I’ve heard a lot in the last few days from people who are also struggling with GAD. Fear not! I’m working on BSC (bat shit crazy) shirts right now and will be shipping them out early next week. Just kidding (humor is my defense mechanism)! It was really nice to hear from all of you and to know who I’m phoning next when things get really heavy. It’s always reassuring to know someone “gets” you.
I keep thinking about this topic often, anxiety that is, probably because it’s a big part of my day to day, but also because I’m finally starting to work to break it down and understand it better. I think one of the hardest things for me has been to admit it and talk about it with my husband. It seems insane as he’s my best friend and I tell him everything. First, I think I was in denial and felt like maybe it was situational or temporary and when ___ then it would go away. Also, I think admitting it has felt like giving away some of my power. I think I fear it being used against me in the heat of the moment- my anxiety (aka ME) is making this fight worse or started the fight or whatever. I feel like it gives him permission to get out of being an ass because he can simply say “oh, you’re just overreacting. It must be your anxiety” (aka somethings wrong with you). Etc etc etc.
Of course, this is also my anxiety telling me this. I think of it like having a bitchy little Daria living in my head (MTV anyone?) feeding me full of crap some days. He doesn’t use it against me. In fact, I think he’s learning to give me more space sometimes to settle down a bit before we talk and recognize when I just need a calm cool head to give me a hug and help me calm down (co-regulate if you want the fancy shrink term).
I think some of things that have helped the most is sleep and exercise. I’ve noticed that when I’m more active I’m less anxious. Must be those damn endorphins. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen off the bandwagon. I like to think it’s because my fancy Tampax Sport tampons discontinued their motivational sayings, but really I think it’s just because I’m lazy. I found an excuse when I had my tattoo done on my back and used it to to fall out of my routine. I would really like to get back into yoga. Yoga was amazing for my body but also my mind. It forced me to be slow and be mindful. It taught me to appreciate my body for it’s strength and flexibility and the amazing poses it could do and focus less on how high my breasts sat and where my pants should sit in relation to this belly pooch I still carry.
I know that medication has been a big help to many that I talked to, though it can be really hard to find the “right” one that doesn’t make you feel all looped out or cause other crappy side effects. I think I’m going to try checking out the book “Chemistry of Joy”. It was recommended to me as an alternative to medications (by a professional- don’t freak out, I’m not taking advice from witch doctors yet). Anyone else out there tried it? What else do you do to keep your cool and regulate?
Thank you again to all that reached out. It means the world.