I've always struggled with anxiety. I used to have hyper-realistic nightmares about failing tests long after I was out of school. I tend to latch on to the worst-case scenario of most situations, and prepare as though that is the inevitability. I'm a bit of a raging hypochondriac. Depending on where I am in my life, anxiety manifests in different ways. Currently, I spend a lot of my time alone. I don't have a tremendous amount of friends in my life right now, and those that I do have are traveling or don't get their summers off. My sister works the night shift, so half of any week I'm sleeping while she's working or vice versa. And that leaves me alone with my thoughts, and I don't always need to be alone with my thoughts. Now, let me say upfront that I am not a danger to myself or others. That's not at all what I'm talking about. Now feels like a good time to include that I am a control freak, and I do not handle change well, at all. And here's the thing about life--it often changes quickly and without the courtesy of even sending advance notice. (Preferably on engraved stationery, please and thank you.) All of these things have been building into the greatest anxiety sandwich you might ever want to behold. And I've ponied up to the table ready to take it down in one gulp.
I hear myself when I'm spinning out. I know what I sound like. (Like I should be in a bunker in a tin foil hat, more often than not.) But, that doesn't always stop it. The good news is that since I'm on a reasonably successful health kick, I haven't been using my two favorite methods of shutting off the anxiety, food and alcohol. I've been filling that gap with obsessively checking social media and reading the comments of other people who may actually be in bunkers with their shiny, shiny hats. And while it's calorie-free, it's not doing much for my mental health. Ironically, I thinned out much of Facebook during 2016, so my feed is mostly businesses selling antiques and comfy t-shirts (I see you, Ruby's Rubbish). But Twitter might as well be Pandora's box right now. Part of it is that things happen there in real time. No sooner has something happened than you have video and first-person accounts, and all of the commentary on it (SO MUCH COMMENTARY, and everyone's an expert). I love that about the medium, but it's also something that isn't great when you have unlimited time to obsess. So, I'm really working on thinning out who and what I connect with there simply for my own sanity, And I will continue to wrestle the beast, and keep out of the tin foil.
On with the check-up, such as it is:
I will be back sometime soon with hopefully more progress and updates. Thanks for sticking with this post if you made it all the way to the end.