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Fahckmylife's Blog
Crap adult, OK human.

The phrase ‘calm down’ never helped anyone.

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You probably wouldn’t think it when you met me but internally I’m a bit of a general mess.  Well, I mean I’m a highly functioning mess but I never actually relax.  It’s probably a combination of nervousness and sensitivity, masked under confident-ish cheeky banter and a willingness to listen and empathise, so you mightn’t see it directly, but it’s there and it has been since I was tiny.  I think I’m pretty decent at hiding it usually, but that in itself is exhausting, because as far as I can see I’m generally fighting a losing battle. No matter how proactive I am and how much I plan for every possible eventuality,  the voices of self-doubt in my head repeat all the negative things I’m trying to avoid.  So whilst I’m smiling and laughing and talking away underneath I’m nearly always panicking.  Even when someone notices it on one of those rare occasions you’re still going to get some patronising fucker telling you to ‘calm down’ as you verge onto a panic attack because y’know that’s really effective and doesn’t make you feel like an inconvenience at all.  If you’d ever had a panic attack, where you feel yourself get dizzy and can’t breathe, you wouldn’t be saying any bullshit to that effect at all.

 

Before I describe some of the stupid shit that I do because of my anxiety I’d like to briefly describe how I feel from it to give you an idea of what I feel like 80% of the time.  That’s right, 80% of the time – sleepless nights, nightmares, panic attacks, being hyper vigilant and waiting for bad stuff to happen etc…  I’m not doing this so you’ll feel sorry for me – it was what it is (I hate that stupid phrase) – I’m just asking that people stop thinking people are dicks for things that they clearly have a hard time with.  OK, so imagine everything is in slow-motion and you’re watching a cannon ball coming towards you, or some other dangerous object.  You know in real time that you cannot escape it and it’s going to hit you.  You just know.  That is how I feel the majority of the time, waiting for that big hit, that will at least seriously injure me, like some kind of horrible purgatory, that probably will never come to a conclusion.  And in real life you have to keep going and function all the time, so imagine how difficult it is to focus or complete tasks when you are even slightly stressed.  Imagine how overwhelming that is.

 

Anyway, I thought I’d just share that to give you a glimpse into how things can be difficult and how things are in my head.  I’m not saying everyone’s anxiety is the same but the phrases ‘calm down’ or ‘relax’ really don’t help – so maybe consider that before you use them.  Having anxiety doesn’t make you weak either, although I know it makes me awkward and perhaps a bit twitchy, and sometimes I suppose I seem rude, but generally I don’t mean it.  If I cause offence I usually apologise if I’m aware of it.  Panic attacks don’t have to be full blown and obvious either, they can take the form of zoning out and going quiet amongst other things so just because it doesn’t ‘seem like there’s anything wrong’ there can be so don’t bother saying that either.

 

So here is a list of things that I do or find difficult because of my anxiety.

 

Leaving the house:

It’s overwhelming.  Too many unpredictable things and loud noises.  Sometimes I cancel plans last minute because outside just seems so daunting and the thoughts of going outside alone has exhausted me.  I don’t mean anything bad by it.

 

Being late for things:

I don’t like rushing either so I like to give myself lots of time.  I’m nearly always early but the idea of being late twists my guts up into massive knots.  Don’t get me wrong – I still won’t run or anything.

 

Getting off a bus or negotiating through tight spaces:

Probably because I’m a woman and regularly get groped from vag to tit to arse.  I stare for ages at spaces trying to decipher the path of least resistance even if it is the longest route.

 

Group messaging:

Anything that involves more than three people will just overwhelm me.  I’m not being rude if I leave.  I just can’t handle all the information.  I can put it on mute but seeing 24 notifications sends me into a spin.

 

The ‘sign of peace’ at mass:

I don’t want to awkwardly shake your hand.  I’m so nervous anyway that I’m dripping sweat.  Nothing induces a mini panic attack for me like the lead up to this part, which I know word for word for some reason.  Also, I saw you scratch your arse beforehand or pick your nose.  Now I’m forced to touch you.  I wish foot in mouth was a thing again.

 

Compliments:

What’s your angle, eh buddy?  FUCK OFF!

 

Doorbells:

I’m super jumpy, even when I’m expecting someone to call up.  I would disable my doorbell if I had one.  I am constantly in a cat like state of readiness.

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Having to take a shit:

I can only poop in about 3 toilets and I won’t shit if you’re in my apartment.  I will kick you out if I have to.  This makes one night stands amazingly awkward.

 

Not being able to move:

It’s awkward as fuck but sometimes I can’t move because I have so much to do that I’m overwhelmed by everything and end up paralyzed.  It sounds ridiculous but when I move I have to keep moving to avoid this, where I just sit and stare and panic about all the things that I have to do but can’t because I don’t know where to start.

 

Night terrors:

This has been a problem for years.  Sweat inducing nightmares about past events, women with horrible eyebrows slagging mine off and sometimes things that I know the reality of my subconscious presenting themselves.

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Someone I fancy talking to me:

I am a terrible human.  Seriously.  I remember some guy I liked (which rarely happens) talking to me and when he was talking I just shouted ‘PENIS!’ for no reason other than I was thinking about his penis… because, well I was like.

 

Subconsciously slightly hurt myself:

I dig my nails into the palms of my hands, hold my breath for ages without knowing, scratch myself, pull my nails off and when I was younger I used to pull out big chunks of my hair and eat it when I was particularly stressed out.  There ya go, I’m a fucking weirdo, I know.

 

Have a hard time telling the difference between excitement and nervousness:

If I go hyper, especially when I’m drunk, I can’t tell if I’m happy or just nervous.  It all seems to run off the same energy with me, particularly in public.  I mean, I’d be happy sitting quietly in a pub on my own with a book – I love my own company

 

Small talk:

My head is full of fuck most of the time because I guess subconsciously I think a lot of people are cunts, everything is dangerous and I can’t be bothered talking about the weather.  I wear headphones for a reason asshole, don’t force your mediocrity on me.

 

Watching my child climb on high things:

This actually makes me dizzy.  Even in a playground.  I just walk off and hide somewhere till he tells me he’s down.  God forbid he ever gets stuck somewhere.

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(A recently received message from some horrible gobshite)

 

Social media:

It seems these days that people can’t have coherent arguments or debates without being complete dicks and piling onto each other, even when we’re on the same side.  People make mistakes, you don’t always have to agree, we should just all have open minds about these things but that isn’t the case at all.  The worst thing is getting unnecessary abuse online, particularly if you’re a chick, because more often than not some dude runs into the argument brandishing his opinion as fact despite the fact it’s your area of expertise in a really hostile manner.  It sucks but I defend myself as much as I can without getting emotional, despite wanting to crawl under a rock and die, but I’ve found these fights often get brought to me instead of the other way around.  In fact,  I think social media is one of the worst offenders for myself when it comes to inducing a panic attack because half these people wouldn’t be as brave or extreme if they were sitting facing you.

 

So there you have it – this probably makes me sound like an asshole but I don’t care.  It doesn’t come from a bad place, and I genuinely care about people, but a lot of the time I just can’t deal with things.  Please don’t take offence if I do any of these things to you – just try and be kind and remember that doing things that are possibly easy for you isn’t the same as for others.  If I calmed down I wouldn’t be me either, would I?  Being compassionate and not dismissing people, perhaps reminding them of their value to you and that they will be ok are so much more effective than being a jerk.

 

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