When anxiety peaks the little things become a big deal. You’re incapable of dismissing the trivial things.
Everything weighs on you. The dishes in the sink, the piles of laundry, the bed you didn’t make, and you really need to wash and change the sheets, the stack of mail, cleaning your car out. It’s endless.
It’s beating yourself up over not following through on personal intentions. Those morning workouts you said you’ll get up for, not running enough, etc.
It’s wanting more free time. But free time is the last thing you need! You clearly have enough time on your hands to let your mind fixate.
It’s making lists, and wanting everything checked off. But you always leave something incomplete, because you have to leave stuff to fill your time just in case.
It’s comparing yourself to others and thinking you should be climbing the career ladder. But then you arrive at work and realize how much you enjoy being there, it’s a comfort zone for you, it’s not just a job, and it doesn’t quite feel like ‘work’.
But that comfort zone is being attacked, and now you’ve got to share your work space for the first time ever. What if that will make coming to work unbearable?
It’s being 30, and slightly disappointed because you always told yourself you’d have kids before you turned 30. But we’re still pretty selfish and just don’t feel ready. Or feel 30! Plus, you’re not even capable of handling yourself some days.
It’s missing traveling and going to the racetrack with Chris. But you can’t because what will we do with the dog? He’s not been to the kennel alone since Lucky passed. You already feel guilty every time you leave him at home. He has feelings too you know.
It’s looking at others and wondering why they can function just fine. And be so content, when sometimes everyday is just a struggle for you. But really, you have no idea what they go through.
Everything has a counter thought, a but… Two sides of your brain are competing.
The way you view everything is altered in those moments of anxiety. It’s like everything is overcast. You are hesitant to put one step in front of the other, not knowing what to expect.
You want to call in sick to work, because you’re mentally exhausted. But at the same time you’re afraid of the downtime and the nothingness, because then your brain can just dwell on what it’s choosing to fixate on at the time.
You crave change, but change also scares you. You know how to handle the familiar; you know how to cope with what is in front of you. You’ve dealt with it before, and as much as you don’t want to you can deal with it again. But you don’t know how to handle the unfamiliar. Because you don’t know what it looks like.
In those moments it’s hard to do things you truly enjoy. For myself that is running, or going to work out. You just don’t want to associate the negative feelings you are going through at the moment with things you really love.
This is where the last year was different for me, and where medication helped. I didn’t experience the competing thoughts. I still experienced anxious thoughts from time to time, but I was capable and comfortable with dismissing them. Not feeling the need to analyze, get to the root of the problem, fix it.
Anxiety is trying to be two steps ahead of whatever life throws at you. But you can’t create solutions for problems that don’t yet exist.