One weird thing about anxiety is that it likes to rear its head in different ways at different times. The one common thread is that it usually only strikes at night while I'm alone.
The most typical anxiety for me seems to be the irrational fear that something horrible is hiding in the dark, and it's why I sleep with a flashlight. To be clear, I'm not afraid of the dark itself, but rather what I imagine to be in the dark. Sometimes it doesn't bother me at all (even off my medication I can sometimes feel fine), and at its mildest I can just pull the blankets over my head while I distract myself with an audiobook. At its worst I either sleep with my bedroom light on or stay up all night.
Bad as that one is, there's another way my anxiety has popped up recently that's actually worse. That is, the fear itself isn't worse, but...I just prefer to be terrified of imaginary monsters. I'm talking about when the anxiety teams up with hypochondria. This actually took me to urgent care during a panic attack because I wanted to make sure that the panic attack was all that was going on with me. Fortunately my anxiety seems to abandoning this fear in favor of monsters in the dark again.
Of course, I've also had anxieties about other things. A common one is irrational worrying about people I care about. In the past I've lived in terror of ball lightning (super random, I know), and of the house burning down. I even had nightmares about fires, though they ended about when I managed to turn back a wildfire in one of my dreams. Then there was this one horror movie that really triggered my anxiety last summer...that was bad enough that it bothered me during the day, even at work when I was surrounded by people. (Fortunately most horror doesn't bother me.)
The good news is that the anxiety medication seems to be working, though I could still be better. I actually realized a couple nights ago that I was doing better than usual, but then that realization got me worrying that there was something wrong with me. *sigh* Two steps forward, one step back? I think I giggled at myself when I realized what I was doing, thinking of Hanners from the comic strip Questionable Content. Check out Number 801: Like A Fainting Goat if you want to see what I mean. I actually kept thinking about Hanners, and the author of the comic who also has anxiety, to help myself through the worst of it.
Now that I feel mostly ok again I need to figure out how to get back normal again. Part of this will be properly picking up homework again since I got really behind in the last month...it turns out that it's really difficult to carry on as usual when you've got panic attacks and adrenaline rushes. I've also realized in the last couple days that I seem to have lost my ability to really keep track of time, and this isn't helping me get back on track.
I'll probably write a bit more about anxiety over the next month. If nothing else, it's a way to make certain that I don't go back to hiding it again.