Normalising Anxiety Stuff

Normalising Anxiety Stuff

Jul 23, 2021

So this is basically the short cut of my full blog post about this, but anxiety is shit in general but what’s even more shit is some things that come alongside it that people just don’t talk about? Because I know that there were some parts of my anxiety that I didn’t realise were normal for people going through the same things as me - and so I wanted to try to write about some of the stuff that went on with me that I’ve since learnt are normal, in case there are other people who are going through what I went through

(Also I put a load of photos of my dog in the full post because she’s cute and makes dealing with this shit a whole lot easier)

1. Sensory Overload

So this is a big one and I genuinely think that I could talk about it forever, but I’ll try to keep it short. I hadn’t actually realised until very recently that sensory overload was a real thing.

All those times I was sent spiralling into a panic attack because everything was too loud around me? Or when I would have to literally cover my ears and start humming to try to calm myself down because I was finding some background noise too loud? Or how, year after year at my dad’s birthday party I would end the night sobbing on the ground because the fireworks were just too fucking loud?

Yep, sensory overload.

And there I was thinking that there was no real cause, that I was just being dramatic or perhaps I was just a little jumpier than most people. But no, it’s a very real thing that doesn’t get talked about enough, and I wish that I had known that it had a name and that other people were going through the same thing because I think that then I would have known how to better deal with it when all my senses were too overwhelming

You’re not strange for getting overwhelmed in situations that are too loud or by textures that you don’t like or anything like that – it’s not just you that it happens to. And so please reach out to someone who you know does understand it and don’t be afraid of asking them if they can help you figure out healthy ways of managing those times where you are feeling that overwhelmed

And if you don’t know who to ask, then I’m here. Be it on my instagram, twitter or Tumblr (where I do have anonymous asks open) if you feel like you want to talk to me about it please don’t hesitate to. I will repeat again that I’m not at all a medical professional, but I do have a solid past 19 or so years coping with my own sensory overload bullshit so I can try to help you to figure out what works for you

It sucks to feel alone going through any mental health shit, but in particular this always makes me feel so, so lonely and if I can help anyone going through it to feel even just a smidge less isolated then that’s a win in my books

2. Adrenaline Crashing After Social Situations

This is such a big one for me, but I think that a lot of my friends who I’ve spoken about it with all already knew that this was a thing and I was just being dumb about it. But I wanted to put it down anyway in case there are people who don’t realise that this is pretty normal

When you go out into a social situation or even just somewhere out of your comfort zone like leaving your house and going to a public space or I know I get it when I go into a shop, even if I use self service I still get a huge adrenaline rush just from being outside basically. 

Because to your anxious brain’s mind you have just returned to somewhere safe (your home or school or friend’s house for example) from an environment that it deemed as being ‘unsafe’, hence why it activated your fight or flight. So naturally upon returning to a place that you feel comfortable in and it starts to regulate your hormone levels again it’s going to leave you drained and sometimes the comedown from that can send you spiralling into a panic attack

Again: it sucks. But it’s a normal thing, please don’t think that you’re overreacting or exaggerating or whatever because of it. A lot of people with anxiety have this happen to them

3. Post-Event Rumination

It’s essentially just being completely and utterly self critical over everything that you did, even if you weren’t doing anything out of the ordinary

For example, if I ran into my neighbour and had a quick conversation with her, literally just exchanging no more than just “hi, how are you?”‘s, that run-in would be playing on repeat in my head for at least the next day and I’d be sure that I must have said something wrong or she knows something that I don’t or anything like that.

For me, if the adrenaline crash wasn’t enough to send me spiralling into a panic attack, post event rumination pretty much always is. But I found a weird amount of comfort in being told that, actually, it’s a thing that a lot of people deal with! A lot of people do it and I’m not strange for being one of them. So that was nice for me to hear at the time, especially to find out that it’s real enough that it had a name, and so I thought that there was someone else out there who might need to hear it too

4. Crashing/Spacing Out

This one is so, so common for me, but no matter how often it happens I always just feel so fucking rude, like, it can literally be the most interesting conversation in the entire world and I just…. won’t be able to concentrate? For the life of me?

As it turns out, though, that’s apparently completely normal for people with anxiety, especially in regards to the social side of it. It’s something that I actually did research in myself rather than trying to talk to one of my friends about it. And that’s because I didn’t know how to admit to being constantly spacing out in conversations with them (as in, more than they would notice) without it straight up just sounding really rude.

But it only took me a pretty quick Google search to tell me that it was actually not at all uncommon. A lot of the time, it just comes from being completely drained by conversations or sometimes (going back to the sensory overload thing) the environment just making it too hard for me to fully concentrate because of fucking birds or something

So yeah, next time that you catch yourself spacing out in a conversation please don’t feel bad about yourself because of it. Of course, it’s incredibly inconvienient and will probably always make you feel a little rude, but it’s got a cause and it is normal and usually it’s totally out of your control, too. Most people will understand it if it does happen so please, please don’t beat yourselves up about it

5. Romanticisation of Mental Health

I guess that this isn’t really, like, normalising something any more than it’s just me having a bit of a rant about how mental health is seen a lot of the time from the outside thanks to it being completely misrepresented in the media

I just know that the very first time that I saw a panic attack on a TV show was during one of the earliest episodes of Teen Wold (which I still haven’t finished by the way – anyone who’s reading this and has seen it, should I watch the rest?) and I remember Stiles getting kissed by Lydia as a way to bring him back from a panic attack.

I genuinely cannot stress enough how averse to that I am now, knowing what I do about how I and my friends deal with my/their panic attacks and anxiety – that is my worst nightmare!

My aim in making this post was to try to bring some people going through these things some comfort by being able to understand that what they are going through is completely valid and that there are ways to cope with it no matter how lost and alone you feel trying to navigate it

So please add on your own things that you wished you knew about anxiety earlier, what you wish you had known was normal or even things that you think not enough people are aware about – comment it or DM me or whatever, I just want to be able to raise awareness of these kinds of stuff

Anyway, figured I’d fill the post with photos of my dog looking sweet as fuck because she is the loveliest dog in the world (send me dog photos boys)

Thank you for reading, and if you wanna check out the full post I wrote it’s on my blog - there’s a link to it below!

I hope that you’re well,

Freddie 🐸

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