All posts tagged: Living with Anxiety

Patience Anxiety Go Easy On Yourself

Why You Need to Give Yourself a Break

It’s so easy to beat yourself up. To walk yourself into a cold, sterile room and seat yourself in a folding chair. To flick on the bare bulb above, slam your palms on the stainless steel table and shout “Last Saturday night at 7:48pm — why did you say that one thing??” Hours can be spent over-analyzing something you’ve said. Something you did. Something you didn’t do. Since moving to Seattle a few years back I’ve been slow to make my own friends. I’ve been welcomed by the wonderful friends of my partner, but as far as me striking out on my own and meeting people alone, I’ve been about as successful as a sea anemone who woke up one morning and shrieked “today I’m going to take a lovely stroll on the beach!” Good friends are hard to find. They are sometimes even harder to find for people with anxiety. Finding and making friends can often feel a lot like the dating world. You hope to find someone with similar interests, compatible humor, and …

Why it can help anxiety about dating if you write in a journal

Write Your Emotions Down

Sometimes my thoughts start working in overdrive, and not always with positive things. If I’m upset about something, my brain does NOT stop. I spiral. I drown. I lay awake as if I’ve found myself in the middle of a lake and my thoughts are thousands of fish, surrounding me, hitting me in the face, threading between my limbs, I can’t breath I don’t know how I even got there. The brain of a person with anxiety shares a lot of qualities with the brain of someone with OCD or depression. And a lot this has to do with repeated thoughts. This especially happens to me when I am feeling angry or hurt. Which means it probably is directed at another human being. Instead of bolting out of bed and immediately calling the person or texting them to tell them what I think, I instead get up and head to a journal. Or my computer. And I write them a letter. The letter tries to explain why I feel the way I feel. This letter is …

Hattie C Cooper talks about why she hasn't been writing lately

An Explanation for Why I Haven’t Been Writing

When I write, I write about myself. Even if the poem is about an astronaut, it’s about me. Even if it’s about Harry Houdini, Poland, a prison break, the Zodiac Killer, the poem is about me. And, almost always, me in an intimate relationship. I’m never embarrassed to reveal things about myself. To share intimate details. I like putting myself down on paper in new ways that allow me to try and understand how I’m connecting (or not connecting ) with the people around me. But then something happened: I actually connected. For the first time I’m in a real, future-focused, relationship with a man. And I’ve stopped writing. I find it interesting. For the first time I am acutely aware of how my writing could make someone else feel. The way I used to write was always safe – the only person I was exploring or exposing or manipulating was myself or men who had already exited my life. When I wrote about myself in a relationship, that relationship had already ended or was …

Hattie C Cooper talks about anxiety and scott stossel

My apology to Scott Stossel, or, The Atlantic article about anxiety that hit too close to home

While flying back home from the holidays, I found myself in the airport bookstore. As I previously wrote, I sometimes have anxiety when I travel and I can’t always predict when it’ll hit. My anxiety had been in the forefront of my mind, especially since it’d been acting up a bit while visiting my family back in California. But then I saw it in the bookstore: The Atlantic, Jan/Feb issue with the big, bold, title “Surviving Anxiety.” You may as well have cracked open the heavens and cued some damn angels to start singing, it felt like divine intervention. But here’s the thing, the article hit too close to home.  Not only does he write about living with anxiety, but he writes about living with the exact phobia I used to struggle with (and still sometimes do). The fear of vomiting. Emetophobia. I wish I could say that my anxiety is a recent development, or that it is limited to public speaking. It’s not. . . . I’ve abandoned dates; walked out of exams; and had breakdowns …

Hattie C Cooper writes about what she knows or doesn't know

What Do I Know?

I started this blog last year after thinking about it for a long time. Mainly because of the fact that I’ve never felt more conscious of my anxiety than when I tried to date. And I felt like such a late bloomer. While all my friends were dating, kissing crushes, sleeping with people, I was trapped in a cyclone of obsessive distant crushes and dramatic facebook messages with boys I couldn’t talk to in person. I felt like an oddball. I started this blog because the first times I went to see a therapist were because I needed to talk about my anxiety with dating. I wanted to start dating. I was 20. I  wanted to connect with another human on a more intimate level, but my anxiety was getting in the way. I started this blog because if I went to a therapist to talk about my inability to date then I felt positive there were other people who were going through the same thing. Maybe our anxiety was manageable in other situations in …