Today’s Guest Blog comes from the skillful pen of MyMidWestMusing. She writes insightfully on the daily struggle so many of us know only too well, the battle with anxiety. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
At the risk of this sounding presumptuously arrogant, I know there are plenty of things to love about me — despite my anxiety. The end of the previous sentence has been a mantra I have said to myself on a daily basis for going on 8 years. Two thousand nine-hundred twenty days of the same repetitive sentence entering my brain, and I have to say I did not start to believe it until I was 6 years in.
There are moments every day that I fear my current relationship will be destroyed by my anxiety. As many anxiety sufferers know to be true, I feel like I am at war with half of myself every hour of the day. Not only am I fighting for the other half of myself, the one that is overflowing with reasons to love me, but I am fighting for my relationship. I am in a desperate attempt to protect the innocent person that occasionally is injured from my anxiety’s shrapnel. Fighting for myself started to feel normal — and even deserved — two years ago, but fighting to shield someone outside of myself from having to experience my hourly anxiety episodes does nothing but consume me with exhaustive guilt.
At the end of the days where I have lost the battle, the only sensation I can feel is the lump in the back of my throat due to the overwhelming feeling of defeat. I fall short in admitting the loss to myself, but especially him. I find myself struggling to let him know that all of his efforts to fight this illness with me, and even for me, failed that day. I don’t want him to ever feel even a glimpse of the helplessness that anxiety sufferers feel at the end of a day where you pulled out all the stops — from breathing techniques to magnesium supplements — and still your thoughts are swirling around beginning to blur your sense of logic and reality. The lump in the back of your throat starts to slowly travel to your eyes. Your chest rises and falls rapidly, and your heart follows suit.
As I get older, I have to remind myself that it is inevitable that I will lose the fight some days. The goal must change from obliterating the existence of those days to lessening the amount of losses. I am able to shift my perspective from one to another, and that is another blow against the illness — I still have control. To my fellow GAD sufferers, I hope you find it in you to never lose the initiative to find new ways to gain control. Never lose the desire to fight back. You deserve to be fought for, remember that.