My middle name is Worrywart. Seriously. Or it may as well be.
I worry about anything and everything. I always have done. What you consider to be a minor triviality I consider to be a major life-threatening situation. I can barely use a phone, overtake a lorry, speak to a stranger, sit on a bus, hear an odd noise, watch my cat disappear to her secret place, walk past a small crowd [even when it’s people I know very well, although amazingly I can cope with a crowd of teenagers], enter an unknown place, send a text message, open my front door, disagree with someone [even a good friend], smell a smell, stand in a queue, sit in the cinema, order at a bar, make small talk with the hairdresser, smile at a parent, watch the news, laugh at a joke [I don’t ‘get’ jokes], nod a greeting upon seeing the neighbours, open the post, walk along the pavement, and many other ordinary everyday things, without worrying.
I live with it, like some disease. I’ve developed coping strategies: when sitting on the bus I hide behind my iPod and laugh at folk in my head; I’ll check through the window before I toddle outside and if need be I’ll wait till the ‘danger’ is less and there are barely any folk around; I won’t open my front door if I’m not expecting anyone, nor answer the phone unless I recognise the number [and even then I’ll only answer if I want to]. If I didn’t develop strategies I’d be confined to never leaving the house, and that in itself would probably be worse [when I think something is wrong at home (a leaky toilet, for example) the best thing I can do is go out because if I can’t see it or hear it then it isn’t happening].
Sometimes I can’t control things though [usually my emotions, rather than anything tangible] and that’s when I’ll start to panic. I’ve never suffered a panic attack, at least, not of the variety that you read about. My worry is manifested in the tight constrictive feeling living in my chest, in the way I play with/bite the skin around my thumb nails, an uncontrollable urge to giggle … this is the way I live – anxious, bewildered, on-edge all the time. And when I panic the way I am is multiplied by zillions.
And it makes me want to cry.
Occasionally I’ll start to panic for no discernable reason. There’s no rhyme or reason behind it, it just happens. Sometimes it only lasts for a matter of minutes and sometimes it lasts for days. Trying not to cry on a crowded bus is silly, but trying not to cry in front of your blokey is just ridiculous – but when you worry that you’re a disappointment [he helped get me off the anti-depressants] and that feeling is so severe it makes you feel physically sick … pffft.
And then, to really mess with my head, I get insomnia again [of the i can fall asleep easy enough but i’ll wake up at very early o’clock and not be able to go back into the land of slumber variety], after a break of a few months. Not sleeping makes me worry. Not sleeping after trying for an hour makes me panic. Getting up at four in the morning to watch the tellybox and make strawberry jelly is a stupid thing to do, but at least it helps quieten the panicky feelings. Not sleeping last night makes me worry that I won’t sleep tonight and so now I won’t sleep tonight.
Ah, ya bugger.
So, this post was brought to you by a very panicky katiefinger, who is worrying about everything and who currently has no control over her feelings and would like very muchly to just curl up into a ball and forget about the world. I can’t even blame it on PMS. Humpf. Writing about it is my coping strategy. Therefore, feel free to ignore this post. Thank you.
please God bless me and let me sleep tonight, and bless the blokey’s toothache xxx Elsabeth