i was literally born anxious. i bet i was afraid of leaving the womb, because who the hell likes change anyways? but seriously, born anxious. from skipping sleepovers to opting out of any extracurricular activity. i even went through a nearly two year phase of the lesser known ‘fear of falling asleep’ [what was even wrong with me!? sleep is life] but no, for real. i was afraid of falling asleep. so i would stay awake with all the lights on until my brain would force me into sleep sometime after midnight. i have always been anxious.
as i hurdle over the last few months of my twenties, anxiety is still the front runner in my life. it has an insane amount of power. i am literally anxious about friendships, my weight, my health, my puppies, my relationships with my family, my finances, my life timeline. everything around me consumes me in anxiety. now let me put a disclaimer in here for all of you who are playing grey’s anatomy as you read this: [i am well managed through medication, a weekly therapy session and my psychiatrist of eighteen years so put your judgement away. kthanks.] but isn’t it weird that even as an adult- we still worry about everything?! quite literally. i worry about being called fat while i eat an ice cream cone at the beach. i worry about waking up to an email saying i don’t have a job anymore. i worry about my car stopping on the side of the road and not having enough money to pay for a tow truck.
but what i am starting to realize through all of this ‘soul-searching’ is that no matter what i do, i can’t ditch the anxiety. it is part of me. all that i can do is learn to manage it. worrying doesn’t change a situation. worrying doesn’t make all the shitty stuff disappear. worrying can’t bring people back, or make you skinnier, or change what people think. it can’t pay your bills or end an argument with a friend. worrying is a reaction. typically for any human being, it’s an initial reaction. for those with anxiety, it’s an internal reaction. it almost feels like we worry about things before there is anything to actually worry about. all we can do is sit back and learn how to change the reaction.
wait, did i really just say that? change the way we react? change the way i react?
who am i? no but for real, i am just finally doing what every single psychiatric professional has told me over the last twenty two years of my anxiety journey. i am taking my anxiety by the horns and forcing it to step aside. while i can’t be in control of everything that happens to me, whether it be people walking out of my life or a coworker screaming at me or ninety days to find a place to live; i am in control of how i choose to react.
and worrying doesn’t have to be my first ‘go-to’ place to take up residency and plant roots.