Fearing the Unknown

That’s the title of a poem I wrote about the poorly understood anxiety attacks I was having my senior year of high school.  This morning, a post I read at Confident Writing, made me think again of it.

Consider this entry something of a short meme response on the one linked above.  I suppose, in regards to writing, I am afraid I suck and people are just being nice to me when they say otherwise.  I figure that’s a common enough fear. I know one of the best ways to combat that, is to get better, through practice and patience.

The original post, I think, is on to something though.  That’s where the connection to my anxiety attack comes in.  When the anxiety attack started, I had absolutely no idea what was going on.  My mind raced for sources of the fear and ended up latching on to anything and everything while also quailing at some nameless source, a giant nothing passed fathom.

During one attack I grabbed the yellow book and scanned for mental hospitals.  I put myself in touch with a therapist that way and they allowed me through, paid for by the state (we were too poor to afford it directly).  Eventually, the therapist put a name to these attacks.  She admitted she needed to send me to a psychiatrist with her recommendations and then, if the psychiatrist agreed, they could prescribe me any necessary medications.

I ended up cancelling future visits.  She gave me all I needed.  As soon as she said anxiety disorder I looked it up, I even watched a program about it and panic disorder.  The name was all I needed.  Knowing what it was gave me the control, put in my hands to power to research and find techniques to cope.  I taught myself how to handle it without meds.  Now I very rarely feel the racing heartbeat and physiological signs of fear and anxiety without mental cause.  When I do, I know just what to do to return calm.

I think this naming your fears, in all areas of life, not just writing, has merit.  If you let it continue as some unknown monster in the closet, closed off but never really forgotten, it will only continue to haunt you.  Even if it turns out more than a shirt snagged awkwardly on the ironing board, you are still one step closer to knowing what it is to better deal with it.

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About Saronai

I'm an eclectic amalgam of confusingly combined oddities. PS If I liked your post it means I really liked your post. You don't have to visit back, but it would be nice. Either way, I read it because I wanted to and liked it because I did. I don't do the fake like for returns thing :)
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4 Responses to Fearing the Unknown

  1. Elerah says:

    I understand how you feel about how you fear people are complementing your writing when you fear that it isn’t as good as they think. I feel that too. I just don’t trust many people to give me a straight answer due to things that happened in my past.

    The anxiety attacks? I had something similar last year and was referred to a psychiatrist but I also never went. It turned out that I was having anaphalaxis attacks from food allergies and my stomach acid. I do remember the all-consuming fear of these attacks and how I would beg my husband to stay home with me. I found my food allergies and got on acid medicines and I haven’t had an attack since. I was afraid I’d have another but when I found out what was causing them, that fear also disappeared.

    Stuff seems easier to confront if it has a name. If it has no name, why, it could be anything at all that is bothering you. A name makes a nice box to put stuff in and then you can heft that box around, empty it, or… set it on fire 😛

  2. saronai says:

    That final solution set me to giggling. Names also open up avenues for research, or help lead you closer to the truth. I have a few other writing-related fears, but mostly I wanted to visit the worth of the idea in naming them for this post. Thanks for the further input 🙂

  3. Charlotte (AK) says:

    Missing seeing you about at WriteChat

    • saronai says:

      Yeah, I badly aggravated my carpal tunnel Friday and spent three days being unable to do much of anything but watch tv (one of my least favourite things to do). Couldn’t write or type without an annoying amount of pain. All better now though, and wiser about what not to do to avoid future flares hehe.

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