The Battle With Anxiety

Do something. Do something. Just do something.

It’s been a few years since I wrote that article about expecting to disappoint for Cordelia Calls It Quits, but sometimes it feels like little has changed.

What does it feel like? Why is it not depression?

It’s not a lack of energy or a draining. It’s the opposite; a state of franticness, raw fear. Like I have to do something but I don’t know what. Do something. Do something. Do something. The wheels are always spinning even when I’m stopped. Vickie calls it “a blue funk.”

It causes me to pull in, keep to myself, especially if I think I’ve made a mistake. People can reassure me all they like that I can come to them and we can fix things together, but that knot of fear in my gut and chest tells me I have to fix my own fuck-ups myself, even if the fuck-up was caused by a lack of skill that I simply couldn’t learn on my own. No one can know.

It’s impacting on all areas of my life, and this year has been especially bad for it.

Half the problem is that it’s easy for my mind, whipped up by my anxiety, to conjure the worst possible outcome. I have an active imagination which can be great, but this is the drawback. I can imagine happy endings for fictional characters, but not for myself.

How far along should I be by now? How come I’m not? Do something.

Some people need the rage; they need to be told that they’re being held down by something in order to start fighting. I’m not a good fighter; I’m more likely to run as far as I can. I tend to operate better out of genuine curiosity and interest. Except the anxiety pollutes those.

Do something. No, don’t do that. Or that. Those will just make it worse. But do something.

I need to remember to be glad of my accomplishments – they help remind me that the mistakes are a blip, an anomaly in an otherwise good run of living than further evidence of an incompetent existence.

And I think I need to look everywhere for the wins – sometimes I tend to focus on the things I do outside of my day job, when it’s just as deserving of feeling accomplished as everything else.

Do something. Oh, remember that thing you did then? Yeah, that thing? God, you were stupid, weren’t you? Bet everyone remembers what a weirdo you were then. So don’t do anything like that again. Or anything else. Do something.

Do something.