Allie: I’m having a lot of anxiety today which is bullshit because I walked/jogged almost 5 miles this morning which is supposed to help me relax. Anxiety/nervousness is my #1 trigger. My usual solutions are #1: drinking, #2: exercise, #3: reading. Fuuuuuuuck. It’s a beautiful day, my life is overall pretty great and I’m still miserable. Any suggestions?:) thanks for listening!!
me: is your anxiety directed at anything that’s happening now? or are you worried about later? just sit with now for a minute. is there anything happening right this minute that is scary or gross or difficult? got both arms and legs attached? no bear in the room?
If your body is having a ‘feeling’, that doesn’t mean it is in reaction to anything. It’s just ‘misfiring’ because it thinks there’s a threat to you, but there isn’t. look around. is there anything scary happening right now?
you’re smart to reach out and to ask questions. take a minute and figure out if there’s really something to be anxious about. or if it’s a mis-firing. your brain got confused. no bear here.
Allie: I feel much better. Thank you. The whole idea of the brain misfiring is a new way to think about anxiety for me and it makes a lot of sense. Working all day today. Keeping busy will be a really good thing. Thanks again for your help. Day 6 sober.
i’m afraid i know more than i want to about anxiety. and if anxiety is partly genetic, which i believe it is, then i’m hard-wired as i come from a long line of tightly wound wing nuts. I angst-ed my way through my undergraduate degree with gut pains. had all the tests for IBS, gall bladder, blah blah, and they never found anything. Things were better for awhile, between degrees, and then i started having panic attacks while driving. like that i’d get stuck in traffic and panic about having to go to the bathroom … “what if i get stuck here when the big poo comes?” (it never did, by the way, just anticipatory anxiety at its best).
soon after i took a flight to my hometown and the plane flew through a thunder storm and i had a super large anxiety attack. When the plane landed for a brief stopover (back in the days when you could get off the plane and walk around the departure lounge between flights), i just couldn’t get back on the plane to continue the flight. and lemme tell you, if you decide you can’t get back on a flight where you have a seat, and your luggage is loaded, and the rest of the plane is boarded — well they don’t look too fondly on this kind of behavior.
it becomes an airport ‘incident’.
[holy christ belle, you’re long-winded … yeah ok, this is going on too long and i suddenly have a lot to say so i’ll continue tomorrow]