I usually write about my anxiety in retrospect but today I decided to write about it smack in the middle of it. I thought I could better relate it, or maybe worse because my mind is racing all over. So sorry in advance if it swings that way.
Heart isn’t racing but its at a higher pace then normal. Usually indicates some kind of anxiety but not the worst I’ve experienced. Feel slightly sick to my stomach and my muscles feel weak and wired at the same time. My mind is jumping to worst case scenarios of humiliation and horrible outcomes. My anxiety started this morning when I left Marty alone again in the apartment for the first time. I tried calming it but it wasn’t going anywhere so I slapped on a smile and tried to hide it. When that didn’t work I slapped on a smile and apologized to my volunteers for seeming anxious and explained the situation. They were very cool about it but then I had anxiety about sounding a little crazy. Classic case of anxiety about anxiety and the circular nature of it all. Then there was potentially a mistake and that gave me 100000000000 times the anxiety. I so badly want to succeed and do the best job possible that the idea of making a mistake absolutely sent my anxiety over the edge. Worst case scenario after worst case scenario is running through my mind. I just can make it stop, I want to so badly, but it isn’t that easy. Impossible comes to mind. So I am trying to travel back to my therapy and what I learned. How many times do things come to the worst case scenario? If they do, would that be the end? Or would I pull through it and find a way to live and move past it. That is helping a little. I am not yet to the point of having to use my grounding tools just yet, which I am trying to take as encouraging.
Seeing Hamilton was a musical theater nerd dream that I have been waiting years for and when the reminder popped up on my calendar last night I almost cried. I know for some that seems dramatic and like a silly little item on a bucket list that I can do later, but to me it hurt and still stings. I haven’t been able to afford to go before this because it was impossible to get tickets for under $300 per cheap seat. So, when the tour was coming to LA I got up early to get tickets at a reasonable price and I DID. It was awesome. I was so excited.
I realize that there are other people in the world with a lot bigger disappointments but I learned in therapy that doesn’t invalidate my feelings so I am sharing them. I want you all to know that small disappointments are okay to express even if they seem small or insignificant compared to world events or someone else’s circumstances. Feel what you feel and right now I feel pissed and disappointed to have this dream delayed yet again.
…it cascades layer by layer and could end in a bunch of broken glasses and wasted champagne.
When I am very anxious about one thing, it tends to waterfall into all my other avenues of anxiety. I am currently anxious about what everyone is anxious about – the pandemic and it’s affects on life, specifically my financial life. Work shut down today – and suddenly all my worst what if’s of the latest anxiety started becoming reality. How will I pay rent? I have previously written that even in the worst of times, I have grateful to have a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in. I see that disappearing. (I know my family will help me but they are going through their own stuff and I don’t want to ask). The first time I can recall feeling anxiety was when I was little and learned about and saw homeless people. It shot up to the number one fear in my life – growing up to be homeless. I know I have a few options before that happens but boy does it feel super real right now.
This anxiety is cascading into my other avenues of anxiety (which are a bit more practical but that makes it easier for them to affect my actions. Last night I turned to my dude and said “don’t hate me but I have to run home and make sure I blew the candle out.” I was sure that I had done it but that one anxious thought took my brain over and changed my course of action. I had to come check – there was no other way to end the thought quickly. My dude was totally understanding and awesome and even came with me, but I am sure I looked like a bit of a crazy person. Also, to pinch pennies I am putting my therapy on hold. I can’t afford expenses that don’t pertain to rent or food or sanity (aka wine). So I will have to employ the tools I have learned and hope that’s enough to get through this anxiety champagne waterfall.
I am really hoping that none of my other glasses break in this champagne fountain, but if they do I can handle it. I hope – I know I will but a little hope never heard anyone.
…might be one of those things that no one with anxiety really talks about.
Last night my alarm went off at 3:00 am for some stupid reason and it set off the alarm in my head. My anxiety focused in on one thing at work. One thing that I will likely suffer a lecture for but my anxiety convinced me I was FOR SURE getting fired. Once you logic that out and feel better in your head the physical symptoms are not really easy to get rid of. Fast heart beat, hot and sweaty, pit in your stomach – the worst. AND you are worried you are going to wake your partner up and they will 1) see just how crazy you are 2) that you will wake up the person you care about at 3:00 am for anxiety your brain made up. The second worst part is being emotionally and mentally tanked the next day.
Lots of stuff happening at work – lots of stuff I am in charge of. What if it goes wrong or south and I fail? Or can’t fill my former bosses shoes? All that has culminated into a few days of awful stress. That’s not to say it is anxiety all day everyday the past week. I have had some really great moments with friends and my dude. Moments that remind me there is more to my life then work. I am kind of living for those moments this week. I look forward to my San Francisco trip in two weeks. It will be nice to have a break.
HAHAHAHA the show I am watching right now is talking about anxiety and how it’s okay to get help. It’s true – therapy rocks!
I had therapy this morning and our main topic of conversation is my last blog post about my night of waves of anxiety. By the end of the conversation it is muddy/clear. I do mean the contradiction of muddy/clear. I understand the reasons behind the anxiety, but at the same time they seem a bit ridiculous – which is generally the case with anxiety.
I was worried I would lose the stability I had found after all the change. I found a roommate who I know which was my number 1 option in finding a roommate. Not only do I know her but I genuinely enjoy her company. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation or new start in my home. My dude and I have been doing great. I mean it – really great. It’s been fun and light and everything I hoped our reset could be. Who gets their best case scenarios on changes in life and risks taken? I think I scared myself into waiting for that stability to go away or fall apart…which is silly. It’s creating worry that doesn’t need to be there. But that’s the rub because that is anxiety. Therapy has helped though and continues to help with the anxiety and overthinking.
Life does keep going though and those moments you aren’t quite ready for come closer. My apartment is filled with boxes and things are being divided. A friend moves away and new chapter starts.
Along with the moments you know are coming and want to delay or forget about come some great moments you wait for and others that are unexpected. Those moments this week have included an excited call from a friend because she was so happy, cooking dinner and having a dance party in my dudes kitchen, and watching Bachelor in Paradise with my roommate. What were yours?
I haven’t been shy about my anxiety or my time in therapy to try to cope with that anxiety. I haven’t been shy about it because it’s not something I am ashamed of or think I need to hide, so I am going to tell you about a type of anxiety I have never experienced…until last night.
I had finally fallen asleep then woke up an hour later at about 1:00 am because my heart was racing. I thought maybe I had a weird dream or something and when it subsided I dismissed it…until about 5 minutes later when it happened again. My heart starts racing, I need to slow my breathing to try to slow my heart rate and anxiety just washes over me. Waves are the best way I can think to describe it because I could feel it coming and it started small, got bigger, crashed into me, then dissipated. These waves continued for about an hour.
While I am not ashamed of my anxiety (I can’t help it), I always feel bad when my anxiety affects other people. I worry they feel I am just being dramatic or out for attention when that isn’t at all the case. So I have anxiety about my anxiety. Also, I feel bad even trying to explain all of this to people in person because all they want to do is help you and tell you it’s okay. Really, this is a nice thing to do, but then I feel bad when them reassuring me doesn’t make the anxiety go away. You can see that they so badly want to help and you want to show them you appreciate it but it’s hard in the midst of anxiety waves.
One of the hardest types of anxiety to explain is the kind that doesn’t have a direct cause or source. This doesn’t happen to me often but that was the case last night – no direct source, it just happened. How do you tell someone that and not look like you are fishing for attention? And anxiety about anxiety comes around all over again.
Let’s talk about the physical manifestations of anxiety because no one else seems to be. For me, the biggest one is digestive system issues. Either I have a stomach that is in knots or it moves to my intestines causing restroom issues. The waves of anxiety destroyed not only my night of sleep but most of dude’s (which I feel pretty bad about, eventually I sent him home so he could actually sleep. I’ll be dammed if my anxiety gets to him too at 2:00 am). Now I have to go to work on very little sleep with these other physical manifestations be a leader.
So why tell you about all this? I want all those out there who are dealing with anxiety (from mild to extreme), and those supporting someone dealing with anxiety, that you aren’t alone. Kudos to those who support those of us with anxiety – you may not think you are helping much but you are, just by being there. Sitting next to us, holding our hand, telling us it’s okay and we are okay, and for me laying next to me and putting your hand on my hand (romantic comforting way) helps more then you know, even when we can’t directly express it. Thanks for listening all and if you need someone to talk to I am here!