Explaining anxiety to someone who does not suffer from it is like explaining algebra to a toddler.
My husband has no idea what goes on in my mind and body when I deal with anxiety.
My mind is like the heart of New York City during rush hour. Everything is going everywhere yet nothing is going anywhere. No progress is being made, but rage is building up and everything is chaos. Danger around every corner. The fragile fibers of my sanity snap and I’m about to curl up in the fetal position and claw my eyes out as I bawl or fly off the handle and beat the snot out of someone or both. I’m terrified of everyone and every scenario my twisted mind thinks up and I’m simultaneously pissed off at everyone and everything and want to bring about Armageddon and just start over on the burnt remains of what was.
My body is suffering bad. My intestines feel like sharp rocks are moving through them, my stomach feels like I’ve just swallowed liquid nitrogen (or hydrochloric acid, whichever would burn worse), my heart feels like I’m running for my life from a rage fed, fire breathing dragon and my legs are just not moving fast enough, my eyes can’t focus on anything around me and sometimes I get tunnel vision, my throat feels like it swells nearly shut, my mouth becomes dry, my arms and legs feel like cooked noodles, and I just want to die.
Even hours after whatever sparked my anxiety has passed, I’m still feeling like I’m right in the middle of it. Tapping (EFT [Emotional Freedom Techniques]) helps a little bit, but it’s often very temporary. Focusing on my breathing helps my heart rate, but nothing else. And his nonchalant attitude towards whatever is setting me off only makes it worse.
Anxiety doesn’t just affect the mind, but the body as well. In a week I’ve lost 15 pounds. Normally that would be fantastic, but because I know it’s not from healthy habits it concerns me.
I just don’t know how to explain it in a way that will get my husband to understand it. Maybe he’ll read this and get a better understanding or maybe I need to explain it in a different way. I don’t know, but the environment we live in is killing me ever so slowly.