Imagine, if you will, that it’s time for bed. You have decided on your to-do list for the next day, your clothes, lunch and all the essentials to make sure your tomorrow will be off to a great start. You feel content, everything is set and ready to go. You crawl into bed, close your eyes, begin to let go and like Thor himself sends lightning through your body you are now thinking about how you’re going to get that one thing done, that conversation you had with a co-worker, did it really go alright? Did he take it that way?
You try and shake it off but you battle through this for the remainder of your night. The alarm goes off, you know you have a presentation the next day. How are you going to do this looking and feeling this way? You don’t feel so good. It’s most likely because your sleep was so disturbed, but it’s still there regardless. You’re going to bomb this presentation you just know it. How could anyone even take you seriously with those bags under your eyes?
Your heart begins to pound, you have to make a decision, you know whats right, but you’re going to screw it up. That’s what you do, your a screw-up. You shower, “nobody at work likes me anyways. Nobody asks me to lunch, they avoid me. Even if I didn’t feel this sick they weren’t going to listen to me today anyway.”
“Fine”, you shut off the water, “I’m done.” You call in. The couch is nearest so you sit there and contemplate the situation. “They all knew I couldn’t do this.” Maybe if I just get some sleep this will get better. You go back to bed, but nothing. Your mind is going at 100mph. “I’m fired. I just know it.”
And so the spiral of anxiety continues. To those who have never experienced the intensity of your emotions controlling your actions, this all seems insane. To those of us who have, we know the weight of each breath, thought, and action when our mind has been placed on this nervous road of destruction.
To the unanxious it appears simple, just don’t follow that behavior. To the anxious, the walls are too high to climb over and see a different behavior. With proper treatment and medication, things do change, you finally have climbing gear and are able to scale the wall. But none of it happens overnight. It takes time and practice to create those pathways in the brain.
It can and does come, but it doesn’t come by people just expecting that you now have prescriptions it’s an automatic pass to a new life. The brain must adjust, and you must either help us through it or get out of the way. That may seem harsh. But would you stand in the way of a recovering stroke patient and say, “well good you have some medication and some physical therapy. Now go run a race.”? No, heavens no. So don’t expect that from us. It’s taken years to create these pathways in our brain, so please give us some understanding while we create new ones.