Trying to measure my anxiety may make me anxious.
Understanding how I am feeling today is not a bad thing. Then looking at the answer compared to how I was feeling five days ago can be helpful. I can judge by this quick exercise whether the new medicine is working.
This morning, I am leaning towards “less anxious.”
Now I still have a list of things to do today. I have a virtual board meeting at 10 AM. Between today and tomorrow, I plan to finish staining the deck. The weather is going to be dry and comfortable, and I want to take advantage of the conditions.
As I sit here on the porch having my coffee, I wonder what anxiety really is.
A quick Google search reveals:
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
“He felt a surge of anxiety”
a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.
Excessive uneasiness and apprehension can be me.
It has been a shock to learn that I exhibit this behavior. I know everyone, including me, is anxious about things. Starting a new job, losing a job, or even a promotion at work can make a person anxious. Not knowing what is coming next can make a person nervous. Once the event has happened the anxiety almost always decreases and a sense of normal returns.
But spending each day with an underlying feeling of uncertainty and apprehension is not normal.
I want to say I have never had a panic attack, but that is not true. 22 months ago, as Christmas approached, I found myself waking up at night not being able to breathe. It was as if there was no air in the air. I couldn’t catch my breath. I would have to get up and move around, and slowly the feeling would subside. Only then could I return to bed.
These panic attacks lasted for several weeks and scared the heck out of me.
Outside of that experience, I can generally get my butterflies to fly in formation. I never thought of myself as a nervous or anxious person. So I am still processing that. I can see depression and my relationship with it. But anxiety was for other people, not me.
Well, I am burning daylight and I am anxious to get started staining the deck.
Now that’s a good way to use anxiety. I will continue to work on my relationship with anxiety. Perhaps I will discuss it with my therapist when we talk in a few days. He always gets me to think about things in a way that helps me understand.