Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be…an anxious bloody mess

Hello, me again. Yep. More of the same old anxiety bullshit to come over the next few hundred words but hey, it’s your own fault for clicking the link. This follows on from my second blog which itself follows on from my first blog. Crazy, right? Well, I say follows on…they’re all pretty much the same.

The reason behind the massive gaps between blogs isn’t just because I can’t be arsed, but because I feel like nobody cares; why would anyone want to read about my troubles? Everyone else has much bigger problems than mine and it would be selfish to document and burden others with mine. But then, I need to put my thoughts down somewhere from time to time otherwise I may explode and based on how fat I am, that would not be a pretty sight. So if you’re reading this, thanks. If you’re not, that’s okay…my problems aren’t your problem. But if you’ve seen this then you’re already in the first category, even though you still probably don’t care. As I write this, I try to think if it’s something I covered in the last blog: the anxiety of posting. It probably was, but I’ve come this far and deleting this paragraph now would significantly lower the word count.

Have you ever feel like someone hates you? Yes, most likely. But what about a feeling that everyone hates you? I leave the house in the morning and constantly feel like I’m being judged for what I wear; how I look; how I cross the road, how I walk; what I buy in the shop. It makes me feel sick and it makes me want to crawl out of my own skin. I don’t want to be me and you know, it kinda hurts. I can’t help but feel if I was someone else my life would be easier – if I had some self confidence; the ability to communicate and not doubt my own skills.

Imagine having feelings so strong for someone that it makes you want to fucking burst, but you can’t do anything about it; you’ll never be able to do anything about it. All because of the above. Most people would just start a chat on Facebook, talk to them. Not me. I catastrophise. Everything bad that could possibly happen will happen and oh boy, it will definitely happen. And then I start thinking too hard, and the chest pains start; I feel like maybe I’ll have a heart attack; I think about my heart condition and then I wonder what will happen. Apply this to every situation and it just loops. But then you catastrophise what would happen if you don’t do something. So you’re stuck in the middle. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. There’s no escape from your own mind.

So…uni. I’ve come to the end of my second year, again. I changed uni courses after two years because I wanted to get back into performance and it was totally, absolutely the right decision. I feel much more fulfilled and like I’m actually getting to where I might want to be. But I’m really struggling to socialise and interact with the other people on my course. Going into a new course in the second year meant everyone was already connected and whatever, and that and my terrible brain just makes one big NO. Doesn’t really help that one person in particular has been rude as fuck every time I’ve even tried to speak to them – thanks, really helping there :). I get it if you don’t want to talk to me, whatever. You don’t have to be patient with my stupid anxiety but at least be a nice person. I’ve done nothing to you. If you had any shred of decency you’d see that maybe I’m struggling bit and a least be civil. But no, okay. Whatever. It’s just meant I’ve felt like I’ve not really completed many of my modules to my full potential because I’m more concerned about what people think of me and how I’m acting, but there you go. And that’s uni.

As you can see, I’m really running out of free stock images to use now

I have things to look forward to every week. And I do look forward to them. I enjoy them. But I worry that others think I’m not enjoying them because the whole thing is still overwhelming. But it doesn’t mean I’m not having a great time. My face is just constantly, as the saying goes, like a slapped arse.

Hopefully one day I’ll be able to walk into a room, even full of people I know, without feeling like I’m going to have a heart attack. Maybe I’ll be able to start conversations with people I want to start conversations with, without feeling like my chest is being crushed. Maybe I’ll stop punishing myself for having feelings. Maybe I’ll be able to work out what feelings are. Maybe I’ll be able to enjoy what I love. Maybe I’ll stop telling myself that my problems don’t matter because other people have greater issues. Maybe it’ll get easier.  But for now I guess I’ll have to keep trying to mill on by. And that’s life.

I like to keep these posts as vague as possible, and it probably isn’t working very well, so that’s why it probably feels a bit disjointed. But anyway…here’s a gif of my brain:

PS: great title, right? Took me all of twelve seconds to come up with it.

Oh and also, people have messaged me about this on Twitter and Facebook etc, which I didn’t expect, but I’m more than happy to talk about it.

Gif sourced from here

Anxiety: nothing’s changed there then

It’s been about half a year since I wrote my last blog about anxiety. And whilst I’d like to say something has changed, nothing has (besides five or six months passing in the blink of an eye – where did Christmas go?!)

I was overwhelmed by the number of views on my last post, and I got a few lovely messages both from people I know and people I don’t know. I am still immensely grateful for those.

Sometimes I feel as if I talk about my problems too much, sometimes I feel as if I don’t talk about them enough but mostly I feel as if I’m annoying people with them. When I tweet about anxiety, I pretty much always delete the tweet within minutes, if not seconds, for fear of annoying people. It’s either that or my huge fear of not getting any likes or retweets and denting my fragile ego. But even now as I write this blog, I am very much considering not posting it in case me sharing it does somebody’s head in. That’s probably why it’s taken me so long to update, not that there is much to update. 

That’s also the reason, I guess, when most of the time I feel as if there’s nobody to talk to. I have some great friends, and some not so great, but I don’t want to overwhelm them with my issues when they have their own, more substantial ones. Mine seem pathetic in comparison. This just leads to a lot of things building up in my head, more struggle and a difficulty to deal with emotions.

Beyond the physical anxiety symptoms giving me health anxiety as I mentioned last time, I’m beginning to think if everything that goes with this isn’t helping me out much either. I’m a large guy, I joke about that. With my heart condition, I’m strongly advised not to exert myself which meant I didn’t do PE in school and have not exercised a lot since. I’ve lost weight before, I lost a couple of stone last year, and I’d like to lose some more. But it’s hard for that reason – it feels, to me, like I essentially have to starve myself to make up for the lack of exercise. My appearance, I think, is a strong contributor to why I struggle to make interactions with people at first instance – I feel inferior, although I am not, and I feel like I am being judged, although I am probably not. I want to be like other people…but do I? No, probably not. I like me…sometimes…not often. This doesn’t make much sense really, does it? Try living it.

I got a couple of questions after my last blog from people who didn’t ‘get it’. That’s fine. I don’t get it either. I just know it’s real. A couple of them were mainly about ‘why’ I do what I do, and to be quite honest I don’t know. I guess that sounds ludicrous. But that’s how it is. Everything that anxiety causes me to do feels beyond my control.

I try to talk to people, I feel like I’m being ignored. I’m probably not. I’m probably just not trying hard enough. I can be funny, I’ve been told that I’m pretty funny. But I can’t do ‘me’ until I’m very comfortable with someone and right now, I’m finding it very hard to get to that point with anyone new, as much as I really want to. When certain people like my Facebook posts, my tweets, my Instagram photos, I get ridiculously happy. That’s pathetic, right? It shouldn’t make me so happy. It’s only a ‘like’, what does it mean? Nothing. ‘Talk to them,’ ‘Talk to her’, blah blah blah blah blah. Yeah. Shut up. No. I can’t. I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack if I try. It cripples me. Still not making much sense? Nope, not to me either. I get angry with myself, I continue to struggle with any emotions I may be developing, I get chest pains, I feel like I’m going to die, I blame my weight, I blame myself, I blame my genes, I get angry with myself again and the whole thing loops. I feel like I’m not good enough.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT FEELINGS ARE. WHAT ARE FEELINGS?

Cliche as it sounds, there was a time when I was determined 2018 would be the year I’d overcome my anxiety and sort myself out, but there’s one thing standing in the way of that…anxiety itself. We’ll see how it goes. Not very far, I imagine.

I found a lovely gif from Peep Show which pretty much sums up my mindset every morning:

I’m on Twitter @sirdanielmeyer if you want to chat about anything. I’m more than happy to answer any questions.

Apologies if this felt out of order or a bit erratic. I just wrote things as they came to me. 

Anxiety & Me

Anxiety, what a twat you truly are.

I don’t really know at what point in my life I developed anxiety or if it’s always been there. I feel probably the latter. I’ve always had worries about dealing with things but it’s only in the past few years I’ve noticed it become more prominent in my life. After I finished school and before I studied A-levels, I felt like I lost a lot of confidence, and perhaps it ties in with that. Answers on a postcard, because I don’t have a fucking clue. But it’s there. It’s rampant. And it’s a bitch.

I’ve also never really spoke about it before, other than to my close friends. I’m not embarrassed to have it and perhaps if I was more open about it, it would help explain why I am often like I am.

People often ask how I have anxiety considering I act and perform. But that’s exactly it. When you do those things, I’m not me. That’s good. I like not being me. Because me is shit. When I am me in rehearsals or whatever, I’m awkward as fuck and just a general anxious mess. Recently though I’ve found that the levels of my anxiety have become so high I’m doubting my ability even as an actor, which I have loved doing since I was young and would like to make a career of. I’ve been told all the time that I can act and that I’m very good at it, and more recently that I can sing…but I feel like I’m constantly being judged. That I’m not good enough. Nobody’s probably thinking that, but I think that’s what they’re thinking and it generally drags my performances down in whatever context.

When I meet new people I need time. And often plenty of it. Days, weeks, months. It all depends on the situation. I wish I could just go somewhere and be me straight away (because apparently I’m a pretty funny guy…I thank you), but I can’t. It just doesn’t happen. I’m always awkward because I don’t want to look like an idiot, but by doing so I’m probably making myself look like even more of an idiot. Eventually I tend to be fine with people once I know them, except authority figures. No, no.

It’s things that would probably seem silly to other people: I get unnecessarily stressed and angry if my friends do something without me because I’m at work or busy and I feel like I’ve missed out; and if I do go out with friends, I have to walk in the middle and can never order anything first. When crossing the road, I don’t like to cross at crossings (ridiculous, eh) because I hate the feeling of being watched unnecessarily and people judging the way I walk or hold myself (I walk pretty normally, so I’m told, but it doesn’t change anything). If I’m in a lecture or a seminar, I tend to steer clear of answering questions even if I’m 100% sure it’s right…just in case it’s wrong and I get judged. And so on.

For me, anxiety goes just beyond social stuff, it becomes really scary at times. Depending on how bad the situation is, symptoms tend to go: panic, dry mouth, sweat, tight chest…and at that point I start to panic. How else are you supposed to react when you can’t think of anything else but you’re going to have a heart attack? (Which, I must add, makes the whole situation a lot worse, whatever it is). I’ve got a heart condition, which killed my dad, and although chest pains are not a symptom of this and I am WELL AWARE they are not a symptom of this, I can’t help doubting and thinking hey, I’m probably gonna die about now. Yup, it gets to the point where I am doubting actual medical professionals.

Perhaps the most crushing my anxiety has felt is not that long ago. When I really wanted to talk to someone but just couldn’t muster up any sort of courage to do so – I felt worthless, unsatisfactory and I don’t really know why. The more ‘rational’ half of me, if there even is one, is telling me to just do it, but everything else screams ‘no’. When I was forced to try and make conversation by pure chance, all I could muster were mumblings and sweat. Oh, that was after my chest tightened more than I’ve ever experienced before and I felt like I was going to die. Cool. Thus, I felt, is that ruined forever. Considering they will not have given it a second thought, it plays on my mind an awful lot to the point where I cannot sleep. I don’t know what to do with emotions or indeed sometimes I can’t even recognise what I’m feeling and I think it all comes down to not wanting to make a fool of myself in any situation. It’s absolutely wounding to know that people, admittedly including myself, base a lot on first impressions but fucking anxiety doesn’t let you even try and make a good first impression so the endless circle just continues.

‘Oh get over it’; ‘Man up’; ‘Just talk to her’; ‘You’re being pathetic’; ‘Stop being so over-dramatic’. Quotes from some of my ‘friends’ when I told them about that situation. Well, I say ‘friends’, I think it’s time to make them merely acquaintances. Thank you very much for your top quality advice guys, I AM CURED!

Even now as I draft this, it’s close to 6am and I really just can’t sleep as I bother myself about what seems to be ‘pathetic shit’. I don’t even really see the point in this but you know, treat yourself.

I don’t get people who don’t believe anxiety is ‘real’. It’s very real. Or at least it is to me. Even now as you read this (lol nobody’s reading this), you may thing ‘naaaa’, well come back to me when you feel like you can’t breathe and may hit the deck very shortly simply because you want to talk to someone and you can’t. That’s real. Why would you put yourself in that situation purposefully?

(Pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marisaysfuckoff/6059864539 and https://pixabay.com/p-1157435/?no_redirect)