Anxiety likes to speak and act on our behalf
Anxiety cripples me from time to time. I wish it didn’t and I try to fight it with everything in me, but my worries can be so persistent and nagging. Like a little brother that won’t leave you and your friends alone when you’re trying to chill. Like a fly that keeps landing on you at a picnic. It demands to be addressed.
For the first time in awhile, I’ve been feeling more anxious than usual. I think it’s a multitude of stressors paired with more social media use ending with an imbalance in my body. It makes me feel tense in my shoulders and neck. It makes me feel I should always be doing something other than what I am already doing. It’s a frustrating, stomach turning feeling. And it makes me want to stay still and avoid commitments and obligations.
Anxiety does that if we let it. It says things like: don’t go to work today. Or: that project can wait until tomorrow. It can hold us back from doing things that challenge us and can halt our forward motion. And if we try to proceed forward it can feel like we are carrying around a 10 lb sandbag. I have gotten good at pretending my anxiety is instead excitement and forging on. But from time to time, it leaves me feeling glued to the couch or my bed – like that is the safest spot for me to be. And then I feel lazy for wanting to put off my problems until another day. And then I feel depressed for being such a lazy person. It’s a vicious cycle.
I know these thoughts are irrational but this is what I want to talk about because I know so many others who also experience this. The dread of getting up and facing the world can feel absolutely diminishing from time to time. And as much as I incorporate working out into my life, sure it helps but sometimes it seems nothing can help my anxiety. There is one thing that does seem to help though, and it’s talking about it. Sharing with others what I’m feeling.
Anxiety affects everybody and should be talked about often. I wrote this poem about anxiety the other day when it was feeling particularly loud. I wrote it as a therapeutic exercise but once I was done, I felt the need to share it here in hopes that someone else can relate and feel less alone.
Nightmares and visions keep swirling my head,
Leaving me angry, resentful with dread.
I long for a force that can switch this off,
The thoughts, confusion – that make sleep so tough.
The voices that I act out on in life,
The hours of endless questioning strife.
I ask; why do I do this to myself?
Rather; who is this one that I call self?
Maybe there is something terribly wrong,
Why else would darkness persist for so long?
It’s feeling like no place I go is right,
I gather and crave any source of light.
I don’t have a cure for this plight of mine,
Only to smile, nod, and say that “I’m fine”.
If anxiety is holding you back from doing something you love, going to work, seeing friends, working out, pursuing a goal, or from leaving the house – please know you are not alone and the Universe wants to see you succeed and conquer this “state of emergency” feeling you’re in. And it’s ok to take the day off from time to time, but if you’re finding you’re avoiding life in some way every day, it’s time to talk about it whether that be with a therapist or a trusted friend or family member. Another thing to remember is that in time, you won’t feel this way. No feeling lasts forever. Carry these words with you wherever you go: this too, shall pass.