Anxiety, Again

Celebrating Matariki on the beach in Raglan

Lately, anxiety rather than depression feels like my default setting.

It’s hard to get a handle on it because when I feel anxiety building, I give up easily.  Some stuff, like Emotional Freedom Technique, has worked while I was with a counselor but not in the thick of it at home – though I’ve found myself tapping some meridian points when I’m stressed and it does soothe me.

Over the years I’ve written off most strategies as bullshit.  Wishy-washy.  For someone who didn’t really have a problem.  After a life of praying I was writing that off too.  I was feeling broken in the way a shattered glass is broken; it’s not going back together, and people who get too close get their feet cut.

But I don’t feel like that now so in some ways I think I’ve made good headway.  I think I’m able to feel more hope because I’ve twirled enough individual threads of healing together that they’ve started to form a stronger base.  But then there’s anxiety.

At the start of this year I read about how brains can physically heal, which deeply resonated with me, so I tried creating a new brain pathway (Thoughts to Elbow You in the Ribs) and I felt like it worked.

At the end of April I had another shot at dealing with anxiety.  I wrote out my triggers – sigh – again, again, always again:

Big demands on my time and thoughts and energy.   Plans changing.   Realising I desperately want to be home when I’m out.   Running late.   Feeling stuck in my head.   Large groups. 

And a list of things opposite to anxiety:

Focusing inwards to feel core strength.   Pathways of Trust.   Not struggling to work everything out.   Peace.   Connection with others (Healing Happens Inside Relationship).

I wrote ideas to help tunnel out new brain paths:

‘I’ve changed my head-space in the past, and could do that now.’

‘I like to feel and work within myself to regain my equilibrium, not rely on others.’

‘Every, single, thing changes.’

‘Gradually stuff will work out, even if it doesn’t this particular time.’

‘I trust my family and friends.  I let them in.’

Doze, to give my feelings time to move on.

Stop fighting myself:  move and flow inside of calm centre.

Read ‘Sitting with all of me‘ which I wrote when I was feeling really good.

Focus on the connection between my heart and core, and the earth, rivers and ocean.

Be still.  Leave behind the outer noise.  See what radiates from my heart.  Acknowledge then take good care of my feelings – have compassionate curiosity.

All logical, sensible stuff that occasionally works but not as often as I need it to.  I had a panic-attack in the car when I was still an hour and a half away from home, and it made my girls worried.  Whenever I have to leave the house a generalised anxiety creeps in.  Sometimes I realise I’m anxious but have no idea why.

It’s annoying – I don’t have control over it.  And it’s doubly annoying when I can’t think of anything specific that would be causing it.  Stupid brain, stupid feelings.

Plus I seem to have got into another phase of not wanting to work at anything.  So sick of always having to try to fix something.  Want to just be okay.

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