Paranoid Android

 

Symptoms:

Sweating excessively

Stumbling over words

Skin becoming red/blotchy

Hands shaking

Heart Palpitations

Head Aches

Low energy

 

These are all symptoms of my anxiety, and this is just some of them.

 

Last Night….

I live in the middle apartment of a 6 apartment complex. I heard noise from all sides. So, there was very loud music above me. I was home alone. We have a quiet hours policy; 9 on the weekdays, 10 on the weekends.

It was past 9. This isn’t the first time this has happened with the above apartment. They woke me up once, granted, months ago with their loud TV. I took a broom and banged on the ceiling out of frustration of being woken up in the middle of the damn night (I get up at 4AM for work).

My anxiety kicked in. We put up with their loud music, TV, exercising equipment, etc. and I had it. I started to sweat, my heart started pounding, my head started to hurt. My body was shutting down. When this happens, it is so hard to function. I don’t know how I get through work, honestly. So, I sat there for a minute, just hoping they would stop.

It didn’t.

So, I called Dillon (my significant other). He is my lifeline. He is the only person I’m 100% real with. I don’t have to worry about embarrassing myself, and I’m not afraid to ask him anything. He tried to calm me down, “I’ll take care of it tomorrow,” (He works nights).

So, I think ‘Okay, we will get this figured out.’

But, part of me, was like ‘No, this is so disrespectful. Maybe they don’t know how loud they are, maybe they don’t care. Regardless, they need to know.’

So, I took the broom and banged on the ceiling. Twice.

Nothing.

I go towards my front door, and I can hear the music very clearly. It sounds like their door is open. I heard girls giggling. This goes on for several minutes, then the door closes.

I put my house shoes on and marched up the stairs.

Let me pause for a moment.

I have been told, and it’s true, people are intimidated by me.  Why? I present myself in a very mature way. People think I’m confident, people think I’m vain, people think I’m a bitch. Let’s just say it. People think I’m a bitch. Not just strangers, but past friends and family members think that of me.

I’m the complete opposite.

Holy shit.

I have no confidence. I don’t think I’m pretty, I really struggle with my self-esteem. As a result, I used to cut myself. I felt like I needed to punish myself for being ugly. But on top of that, I never dressed in a conventional manner. I was the alternative kid. I’m still alternative.

Give me an old pair of chucks, and a leather jacket ANYDAY over a colorful dress.

I really don’t like color. Most of my wardrobe is black. I love it.

 ANYWAY

This intimidation has really crippled me before. Especially, as a woman, men feel threatened by me. Not only because of my demeanor, but I don’t put up with shit.

Once I grab on to something, I’m not letting it go till I’m ready to.

 

So Back to Last night

I knocked on their door, with Dillon still on the phone, mind you.

A man opens the door.

He was young, probably around my age.
I simply said “Hi, could you please turn your music down? It’s really loud in my apartment.”

He looked taken back. His eyes were a little wide.

“Oh, sure.”

I thanked him and went back into my apartment.

Dillon was like ‘Did you just go up there..?’

 

‘Yep.’

 

Now, you would think I would feel better because I confronted my problem. I overcame my anxiety, even with my heart pounding, and faced it.

 

Nope.

 

I was worse after the fact. I had the symptoms listed at the top. Times ten. I was trying to take deep breaths, I tried listening to soft music, etc.

 

Nothing worked.

 

I took my anxiety medicine. It took over an hour to kick in. That’s the kicker with my medicine, it will hit me between 5-60 minutes. And it hits me hard. I have to sleep after I take it.

 

But the one symptom I didn’t mention:

 

Paranoia.

 

This is the worst symptom because it triggers the other symptoms. I am so worried about every word that comes out of my mouth. I’m worried about how I walk, how I pass someone (Do I look at them or no?), greeting someone, just holding a conversation. I am so paranoid I’m going to get embarrassed.

Even if I don’t do anything weird, I still think about it.

 

So now, I’m worried about how our neighbors are going to react to us. To sum up my thoughts: ‘Do they think I’m a bitch?’

I’m so afraid this is going to have consequences. I’m thinking of the extreme: Are we going to get evicted? Are they going to play their music louder now?

I’m getting anxious just thinking about it.

 

This is just a facet of the problems I have because of my mental illnesses.

 

I have to keep pushing through though. If I don’t build myself up, I’m going to get to a point where I will never leave my apartment or just be able to drive to the grocery store.

 

I know for a fact my anxiety has gotten worse in the past couple of months. But I gotta keep fighting.

 

Oh, and yes, they turned down their music immediately.

 

-E.

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