brave trying to find her murderer, then when the dust settled, things just kind of fall apart! You're strong when you need to be, but it doesn't take much for that house of cards to come tumbling down.
You've hit the nail on the head, that focusing on something else outside of ourselves is the key to overcoming this beast we call Anxiety. Reminds me of the saying, "An idle mind is the Devil's playground"!!
06-03-2011, 07:54 AM
It's terrible that you should lose your parents to death. Everything you are is them. Their belief systems (although when we're younger we don't always admit it) are theirs. Even if we alter them in some way to suit ourselves. When they're gone, the people who always told us everything would be alright are gone too. That reminds me of a time when I wonderered what happened when children grow up. Do they lose that famous separation anxiety? I read somewhere that it becomes some sort of syndrome, which means it can continue into adulthood. So the loss of parents is a greater anxiety than anyone realises. I thank God that it's not widely known, because we'd all reach a certain age where we lost our parents and be experiencing separation syndrome. Therefore, it doesn't surprise me that you sufferered major anxiety attacks after your parents died.
I think that generally death is not a thing you can learn from. There is usually nothing positive you can take from it (I say 'usually' because my best friend died naturally a couple of years ago, and only death gave her peace from her suffering). I think it's probably an American thing as well as English, that a person needs to learn something from a life event before they can move on. I cannot learn anything from most deaths.
Having written that, I must tell you that I would not have been surprised if you hadn't replied. The few people I've told about my experience with murder have felt very awkward about it. I think that's people wanting to be able to say something positive to a person, and knowing that it is impossible to say anything that might be a positive response. It seems that your life experience of bereavement and anxiety have opened you up, in a way I can't explain. Maybe that's a knowledge you took from everything you've experienced yourself.
I'm hoping that one day you're going to tell me you're some sort of counsellor. You've got the right attitude. You've told me about your 'dead end job' and what sounds a comfortable life with your husband, as if you know you're capable of more, but unable to go for it. Maybe one day you'll decide to study for what you want part - time and keep safe in the life that you have now. What's wrong with having your cake and eating it?
As for me, I wanted to use this window of opportunity to change my life. Today, however, I'm not even sure if the window is opened or closed. I have a problem with motivation, so I think I'll use this thread to give myself push in the right direction.
06-03-2011, 10:32 AM
Your posts have such great comments: "When they're gone, the people who always told us everything would be alright are gone too." That's so true!!! That sense of comfort, a warm embrace to fall back on, is gone. I miss that comfort!!! I don't care how old a person is - you're never too old to "want your mommy." I'm an only child, so losing them meant I lost almost everything.
I've heard that - that people who have gone through crises (getting cancer, etc.), their friends stop coming around. Not sure why that is. I guess, like you said, the friends don't know what to say, they don't want to make things worse, but that's sad -sometimes a person just needs your presence without even talking.
I've thought of that as well, doing what I really want part-time, just to get my feet wet. But what I want to do doesn't pay well at all. I'd love to work with animals or the elderly. I can't work with sick animals, though, in a vet's office - I can't handle seeing animals in pain. I'm bad, if I hear of an accident involving people, children, and a dog, my first thought is, "OMG - I hope the dog is OK!!" ;) I love dogs more than people. That leaves me with a dog-sitting job or something like that, which wouldn't pay well, but that's seriously what I'd love to do. Groomers don't make much money, either. I'd be happy doing it, but the paycheck at the end of the week would wipe the smile right off my face...
You and me both - motivation is hard to stir up. I think being on boards like this is a right step!!
06-03-2011, 04:53 PM
I'm an animal lover too and believe it or not, I can't work with them for the same reasons as you. I'll read a newspaper, and if it has an article about animal abuse, I'll say "Why did I have to see that?" What I do, though, is sign a petition against animal abuse. I belong to Care2.com and I sign a petition with them most days.
Anxiety brings indirect penalties. One of them is that I'm not likely to walk down a street and notice if a petition's there to be signed so signing a petition online is better for me. I signed one petition to let a tiger out of a cage, who was being kept there for tourists. That petition got that tiger free, so I know you can make a difference to animals lives and make yourself feel good at the same time.
As for me, I was talking to someone earlier on about themselves. I said "If you've had a sad life history, then you need to create a new history." That was the author, CLR James' quote. Then I got home and thought of the line I'd read in Jonathan Livingstone Seagull in the 70s that 'we teach best what we most need to learn"(!!!)
06-03-2011, 05:37 PM
I've heard of Care2.com and I believe had it saved in my Favorites once, but I probably stopped going there early on because it's hard for me to hear about all the abuse going on! I know it doesn't do any good to ignore it, but I can be haunted by it for decades, just reading an article about something. My memory is usually crap but stuff like that is hard to wipe from my mind. I've already got plenty of stories dancing around in my head from ages ago that I still bring up, I don't want to add to it. :(
I love inspirational quotes and soundbites. I should post some in a separate thread, assuming I still have them saved on my computer...
06-04-2011, 10:20 AM
I know what you mean about remembering the stories I read. I often wondered if I was the only one who seemed to have terrible stories imprinted on my brain. The reason I sign petitions is because animals have no voice, but ours to speak up for them.
Then much of what we believe is there because it's never challenged. How can our minds be strong. How many people turn away from bad things, not realising that bad things can continue because they never acknowledged what was happening. It sounds like I'm talking about signing a petition, and I am. More than that though, we have to meet challenges, if we can. You know I feel every day and last week I was late going out, so late, in fact, that it wasn't worth going. I went though, because I knew I'd feel more anxious if I didn't.
I know that doesn't sound like much, but for me that brave. I could have foregone the bad feelings if I'd stayed at home, but I didn't. One of my greatest fears is to disappear into anxiety. I read your thread with quotes in it and I can't think of clever one. I'm thinking that's poor focus because I need to go out soon.
06-04-2011, 11:17 PM
I hear ya about the petitions, but I also have to worry about my own mental health since I know I'm one to file these things away indefinitely. So, I prefer to donate to animal causes so that others can do the legwork. I also catch stray dogs when I can (some don't want to be caught and I've had one run away from me into traffic so I've learned which ones to pursue and which to just let alone) and take them to the shelter, so that's my little way of helping. But I totally appreciate those who do have the strength to get right in the middle of it all!!
That's great that you are forcing yourself to get out of the house, etc. Sometimes it's just not good to be home alone with your thoughts!!
06-05-2011, 12:25 AM
Donating to animal causes is good. I don't know about America, but in England so many organisations have no government funding, except for the donations they receive. Thank Goodness for people like you who will go the extra mile for a stray animal or one that's in need. If other people could just care how they treat animals, their lives would be good, but it'll always take the few people like you.
Thanks for saying it's good that I force myself out of the house. The thing is I've moved the goalposts for bravery. So although that feels brave, I know I could do more at one time. I have to put those goalposts back to where they once were, but that takes time.
06-08-2011, 08:20 PM
I like how you word things - about moving the goalposts for bravery!
If you are comfortable staying close to home, then there's no real harm in it. I mean, it'd be nice to change that, but in your own due time you will. Perhaps part of the fear is the pressure in knowing what you "should" be doing (at least according to society) and that makes you anxious all the more? I know that I probably would have less of a problem with my job if most people I knew were in the same boat. It's the comparisons that get ya!!
You sound like such a nice, good person, it would be nice if you got out more (I wish more nice people got out and more jerks stayed home!) but if you truly don't enjoy it, then really, who cares what other people think? (Easier said than done, but you know what I mean!)
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