Hidden Anxiety

March 31, 2019

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?

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When Nothing Feels Good Enough

March 8, 2019

I’m trying to remind myself that brain chemistry lies to me. Often it’s depression; currently I think it’s a little depression and mostly anxiety. It feels like nothing — NOTHING — I’m doing is good enough.

I’m a teacher (tutoring now) and I love it and am very good at it. But lately I’ve been feeling distracted and squirrelly (again, probably anxiety) and I don’t think the kids pick up on it but it makes me feel not good enough.

I’m an auntie, and I’m a REALLY DAMN GOOD AUNTIE. But when I don’t see the kids for weeks, I feel like I’m not doing enough. I miss them for sure. I miss them so much it hurts my heart sometimes. But more than that, I feel not good enough.

I’m a writer and I have a book published! But I’m working on two others and they’re going REALLY slowly (partially because I’m so busy and partially because of factors outside of my control) and that feels like a failure. I’m not good enough as a writer.

I am a great friend. I value friendships highly and make time for them. But my schedule is weird enough that it’s hard for me to see them regularly, and I feel like I’m not a good enough friend.

And on, and on, and on. that’s not even including the things that I’m actually really bad at, like exercising and eating well! These are my STRENGTHS and I don’t feel good enough.

It’s exhausting and demoralizing.