5 Ways My Thoughts Make Me Feel Not Normal

5 Ways My Thoughts Make Me Feel Not Normal

I realized in 2015 that I was not normal. It took me years to figure this fact out – I haven’t been normal for years. I have what is known as generalized anxiety disorder, which means everything makes me nervous or anxious.

I didn’t think twice about the things that frightened me the most, believing them to be normal. It turns out that they weren’t normal for people at all. I wasn’t normal for years and had no idea about it until 2015. I was in shock when this fact fell into my lap not too long ago.

My father’s death in late 2015 shocked me into getting treatment. His death made me realize that I’m not feeling normal emotions. I needed to be checked out and monitored to make sure I don’t do anything reckless.

That’s why I wanted to go over five things I deal with that aren’t normal. I realized these fears weren’t normal over several years. If you have any of them, don’t feel nervous about sharing that with me in the comments below or in an email!

“I’d be scared to leave the house.”

I could barely leave the house without some sort of fear that something would happen to me. I didn’t even realize that wasn’t normal until I started therapy in 2015. I didn’t realize other people didn’t have that fear.

It was worse for me when I was leaving the house to go somewhere where I wouldn’t know anyone. I can’t stand going to functions without having someone I know to talk to while I’m there. I start to shake at the thought and still do that with therapy.

People don’t understand this fear and like to attach a stigma to it. It’s like it’s a disease they can catch on a whim. I’ve never understood that thought process and hope to never understand it. I have a mental illness that makes me fear leaving the house and that’s the end of the story, you know?

“I’d be nervous around people I don’t know.”

If I don’t know you, there is a huge chance that I won’t talk to you for a while. It takes a lot of nerve for me to walk up to someone in order to speak to them. I don’t like introducing myself to other people I don’t know yet because I’m so shy these days.

I’ve always been super shy but because of my anxiety disorder, it’s so much worse than a quote-on-quote “normal person’s” shyness. I hate the thought of embarrassing myself so I end up making a fool out of myself in the end.

I don’t always think through what I say to the full extent either. I am prone to blurting out what I’m thinking without putting any thought into how it might sound. I’ve gotten into trouble with so many people because of that problem. It’s a nervous habit and nothing more.

“I stutter when I’m speaking in front of a group.”

I think this goes pretty much without saying. I don’t have to go in-depth with this one, do I? I get so nervous that I start stuttering like a mad-woman. I am shaking “like a leaf” and can’t stop the shaking for quite some time.

This is why I hated public speaking as a young adult. I had to take a public speaking class to get my college degree. Let’s just say I hated every moment of that damn class too, okay? I felt almost normal by the end of the semester but I think the entire class could see me shaking earlier on in the class.

Even though I took a public speaking course in college, I still shake and stutter when I speak in public groups. I hate the thought of speaking in front of people and that will never change for me. I know most people don’t like public speaking but my hatred may not be normal.

“I was terrified of touching my violin.”

I’ve been playing the violin off and on since about 2003. Because of my anxiety disorder, I’ve always been terrified of touching it. I would play softly and not make much of an impact. I was so scared of messing up that I’d mess up.

I was too focused on perfection, even at a young age, that I sucked at something I loved. At the end of the day, I loved playing the violin but I put it away in 2009 after I graduated high school. My college didn’t have a music program so I was out of luck in that category.

I took up the violin again in August 2017 after starting medication for my anxiety disorder. My violin teacher made me realize that something in me was NOT normal. She told me how impressed she was that I had improved so quickly.

I knew then that I wasn’t normal when she told me in September 2017 that she had considered telling me to put my violin up for good. She now says otherwise since she claims that I sound so much better by comparison.

“I was terrified of driving any sort of vehicle.”

This is a problem that still troubles me from time to time when I’m on the interstate. If I’m driving to an unknown destination, I get nervous then as well. I don’t like not knowing where I’m going or how long it’ll take to get there.

I’ve always been one to plan everything down to the second. I freak out if I can’t do that so that’s the reason I’m so early to some appointments in my life. Nine times out of ten, I didn’t know where the place was and wanted enough time to get there in case I got lost.

I’ve gotten better about driving over the past 9 years of doing so. But don’t get me wrong – rainy days make me want to stay home unless the trip is short. That part of me will never change and I don’t mind that one bit.

In Conclusion

I realized I wasn’t normal over a period of years. It didn’t happen overnight and it won’t happen overnight for anyone else either. If you don’t feel normal, then realize you aren’t alone in your journey. There are others out there who feel the same way.

Don’t be afraid to get treatment for whatever it is that’s going on in your life. If you’re depressed or anxious like me, don’t be afraid to go out for treatment. The worst that could happen is that it doesn’t work out for you.

Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you, my friend. I do want to hear about your experience, though. If you don’t feel quite “right”, how would you explain it to a doctor? Put your answer in the comments section below!

4 Ways Death Impacts People with Anxiety Disorders

4 Ways Death Impacts People with Anxiety Disorders

In honor of my aunt’s impending death, I wanted to share a blog post that is a little more personal than normal. This blog post is about how death impacts people with anxiety disorders.
 
To give you guys some background, my aunt has quite a few medical issues. I won’t get into detail on those but she ended up with double pneumonia and a urinary tract infection.
 
This caused her immune system into overdrive and sent her organs into failure mode. She is in full-on lung failure now and is on oxygen until she passes away.
 
She isn’t on life-support from what I can tell but it looks like they’re close to putting her on it. People may not realize how this looks to someone with an anxiety disorder.
 
Seeing someone die has quite the negative impact on someone with high levels of anxiety. Let’s take a look at the impact death has on people with anxiety disorders.
“Fear of Their Own Death”
As someone with anxiety, death doesn’t have a hard time sinking its teeth into you. You do think about it from time to time on harder days. You don’t think about it when it comes to a family member.
 
Sometimes you have to watch someone close to you die a slow, painful death. That is hard for you and it leaves a permanent mark on your psyche.
 
You begin to wonder how you are going to die in the end. It makes you shudder to think about the many ways it could happen. Death impacts people with anxiety disorders in a horrible way.
 
At the end of the day, you don’t know how you’re going to die and that is what worries you. Your anxiety shoots through the figurative roof as the many scenarios play out in your head.
 
You can’t help the thoughts of death as your loved one lies in their hospital bed, dying themselves. You can’t help the fear as it wracks your own mind and begins the trek towards depression.
 
“Worsening Levels of Depression”
 
You may have thought this person was all but immortal. The person proved you wrong and it hurts you more than you realized it would.
 
You can’t help feeling sad but there’s a difference between sadness and depression. What you feel now is depression and you want to curl up in your bed all day.
 
You don’t want to do anything but have time for grieving for someone you’ve loved your entire life. They’ve been there through everything and now they’re gone.
 
Death impacts people with anxiety disorders worse because we have depression too. At least…a lot of us do, anyway. We don’t want to do anything but wallow in our grief in private.
 
We don’t want anyone else to see us fall into a mode of depression since we know how hard it is to see. We know what it looks like to have depression because we have our own experience with it.
 
“Out of Touch with Reality”
 
Have you ever had that feeling that you were watching something from the outside, looking in? Have you had this feeling while being a part of whatever it is you’re watching?
 
For me, this is the third time this is happening. It is a surreal time for the entire family since my father passed away right after Christmas in 2015.
 
The circumstances were much the same, though I don’t have the pain now that I did with my father. I don’t know my aunt very well but it still feels quite surreal at times when I saw her in the bed.
 
Death impacts people with anxiety disorders in a different way. We also have the ability to worry about other things as well. I can still remember everything I worried about during my father’s funeral.
 
There are some things we don’t forget as anxious people and this feeling is one of them for me. Death impacts us anxious minds in this way to protect us from hysteria.
 
“Not Knowing How to Put Their Thoughts into Words”
 
I always thought I was this great writer growing up. I always had words to say but I never knew how to say them. I suppose that is one of the reasons I was so quiet for all these years.
 
There is not a simple way to put into words how this imminent death is going to impact us. We are already anxious about so many things in our lives.
 
Each person grieves in a different way and silent grief is quite common for people affected by death. Anxious people, like me, are bound to fret over the death and will do it in silence.
 
The fact is, I don’t know how to put my thoughts into words about my aunt’s death. I’ve known her all my life and it’s going to be an odd thing to not have her at the house during national holidays.
 

In Conclusion

 
Death impacts people with anxiety disorders very hard. It’s like a punch in the gut or something to that effect. It comes out of the blue and we aren’t prepared for it.
 
As people with anxiety, we prepare for a lot of things. Sometimes, though, death isn’t one of those things. We have to deal with the curve-balls as they come and ride the figurative ocean wave.
 
How do you deal with grief over a loved one? How does the death impact you? I want to know in the comments if you feel comfortable sharing!