Learning to live with our anxious minds.
This Anxiety Roundabout We’re On.
These phrases describe for me, the roundabout of living with anxiety. The constant feeling of uneasiness. The tightening of a vice like grip across your chest. Wondering if you’ll ever feel carefree and unstressed, ever again. Anxiety. Such a buzz word throughout social media, it seems. But for some of us, it has been a life long companion. One we’d rather be without. It literally drains the life out of you, when you’re enveloped in its clutches.
So here I am, at age 57, still living with it. Still dealing with it. The “beast”, as it branded by author, Sarah Wilson, in her book, “First we Make the Beast Beautiful”, is for many a constant in their lives. https://www.sarahwilson.com/ Sarah suggests that until we accept our anxiety exists, we will continue to struggle in learning to deal with it. To live with it. As for some, like myself, we have been dealing with it for a veritable lifetime.
Playing on my mind.
Why do I have this monkey on my shoulder? What is it about me that predisposes me to a continually anxious mind? I wish I knew. Maybe then I could eliminate it completely. In my case, there is a definite family trait, that seems to like to pass itself down through the generations. Because, just as we can’t pick our family, like we can our friends, we can’t pick which family traits we inherit.
As with other family members, I have come to rely on medication to balance things out, where my muddled head is concerned. Medication having been originally prescribed to deal with severe depression, in years past. That black cloud has been put to rest, for the most part. Unfortunately it pops in for a visit now and again, but thankfully only fleetingly. But the anxiety, of late, continues to hang around.
Lifetime battle with anxiousness.
I should point out, I believe my first memory of suffering anxiety, was at the age of eleven. My family was, what one may label, somewhat dysfunctional. So I recall a trip to the family doctor, where after, my dear Mum handed me tablets, telling me they were “nerve” tablets. Oh, okay. Yesterdays precursor to antidepressants, I’m assuming.
So yes, I have a long association with this nuisance which keeps hanging around, uninvited. One would have thought and hoped that at my age, I would have worked out a strategy to overcome it. But living with anxiety is like riding a hamster wheel. Alas, it would appear that I along with most sufferers, must put our energy into learning to live with it. As best we can, so we can not only function in a day to day sense, but to actually thrive and not slip backwards. Which is not an option.
How do we handle it?
Stating that giving into anxiety, is not an option, is often times, easier said than done. Therein lies the elephant in the room. If it is always there, how do we keep it in its’ place? Obviously, not being a professional, I have no cure all to offer. I just need you to know, you are never alone. Those of us who have this often, heavy parrot, permanently perched on our shoulder, must support each other. after all, who understands us completely? Others who’ve been there.
We can offer each other a hand up, through our words of encouragement. By sharing our tried and true self care rituals. Through passing on any reading material, podcasts and the like, we have found to be helpful. As it’s sometimes the little things that can make a big difference. Small steps that allow us to keep moving forward. That is the direction we need to going in, even if anxiety is there, in the backseat, with us. Moving forward, despite our thoughts. Because that is all they are. Thoughts. We get to decide if we listen or ignore and carry on regardless.
For myself, music does indeed, calm the savage beast. I can feel like crap and immediately upon playing music, the savage leaves my beast. It truly is magical in its ability to uplift my soul and raise my spirits. Allowing myself to make the time to become lost in a book. Any book, fiction or non. Both past times result in diverting my mind, from the usual slush, that can be slopping around my mind’s recesses. Music especially, clears my mind every time. It’s pretty much foolproof. Anything based on self care, is helpful.
Perhaps, without a doubt, the ultimate fixer upper is being able to emerge myself in nature. The pure beauty that is nature, is food for the soul. It puts so much into perspective. Mother Nature, is almost a religion to me. Never fails to replenish my spirit
Moving on through our thoughts.
I have written this post to reach out to others living with the exhausting thoughts, anxiety brings. If you find yourself really struggling with your anxiety or possible depression, please speak to your Doctor or Health Care Professional. If you need help, it’s there. You are not part of some exclusive group if you suffer with your mental health. We are each one of many who live and deal with it, day after day. There is no shame involved. The only shame is if you suffer in silence and don’t reach out. So please reach out.
If anybody is at all interested in a future post delving into, those triggers to my anxieties, please let me know. Perhaps such information may help someone to move through the roundabout of living with anxiety, with a little more ease. So may you all make the time and effort to care for yourselves. You all deserve it.