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Personal, Thoughts & Feelings

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What lies does your anxiety tell you?
Not my work, though I can safely say I relate quite a bit to all of it. To find more of this artist's work, google Arlie Opal.



1/8 'Skiamakhia' Varied Monotype Relief Print. Arlie Opal

This is the first of the series I made for my final last semester about the lies anxiety tells me.

It starts with loss. Or rather my fear of loss. I've always had anxiety but it got worse when my dad died. So now my anxiety tells me that everyone will die if they leave my sight. When my husband goes to work, he will get into an accident or if one of my family or friends goes somewhere I will never see them again. I absolutely have to say, "be careful" or I feel like I'm condemning them to their doom. And if I forget I have to call them immediately to tell them. If they are late getting to me, I start to panic.

This fear, I know, is illogical and for the most part I can tune it out. But sometimes I can't.


2/8 'Skiamakhia' Varied Monotype Relief Print. Arlie Opal

The second is the fear of detachment. The fear that I will lose myself. That I'll come to realize that this is all a dream state and nothing is real.
After trauma, your brain seperates from the body and its called depersonalization disorder. It's like you are on autopilot but not quite. It's like you aren't real, you are watching yourself but it's not really you. I hate when it happens and I'm scared it will come back or that it may be the truth after all. That maybe I'm not real.

This still happens from time to time when my depression gets the best of me. I understand now that it's probably not true but there's the underlying fear of what if it is.


3/8 'Skiamakhia' Varied Monotype Relief Print. Arlie Opal

The third fear is the fear of being forgotten. That I'll be pushed aside because of all my issues. That I may be too much of a burden for others to deal with. That the people I care about will forget about me. I've overstayed my welcome and I'm no longer needed or wanted.

I know this is completely illogical and bonkers but this is just something my anxiety tells me. And in my weakest moments I believe it.


4/8 'Skiamakhia' Varied Monotype Relief Print. Arlie Opal

This is my fear of disaster.

I fear that we as humans are destroying the planet. We dug a hole too deep, flew too close to the sun, are too angry, too selfish, and too greedy to fix it. That nuclear fallout could happen at any minute and that my sister, who is so young, may not have a future.

This one remains fresh and I think about it constantly. I am hyper fixated on this. This anxiety I feel is the most severe, many other I can avoid or distract my brain from thinking about. But this one is the one I live in, the entire freaking environment. It's unavoidable. This anxiety keeps me up at night.


5/8 'Skiamakhia' Varied Monotype Relief Print. Arlie Opal

This is my fear of being unable to sleep.

I have chronic insomnia that is untreatable. I've taken every sleep medication and herbal supplement made, and I've had a few sleep studies.

Most of the time my anxiety is so high and my thoughts so intrusive that I can't sleep. The alarm clock counts down and goes off then I deal with the day the best I can. Then I wait until sleep, whether it's that night or several nights from now. Everyday of exhaustion feels closer to insanity.

Most of the time I lay in bed and rest my body as best I can while trying to focus on things that are not terrible.


6/8 'Skiamakhia' Varied Monotype Relief Print. Arlie Opal

My fear of being overwhelmed.

I'm not sleeping. My thoughts are bombarding my brain with fear and anxiety. I feel like I'm drowning. Suffocating under a weight that I, myself, created. This happens before the panic. It's like my body is electrified. My skin tingles and my brain won't stop cycling though my fears. Then panic.


7/8 'Skiamakhia' Varied Monotype Relief Print. Arlie Opal

The fear of myself.

The fear that I will always be this way. I've never not had anxiety. I don't know what its like to not have anxiety. It's almost a fear to not have it. Would I still be me? Who am I without it? Would I still be an artist? Would my personality change? What if. What if. What if.


8/8 'Skiamakhia' Varied Monotype Relief Print. Arlie Opal

This is the last print of the series I made for my final about the lies anxiety tells me.

The uncomfortable feeling of no anxiety at all. The relaxation I'm not used to. The paranoia of where my anxiety went. My anxiety is the friend that's not good for me but I don't know what I would do without it. I'm dependent on it in a way. Maybe to feel? Maybe to understand? It's confusing but when it's not there...That's when I'm scared the most. And then the cycle starts again.
26-30, M
1 reply
Jul 18, 2019
User41 · 31-35, M
Can’t. Won’t. What if?

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