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Living with Schizoaffective Anxiety Takes Courage

February 20, 2020 Elizabeth Caudy

Living with schizoaffective anxiety sometimes makes me afraid to do pretty much anything. So, I often do things even though I’m afraid because, if I didn’t do them, I couldn’t function. But since, as I’ve said, I’m anxious about doing so many things, I have to work up a lot of courage to accomplish tasks other people do without a second thought.

Living with Schizoaffective Anxiety and Pushing Through

Living with schizoaffective anxiety causes a lot of fear for me. I’ve written about the fact that I’m afraid to drive, wash my hair, and go to parties. I’ve also written about overcoming some fears and going to a party recently. Then yesterday, I drove and washed my hair. I’m proud of myself that I did all those things. That may sound silly, but my schizoaffective anxiety is so bad that it would be cruel not to pat myself on the back for these small successes.

Today I did things I’m proud of, too. I took a bath and I went for a walk in the winter sunshine. It’s not so much that I’m afraid to take a bath or take a walk, but I have to motivate myself to do those things.

I’m wondering if I should reward myself when I’m productive. After all, I buy myself a present every year on the anniversary of the day I quit smoking. But I can’t afford to buy myself a present every time I take a bath. And letting myself indulge in sweets is out of the question since my schizoaffective medication causes such terrible weight gain.

However, I’ve found that knowing I did something that is productive and takes courage is its own reward.

Living with Schizoaffective Anxiety: The Wins and Losses

The unfortunate flip side of this is that I’m hard on myself when I can’t get it together to do something that takes courage. I wanted to drive to the drug store today. But living with schizoaffective anxiety caused me to be anxious about the crowded drug store parking lot, even though I’ve parked there many times. I can try again tomorrow.

Being hard on myself is bad for my self-esteem, which makes it more likely I won’t believe in myself. And that makes it less likely I’ll do things I need to do that scare me. So being hard on myself is a vicious cycle. And I should note that my New Year’s resolution for 2020 was to stop being so hard on myself all the time.

What I need to do is to focus on the fact that I did take a bath today, and I did take a walk today. And I’m still proud of myself for driving and for washing my hair yesterday. I may be afraid to drive and to wash my hair, but you know what? I do those things anyway. I’m functioning. And I’m so proud of myself.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2020, February 20). Living with Schizoaffective Anxiety Takes Courage, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, August 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2020/2/living-with-schizoaffective-anxiety-takes-courage



Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

John Caudy
February, 20 2020 at 9:37 pm

Hello Eli! Thanks for another great article.
It’s awesome that you're back to writing once a week! Two quotes from this article really jumped out.
"I’ve found that knowing I did something that is productive and takes courage is its own reward."
Wow I love that. You have a capacity for self awareness that is deeply inspiring . We are blessed with such wisdom. Thank you. Keep knowing that you DO have a lot of courage, and maybe the above quote would be a good mantra. Your courage comes out in so many moments, like when you wrote the "Wake Up Call" article in December. You deserve recognition for the great courage that you exercise everyday.
"Being hard on myself is bad for my self-esteem, which makes it more likely I won’t believe in myself. And that makes it less likely I’ll do things I need to do that scare me. So being hard on myself is a vicious cycle."
This is so true for many of us!! When you're feeling this way just know that we all suffer from those feelings from time to time. Please know and feel that you are not alone even though these feelings may be more pronounced for your beautiful self. The past couple of months, I have come to profound realizations; working on being kind to myself requires a lot more than I realized in 32 short years of life. In a clear head space, taking that first step is easy. But in an anxious head space, sometimes it's necessary for me to think "Taking that first step brings the next step closer.” The cycle can be altered when we empower ourselves. ❤️
It's so inspiring to see how you take pride and ownership of your own mind. Thanks again for sharing.
I love you so much and always!!
Love
Johnny

John Caudy
February, 20 2020 at 9:13 pm

Hello Eli! Thanks for another great article.
It’s awesome that you're back to writing once a week! Two quotes from this article really jumped out.
"I’ve found that knowing I did something that is productive and takes courage is its own reward."
Wow I love that. You have a capacity for self awareness that is deeply inspiring . We are blessed with such wisdom. Thank you. Keep knowing that you DO have a lot of courage, and maybe the above quote would be a good mantra. Your courage comes out in so many moments, like when you wrote the "Wake Up Call" article in December. You deserve recognition for the great courage that you exercise everyday.
"Being hard on myself is bad for my self-esteem, which makes it more likely I won’t believe in myself. And that makes it less likely I’ll do things I need to do that scare me. So being hard on myself is a vicious cycle."
This is so true for many of us!! When you're feeling this way just know that we all suffer from those feelings from time to time. Please know and feel that you are not alone even though these feelings may be more pronounced for your beautiful self. The past couple of months, I have come to profound realizations; working on being kind to myself requires a lot more than I realized in 32 short years of life. In a clear head space, taking that first step is easy. But in an anxious head space, sometimes it's necessary for me to think "Taking that first step brings the next step closer.” The cycle can be altered when we empower ourselves. ❤️
It's so inspiring to see how you take pride and ownership of your own mind. Thanks again for sharing.
I love you so much and always!!
Love
Johnny

February, 20 2020 at 9:41 pm

Dearest Johnny,
Thank you for your kind words and your insights! I love you, too. This may sound silly with all the people I have in my life, including you, who love and support me, but I am slowly learning I am not alone. Love, Elizabeth

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