“I promise to write every day…” Words I have spoken, written, and screamed at the top of my lungs so many times it’s not even funny. It’s a phenomenal concept, and really shouldn’t be incredibly difficult to achieve.
Until that Wednesday when you’re just so incredibly busy with work, and house work and taking care of a toddler that it completely slips your mind and before you know it it’s Thursday morning and you’ve broken your promise to yourself and you feel like an utter failure and then you begin to think of all your shortcomings and how many times you’ve tried to write and all the times you’ve failed and all the times you’ve stared at that blank page willing it to be full of meaningful words. And then you begin to think about the reasons you write and the events leading up to this moment and how you’re entire life has been one big giant never-ending struggle of chaos and instability and then you begin to second-guess every tiny decision you’ve ever made including that time six months ago when you accidentally switched lanes on the highway without a blinker and that driver got so upset with you that he flipped you off…
Anxiety is an evil thing. It takes root into your very being and before you know you’re spiraling out of control and crying over a crayon you broke in the 2nd grade.
I’ve been wholly aware of my anxiety situation for quite sometime now, but it wasn’t until recently that I really understood the implications my anxiety had on my everyday behaviors. I recently was diagnosed with GERDS, and through my gastroenterologist and my therapist we came to the conclusion that the severity of my GERDS was directly related to the severity of my anxiety. No joke. For months I would wake up early in the morning with my heart racing, my extremities numb and the overwhelming need to be sick. And I would be, for hours I would hunch over that toilet crying and dry heaving, physically unable to get a handle on myself.
Scientists and Doctors have known the physical implications of stress for a long time, but it is literally amazing what it can do to your body, the way it breaks down your systems and causes so many different reactions. I served tables for a long time, and I blossomed in the fast paced environment. However, after ten years of performing in the industry my health began to decline. I was sick constantly, so exhausted and irritated, the stress of things was even beginning to show up in my lab work (my liver enzymes shot through the roof for a good six months before I finally switched industries.) I finally had to come to terms with the fact that my anxiety was getting worse and I needed to find a career that was less stressful so that I could still bring in an income but work diligently on my anxiety issues as well. (And I did so.)
That second paragraph; you know, the one you were reading at an ever-quickening pace while your heart started to pound and you wondered where this was going and if it was ever going to end and why was there so much crammed into that tiny little space…that’s my brain almost everyday. This snowball effect takes over your very being and you become so overwhelmed with yourself that small feats, such as locking a difficult front door, become tearful, complicated endeavors in which you really just want to say screw it and leave the door unlocked. (If you can’t tell I’ve literally lived that moment…)
Is there hope for my anxiety? Well of course. With every therapy session we break down one more ingrained behavior, analyze the reasons behind it and help to come to terms with the effects. They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, and its true. Once you admit and recognize the signs for what they are you start to realize how much of an impact your “issue” had on your entire being. How much it really controls your life and your actions.
I am currently in the process of attempting to get my control back. It isn’t easy, especially with therapy. You tend to bring up emotions that haven’t surfaced in a long time and you sink down into this black pit of despair that you swore you had already climbed out of years ago. But that too passes.
I am incredibly…(funny I want to say “blessed” but I avoid that word at all costs, and I don’t necessarily believe in luck either…so I guess I want to say that I am…) PRIVILEGED to have some amazingly supportive people in my life. Some who have watched me grow into the person I am slowly becoming and others who are just now starting to realize my crazy but accept me for it. People who may not always know the right things to say but they always try.
So, all of that being said, here goes:
I do NOT promise to write everyday. However I do promise to write as my soul permits and not to beat myself up for the days that I cannot. I promise to continue working through my anxiety and sharing my struggles, my successes and my never-ending journey of questioning everything. Hopefully, through all of this, not only will I help myself, but I will help so many others who feel just like I do every day.