The Uncontrollable Anxiety Spiral - A Diary Of Intrusive Thoughts

Monday 8 June 2020

Anxiety is both necessary and cruel. Necessary, because when it occurs correctly, it serves to protect us from dangerous situations in life. Cruel, because when it occurs incorrectly, it can become debilitating.

Anyone who suffers from anxiety - especially in the form of a generalised disorder - will know just how cruel it can be. The unwelcomed thoughts that intrude on your mind every second of the day are almost impossible to describe. One anxious thought enters your brain, and it causes an uncontrollable spiral effect that seems never-ending.

I thought it might be interesting to document how my own anxious thoughts spiral out of control from the second I wake up in the morning. A sort of 'diary of intrusive thoughts.'

Weird? Maybe. But perhaps you can relate.

So, here's a deeply personal glimpse into my brain, and the intrusive thoughts I generally have daily, relating to chronic pain, guilt, IBS, relationships, and just generally feeling not good enough.

Wake up.


My head hurts.

Does it hurt more than it did last night?


Maybe not.

Oh well.


I take too many painkillers.

My kidneys are suffering.

My liver.

What about when I fall pregnant?

I won’t be able to have them.

How will I cope?

What if I'm a bad mother?

What if I have a bad pregnancy?...



What if I can’t get pregnant?

What if I’m infertile?

I’ll be devastated.

My partner will be devastated.

He really wants more children.

Would he still want to be with me?...


Stop thinking that way.

It’s not helpful...


Pelvic pain.


It’s really hurting.

Can I take more painkillers?

I already took some for my head.

But they’re not working.

I’m really sore, and even my head still hurts.

Maybe I’ll take some more.

Maybe I'll have a drink.

Alcohol helps sometimes.

Does that make me an alcoholic?

Not really.

Just desperate.

I'll just take more pills.

I’ll take different ones.

That’ll be okay.

The doctor said it was.

But she doesn’t know how many I take.

What would she say if she knew?

She’d judge me.

Think I’m weak.

Like other people do...

*Unnamed friend* does.

She made a comment once.

I’m sure it was aimed at me.

She said her pain tolerance was high and she didn’t need pills.

But she’s not in pain 24 hours of the day.

She doesn’t understand.

My pain tolerance is high.

I am in pain even with pain relief.

She doesn’t understand.

No one does.

What if no one ever does?...

I feel so alone.

What if I always feel this alone?...


Cramp in my stomach.

Oh no.

I need to go to the toilet.


A constant drain on my life.

At least I’m still at home.


I’ve been to the toilet.

Oh no.

What if I need to go again?

What if I need to go while I’m out?

What if I get these cramps again once I leave the house?

What if I need to go urgently and there’s no toilet nearby?

It wouldn't be the first time.

What if I’m in the car?

What if I’m with friends?

What if I don’t make it to the bathroom and have an accident?

I’ll be humiliated.

What will people think?

What if I do make it to the toilet, but they know what I’m doing in there?

I’ll still be humiliated.

They'll think I'm gross.

Or something's wrong with me.

Something is wrong with me.

What if this keeps happening forever?...

What if I never get better?


I bet I won’t.

Stop being so negative!

I hate this...

I don’t want to leave the house.

I don’t want to be around other people.

I just want to be alone

It's easier that way.

Less stress...

But what if I really do end up alone?

What if my relationship ends like every other one has?

What if he cheats?

My last partner did.

Maybe that’s what I deserve.

What if I’m not good enough?

What if I can’t make him happy?

Who wants to be with a sick person anyway?...


Just stop!

He loves me.


What if something happens to him?

What if he gets sick?

Or someone hurts him?

Or something bad happens?...

What about the rest of my loved ones?

What about my parents?

They’re getting older.

More vulnerable.

What if someone takes advantage of them?

What if someone hurts them?

What if they feel humiliated or scared?

What if I've disappointed them?...

My brother.

His partner.

My niece and my nephews.

I love them so much.

What if something happens to them?...

What about other children?...

What about my future children?

If I can have them...

What about my pets?

What about all the animals?

Are they okay?...

What about my aunties and uncles?

And cousins?...

My grandparents. I miss them.

I hope they know I loved them.

What if they didn’t?...

What about my friends?

Are they okay?...


That's what I'll do.

I'll pray.

I'll ask for everyone to be taken care of and kept safe.

But why would God help me?

I don't deserve anything from Him.

I'm not worthy...

What if I’m not a nice person?

What if no one likes me?

I don’t like me...

I’m tired.

I’m always tired...

I’m sad.

I’m always sad...

I’m depressed.

What if I have another breakdown?

I can’t do that again.

I don’t want to.

I just want to be happy for once.

Why can’t I ever just have things easy?...


I’m complaining.

Stop complaining!

No one likes a complainer...

Just suck it up.

Deal with it.

I’ll be alright.

I’ll be fine.

I’m fine.


Pretend if you have to.

Just do it.



No one cares anyway.

So, why do I care so much?

I care too much.

I don’t want others to suffer.

I want to carry everyone else’s burdens on my shoulders.

Why can’t I do that?

Why can’t I fix everything?

Because I’m useless.

That’s why.

Oh yeah...

I’m tired.

I can’t think anymore.

But I still have the whole day ahead of me...


Pretend if you have to.

Just do it.


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