Have you ever had to manage anxiety? How did it affect your day to day life?
“A dismal place I never knew.
And when I’m feeling fear,
Because obviously, I am about to die.”
-Me, about to get sued by Disney (2019)
I have had depression for a very long time. Insert the origin story of your choice. Let’s say for the purposes of this, I watched my parents die in a mugging gone wrong in an alley after leaving the theater. Twenty plus years later, my brain is kind of like a jigsaw puzzle. Except all the pieces got dumped into a pile of shit and put back together by a gorilla.
I’ve spent years trying lots of coping mechanisms, including surrendering to it, which you can probably imagine doesn’t cure depression. Eventually, I got into a rhythm of self-care that left me with a shred of sanity, a slice of dignity, and a modicum of happiness.
Fatigue is basically depression’s asshole cousin. Depression has you hobbled with self-doubt and worry and feelings of failure. When Cousin Fatigue comes over to play poker with you guys, he cheats like a bastard and takes you for everything you have. But since you tend to believe everything Depression tells you, you kind of just accept it and leave the game with nothing.
Another fun pal of Depression’s? Auntie Anxiety! She is a dramatic little bitch. She shows up unannounced at all your parties, and tells you what to do and how to think. Also, she’s is negative and turns you into the sort of self-fulfilling prophecy that makes you a freaking blast to hang out with.
Auntie Anxiety has been hanging around with Depression, Fatigue, and me lately. Complicating matters is the fact that I have tons of travel this year that I need to be well for, including 3 short trips by myself. I went to the doctor today because I have got to figure out why she has been showing up so much (bringing her pet dog Digestive Issues, after I specifically told her he wasn’t welcome.) I am determined to manage my anxiety and ban all these assholes from any future family functions.
We went on a trip to Washington DC this past week for my husband’s work. First, it began with a 1 hour-ish drive to the airport. MY BRAIN: Need to pee, gonna die, need to pee, short of breath, maybe if I close my eyes, it will go away. Next, we had to take a shuttle in the freezing cold to the terminal. MY BRAIN: I’m gonna die out here in the cold because the shuttle is going to break down and my body is going to succumb to the anxiety rolling around in my stomach like a deranged python. Then, we waited for our flight. This part actually is okay for me, if a little boring. Next, we got on the plane. MY BRAIN: Well, this is it. Take me home, Lord. Bye gurl.
I mean, what is that even about? It’s an annoyance I don’t really need. So, I got my blood work done like a good girl. Now, I just need to wait. Auntie Anxiety is telling me to prepare my will and inform my loved ones of my final wishes because I’m OBVIOUSLY dying. The tiny part of my brain that still belongs to me says, “Take a deep breath. You got through an unmedicated labor and delivery, you can get through this.”
Do you have any tips for managing anxiety? Share them with us in the comments below!