My anxiety has been higher than normal for the past couple of weeks. When it is this high it comes out in a form a self-mutilation. When I was very young I used to bite my fingernails down to flesh. When I was scolded for it, it took a new avenue of picking and tearing the skin around the fingernails. I would constantly try to destroy myself through my fingers. The thumbs are always the first and main target and when they became too bloody and raw, I move on to other fingers if I do not find a way to stop the madness.
It has only been in the last couple of years that this self-mutilation has been kept at bay. Though it may have several meanings, the two main culprits are self-hate and fear. When I let it have total control over me, I find myself in a horrible dimension that I can not escape from. The anxiety feeds on the pain and destruction which in turns feeds the anxiety. Eventually I must resort to band-aids for the pain will be so excruciating that I can barely move my thumbs. This helps in calming myself and gives me a few moments to care and reflect on what is happening, while my thumbs heal. Depending on the severity of the anxiety though, band-aids are of little use, for when they are removed, I begin to tear at myself again.
As my fingers have slowly begun to heal, the anxiety has not left me and I find the need to run and run and run with no where to go. For where ever I go, the anxiety clings to me like cellophane with no escape. I found myself this morning literally walking in circles, my mind fragmented and I was unable to focus. I was hyperventilating and slightly dizzy. I began to concentrate on putting laundry away and realized that I was not going to be able to escape this. Trying to change it and evade it was only making the anxiety dig it's heels in deeper when I remembered what I have learned about my depression and mania and going into the feeling. I began to talk with it, this fear that had so much power over me. I named my three biggest fears: living, love and the bottom falling out. These three fears had been trying to control me and naming them cut it's strength ten fold. Normal fears that everyone has to some degree, but that I had let carry me away. I have been taking a few more risks in my normal life, I have been feeling happier and more at peace lately and I was letting outside pressures ram my back up against that wall of fear and feeling like I had no way to escape.
It is almost hard to believe that this giant monster was nothing more than simple fears. Common fears that we all have to some extent or another. A simple trigger that set the last few weeks in motion as I found myself in self-destruction mode, trying to eliminate myself. Trying to cease to exist. An old coping mechanism that has gotten me this far, but that I don't have to use anymore. If I have learned anything, fear can't kill me unless I let it and it is easier to face than I thought.