It used to bother me when I would tell a friend I suffered from anxiety, or clinical depression. Most times, their response was – oh, I know how you feel. I get nervous when I do this, or I have been sad before.
Today, when I receive this type of response, I have a Cruella Deville laugh I perform in my head. Actually, if you’re reading this Little Missy, at times, it’s the Richard Sherman laugh. If any of you are so inclined, the laugh is about 46 seconds into the following video. (after the advertisement)
I have some real serious anxiety issues, but the more I left it untreated, the more the anxiety snowballed on me. It crept into areas of my life it didn’t belong. My depression was also left untreated far too long, and I’m happy my anxiety assisted in clearing up the clinical depression — for the most part. I’m not completely there, but I’m better.
Anxiety creates physical symptoms which make us feel as if we will die, or are dying. It keeps us from leaving our homes, driving our cars, socializing. Mine finally evolved into the belief that I was developing cancer of the everything.
There are many things which seem irrational to regular people, but are very real to us. It doesn’t matter how over blown it seems to others, and we can’t simply buck up and get on with things.
Maybe this is my own personal experience, but there was a time I had some anxiety issues, which caused a little more than a normal fear response. I never sought treatment, and I had a panic attack, thinking I was going to die. Still, I never sought treatment. My unrealistic perception of perfection created more anxiety.
Eventually, just about everything caused anxiety, which created extremely obsessive thoughts.
Anyway, now that I am on the road to recovery, I’m learning patience. I spent many years creating behaviors which have to be broken. I can’t expect all of the anxiety to disappear simply because I no longer want to feel this way. It isn’t a choice, but it is something I can PERSONALLY change with my thought processes. (I’m not speaking for all anxiety sufferers, only what I know to be true for me)
While I’m not perfect in some areas, I am finding some situations hilarious. I mean, my life could be a sitcom. I don’t think it would survive a season, but I have some silly things I have created in my mind.
I mean no disrespect to any anxiety sufferer. I am merely laughing at myself
Every time I have to go somewhere, I calculate how much fluid I can consume, and how long it takes my body to process it before I’ll have to pee. I will never drink anything before flying. I have a phobia of flying, and walking around in a tin can that isn’t on the ground, just to go pee, isn’t going to be an anxiety issue I want to deal with at this moment in time.
Never, ever, will I drink within 12 hours of going to the dentist. Before I visit the dentist, I make good and sure I have no fluid left in me because once they tip that chair back, I can’t help it. Once, I stopped a dentist during a root canal, and I’ve had many instances while walking to the potty with a rubber dam in my mouth.
I play little scenarios in my mind when asked to go with a friend to shoot photos. What if there isn’t a potty? I tell myself, perhaps there will at least be a Honey Bucket. Then I obsess about it, won’t drink, and I suffer.
Of course, there will probably be bushes, but it would be the only time a cop would pass by, and I would have to register as a sex offender. Did you know that peeing in public makes you a sex offender? Yeah, in about 13 states you don’t want to be a-peeing-in-public.
Finding a potty is one of my anxieties I laugh at today. While the fear hasn’t totally dissipated, I’m finding it a little easier to live with. Besides, I know where all the potties are—wherever I may find myself.
To conquer this ridiculous fear, I have used the process of minding my thoughts and redirecting them. It is helping, but anxiety doesn’t go away over night.
I will still dehydrate myself before going anywhere, and when we arrive at any place, my husband is usually looking for a bathroom for me. He is actually shocked if I say I’m fine.