The voice of my anxiety

My mind is racing.

Thoughts tumbling over one another, like waves crashing onto the shore. Racing from topic to topic, I can barely keep up - faster and faster the thoughts keep coming.

Thinking of everything I have done and how I could have done it differently, analysing every conversation that I have had, running through all the things I need to do and working out how I am going to do it.

There is no escape from the thoughts. Even in my sleep, they still keep coming and I wake up in the night when the thoughts have crowded out my sleep. There are no moments of quiet reflection. My body is filled with dread.

My stomach is churning and I have a sinking feeling that runs through my centre. Like a black hole, from which nothing can escape.

My body is tense. I can feel the muscles in my arms and back, pulled tight - the tension is always there. I am fighting my body, it wants to fight and lash out, anything to release the built up tension. I hold back, willing myself to appear calm.

I can't catch my breath.

My worries have worries. I need reassurance.

I want to talk it through. Can't stop talking. I talk to myself. Sort yourself out. Hold back, don't react. The feeling will pass and things will settle down.

I want to sort things out. I need to fix it. I need to do it all. Now.

My defences are up, and social niceties disappear. I want to escape, and run & hide. I can't trust myself with others as I fear that anything I say will make things worse. They will see I am struggling, I will annoy them, they will question my abilities.

I try to distract myself. Find something to slow the thoughts and calm the brain. I need to switch off, I need to calm down. Work through the motions, work through the chaos, work through the emotions.

It will pass, I know it will pass, it always does. A few hours, a few days, a few weeks - I just need to hold on.

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