So. If you have been reading for a while, you might know that things have been a bit fraught for me of late. Despite my chipper exterior blog feels, my life has turned upside down over the last year or more and I’ve been navigating some new things, as this has happened.
I have also been navigating some OLD things – anxiety and depression. But they’ve combined their superpowers in different ways since things got a
bit lot crap and I’ve frankly been impressed with their versatility. Go me! I can do hocus pocus things I have never done before.
Before you ask. I am going to be a-okay. I don’t want you to worry. This isn’t about that. Nope. But thanks!
But what I do want is to share some of this impressive versatility aka trickiness, because HECK KNOWS, you might feel like this too, some day.
What happened to me – and has thankfully been happening less – is that my feeling wires got crossed as I tried to deal with hard things.
Instead of feelings being pure and easy to understand, my emoshes were more like something from the film Weird Science (minus sexism, sassy outfits and Anthony Michael Hall, dammit.) Or maybe like some climactic time-travelling magic bits from Back To The Future (sans high tops and fancy car, which I’m strangely okay with.)
Instead of feeling challenged when plans changed without warning or didn’t look like I’d expected – I’d feel PANIC. Which can also look like ANGER, to the untrained eye.
Instead of feeling concerned when things got tricky – I’d feel PANIC. Which can sometimes look like ANGER, to the untrained eye.
Instead of feeling, analytical and problem solve-y when things got worrying – I’d feel PANIC! Which can sometimes look like ANGER, to the untrained eye.
That’s a lot of PANIC that looks like ANGER. Especially when I wasn’t angry.
Luckily, I quickly spotted the same sort of thing in people who are going through similar stuff – and I realised it was an ACTUAL THING and I felt better.
Okay, not better for people’s panic-y suffering, but better that it’s a way we process things aka misprocess things aka short circuit, some of the time.
I also noticed that PANIC can sometimes just turn into a lot of sobbing, which is excellently cathartic if you realise that it won’t go on forever and the tears eventually get bored and want to do something else beside bother your adorable cheeks.
So that’s it really. I just wanted to talk about how anxiety and panic can sometimes look a lot like anger/sobbing and that is a HUMAN THING. Angry people are not always angry, y’all. They are sometimes… panicked and quietly sh*ting themselves due to other things!
A lot of us don’t talk about how the panic can shapeshift into feelings that are harder to unravel.
I am lucky to be a writer, because I scrawl or type my way out of this stuff and it helps me to feel a lot better and see trusty patterns in behaviour that help me to get out of the fug.
But if YOU are not a writer, may I suggest you STILL write down your panics and angry bits and sobs – and how you feel when they happen. And what sparked them. And how your body felt when this all happened. It’s helpful to me and gosh it might help you too. Write, write, write. However messy that stuff is, just get it out and down.
Because it might help. Maybe your adorable cheeks will thus be less damp?
Maybe the feels that SEEM like anger will show themselves as just unsettled and upset, instead?
Maybe you can change the labels on those suckers and expose them for what they really are? Anxiety and fear and a general feeling of ‘what the heck is happening and please make it stop?’
Honestly, IT’S WORTH A SHOT!!
Thanks for reading.
Your pal, Pip
PS – I will be okay! Promise! Not even kidding.