I would like to say this is very different to my normal posts, about kooky stories of youth and is directly more personal to myself, rather than the character of WindUpToy. This is my story, not really even a story more of a ramble, people who are affected by mental illness, unaware they are or feeling they might be, please take this as a personal experience and my feelings and logics might be vastly different from yours.
This is going to be talking about anxiety issues and other mental health problems in a somewhat comical and positive light, this after years of struggling with these issues I am finally able to confront them and talk about them in a more open platform. If you would like a more real example just ask and I might go into further detail about it in future posts, or just check out Hyperbole and a Half’s Depression Part 1 and 2, for a fantastic piece of writing but also really enlightening and helpful (for me personally), or there are multiple online resources.
I only ask this of you the reader, please refrain from commenting personally addressing myself with statements such as “glad you’re feeling better” or “well done you’re doing so good”. I do appreciate them but I find them not to be too helpful, but leave a comment if you would like to.
I suffer from severe general anxiety and have now for many years. There are of course many issues that develop from having severe general anxiety. Firstly, having to place the word “severe” in front of the phrase general anxiety, so people take my mental illness more seriously.
The second problem being the word “general”. When 15 plus years of your life, that you can remember, has been plagued with doubts, endless worries, that affect not only your day to day, but others around you and it gets summed up by a two-word phrase and one being the word general. It’s rather an annoying and frustrating place to be in. General, generally meaning concerning or affecting most people or things rather than my perspective of being scared or worried about pretty much everything.
The third biggest annoyance is trying to describe your general anxiety to other people, friends, family, a charming Jamaican man who asked you for a lighter outside Stockwell station, is that many of the basic and most common side-effects of general anxiety are massively relatable to basically everyone. These being avoidance and procrastinating, which everyone who has ever existed has done at least once in their life. This becomes tediously difficult as in the mist of empathy given to you from another humanoid is often followed by “oh I do that all the time”, “maybe I have that to” or “yeah sometimes I don’t feel like doing work as well”.
This is quite possibly the most irritating thing that can happen due to general anxiety, not only are you frustrated with your own description and rhetoric, but you also reflect on yourself that if other people do these acts and are seemingly normal, why can I not coop at all.
That years and years of struggling through general life, unable to hold friendships, unable to achieve things I wanted to do, unable to do things not because I wanted to, because I was worried about letting other people down. Not doing well in school, allowing myself to fail, because succeeding would be an uncertain journey. Missing parties, birthdays, box socials, years of different counsellors, now months of cognitive behavioural therapy, not being able to have a real relationship, having to take a year out of university, being bed ridden for weeks due to the mass depression, thoughts of suicide.
This is all being process as being the same as your friend Susanne, not being able to go to Chris’ birthday party, because Carol might be there.
Lastly the affect that it has had on the family of the military war hero General J Anxiety, who through his indecisiveness, cowering at the aggressive solutes of his officers and overall worry about stabbing himself with his own baronet, managed to save more lives in World War 2 than any other officer. He was a truly great man.
I do not want to sound aggressive and angry at this. As now in my more understanding position, I am not heated or upset towards the people that make these kind of comments. People live their own lives, things affect them in different ways and I have enough going on to get truly involved in the Carol and Susanne feud.
However, I do believe there is something good to come out of my anxiety, that be social or general. Is that of comedy. The reasoning behind why my anxiety in particular is so helpful for comic writing is that in most situations I become confronted with an immediate visual “of the worst thing that could ever possibly happen in the history of everything” flashes before me. For example, opening the door for someone is a normal everyday task, however in that very moment staring back at the person in front of me, every conceivable situation flickers and rolls out. Maybe they believe I am being patronizing, or perverted, or sexist, or that I have a very peculiar face, or believing that my nose is oddly small. It is in this moment I imagine they go home to their partner, shaken, sitting across from one another eating some form of pasta based dinner, more often than not a carbonara, discussing their day. As my victim of intense awkward door opening, regales their day mentioning the incident when an ogre like man child, with a peculiar face and a nose that is oddly small, gave them a patronizing glace. And they would laugh, chinking their wine glasses over their crispy lardon topped egg cheesy sauced carbohydrates.
This is what I have actually began to enjoy and take interest in, when it comes to my anxiety, the quite ridiculous nature of it all. Instead of over thinking and worry, abusing myself over the tiniest of things, it’s a quiet reflection and often humorous chuckle. Because, in all I do find it to be somewhat ridiculous, these things will not happen and if they did then I really have no true effect on it and it all shouldn’t really bother me. In its place, though I still struggle with it, is one of humour and joy, which I hopefully have been able to show you the reader in my other posts, if you are new you should defiantly read.