This was a fairly recent addition to the anxiety attacks and stemmed from the Big One. In the throes of my attack, a strange thought wormed through the chaos. Not sure why I gripped it, but it scared me enough that I tried to push it away. By the time I got myself out of bed and into the bathroom for light, I’d given up on fighting and was simply trying not to follow it too much. The terrifying thought was:
Would I realize if I went insane?
I began to remember people in my life who suffered from so form of reality-altering condition. They firmly believed what they felt and saw. Considering how I was having trouble wrangling my mind, I began to wonder if I was going down that path. So, I started trying to ‘retain my sanity’ by going over facts of my life and the world in my head, but then I questioned if those were true. A lot of this turned into me simply doubting myself and repeatedly wondering if I’d already lost. The thing that snapped me out of it was a random text from a friend who happened to be up late. My habit of always taking my phone to the bathroom came in handy here.
This idea/fear hasn’t come back yet, but I haven’t forgotten it. There are times during the day where I’m tempted to consider my sanity. I get as far as wondering if I never recovered from that night and everything has been wrong since then. By this point, I pull back on the thoughts and rush to something that can distract me. The sense of being foolish comes over me too because I’m kind of poking at my own mental tapestry. One solid shot and I could unravel part of it. Again, I don’t even know if I’d realize this, which is a big part of the fear.
Similar to the death fear from last week, I’m starting to think a facet of these issues is a lack of knowing and control. Previously, it was that I didn’t know or could decide on what happens after I die. This time it was that I wouldn’t know if I was sane or have control of myself if I’d gone over the edge. So much of my life feels chaotic and beyond my control, which is one of the reasons I have the anxiety. Existing and being sane feel like two of the few things I can control. Even my imagination runs wild, so I feel like my characters pull me along more than the other way around. So, losing the two things that I feel like I both understand (I am sane and I exist) and control becomes a theme when I begin succumbing to my attack.
I’m sure I could dive deeper into these topics as well. Maybe I will when I feel more comfortable in the future. For now, I’ll keep them as overviews and add these topics to my subject list.