I’ve been thinking a lot about anxiety lately. I know, SURPRISE! Seriously, anxiety causes me the most distress out of all the shit I deal with in terms of mental health “issues.” I wake up, I’m anxious about getting my kids ready for school, I’m anxious about getting their lunches ready, I feel nervous about being on time to school and the list goes on and on. Are there people who feel this way? I want to meet them! Who wakes up and is like “this is what I do in the morning and I don’t feel the intense weight or pressure to get all these things done?” That person is my hero, seriously. They are a magical being who I admire and want to emulate.
It doesn’t stop once I get the kids to school. That would be too convenient right? Then I’m thinking: I have to get all this writing done, I need to look for a full-time job and walk the dog. Yeah, the dog causes me so much anxiety. I’m lucky in a way that I’m single. Because I know people who fight about this shit in couples therapy appointments. I don’t have that problem though. Yay me!
But, I do have chronic anxiety, so that isn’t fun. Anxiety is like someone tapping you over and over again. You tell that person to stop and they don’t give a shit. They just keep tapping you repeatedly even though you’ve made it abundantly clear that you don’t want to be touched. Anxiety is that person. It’s not a fun companion to hang with because it wants all the attention all the time. If you don’t pay attention to anxiety it acts like a petulant child. It throws a tantrum and gets louder and louder.
Oh, and anxiety doesn’t give a fuck about how annoying it is. It’s actually pretty confident in its ability to capture your attention. Anxiety is an attention whore. Every time it pokes its head out, whatever method it uses, it is relentless. You have to hand it to anxiety, it gets super creative in the way that it tries to get your attention. Whether it makes you sweat, causes you racing thoughts, tells you that you can’t do things because they are “too much” to deal with or it tries to convince you that “everybody hates you,” anxiety has a Ph.D. in making you feel inadequate. It has studied long and hard at the University of I Want to Make You Question Everything About Yourself.
So what’s the answer to dealing with anxiety? The answer is: sometimes I know and sometimes I have no idea. When I get it right, it’s great. I am able to acknowledge the anxious thoughts and keep doing what I’m doing. When I get it wrong I put my head in my hands and cry out of frustration. I just used the words right and wrong, but there isn’t a right or wrong way to deal with anxiety; it’s what makes you feel better.
What about you? Is your anxiety a pain in the ass? How does it impact you?