What's it like living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Review Chain

I decided to personally write an article I guess about myself living with Generalized Anxiety. I never really written an article before, so I thought why not. I thought it might be something people could relate to. It was truly thanks to another writer on here: CreativeMarauder. He wrote his own experience to something similar so feel free to check him. Thank you, for giving me the courage to post something like this!


 

What’s it like living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder? 


 

GAD=Generalized Anxiety Disorder


 

What is your day like?

 

It really depends on what day it is, but I crave my routine like an addiction. If I didn’t have some way to plan out my day or future I would truly go insane. I truly love my planners, setting goals for myself, and being passionate about my ambition. It’s all about control for me, since my running thoughts would never shut up. 

 

What is anxiety to you?

 

Imagine having an annoying song that would play over and over again. The song would somehow play on the radio, on a streaming channel, or someone humming that song which would annoy the ever living crap out of you. I would repeat my thoughts, to the point of an insanely catchy song, but would sooner rather than later want a bat to smash the song to stop playing. My spiraling thoughts would woven itself like a web, weaving and twisting up my mind, and I couldn’t do anything but be a trapped prey in my spidery web. Funny enough, it’s a web I have created for myself, yet I couldn’t help my thoughts linger like a stain in my brain. It’s a bad habit more than anything, but wanting to change your ways of thinking is a lot harder than people may think.

 

Have You Tried Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

 

Believe it or not, I am attending therapy for it. All of my thoughts have a connection, it’s up to me if I want to find the root of it. Where did this bad seed of my thoughts come from? How could I nurture it, so it wouldn’t grow into more bad weeds? It’s okay if you laughed at the plant analogy I did too when I came up with it. My therapist knew how much I love writing, so she suggested I try the cringiest metaphor to connect with my thoughts. Truth be told, I hate gardening, especially since it irritates my allergies and my supposed asthma. However, it has seemed to work, and my therapist got a kick out of it. Who knows, maybe these plant analogies would grow on you, get it?

 

Does anxiety affect your love life?

 

Every. Single. Time. A lot of the past people I dated thought I came off as indifferent and cold sometimes. They had no idea I would stare at my phone, to the point I wondered if my eyes would become laser beams, and I would overthink if I said too much or too little. For some reason, a lot of guys told me they weren’t used to a girl who didn’t care if they didn’t text me back till the next day. Truthfully, I would keep myself busy, since I hated someone who held power to how I would react and feel. Of course, the whole point of a relationship is to be vulnerable with someone, but sometimes my anxiety would mask my true feelings. Although if you’re dating someone with GAD, one of the love languages we truly appreciate is words of affirmation. It may seem silly and out of the blue when we ask our partner randomly for assurance. No matter how weird our request might be, just being blunt as possible to us does our anxious mind some good. 

 

Does anxiety affect your friendship?

 

Truthfully, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends. It’s easier for me to be vulnerable in front of them, since they stuck around like for years to see the good, the bad, and the ugliness of my anxiety. Of course, my anxiety would clash sometimes with my friendships. I need to plan things, no matter how small it may be, but it’s my own sense of comfort for my anxiety. Sometimes, my mind would think I’m being a burden to them, and I should act a certain way: Wasn’t I the funny enough friend? Did I say something bad? Did I seem anxious when we hung out togehter? Thankfully, when my friends send me a text later after our hang outs, all those thoughts just turn into dust. 

 

Have people assumed that you’re someone who doesn't have GAD?

 

Yep, most likely all the time. Once they had gotten to know the real me, they would know the true me.This is where masking comes in, since I’m really good at pretending that I’m not an anxious mess. I took theater at a young age, so I knew how to put on a good performance. Partly why I liked theater so much, it’s the only time where my generalized anxiety would become quiet. I’m not a young woman with GAD, I am in control with my character, I get to control my environment and how everyone would act to my performance. It made me quite put-together and confident and sociable, since I would randomly go up to people as I would mingle with them. Later when I would go home, I would sit in my own home theater mind with how I acted, but in the moment I just didn’t give a damn. Never cared truly if someone new would like me or not, it’s all about those who stuck around and accepted me.

 

What does your family think about your GAD?

 

Well, basically my whole family has it. It was passed down genetically, and one psychologist told me it could be an environmental thing with how I grew up. As I looked back at my childhood, it wasn’t shitty or anything, but I did worry about a lot of stuff that I don’t think a child should be aware of. I worried about money a lot, afraid to get yelled at, and things were never constant in my life. Probably why I planned things so much, since things weren’t ever stable in my life growing up. I never cared for change, hated things out of my control, since I would see how bad things could happen if you didn’t have control in your life. Overall, my immediate family is patient and understanding with my anxiety, but some of my extended family would look at me as a glass house.

Things to never say to a person with GAD?

 

Stop Stressing

You’re being dramatic?

It’s okay

You’re fine

You’re a crybaby

Man UP

It will get better

How come your treatment is not working?

Why are you stressed?

It’s no big deal

 

Straight up, we hate it, so please be mindful of what you say. One guy I briefly dated told me I shouldn’t be stressing so much about my finals. He probably said it out of concern, but I told him my anxiety would get funky. If someone doesn't respect your anxiety, it's good to set boundaries of course. However, never let someone tell you how you should feel. Learned the hard way on that one. 

 

Final thoughts with GAD

 

When I was younger and how far I have come now. I honestly didn’t expect myself to get a college degree, hold a part time job, and be sociable as can be. It’s truly amazing, so if you’re struggling with GAD or mental health. Some people may have said to you: you can do it, it’s okay, you’ll get there. My truthful word of advice- You’re stuck with this, but use baby steps with how you want to run your life, and I was always competitive. I made my anxiety sort of like a game, just to see different strategies I could beat my certain fears.

 



Submitted: August 06, 2022

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Comments

olive tree

Great article. Can confirm on all levels.

+++

Sat, August 6th, 2022 4:47am

Author
Reply

Thank much, I'm glad you found it relatable! I wanted people to feel when this read this, they can connect to it.

Sat, August 6th, 2022 7:56am

CreativeMarauder

I wouldn't have guessed, with how confidently you present yourself. That's awesome. You do remind me of a Hummingbird though, the way your informal writing reads, it's full of energy.

Anxiety only has as much power over you as you give it. It's good to see that you decided to overcome, where so many choose to wear such things as an excuse.

It /is/ hard.

I think this can help people. Everyone's had data and studies thrown at them. Such things are invariably ignored... It doesn't work in the moment. Persistence is what let's water cut through rock.

Your success can light the way for those who can't yet see the shore.

If you want to go further... I can't recommend meditation enough.

Take care.

Sat, August 6th, 2022 11:18am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much, greatly appreciate it. I actually like the hummingbird expression, I think I'm also full of energy because my anxiety never let's my thoughts stop. I'm always on the go, and staying still can sometimes be hard for me.

I know everyone deals with anxiety differenlty. It's still process I'm going through, but I'm handling than I did when I was younger. I've had people tell me they have anxiety as an excuse sometimes. I truly understand, but I also know when people take advantage of it to the people who really have anxiety and it makes us look bad.

Yeah, I've gotten so much, and some people tells me it's get bet over time. There are times I really wanted to tell my psychologist to shove it lol. But I personally feel like sharing my experience and not sugar coating is the best way for people to relate.

I have tried meditation, but so far hasn't really worked for me. I tried more different methods, I sort of have to meditate while I'm blasting taylor swift. It works though, but calm and quiet never works for me. I think bc if i mediate quietly my thoughts seem to overstress more.

Thanks you too!

Sat, August 6th, 2022 8:05am

llywrch

I was a bit surprised to see you use the question-&-answer format for this essay, but you handle it well. (No, this is not a criticism, just an honest reaction. From the title I was expecting an essay in the more familiar traditional format.)

I am left with one unanswered question: if you are stressing over something, how do you want to be comforted? What do you want someone to say to you? Or should we just ignore your stress?

And yes, many of us are neurodivergent. It just isn't obvious from how we come across in print.

Sun, August 7th, 2022 12:47am

Poetshri

Very helpful article. After reading the article, I wonder, whether not wanting to meet the people in person also counts as GAD. I remember a classmate who had this problem. Other classmates used to make fun of him. I just hated those guys. That guy was brilliant in studies, and he was good-natured. I felt bad for him. In my nation, still there are people who think if someone has a psychological issue, that person has become mad. Your article is an eye-opening. Thank you for sharing this. But one thing I want to know. How to realize whether a person has GAD? Can you please give some information? Thank you. :)

Sun, August 7th, 2022 4:01pm

Ann Sepino

That's the thing! GAD doesn't disappear in the blink of an eye. There are times when the symptoms stay dormant, but there's always a chance of it acting up again. Even the most put-together people can feel anxious all the time. They just know how to hide it or deal with it internally.

One other thing is that anxiety in itself is more common than people think, so it shouldn't be strange to see someone write about it from time to time. There are people all over the world who have no one to talk to about being anxious, so writing may be one of their tools to address it. I'm glad that you decided to become part of this initiative.

I'm also glad that you're in a CBT program. Most of the people I've seen talking about it say that it helps a lot. Support systems are great too, especially if they're made up of family and close friends. That being said, kudos to you friends and family for being there and trying their best to support you!

Mon, August 8th, 2022 3:11am

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