I get one casual thought -”your birthday ‘party’ is going to suck, ” and from there it spirals. It goes down this hole of negative thoughts with the ideas of “you’re not worth it” or “you’re a burden, ” and it goes and goes. You start with thinking about your birthday, but then it connects to your friends and how they are all faking, then to your relationship, then to your career, and your life choices. It goes from one to the other. These thoughts cause problems. Spiraling happens when my anxiety runs and high, and I’m not great at controlling it. Things speed up and thoughts spiral.
It starts off slowly then it goes fast. If I don’t catch it when it starts, I don’t have much hope to stop when it starts really going. I mostly just have to let it run its course and hopefully bite my tongue not to cause any issues. As always, I win some, and I lose some. It’s a process. Spiraling is the scariest piece of my anxiety because I’m not always sure when it will stop. I don’t know how much I can hold back and let it fully take control. Will this be the last straw for someone in my life? Will I lash out? Will I crawl in my hole? Or can I handle it and become stronger?
Recently, I have been good at stopping my spirals, until yesterday. I was feeling good, but then all of the sudden I just wasn’t. I even went on a run yesterday and felt good about it. I was feeling happy. Then one small trigger occurred. I didn’t catch it. Then all my irrational fears and negative thoughts came swarming. I started to question by physical ability. I’m not the best runner. You probably look like an idiot running. People are judging you. Then in went to my school. Your idea for your capstone is awful. You’re not going to be able to bring it together. Then it went to my personal writing. You should stop writing your blog. You know you will never accomplish anything. These type of thoughts went on and on. They went to my friendships, my birthday, relationship, career, etc. It’s dangerous.
I kept it in for the most part. I was able to not say all these things out loud to loved ones and didn’t accuse or blame anyone. I wasn’t perfect. I still was a little “needy”- I hate that word- but I needed reassurance from loved ones because of my anxieties and negative thoughts. Some days I do just need it. Sometimes it takes something as simple as “consider yourself reassured” or “I have your back.” Simple things help and can make all the difference. That has to be okay. It has to be okay with loved ones to understand that and when I ask it is not a reflection of them but my anxieties. It is also important for me to realize that that’s exactly what they are- irrational thoughts that are not true. I try to give myself time before I reach out to counter those thoughts on my own. Offer myself some self-compassion and proof contrary to my negative thoughts.
I always talk about things being a balance. When things like spiraling occur, it is even more necessary. Being able to stop the spiraling could prove the most helpful, but it’s understandable that it is not always possible. Always asking for reassurance from others can be tiring on their end as well as yours. Then learning how to show yourself compassion and reassurance is important as well. Having all these tools or ideas can prove fruitful. Being aware and remembering. I sometimes screenshot texts from the last time I was reassured so I can just access them instead of asking again. It is a process and a journey, and you have to find what works for you and loved ones. Just remember that it’s okay.