Tag Archives: Anxiety

The Mask 

You attempt to cover your face, yet I see you for who you really are. 

You were once concealed by your lies, but now you are transparent. 

You told me what I wanted to hear. You were a shoulder to cry on. You were the friend I needed when I was in my most vulnerable state.

Everyone wears a mask. Our masks are often embroidered with what we prefer others to see about ourselves. Underneath the mask, however, lies our darkest secrets, our insecurities, our agonizing thoughts and emotions, our past mistakes and guilt. If we develop trust with others, then we lift our mask for them. 

Some people, however, would rather keep their true identities hidden.

For nearly a year, you wore your mask in front of me under the guise that you were unveiling your true self to me, and I was naive to believe that your masked self was your reality. 

Until one lie led to another, and soon your lies were too hard to keep up with. With all the deception, all the times you did not let me breathe or live my life, all the times you spoke of me differently with my back turned than you did to my face, and all of the times you had bad intentions behind the few things you did for me, you slowly removed your mask until you exposed who you truly were. 

I am empathetic and forgiving, but with your deception, sense of entitlement and ulterior motives with me being unveiled, I could no longer tolerate your poor treatment toward me that I had blinded myself to for so long because I had fallen under the spell of your mask. 

And after your betrayal and all the crap you put me through, you have the nerve to come to me covering your face in hopes to regain what we once had. But it is too late, you lifted your mask and now there is no going back no matter how much you try to shield me from who you are. The damage has been done. 

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Enigma 

I hold my paintbrush as I try to perfectly capture your essence, but instead I am left with a blank canvas.

I tap my fingers on my keyboard as I attempt to find the right words to depict my emotions for you, but instead I am left with a blank document. 

Who are you? 

You are a palette of mystery. You are an enigma no words can describe. 

I write because I can confidently express myself from my fingertips without my shyness causing me to choke on my words. I paint because of how effortless it is to convey my repressed emotions through shapes and colors. 

Yet when it comes to you, I cannot properly communicate what you make me feel through any medium. 
 

Taking It Slow

I have never been great at taking it slow.

When you have anxiety, patience is not in your vocabulary. You must always be active in order to maintain inner peace. You cannot sit still for more than a few seconds without feeling like you need to be doing something. Stillness leads to being alone in your mind, and being alone in your mind means that it can race on and on, and there is nothing you can do to catch up with all those thoughts you’re having. When it comes to anxiety, there is no relaxation or tranquility, just your mind running on as your heart races and you experience shortness of breath just trying to keep up with it. Your mind is moving at the speed of light, and you can try to catch up but no matter how hard you try your brain will be miles ahead. Still I do my best to keep up with the constant train of thoughts my brain generates throughout the day, good and bad.

Speed can be beneficial in many situations, but there are also times where you may be advised to take it slow. Whether it’s someone who is trying to complete too many tasks at once, or experiencing a new relationship, or mourning the loss of a loved one, the phrase “take it slow” is constantly told to us. There is no right pace to move at so long as you do not try to move at an unrealistically fast pace when attempting to complete more tasks than you can handle in one day or expect to quickly grow accustomed to someone who played a major role in your life no longer being a part of it. As Confucius once said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

I have many goals set for myself, and I often find myself striving to achieve them all at once. I know that I have a long life ahead of me to complete them all, and I will come across many more goals I want to set for myself, yet I tend to hear this imaginary timer go off in my head as I remind myself of how much work needs to be done to achieve my goals. This imaginary timer convinces me that I have failed because I am already at this stage in my life and have achieved so little compared to others my age. Time is valuable, and before I know it thirty years will pass and I will be in my fifties grasping onto hope that I will at least accomplish something before I die. I fear if I don’t reach any of my goals now, I never will.

While I am overcoming that fear, I am still fighting the mindset I have of “now or never” when it comes to most goals. That mindset has been prevalent during the moving on process from my ex-boyfriend.

One piece of advice I have received when it came to coping with my break-up was to take as much time as I needed. Feel what I need to feel. Cry, miss him, hate him, grieve, feel relieved, reflect, look forward instead of back, think about him, occupy myself with other things, do whatever it takes to move forward. It could take weeks, months, and even years. Regardless of how horribly he treated me in the end of the relationship and how things ended between us, this man played a significant role in my life and I had been deeply in love with him. As unnatural as it feels to still be reminded of him and long for his presence at times when we have not spoken or seen each other for two months, it is in fact a normal part of the moving on process. Even when I reach that stage of full acceptance and finally move on, he will always remain in my heart and certain songs or places will always remind me of him.

Moving on from an ex-lover is not something that can be done in a day, especially if it is someone that you spend every weekend with for a year and a half, shared some of your best memories with, changed for the better for, and built a sense of trust and intimacy with. It does not help if you had promised to spend your life together and had come to believe that they were the one.

One thing that my ex-boyfriend and I had believed was that we would never be able to replace each other. We had always said no matter what happened between us, we would never be able to love someone else like we loved each other and we would never be able to relive what we had for each other. That is true in a sense where I will never be able to fall in love with him again. A part of me will always love him, but after the way things ended and what I came to learn about him after we broke up, I will never be able to look at him the same or love him as I once did. Whenever I do fall for someone else, I will not love them for the same reasons I loved my ex-boyfriend. They may have some of the same attributes that I loved him for, but they will not be exactly like him at all. I also will not be as naïve or as tolerant of some behaviors as I was with him. My ex-boyfriend and I had some good times together, and he did have his good attributes, but in the end, the bad outweighed the good too much to maintain a happy and healthy relationship. This was a fact that I refused to accept when he broke up with me, but it is something I have come to accept as a fact on my own.

We were not meant to be. We were not compatible. He was not the one.

I have come to accept that. I have also come to accept that if he showed up on my front porch begging for me back, I would decline. As hard as it would be for me to look into those big brown eyes of his that would once be hard for me to resist and say no, I cannot see us getting back together and being genuinely as happy as we once were. It could start off that way, but we would soon fall into the same rhetoric of explosive arguments and toxicity as we did the last few months of our relationship. If his anger issues and tendency to allow his friends to make his decisions as well as let them speak and treat me however they wanted did not change in the time we were still together, there is no doubt that it still has not changed. Old habits die hard.

Even with reaching the acceptance stage that we are not meant for each other, I still have not reached a point of saying with confidence that I have fully moved on. In spite of feeling as though I did throughout last month, the transition into the new year was my reality check that moving on does truly require taking it slow. The faster I move, the more likely I will fall once I am hit with a reminder of him that triggers those emotions toward him I still have buried deep with in that I have not yet dealt with.

Taking it slow will also become crucial when facing possible feelings I may have for someone new. I had met someone last month who stood out to me not only because of his appearance, but also because he had let off positive vibes and we had quite a bit in common. There was just something that drew me to him. I plan to get to know him better, and I plan to practice “taking it slow” as I am trying to do with the moving on process. In do so, I will not only be able to get to know this person and determine whether or not I want to give it a shot, I can also continue to have my focus on moving on so that if something ever does come out of this, I can know that I am moved on and not just rushing into something new. I do not believe he is just a rebound crush, I just do not want to take a step I am not sure that I am ready for.

I have never been great at taking it slow, but it is important to do so in order to maintain healthy relationships with others and with myself.


Announcements:

1. For the next week, I will be releasing a blog or two each day. These are blogs I have written but never posted, ideas I had but never posted, or posts I have started but never finished. It’s not a series in a sense where they all relate to each other, I just wanted to start getting more of my writing out there since I have a lot of free time this month and I am starting to write more again after dealing with a block for a few months. I will say though, that while I did not really go into detail about the bad day here, you can the events of it mentioned in some of my blog posts I will be posting throughout the week.

2. I still have not forgotten about the book I have been writing, About Last Night. I am still working on getting the preview done as there are still edits to be made, but I expect the preview to be out this month. Once I have finished and put my preview on Amazon, I will post it to my blog and my Facebook page, Lisa Speaks Out.

You can read the description for About Last Night here:

https://lisaspeaksout.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/about-last-night-release-date/

3. Finally, I do tend to be very open in my writing about issues some have deemed as “too personal”, the reason being that one of the purposes of my blog and my writing is to release these thoughts and emotions I have held in or been silenced from sharing all my life. As a writer, I understand that I will receive negative feedback here and there, it happens to even the greatest and most professional of writers. Anyone who wants to put their creativity out there has to deal with not-so constructive criticism from people who will leave reviews and comments that are cruel. Part of being so passionate about what you do is accepting that risk and developing thick skin. I am building up a tolerance against people like that for when I begin to start publishing my work as well as when I start putting my blog out there more. I always welcome constructive criticism and feedback, and usually that is what I get on my writing. However, I have been receiving comments from someone who has been leaving me paragraphs in response to my most recent blogs about the break-up I went through in November, “In The End” and “The One That Got Away” on both my blog page and my Facebook page. I have deleted the comments, but the comments went beyond criticism. I will not discuss the content of the comments, but they could easily be classified as harassment. The comments were lengthy ramblings by someone who was convinced that my blog posts were about them and insulting me. I am unsure if they were written by the person the blog was about or by someone who does not understand that someone can write about situations similar to what they have been through but not be talking about them. I know that there will always be critics out there and I cannot stop them from expressing themselves, but I do not tolerate harassment especially in a place that is supposed to be a safe space for me. I did not insult anyone in those two blogs, just expressed my emotions about the situation to help me release repressed emotions and explored my genuine thoughts about my ex and what had happened so I can continue the moving on process. As I said, just as he can speak about me, I have every right to do the same. Whether or not this was him, or someone I do not know, I will not point fingers but I will say that in spite of what happened I refuse to stop writing and stop putting my writing out there. I may need to disable comments for a while. I have also considered starting a new blog and removing my Facebook page for a while. Again, I welcome constructive criticism and it deeply disappoints me that I need may need to alter what I have been working on for three years if this keeps up. I just do not welcome any kind of harassment throughout my page and my blog. For the time being, however, I will continue to post my blogs on here and keep up with my Facebook page, Lisa Speaks Out. I thank those who have been follow my blog and page, and for those who continue to show support in any way possible whether it be through reading, liking and/or commenting. Your support is much appreciated.

Bad Day

Saturday I woke up with a smile on my face.

I got dressed up, put on my eyeshadow and lipstick, took pictures, put them on my Instagram, posted a prose on my Facebook page about finding the light when facing months of darkness, and headed off to work. My plan was that after work, I would attend a writing group I was in and then go to a party afterward. I had psyched myself up for that day considering how the weather and having a bad cold kept me indoors most of last week, isolated away with nothing but my anxiety and bad thoughts circulating in my head.

Perhaps my first indication that the day was not going to go well was that my insomnia decided that I only deserved a half hour of sleep.

The day started off as planned, in spite of sleepiness fighting it’s way to consume me. I fought it off with two cups of coffee, and made my way to work and to the writing meetup.

The thing about bad days is that you don’t know when they will happen. Expectation leads to failure, that is something my ex-boyfriend always used to say and I came to learn that he was right (as much as I hate to admit it) the hard way. This day took a turn for the worse so quickly that I am still trying to process it.

I have had bad days in the past. I have also had time periods in my life where every day seemed like a bad day. Though it seemed impossible to do so at times, I would find myself mustering the strength to power through it all.

These past few months have been an example of a time in my life where I experience a plethora of bad days at once. There are a batch of good days thrown in here and there, but they are always followed up by those bad day(s) where I am faced with an overwhelming amount of bad news and/or experiences where I often wonder when there will be an end to the madness, and if I will even be able to survive long enough to reach that point without just giving up.

Still, I have lived twenty-two years, two months and eight days of my life so far. That is approximately 8,098 days. I am horrible with math, but out of those 8,098 days, the reality is that the amount of bad days I have had can barely even measure up to a quarter of my life. There are also the good days, the semi-good days, the semi-bad days, the neutral days, the so-so days, the pseudo-bad days (as in those days during my adolescent years where it felt like my life was over because I lacked the maturity to realize that what I was going through would not be significant ten years later), the lazy days, the boring days, and the days that made up the first few years of my life where I was too young to comprehend the concept of time.

Even with the bad days I have had and the periods of my life where I was faced with weeks to months of bad days at a time, the reality is that even if life has a habit of hitting us with what seems like an infinite amount of bad days, there is so much to look forward to. You could even find good buried within the crap that life throws at you if you stop looking at the empty half of the glass.

This is not to suggest that you are not allowed to cry, to scream, to vent or to lock yourself away from everyone and everything for a while. You must feel your emotions before you can reach the point of acceptance. Saturday was not my first bad day, and it won’t be my last either. No matter how much better I feel compared to that day, and how insignificant the things that were bothering me that day have become, there is always a promise of more bad days. As someone who suffers from depression, dealing with bad days along with the promise of more bad days to come has overwhelmed me.

I guess what I am trying to say is, bad days are always going to happen. You may wake up on the wrong side of the bed, you may come across news that ruins your day, you may face experiences that affect your life for months or years to come, or you may have a day where everyone and everything triggers you into a fit of rage. The most important thing is that you feel and release the emotions that the bad day brings to you through writing, tears, excersise, drawing, whatever soothes you. It is also important to keep in mind that no matter how difficult life gets, there is always a promise of better days ahead. You may not be in control of everything that happens to you and of the people around you, but you are in control of your emotions and how you choose to handle things and perceive life.


Announcements:

Usually I don’t do this, but I had three announcements I wanted to make.

1. For the next week, I will be releasing a blog or two each day. These are blogs I have written but never posted, ideas I had but never posted, or posts I have started but never finished. It’s not a series in a sense where they all relate to each other, I just wanted to start getting more of my writing out there since I have a lot of free time this month and I am starting to write more again after dealing with a block for a few months. I will say though, that while I did not really go into detail about the bad day here, you can the events of it mentioned in some of my blog posts I will be posting throughout the week.

2. I still have not forgotten about the book I have been writing, About Last Night. I am still working on getting the preview done as there are still edits to be made, but I expect the preview to be out this month. Once I have finished and put my preview on Amazon, I will post it to my blog and my Facebook page, Lisa Speaks Out.

You can read the description for About Last Night here:

https://lisaspeaksout.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/about-last-night-release-date/

3. Finally, I do tend to be very open in my writing about issues some have deemed as “too personal”, the reason being that one of the purposes of my blog and my writing is to release these thoughts and emotions I have held in or been silenced from sharing all my life. As a writer, I understand that I will receive negative feedback here and there, it happens to even the greatest and most professional of writers. Anyone who wants to put their creativity out there has to deal with not-so constructive criticism from people who will leave reviews and comments that are cruel. Part of being so passionate about what you do is accepting that risk and developing thick skin. I am building up a tolerance against people like that for when I begin to start publishing my work as well as when I start putting my blog out there more. I always welcome constructive criticism and feedback, and usually that is what I get on my writing. However, I have been receiving comments from someone who has been leaving me paragraphs in response to my most recent blogs about the break-up I went through in November, “In The End” and “The One That Got Away” on both my blog page and my Facebook page. I have deleted the comments, but the comments went beyond criticism. I will not discuss the content of the comments, but they could easily be classified as harassment. The comments were lengthy ramblings by someone who was convinced that my blog posts were about them and insulting me. I am unsure if they were written by the person the blog was about or by someone who does not understand that someone can write about situations similar to what they have been through but not be talking about them. I know that there will always be critics out there and I cannot stop them from expressing themselves, but I do not tolerate harassment especially in a place that is supposed to be a safe space for me. I did not insult anyone in those two blogs, just expressed my emotions about the situation to help me release repressed emotions and explored my genuine thoughts about my ex and what had happened so I can continue the moving on process. As I said, just as he can speak about me, I have every right to do the same. Whether or not this was him, or someone I do not know, I will not point fingers but I will say that in spite of what happened I refuse to stop writing and stop putting my writing out there. I may need to disable comments for a while. I have also considered starting a new blog and removing my Facebook page for a while. Again, I welcome constructive criticism and it deeply disappoints me that I need may need to alter what I have been working on for three years if this keeps up. I just do not welcome any kind of harassment throughout my page and my blog. For the time being, however, I will continue to post my blogs on here and keep up with my Facebook page, Lisa Speaks Out. I thank those who have been follow my blog and page, and for those who continue to show support in any way possible whether it be through reading, liking and/or commenting. Your support is much appreciated.

The One That Got Away

Nothing this week went as expected. 

 It was supposed to be a week of parties and celebration. Yet somehow, everything went south so quickly. 

Being really sick, Arguments, a terrorist attack happening right near my job, and broken promises. 

My 22nd birthday was on Wednesday. I had planned to be taken out by my boyfriend and yesterday have a party. Wednesday itself was not a bad day. I went to work, then went out with my boyfriend. Except something blew out and now he is not my boyfriend anymore. 

I have experienced plenty of breakups and fallouts in my lifetime because I didn’t just lose a boyfriend, I lost a best friend too. Someone who knew more about me more than anyone else. Someone who I knew every side of. Or at least I thought I did, I didn’t expect that he would dump me on the day of my birthday party, just two days after my birthday and on one of the worst weeks I have had in a long time. 

I keep blaming myself. I keep thinking of what I could have done different so that he’d still be mine. I feel like I could have been a better girlfriend and that I overreacted too often to many things. I keep blaming myself for everything going wrong, simply because that’s what happens when you get left behind. 

Except I did change a lot for him. I did do everything I could for him. As cliche as it sounds, everything I did in the past year I did it for him. Everything I became and everything I did was all for him. 

And now he’s gone. 

Everyone always leaves me. I’ve lost most friends in 2017 than I can count on both hands, yet losing him stung the hardest because he was everything to me. I loved him harder than I had loved anyone else, and he taught me what being in love was really about. I still love him deeply. That’s why I can’t even trash talk him, because I care too much to do such. In just a year and four months we developed into a couple that overcame so much together. Things were far from perfect the past month, but I genuinely believed we could work through it. I knew things weren’t easy for him, so I kept doing my best to bear with him and stay by his side, knowing that he needed someone there. Even when we argued the other day, I stood by believing that he and I would get through it because that was us. We were always there for each other and always made it through the worst of times. I had considered leaving before, but put it aside because in my eyes he was always worth it. 

I’m still in love with him, and I still keep blaming myself. Even with my friends kind words when I went to my birthday party last night, which he dumped me before and I spent the whole night breaking into tears wishing he was there. It was supposed to be my night where everything finally came together

People may think I’m ridiculous for posting this, but I still am trying to figure out what happened and why it had to happen this way. I still keep trying to figure out how just a week ago he was at an Open Mic supporting me and now a week later he’s gone. I’m still mourning the loss of someone who meant more to me than any person I been with, someone who was there for me during my Worst, who supported me when I was hospitalized earlier this year, who would make his way to meet up with me the nights I get out of work late, who influenced me to change all my bad habits, who spent his last dollars on me and who saved up just to take me out just the other day, who would spend every weekend with me and take me to every party, who would hold me in the midst of breakdowns and talk me up whenever I put myself down, and who never judged me, who just two weeks ago promised he’d never leave me. 

He’s gone. He’s gone and even if he said it was goodbye I’m still doing my best to face the reality of it. Some would say he’s just a guy and not worth it, but he’s meant so much more to me. Dammit, he still does. 

But he’s gone. He’s gone and with every tear I shed and every pain in my chest I wish he was here, like he always was, to hold me and comfort me. 

I believed he was the one, but he’s the one that got away…

Regrets

Regrets.

We all have them. No matter how much you preach, “every mistake is a learning experience,” you have to admit that at least once in your life, you have done something that would make you want to jump in a time machine and stop yourself from doing if you could.

What is that regret for you?

When people look at me, they see mystery. They see a reserved girl who keeps her circle small and, while socializing with a few people every day, she rarely lets anyone in. It might make one wonder if she has any skeletons in her closet worth exposing. Some may say yes. Others may say, “no she is too sweet for that.”

Indeed, I may have a good heart that is filled with empathy and understanding for everyone good and bad, but I would be lying if I said I have never made any mistakes harmful to anyone else.

Words I want to take back that I never can. Lies that even I believed at one point. Friends I had lost due to these lies. Actions so vile I cannot even speak of them. All over someone who has no relevance in my life anymore, but did have a huge presence in it years ago. All for someone who was not worth my time and sanity. All for someone who did not care for me, but I had so desperately wanted him to that I cost myself some of the people who actually did.

All for sympathy.

Earlier in 2017, I reached an epiphany. I did not want to be that person anymore. He has been long gone out my life, I am in a much better place than I had been the past few years, I have better friends and a boyfriend, a job I love doing, and I have the ability to express myself creatively. Why did I spend my time running away from myself by creating this life for me that did not exist in the face of my close ones? No more lies, I decided.

“The truth will set you free.” This saying could not be more relevant as I finally opened up about my past. All the lies, guilt, and cruel words came pouring out my mouth to anyone affected by my actions. As I did so, the weight I carried around the past few years finally lifted off my shoulders and was carried away into the wind as I watched it drift away from me forever.

I could say that this brought me peace, and while I left that negative lifestyle behind and some had found it in their heart to forgive me, some had not.

Including myself.

The things I did were harmful and wrong, yes, and while I am not trying to justify it, there was worse things that people have done to harm others. That is what people who know of my past had said. Not to mention that I am only twenty-one and still am just at the beginning of my adulthood. Still, betrayal from a best friend is one of the worst kind, and cruel words have such an impact on someone similar to being sliced by a thousand knives, and while I had not physically harmed anyone or took anyone’s life, I still had caused people emotion pain and took advantage of their trust, and that is something I can never take back.

I have changed. I am more appreciative of those around me, I am mindful of the words I say to others, and I am much more truthful with everyone. What I had done is far in the past now and I have become someone that the dark side of me I had for years would never recognize.

Still, the guilt often sits in the back of my mind and rears its ugly head in every day. My past still haunts me to a point where it sometimes becomes a struggle to come to terms with the fact that I am not perfect, that I have done regretful things to others, and that my past does not make me a horrible person or make me any less of the good person I am within.

 

via Daily Prompt: Sympathy

My Thoughts Day 1: My Anxiety is Slowly Killing Me

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is not just simply the feeling of being anxious, nor is it just the feeling you get when you have a math test later on, or when you are about to speak in front of a group of people. Anxiety is a mental illness, much like depression. It is a disorder in which you excessively feel uneasy and worry over current and future events. When you have anxiety disorder, your typical response to most conflicts is to overthink obsessively and worry yourself sick. When everything becomes overwhelming, it can result in a panic attack, or in some cases something close to a panic attack. What makes anxiety disorder distinctive from that feeling of being anxious is both the response to it, and the fact that when you have anxiety disorder you obsess over whatever you are worried about, whether it is a big conflict or something trivial.

Another difference? You cannot control anxiety disorder. No matter how much you want to, or how much you try to control your thoughts, you just can’t. It’s like telling someone with bipolar disorder to control their mood swings, or telling someone with ADHD to learn to control themselves; it’s just not possible.

Some people do, however, disagree with this. They will say that anxiety is not a disorder, but rather people upsetting themselves over little things. Everyone has problems, but are able to get over it. People who claim to have anxiety disorder are just people crying for attention because they don’t know how to handle their problems.

I have an example from the past of dealing with people with this ignorant mindset:

Early August 2015. Warm summer day. Canal Street, NYC

I am with my ex-boyfriend and his mom, giving their friends a tour of Manhattan. We have been walking around with no break all day. We went from walking the Coney Island boardwalk, to the Staten Island Ferry and back, to walking from South Ferry to Tribeca. They were hoping to walk Chinatown and Times Square next, but my feet were tired and I had work the next day. They were walking in an extremely fast pace as well so that did not help my aching feet. The sun was also ready to set, and I hated travelling on the subway alone at night. One would think that after keeping me out on my feet all day, my ex would have had the decency to take me home or make sure I get home safe in some way. Oh no, he was going to send me off alone because, despite making me go around Brooklyn and Manhattan with his friends, he decided he couldn’t part ways with them for just a little bit just so that he could ensure I made it home okay. Not to mention that he thought all that travelling and walking we did was not too much, and his mother seemed to agree with this poor treatment toward me.
So here is what I thought:
Wow, my safety is not important to him or his mother.
Are you fucking kidding me?
How do they not see that they are wrong?
I feel like I walked all over New York City. All five boroughs.
He really doesn’t care about me, does he?
He seems more invested in his friends despite me taking time out my day to travel around all day, and visit tourist spots of a city I have lived in all my life with people I don’t even know. While we were on the ferry and at the 9/11 memorial he barely even paid me any mind. What I am doing for him doesn’t mean anything, huh?

These thoughts didn’t just cross my mind just once, nor did they leave when I tried to argue with him and he just wasn’t getting it throughout the day. Neither was his mother. In fact, she was encouraging his behavior toward me on letting me leave alone. I felt so overwhelmed, and all those horrendous thoughts I listed above kept replaying in my head like a broken record. My heartbeat kept increasing rapidly, and I felt like the sun was suddenly beating directly on me. I tried, however, to ignore it.
Then we went from Chambers to Canal street to get to Chinatown. On the way there is where it happened. Where I argued heavily with his mother as my heart felt like it was going to rip out my chest from beating too hard and where I felt like I was drowning in sweat. Still eager to prove my point, I kept on going until he lost his patience with me and threw something then walked away.
Then, the flashbacks played in my head. The flashbacks of growing up witnessing my father do the very same thing when he lost his temper quickly. Him lashing out on my family and I so easily, along with his habit of throwing and breaking things when he lost control, caused me to become frightened whenever someone lashes out on me or starts throwing things around out of anger.
That is exactly what happened. Except I did not just cower away from the scene in fear. I began shaking and tears began falling down my face. He had stormed away, but his mom noticed, and questioned why I was crying. My mind had eventually blanked out, and I only remember the following events in bits and pieces. I remember leanung against a rough brick wall because I could not even figure how to stand up anymore. I remember sobbing so loud I felt everyone around me was staring at me. I remember feeling like I was having a heart attack because the pounding of my heartbeat was so hard it was causing me immense pain. I rememeber it suddenly felt like breathing was too difficult to do and each inhale and exhale became stronger and stronger. There was sweat dripping from my forehead and palms, and the temperature felt like it increased to two hundred degrees. I recall the images of my ex in front of me with his mom and all my other surroundings flipping on and off as I attemped to pay attention to my surroundings like that bullshit Facebook post advises to do to ease out of a panic attack. I remember trying to push out words, but my heavy breathing made it impossible to talk. As I slowly began to come back to my own self, I had to resist the urge to both punch my ex in the face, and to jump in front of traffic in the nearby street.

Saying that I wanted to punch him may sound cruel, but my anxious mindset had automatically turned to inflicting violence on anyone who got even the least bit loud with me. I did not punch him, as I slowly began to regain control again, but who could blame me when he was urging me to answer him, and getting visibly angry with me that I did not when he saw how I was gasping for air?

Even if this was over a year ago, I do recall him saying these words:

“What do you have to be so anxious about? You need to chill.”

I also recall his mom saying this:

“You are too young to be getting upset like that.”

While it upset me, I should not have even been surprised. I kept wondering why someone so close to me that I have been there for could even think something so ignorant and have the nerve to speak so negatively against me for having this right in front of my face. I also wonder why someone who is a grown adult and a mother could honestly believe young people can’t have problems or be allowed to get upset over things. Then I remember that some people are just so closed-minded that they do not understand, or make an attempt to understand, something that does not affect them. It is like when someone tells another person with clinic depression to just get over it and go out more; some people have ignorant beliefs about certain things they don’t know personally about.

When it comes to people who are ignorant about mental illnesses, I keep them at a distance. If they cannot shut up about their ignorant beliefs, I drop them like a boom. As I wrote in a previous post, “Special Snowflakes Versus the World,” everyone is entitled to their own opinion. As long as you do not shove that opinion down my throat, I will respect you whether or not I agree with it. I have had many friends who are closed-minded about my mental illnesses, and while their views on it irk me, I leave them alone about it as long as they do not judge me about it. I also have vowed to myself never to date someone who says nasty things in response to my anxiety again, and is anything but helpful when I imevitably have a panic attack.

I have a lot of supportive friends and a boyfriend who is understanding of anxiety and very patient when it comes to panic attacks. They subsided over the past year, as I started seeing a therapist shortly after that incident with my ex, and I started back on medication last October. The worst panic attacks I had were when I underwent a lot of stress during my last semester of college, and when I was in my uncles car back in February to say goodbye to my grandma when it was time for her to be buried. While I had my medication and methods of coping with anxiety, such as writing and painting, it was still hard sometimes to ignore anxiety. Anxiety may be incurable, and you just have to learn to live with it, but lately it has gotten worse. My last dose of medication is gone, life finds a way to slap me in the face with a load of crap at one time, and my depression has found a way to kick me in the ass in such a way that my interest in anything I was passionate about to help calm my anxiety is gone. The fact that I have been able to keep my attention on this post for so long in one day amazes me.

What is it that I am so anxious about, as my ex had once so delightfully asked? Well, to close this post, I present to you an anxious thought train of mine. This final piece of my post derives from a time where my anxiety takes over, which can either happen due to a certain event, someone seriously upsetting me, or just when I am alone at night trying to sleep and the thoughts find their way in. The following thought train is an example of the last one.

A thought train:

*I am a disgrace. I don’t deserve to be happy, why do I ever think I will be? I want to apply to NYU, but what makes me think I will ever get in? If I don’t then I am a letdown to my family who wants me to better myself for the future but I just can’t do it. I have a great scholarship oppritunity to help get me into NYU but I can’t seem to get anyone to help me with recommendations and the application deadline is Tuesday. Crazy how I always help people and they never help me. But maybe that is the reason why. Maybe I don’t deserve any help. When you help people it should be selfless, and yet here I am expecting people to drop what they are doing to write something for me about how great I am. I am not gonna finish thay application in time. Maybe I did not know about that damn scholarship until yesterday, but maybe I would have if my lazy ass had started looking for scholarships sooner. I am a disappointment to my mom, my sister, and everyone I care about.

I turn 21 in eleven days. 21 and all I have is an Associates’ degree and no clue with what I want to do with myself. My phone battery is at thirty six percent. I want to continue with this post and post it today. I know I said that the purpose of this was to prove the significance of freewriting but I want it to be perfectly written. Who am I kidding though? I am not the best writer, no matter how hard I try. I know I am good, but there are so many good writers out there, so what makes me think that I am so special? I am mediocre compared to most, so I probably won’t make it out there. I don’t want to be famous, but I do want my writing to speak out to some. But how can it when all I do is write rants and personal experiences on this blog once in a blue? I am 20 years old with no plan, no future, and no idea of how I’m gonna pursue what I want to do. My life is a mess. Should I even say more?

Ah yes. I need glasses. I can barely see what I am typing because my reading glasses got crushed in my bag. But I can’t afford new ones. I can, but then I have no money saved. Money seems to be one thing I am anxious about. It shouldn’t be, but it is because I need stuff and because I am one of the worst savers in history. I need so many things. I want to save money for my birthday too…oh what does it matter? No one else seems to care much for it. People want to make requests on what I should do but no one cares to try and help out but me, my boyfriend, and my mom. My sister would probably help if she could. That is beside the point though. The last time anyone even did anything for me was my close friends taking me to a buffet years ago, and a friend of mine that took me out to a chocolate resturant two years ago. Oh wow, look at how ungrateful I am. I complain so much but now that I think about it people do care about my birthday. My best friend came with my family to a resturant last year and got me a giant teddy bear. Here I have the nerve to complain no one cares or tries. Its no wonder I feel selfish; I am very selfish. I do help people, some of which don’t help back, but I have close friends who care. I have a mom thay cares, a sister that cares, a boyfriend that cares, friends that care. I should be happy with that, but Im not. All I ever do is complain to people and then get angry at them for the littlest things, just like my exes said. I would not be surprised if one day, everyone I know and love just left me because I am pathetic in every sense and complain about everything. I know it annoys me, which is why sometimes I want to do whatever I can to make it all go away. No, those kind of thoughts are selfish too. You see Lisa, you are so annoying and selfish. So selfish. Just shut the fuck up already.*

Most of those thoughts may seem ridiculous, and I am sure anyone who cares about me that will read this will want to slap me for thinking such insolence, but that is anxiety and what it does to the brain. It is like my normal self leaves my body and is replaced by some overly obsessive worrier that repeats the same negativity over and over and lists everything wrong with my life, even if nothing is wrong, and causes me to see nothing but negative outcomes in everything. That whole thought train was my anxiety speaking, and what I deal with on a daily basis. I wish it would go away, but it wins every battle and takes over my head too often. It keeps me up at night, it causes me to need reassurance from others constantly that everything is okay and they don’t hate me, and it causes me to have those panic attacks that seem to go on forever when I am too overwhelmed by everything.

Now tell me anxiety disorder is made up and can be easily controlled.