Really hope you're ok! Good luck and stuff -internet stranger
Help me internet stranger! You're my only hope! ;P Aww, thank you!
As a fellow anxiety sufferer I think you've nailed how it can feel. Keep after it!
Thank you so, so much <3
You sound like a great person. I was in your shoes before and benefited from anapanasati. You sit comfortably, then breath in for five seconds, then out for five seconds. There are different variations that go up to ten seconds, but never over that. You meditate like this for five minutes whenever you feel stressed, and it begins to train your parasympathetic nervous system to respond better to stress. Sounds like a load of hootenanny, but it helped me and a friend quite a bit. My girlfriend said it was too frustrating though, so I can't blame you if you don't find it practical.Either way, I wish you luck on your journey out of this if you wish to leave it behind. Remember that there is always an option to change, but it is the hardest by default.I really liked your comic, btw! Sorry I ranted at you, but I like helping (atleastsortof) kindred spirits.
Wow. The first three panels of this are so familiar to me.I worried all of the time. I thought I wasn't good enough. I was anxious about even the smallest of things. Any schedule deviation had to be meticulously planned. And I had to make sure I was near a bathroom at all times, as it was unpredictable when I would start having familiar stomach cramps...But I didn't link this with my stress. I was convinced I was lactose intolerant. Then I was convinced I had IBS. This persisted for a few years, with me dreading any trip that involved me being away from a bathroom, and never quite able to figure out what was causing it. In fact, I would usually fast before any event that would require me to be away from a bathroom for longer than 30 mins. After a few years of this... I fainted in a restaurant...There was never anything physically wrong with me. I went to the hospital after I fainted, and I was physically fine.I realized that it was all me. It was caused by all of the anxiety and stress in my head. I don't know how the hell I did it, but I managed to rewire my brain to stop worrying myself to death. I remember having a conversation with myself saying, "Hey, it's OK. You're a human. Stop sweating the details, stop worrying so much about being an imposter in your field... because if you keep doing this, you're going to have to stop leaving your house for fear of fainting." This seems like the stupidest thing, right? You can't just change your internal nature like that. But... strange as it is, it ended up working for me. Fainting was some sort of internal breaking point. I still get the occasional nervous tummy, but it is far rarer than before.I realize that I had it a lot easier than you, and the stupid thing that worked for me is one of those things people that have no idea what it's like would tell you ("Anxiety causing problems? Stop bein' anxious!"), but I felt compelled to share my story as some sort of mildly bright spot in the comments.I wish you all the best of luck in figuring out what works best for you. I'm so sorry that you're going through all of this.
Great comic. Great message. Keep up the work. Would love to see more.
Ohmygoodness! Thank you so much for your story dearest anonymousness! It makes me feel so hopeful. Oh boy do I have some restaurant stories!! I thought/believed/knew I was lactose intolerant too! I can't tell you how much I stopped eating! Do you know the funny thing though!? I finally had a doctor give me a proper check up last year (blood tests, finger up the back passage and everything!)((sorry!)) and I am really wheat intolerant! You know the years and months and days where I ate nowt but bread!? Because, bread is drying, right?! Stodgy!? Well I gave myself a wheat allergy! I am absolutely loving my gluten free life though now, I've been gluten free for 1 year and 1 month! And I can count my 'nervous tummys' on one hand! I get queasy, and yes still have nerves strong enough to bring it on - but now I know it's normal nerves and probably everyone gets nervous as shit before getting on a plane! (Or just me!?) But did you read that!? A plane!! Can't tell you how far I've come since starting this comic. I hope it helps others realise that they are not alone. It won't cure anyone. But not being alone is a big, big part of it huh!? Thank you so much for sharing! Thank you thank you thank you!!
Hey Dani! Hope you're finding things easier now, keep at it! :-)
Thank you very much :)
Great comic. My anxiety often manifests in the form of sleep walking. I've seen GP's and even neurologist about it. They're now trying to convince me it's in my head (which I kind of know it is) and have just recommended CBT. More through self teaching about my sleep issues than any kind of counselling/centres (tried them and they didn't work for me). At work I'm mostly fine as I'm often in complete control (I'm a little OCD too) but at home I worry about the smallest things. Meal times are the worst. I panic horribly when it comes to deciding what to have. What if my partner doesn't want that? What if she doesn't like it? What can I tell her I want that I think she wants? It can get horrible at times. If she suggests going out I'm the same, but then add on the worry of can we afford it? What if we spend this money then need it for something else later in the week? Even small expenses like if we run out of bread or milk. I know deep down I'm being stupid. We've never gone hungry, the bills have always been paid, and we've always found a way. But the seeds are there, they've taken root, once the idea is in my head it grows. When it gets bad, life can become a constant firefight. Jumping from one problem to the next trying to extinguish the flames before it takes hold. Eventually the flames die down; the problems get dealt with and I feel better for a time. But the fire never truly goes out, it just smoulders along until the next time, when the tiniest spark just ignites it again.I know the only way I'll get past it is to put the fire out completely, but that's always easier said than done (as I'm sure you know).Until then we plod along, trying (but inevitably failing) not to worry. So thank you for the comic. I hope it helped you.
Aww thank you so much for your story Dan <3I know that 'deep down I know I'm being stupid' feeling very well. But it doesn't make it go away, does it!? I hope you tell your missus how you have been feeling at mealtimes! Honesty really does remove the pressure! I am so lucky I have found a partner that I can never bore, never shock and never upset when it comes to my anxiety. Infact when I went to his flat for the first time my head was just swimming with 'eek what if he notices I won't eat! I hope he doesn't make me eat! I haven't eaten anything for 36 hours so I should hopefully be fine as long as he doesn't make me eat!' Obviously, I must have come across as a little wired, because he sat me down on the bed and said 'why don't you just tell someone what you're thinking? Why don't you just tell me?! Right now!?' And it suddenly sounded so stupid, so funny even to say the words out loud. It must have taken me about 25 mins in all, told him everything. I haven't gotten to it in the comic yet but because of my awful relationship with food and nervous tummy I was taking Immodium every single day! I can only hope it hasn't done any lasting damage! Since that day I told him, I have worked through everything with him. Doesn't go away, but it's 99% easier! I hope this comment hasn't turned into a 'int my bf great!' but maybe someone or even you is wanting to tell thier partner and they can relate! Maybe you already have but an 'ammended' version of the truth. If everyone shared all these normal human feelings the world would be a more honest, supportive and happy place! And I'd love to live in that world please :)
For me, no amount of reassurance makes that feeling go away. No matter how much I tell myself I'm being stupid, nothing stops it until I'm ready to accept I'm being stupid, or until it's proven I was being stupid. I practically wrote a book of notes when I moved house, pro's cons, detailed financial breakdowns of each place. There were even spreadsheets involved. It took all that for me to realise what I'd been told from the beginning - we'd be fine. Even then I got panicky around bills time for the first couple of months until I could see we were actually ok.It's just so frustrating at times. I want to just go 'yeah ok, let's do that' without having to plan every possibility out in my head. I think I've always been I bit like that. I'm logical. I need structure. Maybe I just didn't notice it so much when I was on my own. I didn't have to think about anyone else so it didn't matter what I did. In a lot of respects it still doesn't matter what I do, I've just convinced myself it does. I try and second guess people. What do they want me to do/want. As for sharing/talking, I've never been good at that. I can talk the hind legs off a donkey about anything, but when it comes to saying how I'm feeling, I don't get it. I think I'm better than I was though, a liitle. I'm ranting again aren't I? Lol.
I just stumbled upon your cartoon, and I completely understand where you are coming from, I suffered from this social anxiety as well and still occasionally have a panic attack in public places that are filled with what I consider to be too many people. I also used to get the shits, however I never vommed! I found that my anxiety was linked to a relationship that I was in, and because I was unhappy with him, but couldn't admit it to myself or didn't recognise it for what it was, I tried to hide, and when faced with social situations that he wanted me to be in, I would tell him I wasn't feeling well - because I really wasn't, I just didn't know that it was because the thought of being in public with him did that to me. My social anxiety is directly linked to how happy I am with my current status quo - because (and this might make you feel ill) when I am happy and comfortable, I have been known to be the life of the party, out on the dance floor surrounded by sweaty bodies all over the place, eating out at restaurants is still something that can feel daunting however, I just remind myself that the server is under my command, and is not allowed to bring me anything that I deem unsatisfactory. As I got older my issue seems to have dwindled and I hardly have problems anymore. Another trick someone told me, is to imagine yourself surrounded by a white light before entering a situation that makes you uncomfortable. Good luck with facing your fears, you are alot stronger than you may realize.
You don't go through hell before you get to heaven. When you guys get over your anxiety I promise you will feel like a super-human.You will be more aware of others feelings than before. You will still make lists and analyze things --except in a productive way. But best of all, like i said before, you will be more aware of others people's feelings, I became a philanthropist. I love the world now, i love the people, i love people no matter what because now i know what everybody being different really means. Now i look at every person as if they are going through anxiety and i treat everyone with extreme care..People with anxiety (and deal with it) are the strongest people on this planet. I didnt have anxiety until i was 20, and i felt like i was in a terrible, nightmare..it was a whole new world. Good luck every1 much love.
Keep going Dani :)
What beautiful comments! I read so much of myself in each and every one. It fills me with so much hope!
It's so good to feel less alone. And I also love moodpanda and meditationoasis. I love how she keeps reminding me that there's no wrong way to do it,
Whoops! I totally missed the full comic when I posted that last comment back there! (The one about not going outside and the mini tangent about HTML)Anyways, I just wanted to say I genuinely enjoyed meeting you at BLAM the other night, so I hope you come back. I've had some mental health stuff go on too (getting CBT at the moment), so I can relate. If you ever want to talk about it, don't be shy. I've gone through some weird stuff myself and I rarely ever get to talk about it.
I can relate! And I have been trying to make something positive out of these feelings by making comics... Unfortunately when I'm nervous I can't draw...and that is most of the time! One day...
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