Wednesday, November 29, 2017

When It Feels Weird to Manage Your Life Well

When I'm going through periods of high anxiety in my life, the all-or-nothing, black-and-white thinking kicks in hard. If I can't cook dinner tonight, it means I'll never cook dinner again. If I'm not in the mood to write, I'll never write again. If my husband is disappointed we couldn't do something, he's disappointed in me and doesn't love me anymore. The list of ludicrousness goes on and on. I'm particularly adept at telling myself I can't have a normal life because I can't cope with it. Therefore, when I do cope with it, as I am now, it feels really weird.

I've been pretty certain that I'd be doomed this year. I was the host for Thanksgiving; my husband's family is visiting for Christmas; I've had lots of dental appointments for readjustments; my sister moved almost all the way across the country, and I've thrown a lot of social events for no other reason than to torment myself. Any one of these things can be torture when I'm very anxious, so I get a little anxious each time something pops up that this will be the one that sets me overboard again. Then, it doesn't happen. What am I supposed to do with that? It's like everything I think I know is wrong!

Well, that's anxiety. Everything you think you know that comes from a place of anxiety is either wrong or really over-exaggerated. That's like the definition. It's disarming because I can get used to not having anxiety attacks that are extra bad. Then, when they happen again, I'm all "I wasn't ready for this! Better be more vigilant (read: more anxious) in the future!" I've come to see this for the parody that it is. The self-fulfilling prophecy of stupidity. I hope my self-awareness can have some affect on my anxiety in the future, but I'm not holding out. Usually, my self-awareness is limited to the negative tendencies I have. That's probably not very helpful.

Luckily, I've learned to adapt. Instead of avoiding things just in case I get anxious, I've loaded up my agenda. I'm going to do all the things until such a time as I do get too anxious to do them again and have to start from the beginning. I get a lot more done that way, and you can too with my tried and true method of actually having a life! (Read that last bit in an enthusiastic Home Shopping Network voice). Anyway, here's to time well spent! I hope you're out there spending yours wisely, no matter what your brain tells you.

Hope you are all well or at least well enough.