My Social Anxiety Life – Part Five

I am still going down the road with my social anxiety. Some of my worst anxiety in my social anxiety life happens with late night catastrophic thinking.

Late at night, my thoughts are often racing a million miles a minute. I think about what I have accomplished that day, and what I failed to do. I worry about the past. I worry about the future and plans that I have made and if I will be able to reach my dreams. I think a lot about my life and where things are going at any given moment.

When I know I will be going outside my comfort zone the next day like to a doctors appointment, a session with my therapist, or to study/write at my favorite coffee shop, the night before is always hard on me. I start to have catastrophic thoughts about the worst case scenarios of the situation that I have upcoming.

Every possible outcome starts racing through my mind late at night. I think about what I will say and what will happen if I forget something important and what will be the consequences of such a thing. My thoughts go on and on to a point where my mind is consumed by the “what ifs” of life. This fear comes partly since my current psychiatrist revolving door never seems to finally get solved. So much of the what I worry about is not having a structure mental illness recovery.

Structure means everything in my life, and when it goes out of control my anxiety hits the high levels that make it hard to function. It gets really bad at night. When I should be relaxing and going through my sleep routine sometimes my anxiety leads to really bad panic attacks.

Like last night, I knew the time change always affects me. I knew I had an early day ahead of me the next two days which is a part of my routine for Sunday’s and Monday’s. I tried my best to meditate and do my mindfulness breathing exercises which I did in the first hour (it takes me on average 2-3 hours from the time I take my Seroquel to the time I actually sleep.) When my sleep routine doesn’t always work out when I have plans, it keeps me from relaxing enough to get to sleep.

So I slip into full panic mode. I can’t breathe properly. I get overly anxious and I can’t sit still. So, I pace my house in the dark while the rest of the house sleeps. Everything moves really fast in a panic attack. I feel like at any moment I will pass out. I do my best to get it back under control. Mindfulness breathing. Drinking water. Re-focusing my mind. Eventually, my Seroquel kicks in enough that I can sleep or I take an extra Ativan so that I get through the night.

Then the next day comes and I somehow find a way to get up and go about my day. I try to be a productive member of society. Today I did my best to stay within myself as I sat at my favorite coffee shop editing my screenplay for hours. I listened to music while I edited and sipped on a delicious gingerbread latte. Life was okay in this moment.

It brings me to why I decided to continue to write about my social anxiety in this blog post. One of the features social anxiety is the fear before anything happens. The “what if” thoughts that consume me some nights, I can write about it here. I am getting better at identifying the things that make life harder. I know I am worried about the night before that something bad could happen like a panic attack in the middle of my favorite coffee shop, where there are human beings (the baristas) are and could see that don’t always have control when I out in public. It is such a strange thing to think about now, but at that moment I feel in the future, it could happen.

It’s silly I know but that’s my social anxiety life. It is never rational and most of the time it doesn’t make sense. It is why this week my focus in my session with my therapist is to work on getting better at channeling my negative thoughts into positive ones at night.

I know I still have such a long road ahead of me with my social anxiety, but writing about my issues puts certain thoughts into perspective. I can go back now and see where my thoughts are always.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Jake Blucker

34 Replies to “My Social Anxiety Life – Part Five”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this ! It really helps me put my own anxiety into perspective and to remind me of how ‘just’ anxiety affects me. Good luck on your travels down this road, I hope you have more successful days!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg, I TOTALLY have to have a structured day/week. If I get derailed, sometimes I can’t get back on track. I just want to curl up in a ball on the couch for the rest of the day.

    I completely understand your thoughts, too. I catastrophize (sp?) when I’m really anxious.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As an anxious person myself, I like very much how you have described your experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You really are doing so well. I totally relate to catastrohic thoughts, its really only in the last year I have connected how they relate to my own panic attacks. Structure IS important as without it, it can feel unsafe inside our being. Thank you for sharing your experience so honestly.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Late night anxiety is truly the worst. I’ve had the most negative thoughts late at night. Good for you with working through it and keeping the faith – it’s not easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not all bad every night, just some nights. It’s harder because during the day you can tune negative thoughts by doing something positive. But when you are trying to relax at night negative thoughts can consume. Thank you for sharing and knowing I’m not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sometimes, the more you want control over the various aspects of life, the more out of control your life became, because NOTHING ever works the way we wanted it to, and, sometimes, it’s best, just to NOT think about it…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Can so relate to this. Going through a bad patch of anxiety myself at present and the thoughts of doing anything the next day can make it almost impossible to sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That “What If” is the worst. I’ve had it under control a lot more in the last 6 months or so, but in the last week, it’s come back with a vengeance. It hits in the evening for me mostly, when I’m trying to slow down for the day, but I’ve had it at night in the past. I’m finding that the more I have it in the evening, the more it affects me the next day. Knowing I’m not alone helps. Thank you once again for sharing in such open way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I hate most about my night time anxiety. I affects me so much that it goes into the next day. Luckily it’s not every night it goes out of control. Thank you as always for sharing.


  9. Thank you for sharing – and well done for recognising progress and work that needs doing.

    Sometimes in those moments where control seems fleeting, absolutely a structure can help control and combat that.

    Be wary, though. If I am honest, I found that for whatever reason I had to divert from the schedule or the one I had created was too overwhelming., it ended up being a contributor rather than an aid for (my personal brand of) anxiety.

    Sending you well wishes,

    S x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. If I’m really worried about something I can sometimes end up with a nice bout of insomnia as well. What helps me is as soon as I realize I’m not going to get to sleep, I get up and start writing everything I am thinking down. I have been a journal writer most of my life, I suspect I communicate best in text (verbal communication for me tends to correlate with my own feelings of confidence and self-consciousness, so it can be real hit or miss especially when it counts most).It even helps me slow down a little bit, process more deeply, sort all of the details out, re-frame things for a new perspective…in short, I probably think best in a text format. So it’s my go-to for this problem, I just write it all down, get out onto (well, not paper anymore lol, I use Word to save the trees) onto a Word Doc and then eventually toss it into a private blog.

    It helps me cope and usually I can sleep within about half an hour. I don’t know if it would really work for someone with serious anxiety problems but I don’t know it wouldn’t either. If nothing else, you do get a really good written record of your thought processes to look at later.


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