Guest Post: Hello, anxiety, my old friend!

Photo by Molly Belle on Unsplash
Today's guest post is from an old friend who wishes to remain anonymous. Be sure to leave lots of positive comments about how brave she is for posting!  Hello Anxiety, my old friend! You've come to reign terror again....and again....and again.
Anxiety, as far back as I can remember, has always been present in my life.

Kindergarten: I remember separation anxiety when my mom had to drop me off at school and leave me.Sixth grade: I had anxiety about going to sleep away camp with my classmates & the possibility of being outed as a bed-wetter (it was a hormone issue....went to a urologist, got a nose spray, never wet the bed at camp or ever again).Junior high: I had major anxiety about going to school and facing an older bully (looking back, I actually feel sorry for her, not me).27 years old: I had debilitating postpartum anxiety. My baby was diagnosed with meningitis at a week old and almost died. I was terrified for months after that to take …

Stray Cats and Stress

This cat accurately portrays my frustration. Photo by Borna Bevanda on Unsplash

Things I’m stressing about this week:
·A stray cat is trespassing in my house. I can’t find it. What if it brought fleas, or the mange? What if I wake up one morning and it’s staring at me and then eats my face?·I made new friends. I like them. That’s fucking terrifying. Now I’m constantly second-guessing my worth, and why anyone would like me.·On a related note, I’m really not even good enough for the friends and loved ones I have. I’m a plethora of issues and damage – why would anyone want to be around me, ever?·I owe money to the IRS for taxes, and I’m broke. I’m already struggling, and I don’t know what to do. My life is in shambles.·I will never make anyone happy.·I will let down my family.·The world would be better off without me.

So, yeah, it’s that kind of a week. Actually, it’s that kind of a month. Months. Hell, it’s that kind of a life.
Hm. I’m supposed to try to insert some wit and humor into …

They're All Gonna Laugh at You

Photo by Talles Alves on Unsplash

I once again let anxiety talk me out of doing something I was really looking forward to.

Are you as tired of hearing this song as I am?
I’ve mentioned how proud I was of myself for talking to the diversity folks about helping out, and going to the meeting for the LGBT kids at work, and telling them I want to help out. So naturally, after looking forward to the first event after doing all this, I chickened out.
I sat at my desk all day fighting with myself about it.
“It’ll be fine,” I said. “There will be lots of people there, yes, but they want more people – they need lots of support. They’ll be happy that I came.”
“They’ll judge you for coming alone,” Anxiety responded. “You’ll be the only one there without a friend. They’ll all look at you.”
“But a few of the kids from the club messaged this morning saying they were going. I won’t be alone, they’ll be there,” I argued.
“You think those kids want you hanging around them?!” Anxiety spat back. “They’ll think y…

I'm a Mind Reader!

Photo by Kat Smith from Pexels

I’m a mind-reader… or so Anxiety tries to lead me to believe. If someone says something has come up and they have to cancel our plans, I convince myself (or rather, Anxiety convinces me) that whatever excuse they give is paper-thin, and the real reason is because anything in the world they could possibly come up with would be better than spending any amount of time with me.
There is pretty much always a war going on in my head - Anxiety telling me one thing, and my logical mind arguing another. Sometimes Anxiety wins, sometimes logic does. But even when logic wins, Anxiety is there, whispering in my ear, making me question everything.
So when I’m excited about plans, and not already finding ways to get out of them (as Anxiety makes me do so often) and the other person cancels, obviously it’s because they’ve realized I’m not worth their time. Obviously they only made plans with me in the first place because they felt sorry for me or had not yet realize…

Survivor's Guilt

For years I felt guilty when my queer friends discussed being assaulted for simply being themselves. Sure, I was queer just like them, but to the outside world, I was straight as an arrow. No one judged me for being queer because no one knew. I could “pass”, and I felt ashamed for hiding behind my seemingly heterosexual relationships.
That feeling is one of the things that led to me coming out. Coming out was terrifying. I knew a large portion of my family wouldn’t approve. I worried about having problems at work when people found out. There are still a lot of states where you can be fired for your sexual orientation. But how could I not be honest with the world, when my friends were being persecuted and I was hiding in fear?
Now, after I’ve come out, I do think some people look at me differently. It could be all in my head (Anxiety is constantly telling me the worst), but I don’t want to stop and find out. My family doesn’t discuss it – and if they don’t read my blog or pay attention t…

Depression is Kicking My Ass

This is my depressed face.

Depression is kicking my ass this week. I’m trying to stay ahead of it. I’m trying to see the positive side of things, keep my head up, stay distracted, but it’s just not working.
Yesterday was my first Easter since the split from my husband. We’re doing shared parenting, so we alternate keeping the kids every other week. This is his week, so yesterday was the first Easter that I didn’t get up in the morning, get the kids dressed in their Easter best, take them outside to find their Easter baskets, and hunt for eggs.
Really fucking depressing.
I did get them for a few hours, though, so it wasn’t all bad. I took them to Easter dinner at my grandparents’ house. They loved the baskets I got for them. I got lots of good hugs from my son. But then I had to take them to my in-law’s house after a few short hours. This was the first time I had seen my in-laws since the separation. That was hard.
I cried off and on all day. After dropping the kids off, I went hom…

I'm an Imposter

According to Wikipedia, Imposter Syndrome is a concept describing individuals who have an inability to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.
That is sooo me.
I’ve always written it off as low self-esteem and anxiety, which definitely does play a part in it. But in the last few years I’ve found myself arguing with people – whether it be verbally or in my head – about my accomplishments, skills, or even my personality.
My ex used to point out how funny I am and that it’s part of why everyone likes me. I would argue “Um,no, everyone does not like me. They’re just being nice.” He would disagree. I would say “Well I’m not that funny, they’re just laughing at my jokes so my feelings aren’t hurt.”
I could tell you how awful I am for hours – I have a billion examples. What it boils down to is Imposter Syndrome. I’m terrified people will discover the stupid, bland, nobody that I truly am.
I’m especially struggling with this at work right now. …