Happy New Years Eve my friends! I hope that this last day of 2016 is a great one for you, and I hope that 2017 brings you lots of happiness and health.
This is a special post for me. It's my 200th post! 🎉 I wanted to make this one be special. And I've been thinking and thinking about what to write about, but kept scraping whatever ideas I kept coming up with. Until today.
I wanted to write about my New Year's resolution. No, I'm not trying to work out more, or lose 10 pounds, or eat less chocolate. In my personal opinion, resolving to eat less chocolate is cruel and unusual punishment. My resolution isn't something I will accomplish in a year, instead, it's a lifelong journey.
My resolution is to work on my anxiety. Things are about to get deep. I'm gonna talk about aspects of my anxiety I rarely share with people, because it's embarrassing. But, if I'm gonna resolve to work on it, the first step to it is to admit to it. So here it goes! Please don't judge me.
Anxiety has been something that has plagued me my entire life. It affects literally all aspects of my life. From the minute I wake up to the minute I go to sleep, I live my life in a constant state of anxiety. Literally, living this way is all I know. And, as strange as it sounds, my anxiety has always been a kind of security blanket for me. How I react to things can all be attributed to my anxiety. It's like a scapegoat if you will. Having anxiety makes me feel less crazy, but if I'm like this without anxiety, I'm just crazy.
My OCD and I have a love/hate relationship. The obsessions causes unrelenting mental and physical distress, however, the compulsions cause a calming effect. It's like okay, I've officially locked my door 12x so I know there's no way anyone can break into my house and kill me and everyone I love. Or it's like, okay, all of my remotes are lined up from left to right, big to small, so I know there's no way anything bad will happen today at work. Does it make sense? No, not at all. No one said OCD was logical. But your OCD brain finds a way to make it sound logical.
Anxiety causes me to think and rethink about everything single decision I've ever made, every single thing I've ever said, and every single thing that's ever happened in my life. I can remember something I said to someone on a Tuesday at 4:27pm back in 2004 while wearing my Atreyu hoodie, red tanktop, and red fleece pants from Kohls , and think to myself, OMGOODNESS why did I say that? They probably hate me.
I can barely make decisions on my own, even about the most simplest of things, because I feel like I'll make the wrong one and it'll be the worst decision I've ever made. The amount of times I've asked my husband to make decisions for me is embarrassing. Simple things too. For example, I can't pick which seats we sit at at the movies because they might be unlucky seats and if we sit there, someone is gonna come into the movie theaters and kill us all and it'll be my fault because we picked those seats. By the way, that's one of my biggest fears literally anywhere we go. Even though I can't physically pick the seats, my husband knows to pick a seat where I'm on the end, so if someone comes in I can run away and not be stuck in the aisle. When that horrible tragedy happened with that guy at The Dark Knight Rises, literally my heart sank. I wouldn't go to the movies for months after that.
Another example is what outfit I'm gonna wear. I ask my husband all the time what to wear. If I pick the wrong outfit, something bad could happen, to me or someone I love. Or, what I should eat? If I pick the wrong thing, it could be contaminated (food contamination is one of my absolute biggest fears,) and if it's contaminated I'll get sick. If I get really sick, I could die.
I'm very particular with numbers. There's lots of numbers I don't like. The TV and radio can only be on certain numbers. I have routines for my routines. I live for making lists. Symmetry is the only way to live life. Color coordination is a must. I count constantly. Sometimes I count things without even realizing I'm counting them. Everything has a certain spot, and if it's not in that spot, not situated just right, chaos will ensue. That's not everything, not even close to it, but I think it gave you a good idea of what it's been like living with anxiety.
It's almost cathartic to write this down. It's like airing out a deep dark secret. You're scared to do so, but it's a relief to let people know it. Sometimes I feel like it's all in my head, and I feel alone, but I know anxiety is a real condition and I'm not the only one who suffers.
I'm a pro at living with anxiety, but I'm certainly not a pro of dealing with it. I really don't have much of a game plan for how to work on it. I don't want medication, I know that for sure. I do have a few ideas though.
I think for one, I'm gonna start an anxiety journal. I know that sitting and feeling your anxiety, instead of using a compulsion to calm it, can help you to get used to the feeling and in time lessen it. Writing those feelings down and being able to re-read them might be beneficial for me when I feel them again. Also, I have literally 50 notebooks just collecting dust that I never use, so bonus points for finally using them! I'm also gonna look into whether my insurance covers any type of psychological treatment. If I can find a psychologist covered by insurance, I think it would benefit me greatly to talk to someone who knows and understands anxiety. That's what I've got for now, but baby steps are still steps.
I hope that you're all able to start 2017 on a positive note. It's a new year with new prospects, new beginnings, and new hopes and dreams. I think that 2016 has been a year for all of us. I mean, someone even turned 2016 into a horror movie, which goes to show you the general consensus of how this year was for people. But, I'm trying to go into 2017 with a renewed sense of hope and happiness, and I hope you can too!
Happy New Year friends!