Thursday, April 24, 2014

Anxiety: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Negative

Lately, I’ve developed a bad case of insomnia, which is not surprising considering anxiety rules my life more often than I would like.  It is indeed a battle.  I was on the winning end of the battle for a while, but lately it seems like more of the losing side.  Losing sleep hasn’t helped the cause that is for sure, as the less I sleep, the more anxious I become.  It is a vicious cycle.  I have horrible restless legs and my mind and body just can’t seem to sit still.  Ever since I’ve had anxiety, sleep has been hard to come by, and it comes and goes in periods where I go weeks with great sleep followed by weeks of awful sleep.

I’ll either struggle to fall asleep, wake up earlier than I want to, or just lay in bed, unable to get comfortable, no matter how hard I try.  Because of this, I figured I should return to blogging and get that going once again.  I’m not promising that I’ll keep up with it, but at least it will give me something to do on those sleepless, anxiety-filed nights.  Amanda has to wake up early in the morning for work and I don’t want to keep her up all night, as that would be pretty rude.  Blogging seems to be the best bet at this point.

Lately, I haven’t necessarily been feeling worried, mostly negative, which I guess is worrying in its own way.  The voice of anxiety can be incredibly loud and incredibly negative.  It assumes the worst and always leads to what is called “doomsday thinking,” where you think the worst possible outcome is going to happen in a situation.  It can make it hard to enjoy life.  I know I’d probably feel a hell of a lot better with a solid night’s sleep.  That always seems to clear everything up and give me a fresh take on what is going on and allows me to look at things more realistically.

The waiting period with moving into the condo has been quite stressful on me, I must admit.  They have accepted our offer and we have signed the papers, but now just waiting on the loan approval.  The anxiety voice tells me that we will be denied the loan, even though we have been pre-approved and everything is on the right path.  Anxiety looks at logic and facts and simply laughs at them and says, “I’m going to convince you the worst.”  It is like that kid in high school who always made fun of you and pointed out your flaws.  It loves doing that.

I’ve been feeling very lonely and like I need more friends.  I have Amanda, always and forever, but I can’t put the burden on her, 24/7, to be the only person in my life.  It simply isn’t fair to her.  However, outside of her and my dad, I find it hard to trust people.  I can trust them online or over text message, but in person, it can be scary and I have concerns that my anxiety will rear its ugly head and I’ll act panicky, strange, and people will think I’m some sort of weirdo. Again, instead of believing that I’ll be funny, charming and have a good time, anxiety tells me I’ll be stuttering, super nervous, and act odd and make people uncomfortable.

The social anxiety seems to decrease with a good night’s sleep and Clonazepam.  That prescribed medication makes me rather fearless, as I’ll tell people exactly how I feel and act much more calm.  I don’t like having to rely on that pill, however, and I don’t want to always have to use it in social situations.  I hung out with my dad today and I feel like I did very well socially.  I have concerns about Packerpalooza 2014 this weekend.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled and excited to go, but being in a packed room of people causes me great anxiety as I worry I might have a panic attack or act anxiety ridden in front of the players I’d like to meet and I’ll stutter, make a fool of myself. Again, that is “doomsday” thinking at its finest. I worry the pictures won’t turn out the way I want them to, I’ll look fat in photos, and I’ll act strangely because of anxiety.  I worry people will think I’m weird, judge me, and I’ll have a bad time because of anxiety.  

Even things I look forward to and enjoy can be impacted because of this disease and this illness. It all boils down to sleep and changing the way I think. I know if I thought more positively and believed in good outcomes, they would happen and I’d have nothing to worry about at all.  I enjoy things more after the fact instead of during, as I’m relieved the event happened and I didn’t say anything stupid or act anxious.  I know I shouldn’t worry about what other people think of me, but I do, and it is hard to control it.

I have my dad and Amanda, but I feel like I need more people in my life.  I have pushed many people away in my life and I have burned many bridges. This is my fault I know and no one is going to feel sorry for me, nor do I want them to or expect them to.  I think a bigger support system of real life, day to day friends would help, but I get flaky with my anxiety and don’t always want to be around people.  It puts pressure on me, as I worry about how I’ll behave.  It might sound exhausting, complicated, and all over the place, but it is anxiety.  It tells you that it wants more people in your life, but then you push them away and get scared to commit to hang out or be around anyone.

I appreciate you reading if you have read all of this. They say sharing and talking about this sort of thing helps.  Maybe it will help me sleep tonight.

-Tony Farinella

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