Sometimes it feels like there is a war going on inside of me.
There are two warriors. There is the old me – the depressed, lonely, anxious fat girl with no power that let life pass her by. And there is the new me – the happy triathlete wannabe who does crazy things like bungy jumping and moving across the world. These two parts of me seem to be constantly at odds despite my attempts to rid myself of the old me.
Usually new me wins. I go to the gym, I socialize, I enjoy my life so freaking much. Really. I do. Because it’s pretty awesome.
But sometimes? Sometimes the old me wins a battle. I skip the gym. I eat to comfort myself. I skip on an exciting opportunity for no good reason. The old me won’t win the war, but she definitely still wins some battles.
The worst battles are the ones involving anxiety. Have I ever told you I’m an anxious person? It seems to have only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. For the most part I’m a pretty laid back girl, but some situations cause me such extreme anxiety that it interferes with other aspects of my life. Two of the worst causes of anxiety for me are 1) money and 2) social situations.
Money has always been something I’ve struggled with. My family imparted really messed up methods of dealing with money, especially the father and grandmother who gave and withheld money as a form or love or rejection. I grew up poor (at least I thought I was) and after college I never outgrew the college budget or the income. That means money has always been stressful for me, especially around Christmas time. I’m an anxious mess whenever I look at my bank accounts.
Social situations are even worse. I would guess I have social anxiety disorder (I’m also a hypochondriac with a horrible habit of self-diagnosis via web research). Speaking in front of people is my number one fear. I was asked to speak at Fitbloggin next year but I probably will never speak at a blog conference. Even the thought of it causes a pit of anxiety to settle in my gut.
I’ve skipped countless number of things because of anxiety – college interviews, job interviews, parties, conferences. In college I did my best to avoid public speaking and managed to skip most classes with any form of it. Yes, even speaking in front of a group of twenty people I’ve known for a year causes me to freak out. It makes me sad that routime situations for other people cause me so much anxiety.
Anxiety is a bitch.
The anxious part of me is something that I associate with the old me. It feels unhealthy and therefore it should be part of the unhealthy me, right? Something I can conquer and move on from. But sometimes that part of me wins battles. I miss chances to really live my life.
I hate the anxiety. I hate that it holds me back. I hate that it consumes so much of my time and brain power to deal with it. I hate that it’s even an issue for me.
I’m not sure why I wanted to write about this today. I guess I just needed to confess these things. To reach out for..something. It’s almost scarier to admit you struggle with anxiety than to deal with it. Maybe this is just my first step.