Change and anxiety are bedfellows. I think most people with anxiety would cite ‘big life changes’ as a major trigger for the malaise anxiety shrouds them with from time to time.
In the face of change, my body throws an all out temper tantrum. Every. Single. Time. My mind is thusly occupied trying to control the tempest of insomnia and emotional outbursts and visible twitching with things like, positive affirmation, negative berating, meditation, super sweaty workouts, breathing, fighting with my spouse, and laughing at myself. Here are a few more: Reading the NIMH website, reading WebMD, sucking on opaque quartz stones, reading blogs about aliens, spending money I don’t have, drinking 3 finger pours of rum, watching Netflix until I’ve cemented in the fetal position…the list goes on.
When beasts come out to play, those coping mechanisms are like trying to win a battle with tickling when the other side has guns, tanks and grenades.
Coochie, choocie, coo!
No amount of positive affirmation, sweating, meditation, breathing, insults, (or anything else on that list), can take a morning of world ending panic and fashion it into a productive afternoon. It fails during the wee hours of the morning, as well as during late nights. It has no decency, striking at home, at work and at play.
Anxiety is, at its core, inconvenient. It’s the only reliable thing about anxiety, that and it’s always there. Somewhere.
In terms of interim coping, there’s lots of escape mechanisms the mind/body employs to make itself feel better. Eating everything, eating nothing at all, drinking, smoking, gambling, illegal drug use, legal drug use, retreating into yourself, trying not to feel anything at all…
…the anxiety is still fucking there.
You have to hold on tight, and ride it out. You have to let your soul chew on each irrational facet until it’s bored and seeks another. You have to ride into battle with logic, projects, music, and deliberate choice in all 3. Feel each emotional up and gut wrenching plummet for what it is. Remove yourself, watch from above. Pretend your life is a movie for a moment. Try to be compassionate.
And most of all, don’t be afraid.
This is part of who you are, and it deserves love too.