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.