Anxiety, jou Bliksem!

“Anxiety, you Bastard!”

Loosely translated, the Afrikaans word, “bliksem” is a bastard.

According to the list of Afrikanserims on Wiki:

  • bliksem – strike, hit, punch; also used as an expression of surprise/emphasis. It derives from the Dutch word for “lightning”, and often occurs in conjunction with donner. Used as a curse in Afrikaans: “Jou bliksem!” (You bastard!)

The Afrikaans language packs a real, lekker punch.

Anyway, back to this anxiety issue of mine.

I’ve always been a nervous and shy person, but with age, it seems to be getting worse.

To me, anxiety is that little niggle that sits between my shoulder blades, there at the back of my neck, where the hairs stand up to attention.  It whispers to me, constantly- it’s breath heavy, bringing with it with a deep kind of fear. Normal activities like driving down the road becomes a stressful event. At every stop street, my heart starts to race, and in my mind I see myself making an accident. (And that’s just at a stop street.) My eyes become wide and the sweat starts to gather on my forehead and on my cheeks. I need to turn the aircon up because I start to overheat.

It’s been my secret. I’ve become more home bound because of it. Even social situations where, for example, I’m meeting my husband’s colleagues, would get my glasses all steamed up. It’s embarrassing. I even overwhelm myself during art class as the anxiety to get every brush stroke perfect, eats at the joy of the process of creating the art. My art teacher often needs to step in to calm me down or take over because of it. I stand there, on the brink of tears, filled to the brim with angst.

My youngest son, Gabriel, won a role to be a model for a kiddies shoe company in South Africa. I entered his pictures on Facebook last week and they made contact on Thursday. I was excited, obviously, like any normal person would be.  The shoot was set for the following Tuesday in Cape Town and I made arrangements for myself and Gabriel to sleep over at my parent’s house in Cape Town the night before the shoot. A few hours before I had to drive, that familiar flashes of car wrecks played over and over in my mind. It became so overwhelming that my husband had to drive me to Cape Town instead. He was sick so it was a brave move on his part. But I couldn’t shake the feeling even at the shoot itself where there were a number of other small children , with their parents.

Babies were crying and laughing and playing and fighting and running everywhere.

I was on edge.

I was worried Gabriel wasn’t going to do well and that the organizers would think we’re wasting their time. (Stupid) Negative thoughts plagued my mind and I couldn’t get my heart rate slowed down. Gabriel picked up on my aura and realized my fears. He was cranky and refused to go in front of the camera. I was uncomfortable and irritable and he echoed that.

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Worst of it all, my other two kids were with and carried on like wild children at the shoot. Okay, I wasn’t myself, so they seemed like wild children to me.

Nothing looked right through my lenses.

The world, and all it’s occupants were skewed.

As someone spoke to me, my mind would show me images of them sneering at me. Flashes of snickering people tormented me further. But I knew it couldn’t be real. Or could it have been?

Anxiety leaves me unsure and tormented, bruised and battered.

Anxiety picks at my worst fears and makes them real. I go through all the physical symptoms of fear and sink into a dark abyss of not being able to tell what’s real and what isn’t. The confusion is debilitating.

At the end of the shoot, Cayden, my eldest helped with his baby brother and got him to smile. I was over the day anyway. We then decided to take the long drive home and I offered to drive.

Stupid.

It was anew road for me and I was already shaken up. The tension sat etched into my shoulder muscles. And of course I was sweating. My husband took over the driving again.

Lessons learned? Yes.

Anxiety is an asshole.

How do you overcome your experiences with anxiety?

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12 thoughts on “Anxiety, jou Bliksem!

  1. idioglossiablog says:

    I’ve learned to calm myself over the years in public situations, but I still lie awake every night worrying about things I can both change, and those that I can not. 😉 As a child when I found myself in the middle of an attack I would throw up on site. G-uno

    Liked by 1 person

      • idioglossiablog says:

        It sounds ridiculous, but mentally I have to talk myself down. Inside my mind I have to focus my thought repeatedly by saying my mind is trying to play a trick on me. I am okay, and I have control over my thoughts. The truth is sometimes it doesn’t work, and most times it’s an extremely slow working solution. It’s like a beginners version of meditation. 😉 It does really help me though. G-uno

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yve's Corner says:

        It makes absolute sense. I do the same but instead of persevering with the thought, I tell myself it’s not going to work. I’ll try persevering. If it helps you, it’s definitely worth a try 🙂 I just want to gain some sense of control in my life.

        Yve

        Liked by 1 person

  2. dyane says:

    Oh my friend, how I relate to this post SO much. I am SO SO SO sorry about how it all went down at the photo shoot. (That’s very exciting your handsome boy was chosen!!!!)

    I’ve had a terrible anxiety problem for many years. I first tried “overcoming” it with alcohol. That didn’t do the trick, so then I became addicted to benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Klonopin) until I had a car accident that nearly killed me and Marilla. An angel was watching over us that day – I can barely think about it for more than 2 seconds.

    I read a book called “Death Grip” about a famous editor/climber who became addicted to benzos but he got off them. I tapered off benzos after researching how to best do it, because it’s extremely hard to pull off. I wound up using the Ashton Manual as a tapering guide, which anyone can download off the internet.I have been benzo-free ever since.

    I don’t know how to overcome anxiety. I’ve tried the holistic route: meditation, yoga… the spiritual route: going to a religious center, and exercise. These days I use Rescue Remedy and Boron homeopathic pills & essential oils like lavender. They are cheap (always a good thing!) and they help me, but the effect is small compared to drugs! But I’ll never return to the meds for anxiety since I have such an addictive personality. :0

    Please let us know if you come across anything that helps you!!! Thank you for baring your innermost experiences here, my brave & beautiful Yvette!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pieces of Bipolar says:

    I agree. Anxiety is definitely an asshole! I too have constant anxiety. I try to adapt to it, or I do a lot of internal bargaining. Mostly I’m just hard-ass with myself and MAKE myself do it – the irrational fears, sweating, shaking, vomiting be damned (yep, I have a sick bucket in my car). Also the more often I do something that scares me, the more comfortable I feel with it over time. The anxiety lessens. I refer to this ‘method’ as ‘practice makes perfect’. But no matter what, you are brave! Whether you drove or not – you were present and functioned in a new, unfamiliar situation…..WITH CHILDREN!!! FOR A FULL DAY!! And you completed it, from start to finish. Bravo!!

    Liked by 1 person

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