Friday, April 24, 2015

Seven Thoughts About *My* Anxiety

There was an article floating around this week that caught my attention - "13 Things to Remember If You Love a Person With Anxiety". It's actually a really good article, but for me it was also a reminder that the biggest thing to remember when dealing with a person who struggles with anxiety (or other mental health problems) is that everyone is different.

I mean, of course I'm much more than my anxiety, and of course I want others to understand that...but I think it's also important to note that a lot of times, I myself feel like that's all I am. An elastic band, if you will, that is constantly being stretched and stretched and stretched and yet somehow never fully snapping. Most days I don't even know how I don't snap. It's certainly not medication, because they refuse to put me on anything that's strictly for anxiety (which is maddening in and of itself, but let's not go there right now, I guess).

Unfortunately I went a long time without realizing that I even had generalized anxiety. I was lucky that it was something I could live with for a very long time, though I guarantee I've screwed up plenty of relationships/friendships and made silly decisions because of it. Because I didn't know what it was, why I felt the way I did, why I did the things I did. I'm certainly not blaming it for every problem I've had; far from it. But the fact remains that if I'd recognized and sought treatment for it sooner, I may not have hit the low point that I did last year.

That's a lot of could'ves and should'ves, though. And that's one of the things I have to recognize - I've questioned and second-guessed a lot of things because of my anxiety, and I continue to do so. The difference is, nowadays, more often than not, I realize what I'm doing and can at least try to overcome all the self-doubt and worry.

I don't really know about anyone else, but for me it's insanely important for people to tell me what they want from me. Obviously I may not always be able to do it or say it. I may not be able to answer every question. But the only thing that can help with the over-thinking is to know, even if it's something I'd rather not hear. And if it's something good, seriously, why wouldn't you share? Regardless, to sample that silly list that probably originated on Pinterest - if you want to be understood, explain.

Today is one of those days when my anxiety has exhausted me. It's been building up for over a week now, and even after spending this past weekend laid up with a minor knee injury and getting plenty of sleep, I feel mentally and physically drained. What can I say? Being in this constantly overwhelmed state is more than I can handle, and I don't want to burden my friends too much with my over-thinking, which means that I'm staying inside my own head far more than I should. (And yes, that's usually how it works with me.) So if I'm not talking to you, but you want to talk to me, more often than not you're probably going to have to be the one to start the conversation. It's something I'm getting better about, not avoiding my friends when I need them...but there's still a lot of work to be done.

Thankfully I have a sanctuary in my home, and in my pets. I wish that every person who suffered from anxiety could have something like that, and if you do, you should count yourself lucky, I think. I know I do, possibly because I never realized the importance of having a sanctuary until I understood just how safe (perhaps sometimes too safe) I felt in my home. Especially with a dog or cat in my lap ;)

Queen of my life

Every day seems to bring another struggle, be it new or old, to the forefront, but if I've learned anything the past year it's that eventually things will be okay. Sometimes it takes a lot more than it should to remind myself of that, but hey, nothing is going to change overnight, and I've generally accepted that my problems with anxiety will never completely go away.

But then, maybe that's what it's all about. Acceptance. Because I think acceptance really can bring peace, if you let it. Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment