Oct 172006

Today I am going to talk about my anxiety disorder. If that kind of thing makes you uncomfortable and you rather have some porn, then I kindly suggest you look at here.

I have a friend in Colorado that I admire the hell out of. She puts herself out in front of everyone every time she speaks. She’s been such an example to me as a writer because she doesn’t hold herself back. Recently she asked me to explain my anxiety disorder and I was a little surprised. I knew she read my blog but apparently I don’t say much about my anxiety. I had kept a lot of it to myself because well, anxiety is not something people talk about because it makes them anxious. I resolved to do a better job of talking about it.

To read more about the joys of anxiety, click Whole Post

This past weekend was a bit traumatic for me. What happened? Nothing really. I had a pretty fun and exciting time. I attended two parties and met up with old friends. I attended another BDSM munch and this time I brought sometimes Spanking Friend Sara. I got to help out an ex-lover and I watched a really wonderful movie.

Where it was traumatic is I spent pretty much the entire weekend in the middle of a panic attack. It started when my wife and I were running late to the first party we attended. Being late is a pet peeve of mine and I got more and more tense as we got stuck in traffic. I got pissy, scared and sick to my stomach the entire trip over. Once we got to the party, we found others had waited for us to eat which made me feel even worse. The chef made our meals, but happened to forget to make mine. I’m sitting there, watching his mistake but I can’t bring myself to bring it up. I watch as everyone gets served and then the chef notices his mistake. He apologizes profusely but now EVERYBODY is looking at me and making jokes. Not at my expense but I just wanted to die anyway. I’m a writer and I know that what I write will be read by more people than I can count but oh Gods, I would have given anything to make twenty people stop looking at me.

That’s what I hate about my anxiety disorder. It’s so stupid. I have nothing to fear but I live in fucking fear. I wasn’t afraid of any one of them, and when we talked, I could be charming and confident with any ONE or TWO of them but when everyone is looking at me, making comments and focused on me, I felt like a freak. I wished I had shaved that day, I wished my clothes were better, I wished I knew more of them. It was a party my wife’s friend threw so I didn’t know these people personally but I was afraid that I was somehow coming up short.

And here’s the thing, I don’t care what they think of me till I am sitting there in front of them. That is so maddening. I feel like my emotions outright betray me. I can be as rational and smart as I want, and yet I just want to scream in terror when that many people are focused on me.

So the next day I got up and washed my best clothes and I took the time to shave as perfectly as I can. Sarah called to say she was running a little late and I just felt my terror from the previous night re-emerge like a damned monster clawing its way out of the grave. I went from confident to stressed instantly. I had to pass off the phone to my wife because I wanted to scream in anger. I was prepared today and the person I invited was running late? Fuck!

What is sad is that Sara was terrified of coming to the kinky munch I invited her to. It was so against her nature as she gets cold sweats going to a sex store, but here I am mad that sure she was coming, but she was going to be LATE! My anxiety is a bitch to those I care for.

My wife and I get to my Ex’s house to rendezvous before we head to the BDSM munch. We have a good time and I almost relaxing. Then my Ex, who I know has a boyfriend, mentions that she met someone new and they hit it off. The only problem is that who it is was complicating an already tricky poly situation my Ex had with her husband. The new lover was the husband of my Ex’s husband’s new submissive. You follow that?

My Ex mentions she’s having great sex with a new person and my heart just explodes into new anxiety. My Ex and my wife look at me and ask if I am okay. No, I’m not.

“My emotions feel like I went from a calm pool of water to an ocean in a storm. Give me a second.”

That’s probably the smartest fucking thing I said all weekend. It sucks. I care for my Ex, but in one instant I went through jealousy that she has someone new, grief of what we no longer have, happiness that she has someone new, concern for the complications in her marriage and a feeling that if I act jealous, she’ll never talk to me again about her problems, and yet if I act too calm, she’ll think I have zero feelings for her at all, which would hurt her feelings as well as being a lie.

And that is my anxiety disorder in a nutshell. My emotions go wild. They fire at a thousand beats per second and bubbling to the surface is this idea that I will somehow do something that will cause me to be judged wrongly. That people will think I am uncaring, or too fucked up or too something.

In the end I hugged my Ex, kiss her head and said “No matter what happens, I got your back.” That was the second smartest thing I said that weekend.

At the munch, I saw that Sara had made it. She wasn’t late, she was actually there before us. I was so happy to see her but my emotions were still firing to fast for me to act on any of them. I must have told her a hundred times how pretty she looked cause that was the only thing I could get out. The group of us arrived at the munch and I recognized everyone there. My anxiety dropped a small notch.

The subject was Dom Space, something Wordslut begged me to attend because it is one of her favorite topics. Sadly, there wasn’t much discussion. Every dom in the room struggled to say what it was like for them to be a dominant and it came across so vague. Dom space feels like that joy you get when you see your child or pet walk and you realize you helped them do that. Or Dom Space is that electricity you feel when you realize the sub is putty in your hand cause you nailed all her needs. Or Dom Space is that excitement you get when you know you are doing everything the sub hates, but she is still there because you told her to stay.

My wife kept looking at me to say something but there was no way. I knew these people but I couldn’t bring myself to say what I wanted. I couldn’t share and that really shames me. So here I go, here is what I wish I had the courage to say to 12 or so people I know but couldn’t bear to say with them looking at me.

“When I am dominating someone, and it’s going well, I don’t worry about being judged, I don’t doubt myself and I have the courage to do, say or feel whatever the fuck I feel. Dom space is when I feel like a normal fucking person.”

Afterwards we attended a play party and got to hang out more. Sara realized that BDSM people are just folks, the kind of people you get stuck behind in line at Wal-mart or the kind of people you work alongside. My Ex told me in so many words that I will always be her best friend. My wife told me I was the most handsome man at the party. It was good.

Sunday I mostly cried a lot. I felt good but crying was just the only way I could get that bottled up feeling out of me. I just cried and got it out. I cried not so much for what happened, or what didn’t happen, as much as I cried because I felt so helpless the past few days. I hate being afraid and I wished there was a magic cure that would take all that fear away. Instead, I just have to keep at my cognitive therapy, my exercise (which I had skipped this month) and my sleep (another thing that had suffered this month). I have to learn to somehow calm the ocean that is my brain and be the person I know I can be.

I felt good after I cried. I felt calm. I felt dangerously close to being normal. Well, as normal as an erotic writer with kinky fetishes and a lust for pirate wenches can. I don’t want to post this because the feelings I was going through seem so different from what I am feeling now. I’m posting it anyway because I want people to know what my anxiety is like, and how it may be affecting people you know. It’s embarrassing for me but maybe it can help you.

  11 Responses to “Living In Fear”

  1. Thanks for being brave enough to share this with all of your readers. (And thanks for mentioning me! I love to be mentioned! :) )

    I think everyone can have those really stressed-out times when nothing is going right. I know I do.

  2. That was beautiful and lovely and very smart.

    I’d like to write more about my experience with depresion and anxiety someday soon.

    Many hugs…

  3. Shon – astonishingly inspiring to read someone else’s account of anxiety disorder. As alwayarousedgirl said she was, perhaps more of us who struggle will be inspired to share and support.

  4. Shon – astonishingly inspiring. Perhaps more of us will be prompted to share and support each other based on your fearless example.

  5. Wow. That was as enlightening a bit of reading as I have done in awhile. There have been people in my life who suffered from ptsd and anxiety disorders (related? I don’t know)and who were dysfunctional to the extreme because of it.

    I have a better sense of what they are going through now. Thanks.

  6. wordslut- Thanks. You should be mentioned more often :)

    AAG- Thanks for the hugs :)

    twofistededitor- I don’t know if I was fearless as much as I just wanted to put it down now when I had the ability to. Avoidance is such a big problem that its easier to ignore my anxiety than it is to discuss it.

  7. J-Thanks :) Its all about the information.

  8. Shon-
    I give you a lot of credit for sharing yourself, and defying the conventions of the ‘sex blog.’

    I’ve got photos up, by the way. Maybe that will give you a lift ;)

  9. I think you’re smart and articulate and a good person. (I don’t have an anxiety disorder but I read it.)

  10. After my experiences of the past few weeks, this was so beneficial to read. Not only do I have some better insight into you, the intimacy of anxiety for you, but I feel affirmed in what I have always done…especially now as I feel so isolated. Much love to you, dear :) *kisses*

  11. wrygirl- Thank you. I feel like sex is about the sum parts, you know? It’s a release from the rest of the crap that dogs us all day long

    closercat- Aww, thank you.

    larosa- You are never as alone you think you are. I have learned that a hundred times these past years. :)

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