A cold medicine-induced post about anxiety. Here we go!
In addition to sneezing my head off and coughing so hard that I vomit, I’m currently in the middle of a little…anxiety spiral? I guess? An “episode” feels a little bit much, but I don’t know what to call this. As you can imagine, this is incredibly convenient during the holidays when you’re expected to be social or juggle multiple commitments or handle crowds. It’s a real chicken-egg situation: I can’t tell if it rears its ugly head because the holidays require precise management of expectations and schedules or if having to deal with four sets of parents and friends short-circuits my brain, but here we are. It sucks. I feel completely useless and to anyone who hasn’t experienced this it just seems like I’m scattered and cranky and lazy. I spend a lot of my time saying, “I forgot” and “I’m sorry” and all of my organizational skills and coping mechanisms are shot to hell. It takes a lot of concentration to make a to do list, which helps settle my mind and calm me down a bit. It also chills out the part of my brain that’s telling me that unloading the dishwasher is such an insurmountable task.
I see people on social media post pictures of folded laundry or list off chores they finished and quip, “I’m adulting!” and I always bristle. First of all, “adult” as a verb is annoying as hell and we need to cool it. Second, for a decent chunk of the population, it IS hard to get three things finished in a day because leaving the house or making a call is a challenge. Maybe not every day all the time, but it’s there. I get that it’s meant to be a light-hearted, self-deprecating thing, but on the days when I’m having trouble calling my mom back because I know I can’t fake being happy and so she’ll worry so then I put off calling her back even longer but then that makes her worry even more. It’s tiring at best and at worst damaging to my relationships.
The hardest part of this is trying to explain it to people without freaking them out or pushing them away. (I’m sure writing a blog post about it is a great way to avoid that!) It’s the ultimate It’s not you, it’s me and it feels so hollow and lame. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who don’t give up on me, but at some point it’s going to be tiresome, right? There are people starving in this world and I can’t keep my act together? I have so much to be grateful for – and I am – but it’s hard to break the cycle of negative talk. So I lean on the good people around me a little more and hope that I can repay the favor when I’m doing better.