The fear of losing control
If you have an anxiety disorder like me you have probably read this somewhere before. If you really focus on what you are feeling when you are anxious you could probably peal back many layers or a few layers to get to the real reason you are anxious- the fear of losing control.
Some people say three things- fear of dying, fear of losing control and fear of going crazy but I think it can all be broken down to the fear of losing control. When you are afraid of going crazy you are afraid of losing control of your mind. When you are afraid of dying you are afraid of the ultimate loss of control- the loss of control of your body, mind, life, reality, spirit…everything.
It is hard for me to imagine someone that doesn’t get a pit in their stomach when they think about dying. I can’t think of anything worse. For someone you love to die or to face your own death. I guess people without anxiety disorders only feel anxious about these things when they are faced with them. People with an anxiety disorder like me might feel this in small ways on a daily basis.
When I feel sick from a stomach bug my thought will go to- I need to go to the hospital, that it’s cancer, that I’m dying, what will my kids do without a mom??? I go from 0-60 in minutes. When I’m driving with my kids and I start to feel some symptoms of anxiety I jump to- do I need to pull over? will I have to call 911? what will my kids do? what if something is seriously wrong with me? or what if they put me in a mental hospital for acting crazy??
It always comes down to losing control for me. Because what else could leave me feeling so distraught and helpless in the middle of a panic attack. It’s a fear of not being able to control myself or the world around me.
How do I feel better about not being in control? I’m sure it helps if you are religious and give your life plans up to god. I can’t do that. I would like to believe there is a god but I can’t feel comfortable assuming god is really looking out for me and has a plan for me. Isn’t it kinda like santa clause? How the hell does god have the time to visit everyone in one day???
So if I can’t turn to religion then what do I turn to? I try to focus on what is in front of me. Take some deep breaths and focus on the things around me that god or whoever made. Look at the trees, focus on the sky and the ground and all the beautiful things in the world. I don’t know who created our world and why we are here but it’s all a lot bigger than me. It’s not my job to control everything when no one else can. I need to trust in this world and the constant changes of life moving on around me. I either go with the flow or spend the rest of my life being uncomfortable and unhappy trying to stop the unstoppable. Even though I am sitting here writing this I know I will still struggle with the uncomfortable feelings of not being in control that will continue to creep into my mind when I am anxious.