If I’m Not Writing…

You can bet that if I’m not writing, I’m not feeling so great.   And that is indeed the case right now.

Someone posted a list of some symptoms of anxiety on facebook.  Here’s the paraphrased version:

  • unpredictable bouts of rage and irritability
  • Nit-pickiness (obsessive behavior)
  • hypersensitivity to disarray, chaos or any sort of change
  • fast-talking, stuttering, stumbling over words

That’s not all, but these really hit home…

I went and did some more research on anxiety.  There’s a difference between knowing something and knowing something.  You can have the information and understand it’s content in an intellectual sense

OR

you can get “hit upside the head” with an experience put into words and have an aha moment.  That’s what happened for me.

I have an anxiety disorder.  I’ve known that.  I take medication for that.  Probably not enough.  I’ve argued with my doctor about my dosage.

I don’t want to have an anxiety disorder.

I don’t want to be a weak individual who can’t handle whatever life throws at me.  I want to be capable and strong.  I want to have great coping skills and walk through life serenely without struggle or the need for rest.  And sometimes I do deal well with stuff.

But, sometimes I don’t.  I have some work to do.  I have an actual medical condition.  I need to learn how to deal with it.  I need to recognize when it’s happening and take care of myself.  I need to take a time-out sometimes.  I need to continue my decluttering and organizing efforts in order to minimize the chaos in my home.  I need to quit being so stubborn and recognize that sometimes I can’t keep up the pace that I’ve set for myself.  I need to cut myself some slack.

Sometimes I just get to the point where my whole body feels like it’s “humming”.  The thoughts in my head are swirling so fast that it’s hard to just get ahold of one.  I quit writing becasue the words don’t flow easily.  I have to grab each one and place it on the page.  I worry that it’s not done well enough.  I don’t want to write poorly and put it out there in the world.  The insecurity starts and a vicious cycle is born.

This applies to everything in my life…writing, art, cleaning, everything.  It’s hard to do something, so I don’t do anything because I can’t deal with the struggle and the “imperfection”.  The less I do, the harder it becomes to start.  Soon I surrounded by a really big, undone mess of a life that is overwhelming…and I feel inadequate and a failure.

I visualize it as dropping out of an airplance holding onto a parachute by a thousand separate strings.  The strings become tangled and one by one they are breaking and I am losing my grip on them.  As I let go the parachute is catching more and more air until I fear that it will actually be totally ripped from my grasp – and I will fall…

We’ll see if I actually post this.  I’m feeling indecisive about it right now.  Do I want to share this much with people I know and see often or people I don’t even know?  Do I want to announce publicly that I can’t seem to get my life together.  That I’m so flawed that I can’t cope.  That sometimes I just sit and cry because it all seems so hard.  That I hate myself for the times my house is just a giant mess and it’s not welcoming.  That I’ve yelled at my family when I really just wanted to yell at myself for my failures.  That I’m crying right now.

I am going to post this.  I’m going to take this risk…because I’m not the only one.  There are others out there who are dealing with anxiety.  Who feel alone.

You are not alone.  And you are strong.  Only a strong person could deal with this disorder and get up every morning and keep going forward – imperfectly maybe, but we keep trying.

This world can be hard – there is plenty to be anxious about – even if you don’t have an anxiety disorder.  Sometimes there is a totally valid reason to be anxious.  Sometimes I don’t need any reason at all.

“This too shall pass”.  Tomorrow or the next day (or the next) will be a better day.  I believe that.  And, even with the problems I’m dealing with right now, today’s not so bad.

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4 thoughts on “If I’m Not Writing…

  1. If you don’t mind reading books that may be influenced by other belief systems, I think you’d gain a lot from reading The Fear Cure. It will approach points about fear that you already “kinda know” are true in a way that helps you to KNOW them like a flash of insight. I found it inspiring. Even the sections that talk about other faith systems offer an interesting perspective on the universally observable presence of God. It was reassuring to me, at least.

    Mind Over Medicine is research/science based, and talks about how our thoughts affect our bodies in a slightly more technical way, though Lissa can’t help being relational. Heh! She looks into the placebo effect, what it is, how it works, and why people discount it as a valid form of healing. It has several chapters of questions that will help you understand how you are currently functioning within your body and mind. Back when I read it, a lot of the book covered points I had recently discovered by experience, and explained why recent choices and changes had benefited my health so significantly.

    Go here to watch a few TED talks by the author. http://lissarankin.com/press

  2. I walk here too often myself… And unless you step into my home, you might not even know it-or I could be kidding myself here too… Anyway dear, cry, laugh, shout, sit and look out the window at those chickens… Or not. 💗

  3. I am there with you. What I hate the most is feeling awful when you don’t have a rational “good” reason to and nobody can see inside you and tell that you feel awful and it just makes you feel guilty and lonely. Just remember that you know there are others that feel exactly the same way and remember that some days are better and that you are strong and that you can manage this but that you don’t have to fix it or anything else for anybody else. Just be. You are very strong and very smart…you wrote and you hit “enter.” Sending hugs!

  4. You mention the difference between knowing versus knowing (as in being hit upside the head by an experience). That difference is real transformation. The difference between intellectual understanding versus emotional understanding is the difference between denial versus changing forever (voluntarily or not). Some of the anxiety may be an attempt to avoid the transformation part of you wants and other parts don’t. Be patient with yourself. Get whatever help you need, shamelessly. I understand.

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