Anxiety: Everything Is Fine … Until It Isn’t!

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I saw this picture and came up with a truly terrible analogy for my anxiety.

It’s like you’re walking along through the bush, and everything is lovely and serene, and you’re on nice flat land so you’re just loping along comfortably.  Then you hit stairs.  Except you didn’t know there were stairs there, and you can’t see them, and you don’t really know you’re on them, all you know is your heartrate is up and going forward is hard.  But everyone else is still loping along quite comfortably at their own pace.

Okay, so maybe anxiety is more like quicksand.  Or something like that.

All I know is that I’ll have moments where I’m fine, totally chill, totally okay with life, the world, and everything – pfff, I don’t have anxiety, I’m fine, I don’t need anything.  And then for no reason I’ll get the internalised panic, jitters, heart rate climbing, breathing getting tight.  Every muscle will be tense and my shoulders will climb towards my ears.  Even once I’m over the initial influx, I’ll be tense for the next few hours, fingers twisting, head ticking, breathing short and tight.

In my role, I just keep working through it.  I channel that nervous energy into output and clamp down on the rest of it (because everything is fine, nothing is wrong, everything is always, always okay).  It’s hard to deal with it, because my historic way of dealing with it was simply ‘push it to the side’, so if I’m wanting to ease it (for example, by meditating), I have to be very conscious not to just shunt it out, but rather ease it.  I can’t yet do that.

It’s all a big work in progress, and I’m learning things every day.  I’m hoping the fluoxetine will help reduce the anxiety – I start that in two days – and next year when I have access to free therapy, I’ll be able to really implement some better behaviours for dealing with the anxiety.