You sit me down to watch a TV show about health anxiety that makes me uncomfortable (due to being comparably mildly inflicted, and finding their behaviors grotesquely inspiring) and tell me in less than eloquent ways, that this stomach-churning anxiety I allegedly feel coursing through me on a daily and irrational basis is simply a fictitious product of what would, if it were real, be munchausen syndrome. That I’m not happy unless there is something wrong with me, and implying that I haven’t really achieved anything in overcoming a 15-year eating disorder because I’ve just replaced it with something else to fixate on. You seem to think that you understand exactly what is going on, that I’m copying someone else, and that I don’t need comforting or therapy or medication because there is nothing wrong with me and I just need to grow up and get on with things. At times like this, I just want to cry.
(Before I continue, I put on the hat of honesty with baubles of self-doubt)
I am in the referral process for CBT for anxiety. I recognised that this issue is infringing too much on my life and needs to be tackled (preferably without meds). I’ve had anxiety (mostly health and social-related) since I was about 5. I had my first panic attack at that age not long after I cut my hand on a broken mirror and realised that I was actually mortal, and not magical after all. It’s been downhill from there. It didn’t occur to me before now, before those suggestions of fake illness, that I might not be deemed ‘sick enough’ to be helped, but now I wonder. Do I really have anxiety? (puts in analytical hat) Well I have the physical symptoms, racing heart, chest pains, tension headaches, ibs, nausea, sweating, shaking, numb extremities, dizziness, the familiar racing thoughts, sleep disturbance, exhaustion, and terrible waves of nauseating fear, and I’ve been diagnosed and medicated for it before, but (puts on elaborate self-doubt hat) what if I’m making myself feel all that now so I can basically get attention? That would be so messed up. If that were true then surely THAT would need some psychological straightening out?
I was feeling positive about the prospect of new therapy and another bright shiny door towards freedom opening, but voices all too real and present, seem determined to tell me what I am and what I am not.(dons wizard’s hat) Few things upset and piss me off more than being told what I am, who I am, what I represent. I detest being defined as a portrait of a person that I don’t identify with. You think I haven’t changed? Well I’ve got news for you buddy…
So why, if I’m so worried about my health, can I let a dog lick my face, and cuddle a muddy horse? Why can I drink from a hosepipe but not take the last cup at the water dispenser or use a fork with any suspect marks on it? Well (balances analytical hat ontop of wizards hat) that, my darling, is a lesson in inconsistent and irrational thoughts.
“If you were my head
I would be heard”~K’s choice, my head