An Ode to Anxiety

Anxiety is an atrocious beast. There’s the old phrase that having anxiety causes more of it. Yep. It certainly does.

I got lost at a city festival last weekend. I was trying to get back to a group of friends while visiting another group. I was in a city I’m pretty familiar with. On a road that I was pretty familiar with even. And I had GPS on my phone.

But there were road blocks due to construction. And a person passed out on the street with a cop patiently waiting for the ambulance that would pick her up. And there were people everywhere. Everywhere.

I was literally on the corner of the block where I needed to go and I couldn’t find the place. I tried multiple times using the map app and just couldn’t get there. I started to panic. I’m no stranger to panic attacks and I began doing everything I could to avoid hyperventilating. I texted friends who were busy dancing and completely understandably not looking at their phones. One of my friends in the other group got the text and came to find me as my messages grew more insistent. I finally spotted him on the other side of the road and yelled until he located me. We walked to the party and he ventured off again. I was so appreciative that he came to find me.

I found my friends in the party and perched near them against a wall. I desperately wanted to join them but the anxiety wouldn’t pass. I found myself silently crying without being able to stop, tears dripping down my face.

I have wonderful friends. People I would do anything for and who I love enormously. In this instance, I was hugged and comforted and made to feel like everything was going to be OK. But the tears wouldn’t cease. Once it became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to continue my night, two of them walked me blocks and blocks and blocks away to avoid the traffic and get me a ride home. I was and am so grateful for them. Once I was home, I climbed into bed next to my husband who woke up and comforted me further. I’m endlessly thankful for having a rock like him.

That was almost a week ago and I haven’t been able to shake the anxiety. It’s ebbed and flowed and morphed into its own monster. It’s invaded all aspects of my life and has left me feeling like my brain has stranded me. No matter how much I try to convince myself that everything is fine, I keep feeling shaky and unsettled. No matter how many “normal” conversations I find myself in, it’s clinging to me.

Anxiety sucks. I know I’m not alone. I know it’s lying to me. I know things will be OK.

We’re all stuck in the prisons of our mind. We’re up against a vast sea of uncontrollable thoughts. I’m hopeful that we’re all going to be OK.

I don’t have advice on how to fight this villain. But I’m here if you need me.

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