I don’t always notice when I’m feeling anxious or just “off.” Sometimes I try to repress it. I tell myself not to feel anxious. Sometimes I think I’m anxious, but I moved on from it. Then something small happens – something that is no big deal. A question. A comment. And I flip out- I become irritable. All of the sudden I become overwhelmed at a tiny request. I lash out at the people closest to me. This is one of the side effects or symptoms that has been hard for me to get a grasp of. I can’t always tell when it’s coming so I can’t always figure out how to control it.
It’s not fair. It’s not okay. It hurts people around me. If people don’t know what it’s stemming from I look like an asshole. Okay, maybe even if they do know where it’s originating from I still look like an asshole. Once I understand what is happening – I can usually calm down. But the aftereffect of this symptom is the worst of them all. This isn’t me just hiding away. This isn’t me just being anxious on my own. This is hurting people I love and care about.
This is also a symptom that is not talked about often. People don’t view this as anxiety. In their minds, they have a way that anxiety should manifest. Shaking. Hiding. Hyperventilating. Talking fast. It can be so much more than that. Once people who are struggling with anger as a manifestation can understand it and talk about, it will help combat it.
Yesterday, I went skiing. I’m not the best skier, and I get nervous. I was skiing down an easy hill on my own, and other people started surrounding me and went flying by, and I became anxious. By the time I was down the mountain, I felt okay. Then my boyfriend asked me to do an easy favor, and I become irritable pretty fast. It wasn’t fair to him. It took me a bit to calm down and explain. You see, this wasn’t okay. There isn’t any way around that. Just because my anxiety caused it, doesn’t mean it was okay.
Anxiety and anger are not a great combination. It sucks for you and your loved ones. It’s not an easy thing to fight. I still haven’t figured it out, to be honest. I’m getting there, but it’s a process. It starts by trying to recognize when you can be triggered by irritability. It also helps when others understand it. They don’t have to be okay with it – and they shouldn’t be. But having some understanding helps everyone understand it and move forward.