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This Is Anxiety

This Is Anxiety

 

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I'm currently in the thick of a panic attack and have been for the past hour. Stress transfers to me easily and with so much stress lately at work and at home, the smallest thing can tip me off. My heart is racing as are my thoughts, though my body has not moved from this spot, wrapped in a blanket I hope will calm me like a thunder jacket calms a dog in the middle of a terrifying storm. Predisposed given the past few stressful weeks to anxiety, my hormone fluctuations coupled with a flare from high temperatures make this attack I'm in almost inevitable. I'm hoping writing will help calm me. And I said this blog would be honest, so here I am, probably more honest that you signed up for. 

I'm angry with myself for being unproductive because of this panic attack. I'm upset I can't control it and fighting against it only makes it worse. I've tried meditation, deep breathing, willing myself to go to bed. Not possible. I'm consumed with the thoughts I've been trying to put off. What if I'm unable to hold a steady relationship because I can't be emotionally supportive when another person's stress is toxic on my body? What if I can't get to the next step in my career because I can't learn fast enough? What if that person is mad at me at work? I should be doing more to help others, to improve my health, to grow my knowledge base. Why can't I be normal? I think crying might be a release but the few tears that happen seem to be merely the anxiety tipping over. 

It is crippling.

Nick is in the next room studying, long past his stressed phase from hours ago. He has no idea it set me off as he calmly does problem after problem. I won't tell him or he'll get that look of concern on his face. My body is aching and I think maybe Advil or a bath might help but still cannot move. Stuck in this spot, wildly uncomfortable in the curated comfort of my bed. I feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed by what most people would feel privileged to have. I feel guilty for being able to be concerned about things like anxiety and panic when others are concerned about food and shelter. I can't tell if scanning social media is making it worse or better. I'm staring at the lit up windows in the high rises that surround my buildings. They're pretty until I remember there's millions of people surrounding me living in 600 square feet boxes. And now I struggle to breathe normally again. 

I'm trying to focus on the rise and fall of my chest, but it shudders where tapered, even breaths should be as I think about a world I have no right to be overwhelmed by.

My meditation, which I've played three times in the past thirty minutes says to label the emotion you are feeling. This is anxiety. But I'm not sure how naming it makes it less like the terrifying monster it is, who twists my thoughts and churns my stomach and turns up the heat on this already absurdly hot day. That hides is corners fully lit by daylight as well as those ensconced in the artificially lit New York night. That shouts so loudly I can't focus on anything other than the shrill sound of its unending questions, asked repeatedly and incessantly in my own voice, till I begin to cry from frustration.

I think I should go back to therapy but I don't have the time. And I'm overwhelmed with adding one more doctor's appointment or health homework task to my schedule. I'm exhausted, yet know sleep will evade me till I take the Benadryl I've used as a crutch to not do the hard work I'd do with a therapist to ease the tension ever present throughout my body. I feel, as I've felt for the past year, not truly like myself. Not like the happy, optimistic, kind person I'd like to think I am. And now I'm panicking about that...

This is anxiety. This is anxiety. This is anxiety. 

Blackened Fish Tacos With Crispy Kale & Avocado-Lime Sauce

Blackened Fish Tacos With Crispy Kale & Avocado-Lime Sauce

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Egg Clouds