Standing at the crossroads

For me, anxiety is 99% rooted in association. I’m not entirely sure if this classifies my anxiety disorder as partly PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) – and if it doesn’t clinically, it sure feels like it emotionally. Anxiety association is the most powerful fear that I know of. It knocks the wind out of my sails, every-time! So, when faced with a sudden onset of anxiety, and the fight or flight decision needs making, which came first to trigger it – the chicken, which is born of the associated threat, or the egg, that is a potential new threat?

If I can break down the relationship the chicken and the egg have with my anxiety, can I then automatically assume the fight or flight decision will instinctively be “fight”, and not the grand ol’ duke of dilemmas? When in a situation where I had previously had a panic attack, if my association that it will recur – founded in nothing but ‘fear’ or a ‘worst case scenario’ – doesn’t happen and the egg doesn’t crack, the dominoes won’t fall down, right?

How then can I stop recurring themes in my anxiety association? I’ve tried hypnotherapy a few times, and have undertaken some mild-CBT – yet my trigger/gut reaction will ground any activity to an abrupt halt, should it pose any passing resemblance to aggravated anxiety. I am my own worst enemy, and am quite happy to make a bed for myself to sleep in.

The one remedy I had, Zopiclone, led to addiction, which in turn spun the bottle around to land on anxiety every time it’s now no longer in the game. Valium – no. Amitriptyline – no. These medications just don’t douse the flame of fear with anything more than a blown birthday candle gust. Zopiclone would drop an ice-age on the fire and then party to celebrate it.

I have the cards in front of me. The board-game is set up, and the rules are clear. I know what I have to do to pass Go and collect £200, yet I still won’t roll the dice. So many situations, day-in day-out, cause this conundrum for me, and years later I am still unable to “get over it”.

Do I want to change? When I have achieved goals, the risks double and the drop is that much further. To stay grounded, to hide in the trenches, to wave a white flag at the sound of footsteps at my door is safe. It’s reliable. It’s trusted and I’ve grown accustomed to it. I don’t like it, but I accept it.

Will I “man-up”? Can I walk the line? Should I stay or should I go? When does the gravitation pull of a planet let the moon go? Am I waiting on a train that will never come?

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