Last night I made plans to visit a few friends about an hour away from my home. I reached out, made sure they would be available while I was in town, and went to bed so that I’d be able to wake up early and get ready for the drive. Then I woke up at about 4:30am. This in and of itself was not unusual, I usually wake up a few times a night. But even after I used the bathroom and attempted to cuddle up again I could not find sleep. My mind was racing. I was nervous about the next day. The next hour was spent shuffling between the bathroom and bedroom, trying not to wake my husband while I wrestled with one of my most hated consequences of having Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Socializing in person has become rare and excessively difficult during this part of my journey.
To try to deal with the disappointment of bailing on plans yet again I wrote this and posted it to my social media. The response of understanding has been really nice. I don’t do great with writing out my reality and sharing my experience, though I very much want to. Hopefully in this new year I’ll get a bit better in all the ways.
From my Instagram, “For those of you who don’t know, THIS is anxiety. It’s making plans you desperately want to keep and then tossing and turning all night unsure of something as simple as leaving the house for several hours at a time. Anxiety is KNOWING I had fun and enjoyed the rare company of my friends last time I made plans, but still living with this heightened fear that something uncomfortable or bad just might happen. It’s dealing with the fact that I got sick last time I was out of the house, and even though I know leaving the house didn’t cause me to get sick, my brain still feels really nervous that it’ll happen again. It’s all the guilt and shame and so much fucking anger over letting my friends and myself down every time I bail on them in favor of hiding in my room and feeling lonely, but safe. It’s the constant struggle between knowing that I need to be kind to myself and gentle in my attempts at getting well, while also kind of wishing I didn’t exist because living in such a consistent state of fear is exhausting. It’s knowing that I’m missing things I won’t have the chance to get back. It’s knowing that when I do bail on plans that other people will have to pick up my slack, leaving me to wonder when those I love will get sick of my struggles and finally pull away. It’s forcing myself to be strong enough to believe that this won’t last forever, that the girl I used to be is maybe still in here somewhere.”