In December 2012 I made a decision to go and talk to my GP about the way I had been feeling for about a year. I would get very worked up over very small things and find it difficult to calm down. Most of the time I couldn't explain to myself or anyone else what i was really upset about which put a lot of pressure on my family and my partner.
My GP put me on medication that was supposed to help me feel better and referred me to a psychologist who could assess what was going on and provide me with coping strategies. The psychologist was fantastic, she made me feel like my anxiety wasn't stupid or unnecessary and she asked all the right questions to help me explain what was happening in my head.
Its hard even now for me to explain exactly what it is I worry about. But basically, I do not get the opportunity to enjoy life very often, because I automatically think of everything that can go wrong in a situation rather than all the positive things about what im doing.
For example, I recently spent a lot of money on a holiday to new zealand to visit a good friend of mine. I spent 12 days in Christchurch and then went on to Auckland for a weekend and then intended to spend nights in sydney before returning home. However, after one day in Auckland I started to feel overwhelmed, homesick, panicy and stressed out. I spent a whole afternoon very upset and then spent the next day just wishing to be in Sydney. I hoped that I would feel better being back in Aus. But this didnt happen. By this stage i just wanted to come home and I got myself into such a panic that I changed my flight and flew home after one day.
I was worried about walking at night, and getting lost, and running out of money, and something happening back home and so many other things.
I am disgusted in my self for letting my worrying ruin my trip. I have spoken to my psychologist since and I feel somewhat better about it, but I still constantly worry about the possibilities of things going wrong.
I just wanted to post this and share some of my feelings, I hope that someone can relate to how I am feeling because I feel very confused about everything, I dont trust my decisions and i dont feel like anyone in my life really understands.
I have a knack for thinking of every possible horrible scenario that I could ever hope to not find myself in. I've become really good at it and sometimes can be so lost in these thoughts that they provoke a physical response (tense muscle, heart racing, sweaty).
Recently I discovered that these thoughts are normal. If I went back in time and saw my caveman ancestor he would have been sweating and panicking about all sorts of dangers. It's the reason that my genes and I are here today. If my caveman ancestor hadn't been anxious about being in a strange place [ NZ 😉 ], running out of food, being separated from his group, or having misfortune befall that group then he may have died and failed to pass on his genes.
FACT: Most of the carefree cavemen got eaten by sabre-tooth tigers in those days.
Now we live in a less dangerous world and these thoughts are less helpful to my survival. I try and observe and acknowledge the negative thoughts I have and only act on them if they will have a beneficial outcome for me. It can be confusing and I understand when you say you don't trust your decisions. I try and let my rational mind make the decisions whilst the caveman part of my brain acts in an advisory role only.
Dear Natalie 373 & Poppy 2013,
If it's hard to explain exactly what you worry about (cos it's more of a feeling or situation) then why not write down what you DON'T worry about and celebrate that part of your life ?
When you don't trust people you're just not trusting yourself. Which is terrible as you probably know you yourself very well. It's the anxiety that kicks this self confidence out of kilter. If only we could learn techiques to nudge it back. Sometimes some anticipation of a difficult situation will lessen the trauma.
Thank you for your advice David and Grumpycat.
I really do appreciate the different perspectives and advice on my post. I will try both of your techniques and suggestions for ways to challenge my thoughts and open up new opportunites for myself.
Poppy - I hope that using these forums and expressing how you feel helps you out. Ive found that the more I can share how I feel the easier it is to challenge myself and get myself to think differently.
I do have moments where i just ant stop panicking and everything just moves too fast. But they are getting fewer and further between.
I decided that the medication wasnt helping me. I found that being on it was just another worry for me.
Goodluck and all the Best