It starts in my hands – tingling with pins and needles until I lose the ability to move them. I watch them twitch as they hang immobile by my side.
Breathing becomes hard, as if my lungs instantly lose the capacity to circulate air – they’ve given up on keeping me alive.
Then it stops.
Almost a year has passed since I first publicly shared my close-knit relationship with Anxiety (Part One can be found here). I can’t say it was good while it lasted, or that I’ll miss it hanging around, but what I can say is, thank f*ck it’s gone.
We’d ended things last year, Anxiety and I – I handled it like a boss, whereas my other half seemed to be having withdrawals. Anxiety pushed the limits to try and creep back on into my life, popping up unannounced or showing up where I certainly did not want it to. I made the most of my panic-free life while I had the chance, until it stayed the night of New Year’s Eve, and no – it was not consensual.
It didn’t hang around for long – I’d made it profoundly clear that it could go f*ck itself and never come back. I’d forgotten that feeling of tingling hands, my vision going blurry and suddenly feeling so hot you’d think I’d been living in a desert.
So there I am, a nice distance into the mosh pit at Falls Festival, dancing to The Jungle Giants while they performed my favourite song, and that’s when I felt it – it was different to the last time. It crept up my legs, like the feeling of a cold shiver when you shake all over. It was so fast, I didn’t know what was happening. Tears instantly started streaming down my face as I felt that overwhelming sense of heat. I tried and tried to make it go away – “Leave me alone! I’m watching The Jungle Giants!” I cried more every step I took away from the stage, feeling disappointed in myself that I’d ruined the one act I desperately wanted to see. Most of all, I was f*cking ANGRY at Anxiety for finding it’s way back to me. How did you find me? Do I have a neon sign above my head that says THIS ONE WANTS TO FEEL ANXIOUS!? Why is it always me?
It was a one night stand. I’m two months Anxiety-free and haven’t heard a peep from that snide little b*tch since. A few weeks ago, I thought it was coming back, and that thought alone pissed me off so much that it steered clear of me. As my hands started shaking and the heat rose in my cheeks, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and it was gone – just like that.
It wasn’t as easy as psychologically telling my dear old friend, Anxiety, to f*ck off. I’m writing this a year after my last confession, which spanned over a 13 year period before I was okay.
But now, I’m proud to write Part Two of this little series about my nemises. By sharing my own tale of triumph and defeat over Anxiety, hopefully you can overcome the same battles that you face day-to-day, much like I used to.
Keep your head up, continue to believe that you can do this, and tell that mother-f*cker that you are more powerful than that and you will be okay.