Sunday, January 11, 2009

Anxiety

I don't know if there are people who live without it. Anxiety, that is. Are there? I can't imagine that kind of life. For me it's like the kettle is always getting ready to blow unless someone rational pulls it off the burner.

I might fixate on a situation until I can't think about anything else and my heart is pounding and I'm sure I'm going to stress myself into a heart attack or a stroke and become an invalid so Nicholas is burdened with my vegetable-care and can never have a fulfilling life of his own. See? "Fixate" is a euphemism for "obsess." My favorite therapist used to say "I'm a little concerned about your tendency to obsess." She said it with extra calm and care as if using too-strong words might set me off. But it made me laugh.

I've been using one of her techniques to break my anxiety lately -- deep breath, hold it, count to five, release, repeat. It's a distraction if nothing else. Another thing I've tried is little meditations from a book I found in the library. But today I was so deep in it, I couldn't even comprehend the words. I just paced the library, flipping the pages and reading, hoping something would stick to my subconscious.

The best solution to breaking my anxiety is talking to a rational person. If I can describe the situation and hear them reframe it in sane-speak, I almost always settle down.

2 comments:

  1. I know that lack of focus you speak of... the frantic search to bring your mind elsewhere. It's both disillusioning and comforting to realize some personality traits follow us through the years. The good thing is now you know solutions - remember when you didn't know the tricks to distract?

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  2. Ah anxiety, fixation, obsession - those things in life I can rely on! I say this with a hint of sarcasm, but truly, I do relate. Especially now...in the weird infinitum between today and the rest of my life.

    Sanity is something I strive for, and often times convince myself I achieve, but most of the time, I feel like I am in my own universe, trying to just take it one day at a time and see where life brings me.

    I do agree with you about talking to a rational person. Just spent the last 45 min talking to a much more sane person than myself. Poor girl, I must've sounded like a lunatic but she's a saint and I'm glad she was there to listen and to help. It's almost made me relaxed enough to go to sleep.

    Goodnight! And thanks for posting these thoughts into cyberspace. It's good to not feel so alone...

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