At 8:53 a.m. I was still curled up in a ball in bed. It was Monday, and I had work, but I was thankful that my 10 am meeting had been canceled. The cancellation allowed me to stay curled up in bed a bit longer before I absolutely had to get out. I had originally woken up at 4:08 am. “Breathe in. Breathe out,” I told myself as I tried to relax and let the anxiety pass. But it didn’t. It stayed with me. It stayed with me all day.
I thought about every single thing I could be stressed about but there was nothing in particular that was actually stressing my out. This prevented me from going through the exercises to try to at least manage my anxiety by telling myself that the reason I am anxious is well just not a good enough reason to be up at 4:08 a.m. I turned to web browsing to tire myself out. A little after 5:00 am, I was finally falling asleep. When I woke back up again at6:54 a.m., I thought “6 more minutes…” As I started to become more awake, I realized the anxiety was still there — without any reason. I could feel my heart beating loudly in my chest. I tried holding my breath. I tried meditation. I tried trying to slow down my breathing. I tried to just feel my anxiety so I could accept it so it would decrease. Nothing seemed to work today.
In the midst of client calls and work, I felt my heart beating and my chest constricting. By 1:37 p.m., I wanted to cry. I was tired of dealing with my anxiety. Today was especially emotionally draining to “manage” my anxiety (because I am not supposed to “control” it) and still have to work. I wanted to feel “normal.” The idea that there are actually people out there who don’t have to deal with anxiety without any explanation was envy worthy.
But the anxiety wasn’t going anywhere. Sometimes, I have an entire few hours without anxiety. It’s rare for these hours to occur when I am alone. Mostly they happen when I am able to just lose myself in the moment around some family or friends. My unwanted and unwelcome companion just rides through life with me. Some days it’s more overbearing than others like today. I have learned to smile through it, but it’s there. Lurking – in the background. Always.