The past 12 years or so have been enlightening on so many levels, but the single most important realisation I’ve made, is that most people are just like me.

Sure some hide it well – like me – and some live isolated lives, begging for the cessation of the endless cycles of stress – evaluating every move in order to not draw attention to one’s limitless faults!

During a texting event in the early-bird hours of this morning, with an old friend, we discussed this topic. As usual, I have more to say.. I want more people to understand the basic level of anxiety that most of us operate under every day.

The old friend, is a writer, an artist, an actor, a father, a contemporary – we attended High School together and enjoyed a bittersweet teenage romance – based on the fact that we were both shiny people, (whom nobody else appreciated as much as we appreciated the distraction we created together.)

We’ve had very little communications since school, until coming back to our friendship in the last few year’s – in the form of irrational, early morning, drunk (him), texting rants about just about anything we can think of.

We both suffer from terrible anxiety. I didn’t clue on to mine until 12 years ago, (I can’t speak for him but he was onto his years ago from memory?)

So when he says ,”you’re cursed by seeming to look like you know what you’re doing”, I know exactly what he means. (It’s not true though. I have no fucking clue what I’m doing 90% of the time because I’m just a co-pilot.)

“Captain Anxiety” runs the ship around here – I take orders and do a complex analysis of each situation, each category of unrelated bullshit thinking that brings about situation’s of high panic and adrenalin surges that knock you down, if not out.

And by “knocked down” I don’t mean “physically stretched out on the floor”, I mean knocked down.

Everyone experiences anxiety differently, my most common responses are, ringing in the ears, rapid heartbeat, feeling my pulse in my neck – (it pounds from the side and into the back of my head), a spreading of heat – (the blood rushing to  organs), shaking hands – (general shakiness actually), instability – (it’s hard to stay upright during a really bad panic attack), nausea, sweating… not to mention feeling lousy, knowing what’s happening, yet being unable to control it.

People without anxiety can’t even.

Fitty can’t even – he experiences “stress” – has a hissy-fit, (if extreme), then moves on all, “Everyone still onboard? Righto then..”   He doesn’t “linger” in the emotions like I do. He doesn’t analyse everyone’s immediate response, or tally up the damage points. He’s already moved on with his day..

Apparently that’s what “normal people” do.  Why can’t I be normal then?

We are all different, we have all had experiences that shape and make us. I’ve had a plethora of life experiences. Most are good, if not great, but some would shave the whiskers from your chin in an icy chill of a minute.

I didn’t come here today to talk about those experiences. More about the effect they have had on my nervous system and my overall mental health. I believe I have been working my way through some of those experiences, trying to learn a little about my personality along the way.

Sometimes it’s been a great process, leading to understanding some of the “gaps” I have in my memory around certain events. Sometimes it’s horrifying and I can’t process the memories as my own, (*so I invented a younger, stupider version of myself years ago in order to escape from having lived those events myself.)

*I don’t quite understand either, but the “invented young woman” has a voice, and I am compelled to listen to her cries to be heard.

On the occasion that I have shared information about some of these events, I have almost universally had the response:

“You…. went through that? You wouldn’t have put up with that for a second!”

And that’s true too. (You see now, why I had to invent a whole other entity?) I didn’t “put up” with any of it. I just experienced it, and slowly it became part of me along with all the other experiences. Consequently – I invented Captain Anxiety. I became her copilot and settled into life in the pounding lane.

Around 18 months or so ago, I got tired. I was nearing a break-down and knew I had to pull back from work, social activities, whatever, until I felt “well” again.

That was when I decided to form a discussion/support group with myself…

Since then, all the parts of me, have been sitting around in my head, sipping luke-warm coffee, smoking and “discussing my life”, and we’re getting somewhere!

Writing is key here, there is a very enabling aspect in writing your innermost thoughts and truth on a blog. For me, the most confronting part of this is living in a small town, knowing lots of people, giving them access, via the blog, to knowledge that I’m a perfectly flawed mess!

It’s ok with me. The act of publishing each post that tug’s at a wound, is a freeing act – I let go of a lot of the negative energy when I release it to the “internet”.  I don’t know how this works, but this is the best damn therapy I’ve been part of so far..

Healing has come with the love of an exceptional man, one who can ignore the noise in my head. One who can direct the traffic when chaos seems certain. One who makes light of my control issues, even though they make everyone crazy! One who compares me to no other woman on earth.

One who is flawed himself, most importantly!

Fitty’s flaws are hilarious – he’s such a laid back, gentle loving person that you would never guess what an Alpha-Male-Derp-Jerk-Face he can be sometimes…

He doesn’t do these things often at all, so they are almost like a “mystery song” on your favourite band’s album – Gold!

Yesterday he got out of bed with his “Terminator – My Hormone Bag is Full” face on, storming around the house yelling about how “when he gets up – he has a shower, and why the fuck is somebody already in the fucking shower?”

(Background info – 3 out of 5 of us had to leave the house by 8.30am. He was not one of the three, and therefore was not in the line up for a shower, in my head anyway…)

I started to get all up in his face in response, my anxiety doing most of the hard work, “Right, sweat, tingling, shaking? Check. Can we get her heartbeat right up and maybe a little more ringing in her ears so she can’t fucking concentrate on what’s being said? Check. Make her do that denial thing where she questions whether this is too unfair to be even happening? Oh good one! Check.”

But – then I said something astounding. I said “Fuck off, you dickhead!”

Then I just did nothing but breathe….  I decided HE could take the kid to get her haircut, and he could fucking well have ALL THE SHOWER I was going to have in order to take her myself!

Then I made another coffee and sat on the balcony watching him realise what a complete fuckstick he had been. Then I listened to his apology.

I am learning how to divert the anxiety, and make use of the methods I’ve read about on Dr. Facebook.

Smiley face.

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