I don’t get this anxiety stuff. I had it really bad for what seemed like months (probably 6-8 weeks) and then it just fizzled. I started taking hay-fever medication (anti-histamines) and they had a noticeable sedative effect on me (even the supposedly non-drowsy stuff). I suddenly became calmer. Unfortunately, taking them for more than a few days successively turned me into a zombie so I had to stop with that, but it was enough to take the edge off the anxiety and let it just fade out.
It’s a surreal experience that the anxiety fades as quickly as it appeared. The memories suddenly seem so foreign, so alien, so distant. You remember how you felt, but you don’t for the life of you understand why you felt that way. It seems like you were wrong to feel that way. It’s hard to empathise with yourself!
And then you stop thinking about it and it’s gone. Until it comes back. You feel it building but you never quite know if it’s going to turn into something.
I think it’s something of a learnt behaviour. I think that by being anxious, you train yourself to expect yourself to be anxious, and it has the result that when something nags at you, instead of recognising it as the undesirable experience that it is, you think “ah yes, there it is” and perversely welcome the feeling back into your life and let it persist far past the lifespan of whatever it was that triggered it.
SHE. The Australian lady. She coincides with the anxiety. She cannot be the source, but she is inexplicably entangled. When I am anxious I find myself thinking about her more. I find myself waking up at 4-5 AM with her on my mind. This is not pleasant or helpful. Logic and reality are not at their strongest when you first wake up, and I have to deal with her in some weird pseudo dreamland. Unfortunately, I think the fact that this has happened a few times has neutered my ability to deal with her sensibly, even when I am awake (believe it or not, I developed arachnophobia as a teenager after a series of unpleasant dreams…).
Maybe she embodies everything I want that I don’t have. Maybe I am both attracted to her and jealous of her. Maybe when I am in such a state of mind, my brain welcomes the insecurity.
Nobody ever gives you a nice helpful NHS leaflet entitled “How to deal with anxiety that seems coupled with thinking about someone you don’t actually know”.