Anxiety can present itself in so many ways. Often for me it is a nearly constant presence, hovering in the background, peppering me with self-doubt and worry. Others might be more familiar with the sudden onslaught of a panic attack, the rapid breathing, the shortness of breath, and the paralyzing fear that sometimes seems to appear out of nowhere. Yet I’m realizing now sometimes there is a middle ground, a creeping anxiety that sneaks up on you slowly.
This happened to me last week when I was at work. Despite sitting at a desk, I noticed myself having a harder time focusing, I noticed my pulse slowly starting to quicken. And it sucked.
It wasn’t the full-blown terror of a all-out panic attack. I was still able to function. Rather, it was a heaviness that felt like had been slowly dragged over me. A heaviness that was now dragging me down.
I feared I wouldn’t be able to do my work further, I wouldn’t be able to get home. In short, I feared being stuck. I felt stuck. Worse even, I felt like I was going backwards, like all the work I had done on my recovery was being undone and there was nothing I could do about it.
Yet I am lucky. I am lucky because I’ve gotten to a place where I can talk about my anxiety. I have medication and a support team that can help pull me out of the darkness before the demons get too strong a grip on me. Yet I also know I am not alone. If you too struggle with these creeping anxious demons, I know what that is like. Talking about it is scary, but it does make it better. And whenever you’re ready to send the anxiety creeping back into the shadows, know that someone out there is ready to listen, just as you’ve listened here.
And for that I thank you.