Fiction but it’s not so strange
I have been a poorly bee this week, which is very frustrating, after trying and failing to push through I had to accept that rest was the only way to recovering. It has been at times like these, when my body is weak and my resolve tested, that the threat of anxiety taking over has been real. I mean at my height of suffering, anxiety was real everyday, but when you feel physically vulnerable, the mind seems to decide that it also wants to throw in it’s lot.
I am so much better now, that I feel like an entirely different person, the anxiety will always be there, treating me from somewhere deep within, but I have learned to live around it and live with it and I have learned a set of new behaviours that mean living with it isn’t half the struggle it used to be when I tried to control it.
Anyway, this week I was ill and for the most part my anxiety is still in check. For this reason I wanted to share a section of Breathe that I wrote not so long ago about what it is like to have anxiety on an every day basis, not as a reaction to illness or sadness but just as it is, real and omnipresent. The excerpt is fiction, of course, but it is from real experiences that is has been written. Days like the day Sophia is experiencing are excruciatingly hard, people try to understand and will say things like ‘it will be ok’ or ‘just snap out of it’ or ‘you have no reason to feel this way, just put it to the back of your mind’. Sometimes there is a reason, sometimes there isn’t and so all of these common phrases do little to dissuade the guilt, yes guilt, that a person with anxiety may feel on any day and especially on a day when they think that others will judge them for being over dramatic, or self centred.
Struggle days, as I call them, are impossible to control the more you try the more you retreat into yourself and away from the ability to step back from the situation. So I ask you to read this with two hats on,
- As an objective lover of literature, let me know your thoughts on the pace, the vocabulary, the structure, the story, the atmosphere etc.
- As a person experiencing anxiety through the mind of someone who has it. If you do have it, know you are not alone and there is strength in numbers, you might experience it differently but the support and compassion is there. If you don’t have it and think, ‘everyone feels anxious’ then please have an open mind, everyone is different and there is often no rhyme nor reason for struggle days. If you don’t have it but want to understand, understand that this is one experience and each experience is as unique as the people on this earth, but the crux is inner pain and sometimes, unfathomably there is no obvious reason for it.
Thanks for reading,