I had to stop writing for the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog on HealthyPlace because the act of doing so was giving me too much anxiety. This is my last month there. Instead, I have started a joint blogging and social media venture with my friend Michele and her friend Erin. Like our Facebook page, “Anxiety Says, “I Told You So,” for a more unfettered look at what living with anxiety is really like.
So what has it been like living with anxiety lately? Basically, I am not fit for society. The uncertainty of everything in life seems to be pushing at me from all sides. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to enjoy doing stuff. My daughter got braces, I am searching for a more permanent job and an apartment at the same time because anxiety is telling me that I should have my metaphorical poop in a group. That I should have it all a year and a few months post-divorce and two years since my separation. Because anxiety is a nagging witch with a B.
In case you haven’t noticed, my anxiety of offending with my language is at a high this morning.
I wanted to publish a piece that I wrote as an alleged “guest blog” for a weighted-blanket company (hey, if they actually ever posted it, they never alerted me. It goes a little something like this:
An interloper shows up in every relationship, an uninvited guest that is excellent at starting arguments. This intruder steals your covers and prevents you and your partner from sleeping. Not only that, she leaves you prone to the monsters under your bed, or worse, the ones in your head. This often inconvenient and destructive third wheel is anxiety, personified.
Anxiety often took over my relationship with my ex-husband. And my daughter. And everyone else I’ve come into meaningful contact with. And it’s time to put anxiety in her place. I need to draw some personal boundaries so the overbearing presence of anxiety doesn’t suffocate me.
Anxiety has been present at all the significant moments of my life. At my wedding, anxiety might as well have walked me down the aisle. The pressure and the planning behind the ceremony were almost more than I could take. And she was there. At the altar, smiling her wicked little smile. “Your makeup is uneven,” she said.
Anxiety has some pretty rough features. This is probably because she never seems to sleep. She’s always telling me that there’s something in my teeth. She doesn’t shower because so many household accidents occur in the bathtub. She is a backseat driver. Sometimes she even tries to take the wheel. It’s scary when someone else seems to be in charge of your emotions.
Anxiety likes to play tricks on me. She often tells me that I’m not good enough. She overanalyzes everything, including the criticisms of others. Nothing is ever good enough for her.
Time after time, anxiety has convinced me that I’m a bad person. Her actions destroyed my willingness to try and ultimately, any semblance of a positive frame of mind. She caused me harm on many occasions. She very well could have taken me out of this world, and for that, I feel I might never forgive her.
My therapist recently suggested that I befriend my anxiety instead of treating her like she’s a monster. My first reaction was that I would much rather beat my anxiety up. That she has no business being a part of my life. Like a toxic person, I want to cut anxiety off.
But when I stop to think about it, my anxiety isn’t always a negative individual. She was the first to recognize that my daughter had pneumonia. She prevents me from making the same mistake twice. She also stops me from inadvertently setting the house on fire. She often tells me to proceed with caution, even when my contents are under pressure.
The fact of the matter is that my anxiety will always be with me. It’s inevitable. And my therapist was right. I need to somehow learn to befriend my anxiety since she is one of the constants in my life. I need to take her by the hand and teach her how to focus, and how to breathe. I need to find a balance for both of us so that we can coexist peacefully.
And, for those of you in need of an earworm (in case the title didn’t already inspire one)–
Happy Friday, y’all.