Sorry, Too Busy Panicking to Breathe: Anxiety, Depression and General Incoherence

Tuesday, September 14 2010 Kate White

Why don't joy and serenity keep? No preservatives added? They take manufacturing, and time. It's costly - the emotional equivalent of organic, artisanal goods. And boy, they're a must to be locally produced. Anxiety and depression, however, they pack pretty well. Available in store now.

Clearly, this is one of those comorbid days. I had, honest I had, written some (semi-)coherent posts about theoretically helpful things. Right now I'm too restless and moody to care for how-to tips and things I've been reliably informed by people who've never suffered from an anxiety disorder. Yeah, this is a bit beyond blue. Grr.

No, that isn't a real word. No, I still don't care how totally un-Zen this post is. (Not a word either.)

Anxiety treatment: Got Calm?

Therapy for anxiety is two steps forward, one giant leap where on Earth am I?

got_calm

There you sit, hour after hour, facing someone who has never in their life lived the things they're aiming to teach you the resilience and courage to withstand. It doesn't make sense, except it makes perfect sense. Who else could show you what a nearly 'normal', almost anxiety free existence looks like? How else do you find out about peace, if not from someone who actually seems to know?

Then again, sometimes it just pisses me off. Because there have been too many days I've found happiness and the sheer enthusiasm of other people irritating. I was already irritable. Of course. So it's not them and their happy, hyperventilation-free lives that I mind. I mind my own mind, when I wake up feeling like someone has been using me as putty glue.

You sigh, ask a few questions, verbalize... stuff, do the things you have to do, despite not feeling a bit like doing them. Wait and see. See if things change. They usually do. And if so far they haven't, that doesn't mean they won't.

Stop anxiety: reactionary responses, mental backflips

I try to respond, rather than react. Try to realize I feel these things because I'm tired, stressed, have an anxiety disorder, have a right to feel things on occasion and they just are what they are. I don't have to change them. I do have to live with them.

Right now I'm doing a little bit of all of the above. Who said multitasking's just for the highly efficient? It's one of the few skills that comes free as part of the anxiety package (No steak knives I'm afraid. They take away the sharp things when you shake as much as I do). If you're panicked enough, you can do 5 million things at once. Adrenaline is just homemade speed.

Finding calm is sitting still long enough for it to reach you. That's just difficult when every nerve ending in your body is screaming. And it'll go on being difficult long after these words have scrolled down your screen.

The good thing is, it's a familiar degree of difficulty. You get to know it well. Combating anxiety is like diving off the high board. It seems insane the first few times. Then the shock of finding yourself flipping backwards from an unstable plank wears off and, at some point, it's OK to let yourself go.

Author: Kate White

View all posts by Kate White.

Sorry, Too Busy Panicking to Breathe: Anxiety, Depression and General Incoherence

Kate White
says:
September, 17 2010 at 8:02 am

you're most welcome :)

Mark
says:
September, 18 2010 at 4:11 pm

Having worked over 5000 days in my lifetime and been late to work possibly 10 probably some ups my anxiety at its best. It's seems every little detail or event in your life can create it until its completed.

S.
says:
January, 23 2018 at 3:26 am

I'm a therapist with anxiety my whole life. Been to therapy for it, on medication for it, still deal with it, have panic attacks, sleepless nights, etc. My clients say they want to be "just calm- like you." Sometimes my clients say "you don't understand what it's like" But I understand all too well. I can't show you what a "normal" existence is. I can't show you what life without anxiety is like. But I can show you how to live with it.

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