From The Confessional: Have Anxiety? You're Definitely Not Alone, Friend

by Karen Johnson

We know the feeling—everything is about to boil over. Tripping over a shoe that no one put away. Burning dinner because the toddler peed on the rug. Finding out last-minute that your partner is going to be late coming home. Making a mistake at work. Finding out your kid is upset or struggling and you can’t make it better.

It swirls and it swirls around you until you can’t catch your breath. Something has to give, and when it eventually does, you break. You yell, you cry, you shut down. You’re now in a full-blown anxiety attack because there is just too. much. shit to deal with.

If this sounds familiar, congrats! You’re normal. Anxiety is real and it can be overwhelming. If you don’t have the coping tools to handle the piles of shit life is going to throw at you, those piles of shit will seem catastrophic. World-ending, even. But if you learn how to face them head on, and you learn how to talk yourself through these shit-storms, you might find that you have more control over your anxiety than it has over you.

This sounds scary, but I look forward to being enraged, because it's the only time I can't feel anxiety in my head. Just pure rage, and a blessed absence of my usual anxiety and neuroses. I scream and swear and smash things, and it feels SOOOO good!

Confessional #25817001

I can’t sleep. Been so fucking frustrating and stressful,I know it’s anxiety. I’m going to try to just accept it now.hard times will pass for right now it’s shitty but I’m committed to loving myself and better my and my kid’s lives

Confessional #25818409

Sometimes I want to run out of my house screaming at the top of lungs. Run, scream,run, scream....until I get out all my stress, anxiety, etc.

Confessional #25818152

People suck! My neighbors washing machine sprung a leak and it leaked onto my side of the basement and got my stuff wet! So pissed and in tears! I hate not having control of anxiety is through the roof right now.

Confessional #25818358

Anxiety can make you feel overwhelmed and out of control. Like every issue that pops up is added to the pot as it bubbles over. And it can be hard to find secure footing when you’re in the thick of it.

I'm so worried that my anxiety disorder is hurting my kids.

Confessional #25819318

realize i suffered post partum anxiety after all 3 of my kids. i guess i functioned well enough no one knew. when i did get teary/cry dh told me to grow up and knock it off. so i learned to hold it in. that's where this extra 50 pounds came from.

Confessional #25817866

Can't keep my anxiety at bay anymore. DD12 got just her period & braces, DS16 is getting further away from me & seems depressed. DS & H had covid over Christmas. H & I are struggling to connect. I have no friends. I'm also having health issues.

Confessional #25816372

I had to get on anxiety meds to be able to handle by 3 year old and his tantrums.

Confessional #25815346

Motherhood alone is extremely anxiety-inducing. Between the stress of keeping them safe, making sure they know their ABCs, can tie their shoes, and wipe their own butts, and don’t grow up to be assholes, plus the 900+ other things you’re expected to do and be as a mom, anxiety becomes your best friend from day 1 of mom life.

Good husband and amazing kids. My job however is anxiety inducing nightmare. I read or hear about ppl dying and I think well at least this would be over. I'm not suicidal but something is def. Wrong. Tired and sad all of the time.

Confessional #25819459

My PC doc had to spend over an hour with me today b/c of anxiety. God bless that woman. And fuck QAnon, fuck antifa, fuck disinformation, fuck everybody who propagates all of it, and fuck the politicians who encourage the ones that benefit THEM.

Confessional #25816945

feeling anxiety after reading news i need to stop that shit. they always exaggerate everything.

Confessional #25815467

And the outside world doesn’t exactly help either. Newsfeeds alone are enough to spike our anxious thoughts and get our hearts and minds racing.

I did OK during the 1st 5-6 months of the pandemic and WFH, but I've been on a steady downhill slide since then. I'm getting burned out, my anxiety's building, and my work is suffering.

Confessional #25814594

Anxiety has me spiraling right now. Discomfort in my chest is bringing it to another level. Took a xanax but it's not helping. So tired of living with mental illness. Covid & isolation have made this so much worse.

Confessional #25814581

This pandemic has turned me into an anxiety ridden, bitter, overweight, alcoholic.

Confessional #25814784

Also, if you’re extra anxious over the past year, cut yourself some slack. This pandemic has been a mental health nightmare. Will I get COVID? Will my partner? My kids? My parents? Should I send my kids to school? Keep them home? Let them see friends? Stay isolated? The decision fatigue coupled with fears of the actual virus are sucking the life out of us. Like, literally.

I feel bad I ignored my friend's phone call. I don't always do that. But sometimes I get so much anxiety with phone calls I just CAN'T answer the phone. Texting is so much easier for me

Confessional #25819789

I had a puppy for 1 week but my anxiety was so bad that I had to ring the breeder to rehome her. It’s not the first time it’s happened. I love dogs and I’m not sure why I have panic attacks. She is in a beautiful home now. I have such guilt

Confessional #25818312

My sweet MIL is a hoarder. Going to her should-be spacious house fills me with so much anxiety. Only because I know the day will come when we are all expected to clean out that hoard.

Confessional #25814780

When you have an anxiety disorder, things that seem simple or at least doable to others are an impossibility for you. Like answering the phone, getting a pet, or even going to someone else’s house.

I wish I didn’t have to take anxiety medication but it makes me feel so much better. It’s nice to feel normal for once. Still wish I didn’t feel like a failure for taking it.

Confessional #25819644

Thinking about trying a different medication for depression and anxiety. I've tried 4 in the past and had some bad side effects. I'm really nervous to try something else, but I feel so bad.

Confessional #25817171

I’m about to get some anxiety medication from my doctor and get into counseling so I can deal with the next year without losing my fucking mind. Everyone who’s causing/has caused me grief is out. I’m fixing my life now. All toxicity be damned

Confessional #25816781

Wish I could be prescribed more Xanax. I don't abuse it, but it's so controlled that I can only get 12 pills/month & that's not enough to manage the anxiety I've been feeling since half of my household got covid. SSRIs don't work for me, Xanax does.

Confessional #25816387

Inevitably, medication becomes part of the conversation for those with extreme anxiety. Some find relief with meds, others don’t. But don’t let anyone’s judgment or whatever stigma you think is attached to medication stop you from getting help to face your anxiety. You deserve to be your best self, and your loved ones deserve that too.

Anxiety is serious business and it doesn’t fuck around. If you feel like you live in the grips of anxious thoughts and behaviors, you’re actually quite normal. But that doesn’t mean you have to live that way either. Talking to someone is the first step, so start there. If medication or talk therapy or meditation or exercise or better sleep patterns or just getting a break from your kids helps, do that. If none of that helps, keep trying. You’re stronger than you think.