I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety lately. About big things: working on my next book, climate change, and the future of my business. But also very small things. Misplacing a lip balm, for example, makes me anxious. Or having a list of a few minor errands to do. And sometimes it’s just nothing at all. There’s no reason for the anxiety.
And I don’t have time to give into it, but also there’s no point to it. If I am anxious about errands and I don’t do them, that doesn’t help me. And I’ve looked into anti-anxiety meds but of course they’re all (or almost all) addictive and sedating.
So I just keep going. Today I am going to talk about my book at somebody’s house. I know it will be fine. I have done this dozens of times already and never had a bad experience. I don’t even get very nervous about public speaking and have spoken to an audience of several hundred. But I have this anxiety that won’t go away.
All I want to do is put on my pajamas (it’s not even 5 pm) and ignore it. I want to use sleep as an escape or watch a TV show or do some mindless work that I can get lost in. I want to think of an excuse.
And of course, I can’t do that. I have to put on my public persona hat and put on makeup and smile and talk to people about a cause I believe in, and I know that it will end up being enjoyable for me and a positive experience overall. But the desire to skip it is SO strong.
And this happens every day. EVERY day. When I have tutoring students — who I LOVE and are a major joy in my life — I get anxious about seeing them. When I have to drive somewhere, same thing. When I have fun plans — a hike or visiting friends, yep, it kicks in. I get anxious if I am trying to plan something and anxious if I have nothing planned.
I self-medicated sometimes by eating sugar, which does calm me down. But then it makes it worse again. And I know it will but I can’t seem to stop. I sleep too much sometimes to get rid of this feeling and sometimes I can’t sleep because of this feeling.
I’m learning to live with it. I would rather not – I would rather transcend it and live without it. Do any of you have this? How do you deal with it?