Today I am exhausted. The kind of exhausted that can only come after a couple of days of pretty high level anxiety. Tired in my bones and unable to focus on anything exhaustion. Ready to curl up under the covers and try to hide from all of my problems exhaustion. “There’s no way I can physically make it through the next 5 minutes; half hour; hour; day” exhaustion. Tired in my soul exhaustion.
Anxiety really takes it out of you in a way that is difficult to explain. When your brain is going full speed like crazy for a extended period of time reminding you of all the ways you are a failing, stupid, awful, undeserving human it takes a toll. When your mind races about all the things that are about to go wrong and tells you there is nothing you can possibly do to stop it. When you can’t stop fidgeting, moving, tapping, feeling completely wound up for hours at a time. When your whole body is wound so tight you don’t even realize it but you are clenching almost every single muscle because you are physically unable to relax from the sheer stress. When you haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in days because you are laying up feeling worried, guilty, awful, replaying things in your head and thinking about how you should have done so much better. The pure undiluted fear and worry. Being so utterly overwhelmed that you can do nothing but go sit in the bathroom at work for 15 minutes just to be alone and try to not break apart into a million pieces. Feeling all of these things all together along with worrying to the point of physical illness drains you.
The worst part of anxiety for me is that it is always caused by uncertainty. Things I cannot control or change. So there is no way to really “fix” it. The only thing I can do is manage my expectations and work on the way I respond and react to these triggers. Right now the only thing I want to do is lie in bed with the covers over my head and hide from my problems. Not the best solution but it is where I am in this moment. It will get better.
Most of the time anxiety leads to depression for me. It drains me both mentally and physically and all of my defense mechanisms fall to the wayside. I stop self care. Depression is a bigger problem for me so I have to try to stop the spiral before it gets out of control. That is what I am working on right now. In this moment. I have a checklist. My “needs” that I have to make sure I am meeting. Ways to slow the spiral. Am I eating right? Nope, just ate a slice of leftover birthday cake for dinner. Am I getting exercise? Yes, I ran tonight and have yoga tomorrow. Am I talking to someone? I guess this blog post can count. Sleep? Not so much, maybe tonight will be better. Alone time? Everything has just been too busy lately.
It is not going well. But I know what is lacking and I can work on it. I have the tools that I have gained from therapy. Plus experience has taught me that it WILL get better. I have hope.
I guess the point is that you can have a really long string of good days and sort of forget how bad it can get and then anxiety starts knocking on your door like “Hey girl hey, remember me? Oh my gosh can you believe how much you fucked up that thing today? Also that thing you said to that person? They totally know you are whackadoo cray. Hey let’s stay up all night and think about that. I bet tomorrow is going to be even worse.”
Lots of good days doesn’t mean you won’t still have bad days. Days with migraines and anxiety attacks and crying in the bathroom at work (I really thought those days were over). But you can learn how to deal with those bad days and bounce back a little faster. You know that the bad days won’t last and you don’t let them consume you. You don’t let them take over and cause you to think this thing called life might not be worth trying anymore. You remember that IT GETS BETTER. And you can work and wait and hope. Because you know it’s worth it.
I’m going to wake up tomorrow and keep working. I am not going to spiral. I am going to remember the good days and know they are just around the corner. I’m going to keep hoping. Because I am worth it.
Thank for reading this. And thanks for being here on this journey with me ❤