Sunday, 10 May 2015

Meet my friend Anxi.

I just wanted to write about something a little bit different. 

I'd like you to meet my friend Anxi, she's a person who likes to wear a lot of black and if she can she'll dress me up in it too. She likes to ruin parties and social interactions, her favourite hobby is worrying & listening to music.
She has plenty of other friends, in fact she effects 3.3% of children and young adults, 4.7% of UK adults & sometimes she meets her friend Des and they hang out in 9.7% of people. She is a very real person, in many people's heads and in normality, she is a part of everyone but for those 4.7% 3.3% and 9.7% of people, she is paralysing.

Anxi is worse to me when I'm alone, because she knows I have no one around me, to take the attention away from her.
Anxi is very, very loud, she likes to be the centre of attention, she likes to remind you that she's there. Even when you don't want her to be, you're sat minding your own business then, like an unwelcome acquaintance, she sits beside you, put her hands over your mouth and silences you, with her negative "reminders".

She'll shout her taunts at me like a playground bully; she convinces me that my friends and my partner think I'm two-faced, worthless and that they don't want to see me. She'll tell me that the person sat opposite me, is staring at me because they think I'm fat. When I lose the weight, she'll tell me every ones looking at me because I'm too thin, she'll tell me that the message I said to one of my friends, was very bitchy and that they won't reply. She'll tell me that my friends are making up countless excuses because they can't actually stand me. One time, she even convinced me that the reason why it was raining, is because I was bringing mother nature down with me (yes, she even convinced me, the bad weather was my fault).
She won't let me talk openly about her with my friends, family or partner not always. She tells me they won't understand, they'll think I'm crazy and they'll all leave me. She'll tell me that she is the reason they can't stand me, that she is all I have because no one else understands.

These little chants or as she calls it "warnings" often come with unpleasant physical experiences. I can not remember the last time she allowed me to have a decent nights sleep, without circling and over analysing every sentence anyone ever said to me that day. She causes pins and needles as she takes the blood from other areas of my body, to just my legs and arms, ready to "fight or flight." She causes the feelings of nausea or "butterflies" and from carrying all the stresses that come with her chants, she's given me back pains and I can not carry anymore. She's made me exhausted and tired, sometimes I can't even get out of bed. Some days I can barely eat because I feel too sick, other days I want to eat everything because I need the energy. She makes me tearful and irrational, because I can't make sense between what she's saying vs what I know to be the truth.
Anxi's version of the truth, does not fit with mine, she plays everything back in my mind to argue her case, analysing every word, every movement, every message or lack of, to prove that what she says is true, when I know she's lying. This battle with her always makes me exhausted and tearful, sometimes even irritable towards the people I care about, because although I know they didn't mean what they said in the way Anxi interpreted it; Anxi is so loud, I sometimes can't control her and how she makes me think, so I snap at the person in the room and they do not deserve it; they do not deserve me being irritable towards them.

Of course I argue with Anxi, I argue and fight her quite often. I normally shout at her, cry, scream, sometimes I can even pull a laugh her way, because she's so ridiculous in what she is presuming. She thinks she has a "six sense" she thinks she can read peoples minds and predict the future, she keeps thinking everything is always going to have a bad outcome. But I know very well that Anxi is trying to protect me, I also know that in the extreme cases she is wrong and worrying an unhealthy amount.

As much as Anxi has her bad points, she also has her good points. She helps me appreciate small things, because If I can do something, without a fear of Anxi stealing the spot light, it's a whole new breath of fresh air. Sometimes, it can be full on, because it means I want to be around those people or doing that activity all the time, because for the first time in a long time, it's quiet & I'm not arguing with Anxi.
It means when I'm with my mum or little sister, with my friends and we're out dancing, or when I'm waking up next to my partner I can appreciate every second, every minute of those moments, because in those moments, with these people, I'm not anxious or scared anymore.
It means I can appreciate my family, partner and friends because around those people, I feel comfortable, happy and loved. So if I ever give you a random look, a random smile or a random hug; it's because in that moment, I am appreciating all that you are and all that you are doing. Even though it's ridiculously small, it means everything to me.

Anxi makes me aware of how I am towards other people, how I act and how that affects other people. She's made me understand the importance of listening to others, of being there for people, because she's given me an understanding of what it's like to feel hurt and alone.

Anxi has made me appreciate everyone I have in my life, she has made me realise how I should treat them, how to make them feel loved, how to make them feel wanted.
Anxi makes me care about everyone around me, even people who hurt me.

Anxiety made me who I am and as much as she might scare me, paralyse me or try to control me; I have reasons to fight and I will keep fighting. One day, I will walk side by side with Anxiety and she will protect me properly, like a true friend does. This is my friend Anxiety & like any other part of a human being, she is imperfectly perfect...sometimes.

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