Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dealing with Anxiety

I never really thought I had anxiety. I have met many people who have talked about their anxiety in forms of not sleeping at night and ruminating all of the horrible things that could happen-nightly.

So in that way I didn't think I had it. I do but its in a different way.

Last week was an extra crazy week. I was gone everynight of the week for a social function or service. Non stop busy. So as Sunday night came and a new week was beginning I started getting weary of ANY engagements of the week.

And it wasn't until 2pm on Monday (a carpool day-me taking home) that I remembered I had a 4pm dentist appointmentt. AAah!

Dentist days for me should be the day when you are at home having fun with your kids making messes and creations not being busy. Dentist alone causes anxiety.

So come 3:30 I've been running around most the day since 8am and I was in a little panic inside my head (I Don't want to go to the dentist and the house is a mess and etc etc etc)

My sweet husband listens to me (who bless him was home from work sick sick sick and in pj's but still taking the effort to help me talk about the thigns sitting in my brain).

Because when I am stressed and anxious about the lack of time (or really lack of control) over things happening in the week I can't see all the control I do have and I am like a black hole. Pulling in all the other things happening in the next two weeks and piling that on top of myself and thinking about it un rationally.

And then there was still the impending doom of the dentist.

I have been off medication for quite some time now and I don't easily forget the feelings like the above explained nearly every single day before I sought help-so then I pull that into my hole "Oh my gosh do I need medication again?'

Ruminating, analyzing, worrying, and feeling stuck in what you don't want to do etc.

That is my anxiety.

NO amount of logical thinking helps me in these cases. It makes it worse because for me how I am thinking is rational and logical even if I know in different circumstances I might not be pulling the world around me for no reason except for being anxious.

That being said and all that above hufflepuff and I dont' have a system down pat to help with it but I do have helpers.

1. Talk to someone who will listen (even if you yourself say it outloud without anyone hearing-something I've done).

2. Find something to do that blocks out your thoughts for a little bit (music you can sing to, reading a book, a funny show)

3. Do something. Maybe doing 1 thing on your long mental list (I hate writing it down because for me it almost validates all the things that HAVE to be done- on paper makes it real)

4. Cut out tomorrow, or the next two hours and focus on that hour you are in-how can you make it the best for the situation

5. Fill up at a quite time of things that are deeply rewarding. There is somethingto be said for being on empty and still being needy-you have no more to give it feels!

6. Reassess the decisions I've been making when I am in a calmer place. Anxiety, fear, regret all has a place in life, it shouldn't rule your life but they are purposeful emotions. Maybe a decision your making isnt' the right one and you are feeling anxious because you need to be cautious or should't be doing what you are going to do. Or you need to mantra yourself that its something new and there is a term my husband uses with me "The cost of experience" which I love. It doesn't end the world but you can learn from it. A perfectionist I think is a lot easier to get fettered by decisions because the decision although maybe menial might not be the optimal one-and that is OK!

I realize everyone's anxiety runs at different speeds and everyone has different triggers.

I need downtime, fun time, productive time-I am not a person who thrives on being busy all the time and feeling like these grand things are being accomplished. I am busy enough trying to raise beautiful human beings better than the best I hoped I could and counting down until I drink soda again (on our next family vacation-I have to start somewhere on this weaning off sugar thing).

With my kids older and both in school I treasure quiet time at my house (when they were younger and not in school I could barely stand being at home all the time especially since my youngest was always sick). When my kids are sick and we need to be in quarantine and all they wan to do is snuggle and watch shows and daze off I am like "HECK YEs!" that sounds awesome. No school, no times to be anywhere. Sole purpose is the just be here and do basics. And unless my husband is traveling for work I am feeling kind of spoiled ot be sitting down watching shows with my kids (although I have nearly outlawed Dora-oh my goodness she will one day come haunt me in my dreams as an old person).

I kind of think that once being in a low place you become somewhat extra sensitive (well maybe I should just speak for myself) of changes in mood. And it took me a while when I was on and while weaning off medication to figure out what my "normal" was. No one has great days all the time but is it normal for me to be anxious for a month? no.

It has helped me to figure out my triggers and then instill some safeguards (like I already knew-can't be gone every night of the week and be busy all day).

And although the perfectionist inside of me demands that I probably should be cleaning, prepping a freezer meal, cutting up all the strawberries, checking laundry, working on church calling, making lessons for church, RIGHT NOW.

I am going to type out my brain onto my little computer and then I'm going to read the library books to the kids. Because in a larger world perspective-the basics of life, of nurturing relationships with basics, my relationship with myself and with my children and husband are most important.

Not my relationship with my schedule and how productive I have been

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