‘this is horrible. i care.’ – seinfeld
as silly as it may seem, i suppose it’s actually one of the deepest truths about anxiety. that those of us who suffer from it, tend to over-care – if there were such a thing. and it would be great if it were just that simple. like, i care SO much about SO many things that i’m gonna’ spiral here for a moment & then i’ll snap out of it & just be cool with the fact that i’m a decent person who likes to prop the weight of the world’s worries right onto my shoulders. if only.
anxiety is a special kind of adrenaline that comes on without warning and takes no prisoners. you get no say, you have no hand, you just have to deal. anxiety’s bff – panic attack – is just like any good bestie. standing by, at the ready, to support and uplift anxiety in whatever way it can. for me, this comes in the form of a racing heart, tingly hands & feet, an uncomfortable heat rising throughout my body & an overwhelming need to flee. i joke that i’m a flight risk. except, it’s the truest truth.
doubt plays a huge part in anxious feelings, because that’s the whole thing with being all up in your head. you over-think, you over-analyze, you want to fix every single one of the earth’s problems in a timely manner & ideally, all before you go to bed.
anxiety girl! able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!
i have specific triggers – certain events, particular places, any kind of claustrophobia situation. if the room’s too full or i feel like i’m too much in the center of it, things appear florescent & my pulse quickens. and trust me, for someone who loves attention, this does not bode well. sometimes a meeting that goes on too long has me kicking off my shoes or finding a reason to exit stage left. i’ve abandoned full carts at the grocery store because the room felt too bright. but more often than not, it takes nothing at all for my head to start up a good ol’ fashioned round of panic. those ones are the worst.
i worry about how people may react to my anxiety, so i try to keep it at bay when others are around. ironically, it just ends up piling on top of itself & ultimately causes more panic. of course they want to help, to try and understand & they wish they could have it explained to them. it’s a beautiful sentiment, but it’s nearly impossible for us to do. how do you explain something that you don’t even understand yourself?
for me, feeling safe is the biggest & most important thing. surrounding myself with people who care for me unconditionally is almost always my first order of business. being able to figure this out has been supremely helpful in aiding me to somewhat control, or at least, live with anxiety.
it’s ok to feel vulnerable. it is not a weakness. it’s perfectly within your right to want to appear strong & able. but it’s also the most normal thing in the world to need to feel protected & when that net seems shaky, it’s ok to try & save yourself, in whatever way you know how.
someone wrote: be where your feet are. that has stuck with me. of course you can look to other people to ground you, but in the end, it’s all you.
running is easy. standing in it & facing it? that’s where stuff gets real. but it’s also the place where you get to find out what you’re made of. to see how much you can handle. to know what it’s like to be pushed to the edge & still come out on top. it’s kinda’ cool actually. you’re a special being with a special assignment.
just think: you are here, in this moment, right on top of your feet. be there. let it wash over you. be amazed in your ability to know just enough about yourself to realize that you will always be bigger & braver than anxiety AND it’s bff. over-care. the world wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t.