NO ADVICE Living With Anxiety with Dao

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Dao Ma

Sorrow made you.
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Speed of Light, Several Posts a Day, A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
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Male, Female, Transgender, Androgynous, Primarily Prefer Male
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Assertive, Passive and Aggressive depending on what the content is and what's going on.
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Modern Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Sci-fi Futuristic, Cyberpunk, Victorian, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, time period fantasies, semi-realism, slice of life, organization/agencies, gangs, dystopian, dark, comedy, medieval fantasy
Genre You DON'T Like
Gore-intensive horror, strictly Yaoi, Furry
#1
Something that some people that are familiar with me might know is that I have anxiety. Not just anxiety about the situations I am currently in, or just what's going on around me. It's not just anxiety about talking to people or going to places. It's not just worrying. What I have is chronic anxiety that I really truly believe is ingrained in me. My mother, younger sister, and a few years back found out my mom's father all have severe anxiety that they've had to live with for the majority of their adult lives. Every little aspect of life is a struggle. Things that I've done countless of times, suddenly in one moment after an anxiety attack, I can't do it anymore. I don't remember how to. I become consistently absent from school and work. I become 'unreliable' in terms of attendance because some days I just can't leave my room, as if I've somehow become agoraphobic. Some days I forget how to talk. Some days I can barely move. I cry at everything, even happy things. Exciting events can send me into an anxiety attack. And it makes me paranoid about absolutely everything. The smallest comment or gesture could mean my world is close to crumbling. I live in constant fear, yet the threat is nothing except my own mind. It affects my health. I'm either an insomniac or I'm lethargic. I either cling for attention or become completely disassociate. My body aches. I suffer from a constant state of dehydration because my stress is endless. It's a torturous way to live, and it doesn't matter how much medication I take, how many therapy sessions I go to, what breathing or mental exercises I do, it will never ever go away.

This thread is dedicated to my ramblings on anxiety, and how it is not a singularly defined disorder. I'll also touch up on how it effects others in my life, what I've had to endure, and what I continue to struggle with. I hope to gain a better perspective by writing it down and maybe finding a way to actually help myself where I hadn't before. If there's anyone reading this, you're welcome to PM me about your thoughts or how you may deal with your anxiety, or whatever may have you.​
 

Dao Ma

Sorrow made you.
DONATING MEMBER
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays
Posting Speed
Speed of Light, Several Posts a Day, A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Transgender, Androgynous, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Assertive, Passive and Aggressive depending on what the content is and what's going on.
Favorite Genres
Modern Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Sci-fi Futuristic, Cyberpunk, Victorian, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, time period fantasies, semi-realism, slice of life, organization/agencies, gangs, dystopian, dark, comedy, medieval fantasy
Genre You DON'T Like
Gore-intensive horror, strictly Yaoi, Furry
#2
The Seizure || The Anxiety Attack

Anxiety attacks are hard to define. Generally, an Anxiety Attack occurs whenever you have an elevated amount of anxiety due to stress, worry, fear, etc. It is more or less on the emotional and mental side of things. Panic Attacks, on the other hand, are a bit easier to define because they show physical symptoms. Normally they are abrupt with fast heart rate and an array of symptoms that aren't normal in an average person. For me, the two blend together very easily and one often leads into another. For the sake of simplicity, I call my minor attacks Anxiety Attacks and my major ones Panic Attacks.

The last couple days have been hell. I have been having a nearly constant state of anxiety with very little breaks besides when I fall asleep from mental exhaustion or when I'm distracted by something to where I have to give my complete focus. Just yesterday I woke up in a state of anxiety. Again, worrying about bills and how am I going to make it through the month again. I try so hard, but right now I'm just a bit down on my luck. Two jobs and one's going down the shitter. I can't seem to catch a break to just take care of myself. It feels like everyone is upset at me or a situation relating to me (though I'm sure that's just my constant paranoia talking), and every little misfortune feels like a large sharp stone striking my already battered and bruised body. And don't get me started on attempting to feel considerate for others while I'm incredibly clustered with thoughts of trying to take care of myself.

But anyways, after I woke up yesterday, I couldn't get out of bed. All I could do was cry. I don't remember how how long, and I don't remember what the trigger was, but I just cried and cried until I couldn't breathe. That was my anxiety attack.

It evolved when I kept thinking how I just wanted it to stop. I wanted everything to stop, slow down. I wanted all of the static white noise representation that filled my head to go away. It was just so loud that I couldn't bear it. And then my hands curled over my head. At some point I had put on one of my favorite hoodies to try to comfort me, but it just didn't work. My fingers curled into the hood on my head and I just squeezed my head. I silently screamed as hard as I could. My whole body was tense as if I was putting everything into screaming. I wasn't even breathing. I couldn't. And then I would make a small sound, just to sob and gasp for breath before I did it again. It happened maybe four or five times, where my whole body just clenched and repeated the same actions. Clutched my head. Squeezed. Silent scream. At least this time the repeating motion wasn't ramming my head with the palm of my hand. This is what I call my seizure. My panic attack.

Tonic seizures are a type of seizure where the body stiffens up, or maybe even curls up a bit. It's a different type compared to the commonly seen one where the body spasms and jerks around. But it still has the same causes of sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain. Please, if I'm wrong on this, let me know I'd like to understand more myself and I am by no means a med student. I don't know for sure, but it's the best thing I can compare my panic attacks to. The incredible amount of brain activity that goes through an anxiety attack and then suddenly propelled int a more extreme emotional state--it only makes sense to me to consider it something akin to a tonic seizure. But again, this is me trying to rationalize and explain what in the hell actually happens to me.

It's exhausting afterwards. I'm left emotionally void. I usually can't speak afterwards. I don't have enough tears to shed. I'm drained and if I don't fall asleep right afterwards, then I'm practically a zombie for the rest of the day. My responses to people's questions are a small nod of the head or barely a shake. I can't do a thing on my own. Picking up a cup for my favorite tea becomes a hard task because my lack of grip strength because I had been clutching my fists too hard. I can't feel, so I can't feel that I hadn't eaten for most of the day. I forget that I probably had to use the bathroom a few hours back but just didn't want to get out of bed until I'm absolutely forced to. I've had to crawl before because I couldn't find the energy to walk. I can't look at myself in the mirror. Or maybe, sometimes I find that I can't stop looking at myself. Is that really me? Is what I see really how broken I am? Is that what others see from me?

But unlike a seizure, I feel like this is something I could never tell someone about. I can't let them know or show them. It's hard to understand that it's a real problem and that afterwards I lose all functionality. No one can really comprehend that an Anxiety Attack and a Panic Attack are not just mental, and it's not just something a few breaths and rationalizing or grounding techniques can resolve. In this state, there is no rationalizing. Just like telling a person in the middle of a seizure to stop clenching. To stop spasming. Flex, breathe. It's not really possible.​
 
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Dao Ma

Sorrow made you.
DONATING MEMBER
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays
Posting Speed
Speed of Light, Several Posts a Day, A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Transgender, Androgynous, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Assertive, Passive and Aggressive depending on what the content is and what's going on.
Favorite Genres
Modern Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Sci-fi Futuristic, Cyberpunk, Victorian, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, time period fantasies, semi-realism, slice of life, organization/agencies, gangs, dystopian, dark, comedy, medieval fantasy
Genre You DON'T Like
Gore-intensive horror, strictly Yaoi, Furry
#3
Irrationality and the Illusion of Rationality

I tend to get upset easily. Not really at people per se, but about the situations surrounding people. Or at least people in situations that are situations that I want to be apart of. An example from just recently is that right now it is apple harvesting season, and so the fairly popular Apple Hill is open for festivities. I haven't been since I was a kid, and I remember I loved it. I love most harvest festivals (I love food LOL), and so I expressed to my boyfriend that I really really wanted to go some point this year. But as September passed and it became October, I was far too focused on making sure bills were paid and was being stretched so thin financially and emotionally dealing with (what I perceived to be) so many things at once, that it seemed like Apple Hill was out of the question for us. But one weekend my boyfriend went with his friends. They took him along and pretty much paid for everything. I tried not to feel hurt, but I just did. He knew it was somewhere I wanted to go. And once again, he was doing something that I wanted to do but gave up hope that I would be able to do it. And again, when I expressed my hurt, it was deflected back into my face. He deflected, saying 'This was my only time off and I wanted to spend time with my friends.' I understand that, but the anguish I felt wasn't because he went, but it was because he went.

Now how does this come into play with my anxiety? It made a much bigger deal out of it than anyone understood. I asked a few people about it and no one really seemed to understand where I was coming from. Where it was rational for me to feel incredibly hurt to the point where it did send me into an anxiety attack, to others, it just seemed like it was a small mishap where it could be fixed by either me going the next time or doing something else instead. But that wasn't the point, I rationalized. The point was, this was something I wanted to do to get out of my cycle of stress and torment of daily struggles. I wanted this because there was a bit of comforting nostalgia to the idea of going. I wanted to get out and do something fun too. Other than my obligation to work and transportation, there really isn't anything stopping me from doing other things that I want to do. But in my head, and I still feel to this point right now, I feel trapped. Like I can't do anything to stray away from just working or chores. Or taking care of this and that. I am stuck in a perpetual loop of I can't do anything for myself to help myself. I can only help others.

And that's where my rationality is flawed. It's irrational to think that I am forced to do what I do. Obligations and my current financial situation push me to this living. And maybe it's also because I've been living like this for so long. I put so much down for others that when it comes to me doing things for me, it gets pushed to the side and unthought of. That is irrational. It doesn't make any sense. And in that irrationality, my rationality is flawed.

Even though I know this, it's incredibly hard to break what I feel. What I think and know are not always in tune with what I feel. I think and I know that my boyfriend meant no ill intention on going, and he needed time away from our stressful life as much as I do, but I can't help but to feel hurt because he was doing something that I very much wanted to yet gave up hope for. One day I hope to break this trend. Do something for myself without regretting it. Stop thinking about others enough to be happy with the decisions I make for myself because I rationalized them in a rational manner instead of an irrational manner. Getting to that point after living in the same loop for years is... very very difficult.​
 

Dao Ma

Sorrow made you.
DONATING MEMBER
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays
Posting Speed
Speed of Light, Several Posts a Day, A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Prestige, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Transgender, Androgynous, Primarily Prefer Male
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Assertive, Passive and Aggressive depending on what the content is and what's going on.
Favorite Genres
Modern Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Sci-fi Futuristic, Cyberpunk, Victorian, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, time period fantasies, semi-realism, slice of life, organization/agencies, gangs, dystopian, dark, comedy, medieval fantasy
Genre You DON'T Like
Gore-intensive horror, strictly Yaoi, Furry
#4
The Painted Porcelain Masks || Alternatively, Anxiety Makes You a Fucking Liar

Anxiety is hard to live with mainly because for some unknown reason, it's more socially acceptable to keep it a secret. Yes, there's commercials and flyers and whatever to go get help, but even if you do, it's all done on your own time. Personally. Quietly. At what point does a workplace ever say 'oh you've worked hard and you look a little too overwhelmed, so why don't you take a break?' No. All they care about is making money, no matter how much they promote about the well being of their employees. Equal Opportunity jobs are a lie when it comes to anxiety as a disability. You are considered 'unreliable' or 'unavailable'. You're a liability. Hell, it would be easier for you to work if you were missing a hand or a leg. Then you'd be considered more viable for an equal opportunity. It's really not fair, but at the same time, how fair is it for a fast-paced industry to actually care about you?

So what you have to do is create masks. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right paint, other times you know the colors almost instantly. But you have to remind yourself that they're just made out of porcelain, but you can never take them off in front of your bosses or your coworkers. You have to seem like you're strong and stable or relatively happy. You have to keep being fully functional, and fully prepared for whatever is thrown at you. Under that mask is a whole different story, but painted on the porcelain mask is a smiling face.

Porcelain masks crack easily though, and that's proven to be exploited. I have more call outs than anyone else I work with simply because some days my mask is just too cracked. I don't have enough glue to put it back together and fuck having tape or any other kind of adhesive to keep it together. I have to take that call out as a day to find something to mend the mask enough to where it won't completely shatter and show the mess of myself underneath. That also means that when I go back to work, I have to wear that cracked mask and convince others that those cracks are actually paint.

Needless to say whether you hate lying or not, you become one. Every day I tell someone that I'm okay because if I ever say I'm not okay, no one knows how to respond. Are they supposed to be sympathetic? Are they supposed to ask what's wrong? They don't particularly care. Nor do they really need to care. So to make things easier to prevent an unpleasant and unwanted conversation, I say that I'm fine. I'm okay. I've even resorted to using 'not too bad.' Not good, but not horrible either. But I am a liar.

Even worse when you work in retail. Every day I stand at the register, I have to smile. I have to have a happy bright tone, even though really deep down I feel like crying. I'm exhausted from pretending to feel a way that I am not. There have been times where I was in the middle of an anxiety attack and I still had to ring people up. My voice trembled, my hands shook like leaves. It took every bit of brain power to remember the steps to the old register and to make sure all the numbers were right. I had to joke, and claim allergies were getting to me when I kept sniffling. I had to endure cheesy conversations or listen to stories about things I really don't care to know even though I felt like running and hiding in the back. The hardest part is when that porcelain mask falls, yet you have to endure. I've cried at register. Between customers, I've sat there and cried. And as soon as someone came up to the register, I had to wipe my tears away and pretend like nothing was wrong. But half of my mask was cracked away. It's not something most companies can handle well. It's not good customer service.

I suppose this shitty little auto parts shop is more of a blessing in disguise. I am not judged by corporate eyes, and oddly enough, they understand that some days I just can't do it. I don't have my mask and I can't handle it. They're apparently one of the few that has seen past my mask. It's a rare thing to find.​