One of the things I love so much about being a writer is being able to write about some of my greatest fears and, in the end, calm them. Something I struggle a lot with, and I’ve written about this one other time, is anxiety. I am sure a lot of people can relate to the crippling fear anxiety can cause. One of the symptoms I get, which is oh so fun, is my heart starts to race and I feel as if the walls are closing in on me. I think the worst part, is sometimes I don’t even know what I’m anxious about. I’m just… anxious.
For some people, they’re able to harness the anxious energy and, as my very good friend, Jean Copeland says, “flick that fuck right off your shoulder.” What a wonderful way to live. Seriously. When something bothers you, if you can’t control it, then flick that fuck! I am working so hard on doing just that. Most of the time, I am a nervous wreck, and the rest of the time? I’m a head case. Yeah, yeah, I can tell you all are thinking about how much I must be to be around.
Something I have been trying to do is be more honest about who I am and what takes up space in my brain. I have a lot of fears. I have small ones like spiders and snakes. I had to actually remove a snake from our lanai earlier this month and I legit thought my heart was going to explode.
I didn’t die!
Some of my other fears are a little bigger. Like speeding and getting pulled over. I still speed but if I see a cop I am immediately scared. One of my fears is not knowing when to keep my mouth shut. Surprise, surprise, I still open my big mouth, even when I know I shouldn’t. Another one is turning into my father who basically killed himself by not taking care of his body as he aged. This seems less like something I’ll actually do, but who knows? Working out sucks as you get older!
And the one fear that is the hardest for me to get control of is the fear of criticism and not being liked by people.
Side note: Writing probably wasn’t the best profession to chase when handling criticism is so very hard for me, because, gasp that means people might not like me or something I wrote…
Sigh. It really is hard.
I think the best part about understanding my anxiety, my fears, is knowing how to control them. I read an article the other day about how this woman controls her anxiety by cleaning her house. She likes things neat and tidy, so knowing she will come how to a clean house calms her down. I liked that a lot, because she’s not ashamed of being anxious. She’s ready to do whatever it takes to get a handle on it, though. And not so other people are comfortable around her, but so she can be comfortable in her own skin.
We all have our ways of dealing with ourselves. I try to close my eyes and visualize myself standing alone in nature. Sometimes it works, other times it makes me really sad. Sad that I have to do that… remove myself from my own world for a few minutes just to relax.
I’ve realized not everyone is going to like everyone. People sometimes aren’t going to jive, or get along, or even like each other in the slightest. And that really is okay. I think learning that truth and how to navigate those sometimes shark-infested waters is helping me to get a handle on my anxiety, though. Instead of fearing something that may never happen, I am trying to live a life where I truly am living for myself.
Do you suffer from anxiety? Or any other mental health phenomenon? How do you get a handle on yourself or your surroundings? Leave a note below. I am genuinely interested in knowing. Obviously, the more we discuss our mental health, the less stigma surrounds it. And really, don’t we all like talking about ourselves just a little?
Hopefully your weekends are filled with non-anxiety causing activities. And if not, well, here’s to finding a way to breathe our way through them. Have a great weekend. 🙂