Like many mornings, I feel about 30 seconds of peace …
… until all the worry floods in.
1. Omg my plants are dying! 2. I can’t do this day. 3. How am I going to pay my bills? 4. Am I even on the right path? 5. I feel like shit, how will I get anything done? 6. Fuck, I have a million meetings today and I don’t feel well enough to show up to any of them! 7. Shit, my depression is back, this is going to be a long week. 8. Damn, he didn’t text me back. 9. Fuck, I don't have a purpose. My life is meaningless.
Fuck. Fuck. Double fuck.
I think some of this anxiety is due to my medication, Effexor, a very potent anti-depressant that can shoot you right out of depression, but if you are bipolar, can cause a precipitous drop down to the darkest depths of hell on earth. When you go back up, you feel better, but you have this anxiety. The ups and downs are unbearable. To be given life and then have it ripped away is indescribable. But mostly, due to this medication (and just the natural functioning of my brain), the anxiety is a fast, hot, highway of worry inside. My brain is so reactive to triggers, to everything, it gets so uncomfortable that I have to pop an Ativan a couple times a week just to calm things down.
Why do we have anxiety? What is it really?
Let’s break it down.
Anxiety is a form of fear. We are afraid something bad will happen to us, so we act out of fear to protect ourselves. We have relationship anxiety: we are afraid of rejection so we push out the very intimacy we crave in order to avoid the pain of our date not reciprocating like we had hoped. We are anxious about getting things done on the weekend, so we go into a fear frenzy to complete ALL of the tasks on our list because we think that if we don’t finish the task, we are incomplete somehow. I have trouble with picking at my body, finding all of the flaws, and fixing them … because if I don’t, I will be imperfect, and imperfect is unlovable, a nasty little voice tells me. I want to avoid the potential rejection from others that may dismiss me because I am old, have grey hairs, am not as fit right now, or have acne on my face.
And I just worry and worry. I am Worry Girl … but I don’t really have any powers except that I am quick as lightning to worry about anything and everything.
Where is Relaxed Girl? She sounds nice. How do I get to her?
My Spirit Guide speaks to me everyday while I go about things, and especially during meditation. She tells me that I have permission to relax. She tells me it’s okay not to do that project right now. It’s totally cool if I let that stain be on my shirt. It’s organic. It shows that you were really into your plants, soil is good.
“Avery, just accept that you will never get most of the projects done, not even close. Let it all be messy. Messy is normal. Messy means you are living your life,” She says.
I am trying, Spirit, I really am.
I see it. In each moment, there are two choices:
Feed the anxiety and act out of fear or ... Relax. Let go. And do what the Good Voice suggests, which is usually to just chill out and love yourself.
I believe that this is a sort of rewiring that we totally can do, focusing on one little moment at a time, and our efforts all add up to real results. It’s like strengthening new tracks in your brain and weakening other ones.
Okay, okay, anxiety, I want to work with you, understand you, speak to you. I think you are just trying to protect me, you are trying to get me to do something to keep me from suffering. But these behaviors are self-defeating. Yes, they may have served a purpose in my childhood to save me from pain, but now they only cause me pain. I have no peace, anxiety. I think you are a being that doesn’t understand that we are NOT in danger. We can relax, we don’t need to worry, nothing will happen to us. This little girl, Avery, is safe and protected by Spirit. There is a plan for her. You can let your anxiety hair down and go relax. You are off duty. We got this.
I have never directly spoken to my anxiety before.
I think writing to your anxiety and telling it that everything will be fine does have a therapeutic effect on your brain and Soul! I may have to write several letters, and that's okay. It’s a strong track in my brain that needs some work, but it will be worth it so I can live in peace.
So, l think we can look at the anxiety with curiosity; where did it come from, why is it here, what does it want us to do, and what is it so afraid of? If we start there, we can begin to untangle it and just relax and enjoy each day.
Well, that’s as much as I know.
Comment below on your experience with anxiety. What is it afraid of?
Stay Crispy and try to relax, Avery
*Make sure to tune into The Crispy Soul Podcast, where we go more into depth on this topic, available on all major streaming apps.