I Don’t Even Know What I’m Afraid Of

The odd thing about anxiety is that I feel anxious at times when it doesn’t make any sense to be anxious. My mantra “there is no threat, it’s okay to relax” doesn’t really apply when I know there is no threat in my current situation, but still my heart is pounding and my head is foggy. Today at work (I’m in the military) they told us to grab our headdress and form up on the drill deck. In civilian talk, put on your hat and go stand in that room the way we tell you to stand, surrounded by the people you work with. And for some reason, this action filled my body with an extremely illogical wave of fear.

There is no threat to standing in a room. I can stand still fine in normal circumstances, obviously, but for some reason when people are telling me to stand still it becomes a great anxiety-provoking task. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m now conscious of the fact that my head is foggy and I’m listening to my heartbeat. Maybe it’s the way I’m consumed by my thoughts and worries. I’m not in the room anymore, I’m in my head. I’m conscious of the fact that I’m looking around for something to distract me from my own thoughts. I realize that the anxiety is in my head. And what is in my head is purely a figment of my own imagination.

And then I realize…

…I’m afraid of myself.



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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

One response to “I Don’t Even Know What I’m Afraid Of”

  1. Roberta McDonnell says :

    Hi, sorry you’re having this experience. Can I run past you a few things that helped me with a similar problem a while ago? Anxiety is not logical, nor is it in the thinking function of your brain, though thinking plays a part in accelerating or reducing it. It is primarily an emotional reaction and located very much in the body. It’s just that thoughts latch into the feeling then you’re in a viscous circle. Physical strategies help along with anything that will distract your mind, so for instance slow breathing (Not Hyperventillating) and saying ‘in peace, out stress’ on each in and out breath; replace the auto thought ‘I’m anxious’ with an observation – ‘that’s just butterfly tummy from the stress chemicals’. Also tell yourself ‘whatever happens I’ll deal with it’ from a self- help book I can’t remember the author. Finally, sometimes there’s a loop going on and it’s hard to break. I found hypnosis very helpful along with EFT and REMD, many practitioners use all three. Btw does your employer offer any kind of coaching or counselling? They might help you develop the techniques . All the best with it anyway, R.

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