Monday, November 11, 2013

Inner Demons and Good Feelings

I shot out of bed this morning, wide-awake with anxiety at 5:15 a.m. A full hour and fifteen minutes before my alarm was set to go off.

For the longest time, I just lay there, letting the anxiety wash over me again and again until I thought it would explode out of my fingertips.

And then as if some sort of fairy godmother was whispering my in ear, I thought, "what am I panicking about?"

I am panicking about things I cannot control. Things that will get done when they get done. Things that are partially my responsibility - but my portion is done. Things that are so far in the future, I can barely put them on a calendar. Things that will require a late night, but only because I sometimes take on more than can fit in your standard day.

I was anxious about things that did not require the rapid heart rate, the sweaty palms, the near tears. I was anxious, because anxious - due to years and years of having too much to do and a huge helping of fear of failure - is my default position. Anxious is how I am.

While I wish I could say that this revelation made the anxiety magically disappear and I am reborn a calm and zen human being forever rational - that is not the case. The anxiety never left. It stayed as I lay there waiting for the alarm to go off. But somehow, the knowledge that the anxiety was unwarranted, helped make it okay. It was still bad, but Okay Bad.

It was as if instead of chasing off the demon, the good feelings just sat with the demon and they started working out a peace accord.

I don't know where this bold moment of clarity came from but I hope that by announcing it to the internet, someone else finds one as well.


Mary Lynn said...

Thanks! Love how you put that into words. In general, it is sooooo not cool to be anxious. Nice to see you just putting it out there.

Rachel said...

I agree, people do not talk about these kinds of feelings enough and it can be so isolating. I hope sharing them can help other people feel not so scared and alone.

Thanks for your kind words!

She's pint-sized and amazing.