Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why So Anxious?

The days when I walk into my first class of the day and have an anxiety attack are days where I just want to curl up on my bed and watch Netflix. The last thing I want to do is go to class surrounded by other students. I don't want to go through the day worried about having an anxiety attack. Dreading the moment when the tightness in my chest returns, my breathe becomes short and I feel like running as far away from everything as I possibly can.

When I told my friends that I was having anxiety attacks I got one question. Why? Why was I having anxiety? That's the funny thing about anxiety, you can't always determine a specific reason for an attack. Or it could be because of the smallest trigger. Sometimes for me it's just being around too many people that triggers my anxiety. Many people don't realize that anxiety is something that comes in many versions and at random moments for random reasons.

I have had anxiety hit me at the most unexpected moments. It has hit in the middle of class, in the shower, or even standing in a circle of girls. Many times it is triggered by a feeling of claustrophobia or being in a stressful situation or around people feeling stressed. There's no rhyme or reason for my anxiety attacks and yet still people ask me why I'm having them. They don't understand that I don't know why and asking me about it is just going to make it worse.

Sometimes my anxiety is triggered because of something that happens the previous day and then I feel stressed the next day. My 25th birthday came and went with very little excitement which may have triggered the multiple anxiety attacks the next day.

Some days are good and others aren't so good. Some weeks are good and then I'll have a day where I get three or four attacks throughout the day. They sneak up on you and attack when you least expect it. I do my best to push through but sometimes I just need to stop and breathe. Remind myself that everything is okay and that I have people who love me and support me.

Along with the anxiety attacks always comes the overthinking. My brain kicks into overdrive and creates these ridiculous thoughts about whatever is going on in my life at the time. Whether it's attacking my self esteem, telling me that my life is horrible or just coming up with the worst possible scenarios for my life, my mind loves to run to the darkest corners and dredge up horrible ideas.

It's wrapped around my spine,
It's under my skin,
The only way to get it out,
Is to tear the skin away.
It's behind my eyes,
Pushing, growing.
It's in my head.
I can't stay still,
I can't move.
I want to scream,
I want to cry,
But the sound won't come.
The tears are forbidden to me.
The sun hurts,
The dark stings.
It's hot. It's cold.
I can't breath.
I want to dig it out with my nails,
To seize it and pull it out,
Kicking and screaming.
To rip my flesh away to get to it.
There's pain.
There's peace.
It won't let me be.
The muscles scream.
The nerves sing.
I don't know what's happening to me.


  1. Rachel,
    I want you to know that you are not the only one with this unfortunate disorder. I'm not even sure if that is the right word to describe it. I have anxiety and high blood pressure problems, so whenever I am feeling those flustered and anxious feelings, I always have to tell myself to find something that will anchor myself back to reality. I know it might not be the same for you, but reading this post, I couldn't help but relate to almost all of your words in that last poem. Those words are powerful and very deep.

  2. Well written. I hope you share this with your friends and others who need more people talk about it openly. This post can provide others with an example so those who don't ever experience will get at glimpse into the insiders view. Nicely done.