Sometimes I have these anxiety flare-ups, where I feel AWFUL, incapable, doubtful of my abilities, and just doubtful of myself in general. I start to fret that I have no worthwhile or intelligent thoughts; I doubt my sincerity, for whatever reason; I doubt my worth; everything I can think to say or do, I second-guess, to the point where my self-confidence just evaporates completely... it's a terrible, frustrating feeling.
I'm often at a loss for how to shake off my anxiety once it gets rolling. It'll start small, slowly swelling in my chest over the course of a day or two until it's a seething mass of confused and frustrated anxiety that I don't know what to do with. I don't know what triggers it at all, but when I have this problem I'm generally too frustrated and scared to put myself out there in any meaningful way, especially when it reaches a fever-pitch; I can't even enjoy myself alone.
Everything I can think to say sounds stupid, selfish, insincere, arrogant, stiff, not funny... even though the thing I usually want most in times like these is just to give myself a break, relax and have fun with people... or do fun solitary activities, but once the anxiety sets in it's really, really hard to find peace of mind in ANY activity, solitary or social.
I second-guess every opinion or perception I have, even if it's my opinion of something as insignificant as a TV show; I'll question whether I ought to like it, and for what reasons. I'll ask myself for justification for everything I think and everything I do, and scare myself until I'm desperate for some sort of salve. I'm not sure what I'm so AFRAID of, though.
It's just so frightening to feel like my peace of mind, safety and strength are slipping away. I just get so SCARED, but of WHAT, I have a terrible time pinpointing. I guess that's why they call it anxiety, because it's so hard to pinpoint what's making you afraid. But I just wish I knew what to do about it. I don't even know how to describe it! I just scare the crap out of myself... and doubt the crap out of myself... but that doesn't even begin to cover it.
I don't know why I have this problem, and sometimes I can stop the anxiety early-on, but often I simply can't, and it snowballs, over the course of hours or days, into a full-blown anxiety monster that leaves me closeting myself away from the world, trying to claw my way out of the mud-pit I've inexorably sunken into, despite all my attempts to talk myself out of it or ignore it. I often try to sleep it off, or have a beer to calm myself down, or google for solutions and coping strategies for my anxiety.
This problem has been darkening my door for months now; I've made a lot of progress since May and June, which were probably the worst months I've ever lived, but I still have this problem now and then, to a lesser extent than I did before. I don't want to sink into a depression again, but I think that would be an accurate description of what I experienced in the early part of the summer.
I don't know how many people can relate. My best friend has actual anxiety attacks, where she feels like she's dying, but I've never had those. My anxiety is directed toward a different area. I don't feel like I'm dying or like my body is shutting down; I feel like I'm falling apart as a person; it's so hard to describe. My heart rate picks up and I feel this pressure on my chest that makes my breathing shallow, but it never goes far beyond that; it just lasts a LONG time sometimes; like I said, days sometimes.
I just dread the days when I'm going to feel like this, and the worst part is I have no idea what triggers it, how to prevent it, or how to abate it when it happens.
I'm wondering if anyone can give me some honest, practical, time-tested tips for dealing with this when it starts to happen. If you need more information to understand my problem, ask. If you think you can relate, even a little bit, but don't have any advice, that's okay too; I'd still really like to hear from you.