Hello, Worry, My Old Friend

I am a terribly anxious person. As a matter of fact, when I entered therapy as an adult, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.

And that’s pretty spot on — I don’t have specific anxieties or phobias (although it is very specific that I cannot sleep with a closet door open a crack, or at all really). Pretty much anything and any situation has the potential for making me a mess.

I worry about being a reluctant SAHM and how that reluctance/unwillingness is impacting my girls. I worry about getting a full-time job, and how to juggle that with being a mother. I worry about money. A lot.

I know that some of you are reading this thinking, “well, yeah, everyone worries about that stuff.” And of course, most people do worry about some of these things some of the time.

But my anxiety goes to deeper levels that can really impair me. I can be utterly frozen by my anxiety, unable to sleep, eat or think clearly. For a long time, and the reason for me going into therapy, it interfered with my ability to be in a healthy, loving relationship; additionally, I was having nightmares about literally being consumed, eaten alive. That was a big problem.

Turns out the two were related.

My anxiety is probably the reason I still crave cigarettes (and on occasion indulge in smoking). Not that smoking relaxes me; more that having a cigarette seems to help me focus the anxiety, and purge it through the act of smoking. (I’m probably rationalizing a bad habit/addiction here…)

My anxiety is definitely at the root of many of my fights with DearDR, whether I am stressing over money, work, getting somewhere on time (something we are notoriously bad at), or sex. I can start a fight over the most inconsequential things because of how over-anxious I get.

Which is all to say that this NaBloPoMo thing is going to be good for my writing, but bad (BAD) for my anxiety. Right now, for instance, I am stressing that since I am writing this post so late (almost 9 p.m. DST), that once I hit publish, WordPress will somehow push the date to tomorrow. And I won’t be able to do anything about it, and I will be out of NaBloPoMo (why not NBPM? why not??) through no fault of my own, and then Cynical Dad will heartlessly cross me off the NaBloPoMo banner that he has me on (not that Chag is heartless, as is proven by his blog), and that’s it. I will be out of the running for those loverly prizes.

Yeah, it’s like that y’all.


5 thoughts on “Hello, Worry, My Old Friend

  1. Welcome to the anxiety club! At age 18 I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. The Best Part EVER! is having a panic attack at or in very unfortunate places or situations. Mine happened a lot while driving or in the big box stores but thanks to modern medication (hurray for pharmaceuticals!), mine are under control. My sister has them too and she is a SAHM so no worries. I find blogging has helped me tremendously because it diverts some anxiety and tension I feel in my career.

  2. Yeah, I have had my share of panic attacks — very often in the car, too!

    I have never taken medication for panic attacks or anxiety. I have been thinking about entering therapy again due to these anxiety issues (I haven’t been in therapy for about 3 years now). I know I will be offered meds, and I just don’t see me taking them. I don’t know why.

    thanks for the comments, my sister in generalized anxiety disorder!


  3. While I have known you for a long time, we’ve never spoken about therapy, etc– this very personal post is meaningful to me right now (are you regretting telling me about your blog yet?) I am thinking that I need to go into therapy. I feel like a rubber band that is about to break. I am tired, angry, stressed over things that really don’t deserve the attention I am giving them. I am anxious about everything in my life, and I have had what I believe are two panic attacks (I had one recently in a Target). I don’t even know where to start…

  4. Dear MH:

    I do not at all regret that you share my blog with me! It makes me happy, as a matter of fact, that you care to check in and comment. I do check in with your blog from time to time. I don’t think I’ve commented a lot — but that is beside the point, here.

    I encourage you to seek therapy. I am thinking about going back into it again, too. Talking to someone else really, really helps, I know. If you’re offered medication, think about it. Meds can help you focus on the real issues, but they are not the “cure” for what is wrong; talking is. Meds can especially help with those panic attacks, though, especially if they become truly problematic.

    Good Luck, MH. Keep in touch with me!

    thinking of you & keeping you — all — in my prayers,

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