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Wonderful.Cheese

Why does anxiety have to suck so much?

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I'm so mad at anxiety right now. I have such a severe case and have since I was a kid. I remember being in like 4th or 5th grade and school was getting harder with more homework and I was getting more and more anxious and I'd make up excuses to stay home from school if anxiety got bad bad. 

Fast forward to today and I can't leave the house alone mostly. Well one of my treatment plan goals is to get out of the house alone. 

So today I decide to go get gas because that's quick and easy. Right? I also dressed for the gym in case I felt brave. Well anything driving makes me panicky. I fill up with gas and go in and pay and then start to drive off. Only she thinks I said pump 3 instead of pump 6. She realizes this, runs out, catches me, I have to go in and pay the difference, we both apologize because we don't know whose fault it was, etc. So now I'm fully panicked, because anything driving related is anxiety provoking anyway. I drive back home in tears.

And presently I'm sitting here and can't breathe, chest is tight, crying, panicked, sad and mad that I'm so anxious, head spinning, dizzy, shaking, etc. My day ruined. I was so looking forward to going to the gym possibly. 

Anxiety wins again. Over something so minor too. For stupid. 

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Yeah those little mistakes and misunderstandings. A misunderstanding about the pump number is not a big deal, but I know how such things can be a big deal. Some little mistake and I've failed as a human being. Normal people wouldn't make such mistakes. It's a load of crap though. People make mistakes and this doesn't even sound like it was your fault. Easier said than done I know. Years ago I was walking down the street past a couple of guys and I thought that one of them was addressing me, so I stopped and asked them what they wanted. They weren't talking to me and that was eeeek! embarrassing. Oh God! I'm such a weirdo who isn't fit to interact with other people. And you might read that story and think it's nothing, because it really is nothing, and yet I can still remember it years later. Your story about the pump numbers is nothing too, but I know the effect that such nothing things can have.

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I'm so sorry. It stinks when you put out the effort to overcome the anxiety and it goes poorly. It helps me to say over and over "everything is okay" or "crazy things happen to everyone, I'm not alone".  I actually have to talk to myself and say these things out loud for it to calm me down.  One time I was so filled with anxiety, I forgot to put the pump back at the gas station and drove away with it still in my car.  It broke away totally from it's home! It made such a noise I realized it right away and thought for sure when I looked back gas would be squirting everywhere like a fountain.  I was completely mortified!  When I took it back I realized there was not a gas leak anywhere.  The attendant was out there and said they made them to withstand people driving away with them because it happens all the time. I was still totally a nervous wreck but it helped to know that I'm not a loser, that things like this happen to everyone.  It's just life.

Don't beat yourself up.  Instead tell yourself how proud you are that you went out there and overcame your anxiety today.  It didn't win.  Once you walked out that door, you won.  Hang in there!

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Rather than think of as "I screwed up" think of it as you achieved your goal - you got out of the house! What also helps for me when I make some silly mistake in public is remind myself you will likely not see those people again so it doesn't matter what they think.

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Thank you all. You guys totally get it. Thanks for the kind words and shared stories. They are much appreciated. 

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What seems small and insignificant to others is really sharp jagged panic for us. 

I feel like our sensory system is jacked up so when something deters from the expected nerves are ignited.

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