My happy place
I believe there are two types of people in this world: anxious people and not anxious people. I am the former. I’m sure my anxiety began to surface at some point in college. Probably when I failed my first statistics exam. Believe it or not I didn’t realize I had anxiety until a couple of years ago when I had a panic-attack at work. Oh, well hello there, anxiety! At first I was like, “Whatever, anxiety shmanxiety. My name is Joy. I was born happy and calm”. This is what therapists refer to as an ‘irrational belief’. I finally came to terms with it and decided to see a psychiatrist. His office would soon become the butt of many jokes between my girlfriends who went to the same doc. We even nicknamed him ‘Milldawg’. But that’s another blog post. Let’s just say his office contained interesting art. Interesting meaning extremely weird and anxiety-provoking. Stay tuned.
For a while I had Mr. A(nxiety) under control. No panic attacks. No chest pains. I win! I was so over that whole anxiety thing. Oh, wait, that’s not how it works? I can’t win first place against anxiety? But I always win first place, dammit.
Because our world is unpredictable and very bad things have happened recently my anxiety level has skyrocketed to the high heavens. I’m calling my mom constantly saying things like, “Drive safe! Wear your seatbelt!”, and wondering at all hours of the day whether or not my parents got struck by lightning or left a candle burning and their house is going up in flames. I’m presently acutely aware, with good reason, about death and dying and losing somebody I love dearly. Just so you know this is normal especially when random bad things happen in the world. It’s called a ‘trauma response’ and can manifest in a zillion different ways. For all of you out there reading this thinking, “What a weirdo”, then HIGH-FIVE, you don’t have anxiety! I wish I could live in your tranquil world surrounded by soft puppies and cotton candy!
If you do have anxiety, welcome! You’re not alone. Or maybe you are alone and you’re super anxious about it. Sucks to be you. Just kidding. But it is super important to talk to somebody about your feelings. It doesn’t have to be in the annoying therapist-y way, either. Confide in friends, family, or even me. I’ll bet lots of kombucha that once you open up about your feelings you’ll realize just how normal you really are.
Luckily I’m married to the exact opposite personality. If I paid my husband a million dollars to act anxious he’d give me a blank stare and start rattling off Pearl Jam lyrics or something (he likes to redirect when I start acting crazy). Scott’s anxious trait lives in Hawaii on the beach listening to Deepak Chopra 24/7. The guy could not be any further from anxious. Doctors should find a way to bottle him up and sell him in pill form.
So dude, here we are (we = me and my anxious voices). Anxious as all hell. We’re all going to die someday! I’m going to have to get in my car and drive wondering if an airplane is going to fall from the sky! I might get a flat tire while driving and fly off the road. A burglar might break in to my house while I’m sleeping at night. It’s crazy thoughts like these that I simply have to acknowledge, let go and beat them up in Crossfit and/or talk them off of the ledge while I’m running. I also have to laugh a lot and remember I’m not alone in anxietyland. I have so many awesome friends who live here too! We play a lot of cards, take a lot of walks, and go to yoga together. Because what other choice do I have? Anxiety and I are friends now. We have to be friends. Sometimes Mr. A pays a surprise visit. I’ve tried explaining to him I’m not a fan of surprise visitors. He’s learning.
I came home today to find the sweetest package from my mother with a note that said; Enclosed is a meaningful necklace I never wore. I kept it in my jewelry box as a young girl. It was given to me by my great-grandmother. Because she rarely gave us material things, it was very special to me. It’s time to pass on to you. Please cherish it too.
Thank you MOM. I love you. You always know when I need Mom Support.
These are the moments I’m learning to focus on. Especially on days like today when the anxiety train is charging 100 miles per hour. On the bright side I like to vacuum when I’m anxious, so, the house is looking spectacular.
All joking aside I hope fellow-anxiety-peeps feel like you’re in good company. Weird good company but in my humble opinion, we’re the best kind of company.
Cheers my A-listers!