If someone with anxiety was trying to impart to you that they also suffered with paranoia would you understand what they were describing, what their perspective was? Would you get what is was they were trying to explain to you? Shall I help you grasp the nettle?
Let’s play a little game. What was the most nerve wracking thing you have ever done? Was it perhaps your wedding, maybe school or job exams or even that all important job interview when so much rested on getting a good result? Maybe even a sky jump from a great height?
Select your event and put yourself back there, back into those moments, in the hours preceding this nerve wracking event. Close your eyes; feel the agitation, can you remember how you felt? Was your stomach churning, butterflies in clogs dancing around dipping and flipping. Had the rest of you insides joined the protest, a dirty protest maybe, with nervous diarrhoea and wind? Did you feel like your heart is missing the odd beat before speeding up and slowing down at will leaving you breathless and probably sweating? Were you having trouble concentrating or recalling the important things that you needed to remember?
I bet it was exhausting for you, burning through all that adrenaline, your neck was probably aching from the tension of the situation and your head was enduring a chronic banging headache.
When you tried to speak did you find that you had a dry mouth, maybe you even muddled your words or messed up what you wanted to say?
Now consider on top of all those feelings how it would feel to think that everyone around you had a downer on you? That you have no support, you feel isolated. You suspect that even your family and close friends look upon you in exasperation for being a complete loser.
You sense people are looking at you oddly aren’t they? You start to analyse every last thing that is said to you. People clearly hate you; I expect they think you’re really ugly too. If you look in the mirror and see such a lump of uselessness why wouldn’t they? You suspect colleagues cannot understand why on earth you’ve got the job that you have, let alone ever think you would be deserving of another more well paid position.
You can sense peoples disdain; you can feel their hatred prickling at your skin. When someone who you’re utterly convinced has been hating on you, someone who you are certain really does hate your guts speaks to you, you’re likely to have worked yourself up into such a frenzy imagining all the vile putrid things they have been saying about you that your attitude in response to their question or query is frankly down right rude. You’re cross; you’re wearing your heart on your sleeve and you snap something at them. Short and sharp immediately regretting it but unable to retract it you sit in stony silence. Now you know they hate you because you were such a bitch to them.
Maybe they invite you out for a drink. You should go they’re your friends right? But they don’t really want you there you know that, they hate you right? Ignore that and go out and have fun your inner voice shouts over the doubters. But you know you don’t deserve any fun, you’re a bitch. You’re a crap friend; you suspect they’d rather you didn’t go out anyways, at the end of the day you have nothing to offer the group and of course you were rude earlier.
No you decide it is for the best if you give it a miss.
Trouble is they now know you are a standoffish bitch don’t they? The next day they really are hating on you aren’t they? And so the cycle of doubt and paranoia goes on.
Anxiety and paranoia go hand in hand in my world. I consistently feel as if the most nerve wracking experience in my life is likely to happen imminently. I take drugs to dampen the feelings but even with them it is palpable.
It is exhausting physically and emotionally. The feelings of isolation you create for yourself are harsh, leaving you feeling desperate and lonely. But you still cannot break out of the cycle. People just make it worse. The more people there are in any given place or situation the more people there are to judge you. Keeping people at arms length is survival. If they are not close they won’t be repulsed by you, they won’t know enough about you to start hating you. You will not offend their senses.
It is a never ending conveyor belt of doom, a long dark road of uncertainty and sadness. The path undulates this way and that but the net result is unwavering in its conclusion.