Portrait of an Anxiety Spiral

Court  In Session

It begins in my gut. What was that that bothered me? Shit. Now it’s in my chest but I still can’t remember what I stumbled across or thought about or saw that made me feel left out, forgotten about, less than. I wonder how I have any room for organs at all when my body is so filled with this dark, sickening jelly of insecurity.

Sometimes it creeps on me in my bed before I open my eyes. Other times, I get all the way through my morning routine before it kicks me swiftly in the backs of my knees, taking me down in one feel swoop of desperate confusion.

It always anchors in my self-esteem. I am stupid. I am lazy. I am fat. I am ugly. I am boring. I am annoying. I am obnoxious. I am ruining all our lives. I can not get my shit together. I think it, and then I silently yell at myself for thinking it, and now I’m having a fight with my own inner voice and it’s so loud I have to close my eyes.

And all the while, my daughter is sitting on the couch, asking me over and over if her breakfast is ready, and “Mommy did you forget you were making me breakfast?”

And those pills that just yesterday I was saying I would wean off of are in my hands and down my throat because I will do anything to MAKE IT STOP. Anything. What can I do to make it stop?

I refresh twitter, facebook, instagram…it doesn’t help. The voices of the internet are added to my own, and now I feel more ignored, more desperate, more alone…more embarrassed by the thought of myself than before I reached out for connection.

I close my eyes. I pour the cereal. I make the lunch. I take a deep breath.

In through my nose…1…2…3…4…

Out through my nose…1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…

I sit down to work, ignoring my legs as they shake the table. Facebook…twitter…instagram…

In through my nose. Out through my mouth.

And write.

Feed Me Seymour

  21 comments for “Portrait of an Anxiety Spiral

  1. rozanna
    May 24, 2014 at 7:02 am

    hi morgan, i know you do not know me and i harldley ever comment on stuff on the internet ….. but i just wanted to say your doing great !! if you can produce this awesome blog while having an anxiety atack your okay XD your brave and strong and you can get true it !!!!! and alsow i wanted to give you a cyber hug and wisper its okay breath in and out and its okay your okay and all is going to be okay just keep breathing,,,, im verry jealous cuz on my days of panic atacks im in bed with my head under the blankets :/ while my daughter and husband are playing ownstairs and even the sound of laughter is to much

    • Morgan
      May 27, 2014 at 1:09 am

      Thank you Rozanna. And don’t worry — there are definitely days I crawl under the covers. ;)

  2. May 24, 2014 at 11:00 am

    This is perfect. I can totally relate.

  3. May 24, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    This is where I’ve been for the past year or so.

    • Morgan
      May 28, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Oh, no. Not you too, friend. :(

  4. Lizzy
    May 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    you are not alone. I am all too familiar with this cycle & it stinks!

  5. DT
    May 26, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    WHOA…….. You just described me.


  6. Jen
    May 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    The only person you have to measure up to is yourself. You are the best you! My last thought most days is to have more love and patience for myself as much as for my kids. If I’m too much in my own head I try to get out and garden or take the kids to the park – I get moving and try to stop thinking. You rock for getting your feelings out there.

  7. May 26, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Sounds so much like me.

  8. May 26, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Yes. Writing this against the perpetual tightness in my throat, only slightly more familiar than the burning in my stomach. Maybe checking my Facebook feed or rewriting my to-do list will dull it for now. What, no?!

  9. Nancy
    May 26, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Exactly! I’m amazed that I can be feeling anxious even before I open my eyes in the morning. I told my husband the other day that if other people talked to me like I talk to myself I wouldn’t have any friends. I do find that I feel much better if I take a magnesium supplement. I just read recently that if you’re depressed/anxious you might have a deficiency.The days I find myself feeling anxious it’s usually because I haven’t been taking it.

  10. May 26, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    This popped up on my FB suggestions at the craziest time. My daughter has always been an anxious child, but just over a week ago we ended up in the ER for the first time. We have a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and OCD. I’ve been through issues myself with depression and such, but trying to help my thirteen year old daughter though this has left me deep in the weeds.
    This hit me – this gave me the TINIEST understanding of what she may be feeling. We are going through episodes 3-4 times daily still, waiting for medication to work, waiting to get in to a therapist. Thank you for writing this.

    • Morgan
      May 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      I hope your daughter feels better really soon. She’s lucky to have a parent who is on top of it. xo

  11. May 27, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    I don’t consider myself an anxious person, but I have many of these same feelings. I’m usually a reserved and quiet person, but when I’m talking to other people, my nerves get the best of me. After an outing with friends, I will continually pick apart my interactions. Did I talk too much? Why did I say that? Why did I tell that dumb story? And then the I’m obnoxious, I’m annoying, I’m the third wheel, etc etc. Nice to know that someone who at least SEEMS put together has similar feelings.

    • Morgan
      May 28, 2014 at 11:23 am

      OMG I can’t believe I appear put together. That’s fantastic. <3

  12. Kelly Goytus
    May 27, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    I relate. Often I have no idea what I am anxious about but there it is…sitting on my chest…

  13. Courtney
    May 27, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I hate how the initial problem is so often unidentifiable.
    What was it that caused that lurch in my gut, made me feel like I’ve suddenly gone over a hill and made my stomach flip, that caused that brief and utter panic? Then the spreading of the fear, like tendrils encircling my chest and getting tighter as the panic sets in.
    It’s terrifying, and I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this too – you’re certainly not the only one. Chin up.

  14. Meme
    May 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    It’s almost unbelievable, but some people think they are the only one who has these symptoms..so, by sharing yours so elegantly, you will never know what a great help you are to others, thank you

    • Morgan
      May 29, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Thank you. xo

  15. June 2, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    When I read those words “I am fat”, I said to myself well, I AM fat. I’m 5’6 and 127 pounds. Stop the madness.

  16. June 4, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Thank you for writing this. I feel this so hard sometimes. I just read your post to my husband and said “that, that’s how I feel when I have anxiety.” Thank you for putting into words the hell that is my brain sometimes. And for helping my husband have a clearer image.

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