Adventures in Anxiety

22 May

Responsibility. Money. The future. Relationships.

If you’re anything like me, you’re considering opening another tab to look at cute pictures of sweater-wearing kittens now, because those words just made you nervous. And if you weren’t considering the kittens then, you are now. Who could blame you, though?

Anyway, you’re in good company.

Anxiety. It’s been around so long, most of us greet him like an old friend (albeit one of those friends that makes you screen your calls and want to hide in a closet when he’s around). I usually deal with my anxiety with what I have dubbed the “Calvin and Hobbes” method.

It involves pretending I don’t have to deal with anything, and retreating into my own mind.

This isn’t a very efficient method, but hey, it…

Hm.

I actually have zero validation for that method. But I think you get the picture. Anxiety makes cowards and madmen of all its unlucky victims.Β 

Anxiety always starts for me because I’m thinking too hard – but never about the right things. And it doesn’t help that it always seems to happen at bedtime, when my mind is already going haywire. The voices in my head (maybe I should not admit to having those) start coming up with all sorts of great ideas at night.

“Hey! You know what would be fun to think about? What other people think about you!”

“No.”

“Remember that one stupid thing you did two and half years ago?”

“Shut up.”

“Well, I remember. And so does everyone else.”

“I don’t want to think about it, Brain!”

“I bet everyone else is. Hey, I have an idea! Let’s think about every stupid thing you’ve ever done ever!”

“BRAIN WAT R U DOING STAHP”

“Are you thinking in memes? That’s pretty sad.”

“I know. Sorry.”

I just admitted that I sometimes think in internet memes. My mind will never let me live this one down. Of course, it’s been wreaking havoc on me for quite a while. Why would it stop now?

Years ago, my brain decided fourteen-year-old girls were the scariest beings imaginable. I’m not sure why the age of fourteen stood out to me in particular, but it did. I remember going to youth group, seeing the clique of fourteen-year-olds giggling in a corner and hoping beyond hope that they didn’t notice I was existing so close to them. This fear lasted until I was well into fourteen years old myself, and finally realized that maybe – just maybe – this was one of those irrational fears, like fear of welcome mats, doorknobs, or realtors.

Not long after this I became aware of my phone anxiety. This one made about as much sense as dodging female junior highers did. Talking on the phone made me twitchy, unhappy, and altogether the most awkward person you could ever talk to on the telephone.

I’m better now, I promise. Not great, but better. However, I still feel that if I can’t look someone in the face when we’re talking, I feel like I’m missing out on most of the conversation.

Mostly, though, I become anxious because it’s just my nature.

I’m selfish. I want everything to be comfortable and low-stress and low-responsibility and I will stress out and run away if my environment does not promise those things.Β However, what I’ve found out is that the world into which I must soon launch myself does not promise that. And I’m gonna have a hard time running away from the entire world. At least unless my fantasy back-up plan kicks in and I can just run away with the

“The Doctor isn’t real, you know.”

“SHUT UP BRAIN, YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR.”

I probably shouldn’t have finished that sentence anyway. I’ll just leave it there.

All this to say,

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” Luke 12:25

In all my years of worrying as hard as I can, I have never worried away a problem. You can take my word for it. Because, chances are, running away from the world and its responsibilities may not actually get you anywhere worth going.

Unless, of course, you have a really fabulous back-up plan.

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20 Responses to “Adventures in Anxiety”

  1. Merrilee G Lewis May 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Awesome! Wise words πŸ™‚

    • Emory May 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

      Well, thank you very much! πŸ™‚

  2. The Voyager May 22, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    why are you me I don’t get it

    Seriously, though. This was great. “Anxiety makes cowards and madmen of all its unlucky victims.” It does, indeed. Very good quote.

    And ugh. Bedtime. I have a love/hate relationship with it because I love sleep, but I hate the anxiety that I always seem to have when it’s time to do so. It keeps me awake and makes me panic. A verse that’s helped me, though, is Psalm 127:3β€” “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth his beloved sleep.”

    • Emory May 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

      Thank you so much, I’m glad you liked it!
      And that verse needs to be hung over my bed or something, thank you for that. It’s crazy beautiful how there is always something in the good book to help with our problems.

  3. Invisible Woman May 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    You make smile πŸ™‚
    I just read the,”Which of you by worrying can add a single day to his life,” the other day, and it was (as always) uncomfortably relevant. Thank you for adding to said relevance!
    Also, thank you for being born and for sharing your wonderful words with US (the internet).
    You’re a wonderful hum……. being! πŸ˜‰

    “Well that was lame.”

    Shut up brain.

    • Emory May 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Thank you, I love to know that I make you smile. πŸ™‚
      And tell your brain to be quiet, you’re awesome! And I appreciate your not outing my true species on the internet. Can’t be too careful…

  4. Gemma May 25, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Great post! Hahahaha it is nice to know I am not the only one to think in memes πŸ˜›

    • Emory May 26, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      ohthankgoodness it’s not just me either!

  5. geekygirl91 May 26, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Wow,I’m not the only one who’s brain sometimes keeps saying that the Doctor isn’t real hahahaha πŸ™‚

    However,thank you for sharing that. I suffer from anxiety attacks since I was in Junior High and I’m getting better every year πŸ™‚
    You know what helped me? Yoga and meditation. Yup. Seems like a plain answer but those two things helped me control my anxiety by controlling my breathe and my mind. Also,when I feel like I need it, I drink herbal teas with chamomille, mallow, vervain, thyme.
    I know what it feels like,and I know how hard it is to cope with it, but I’m trying my best and I hope you’re trying it too πŸ™‚

    • Emory May 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

      Thanks for the input!
      I do need to start doing yoga again! I was doing it for a while, and it was so good for me.
      And tea. Oh, tea. Tea is always a good idea. πŸ™‚

  6. beckyday6 May 29, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Wow this is exactly like me! I swear phones are one of the most terrifying anxiety inventions. It’s crippling. :S I’ve struggled with anxiety a lot but especially this year moving away from home and starting university has be a challenge (that’s an understatement). The most frustrating things is when you know it’s just because you’re coming at situations with the wrong mindset but yet are unable to change it, gr!

    • Emory May 29, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      I have never been able to figure out why phones are so terrifying to me! Everytime I purposely let it go to machine, I can’t tell whether I feel more relieved or annoyed with myself.
      I totally know what you mean about the mindset! It’s so hard to consciously change it.

      • beckyday6 May 29, 2013 at 10:19 am #

        Aggh I know! It’s like, it’s a plastic object that people talk through, whyyyyyyyy is it so terrifying!

  7. Wasp June 5, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Thank you for this (: I’m afraid I have a telephone anxiety myself, but it’s not so much talking on the phone that concerns me, it’s dialing the number… it’s like I have a deep-seated fear of that voice on the other end saying, “I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong number.” Or still worse, having to admit to it myself. I feel like if I were ever in that situation, I would just hang up and initiate my fantasy back-up plan…….. *shudder*

    • Emory June 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

      Same here!
      I don’t know why that scares me so much! I don’t instantaneously wish to murder everyone who calls me with a wrong number… Most of the time.

  8. youin5minutes June 22, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    I think there are a lot of us all in the same boat. I totally get it! this smacked me spot on the head of my life right now and well, it’s been this way for far too long. you’re fantastic

    • Emory June 23, 2013 at 8:03 am #

      Thank you, you are as well fantastic!
      Even if this boat is miserable, it’s really encouraging to know that there are a lot of other people in it. And we maybe we can flag down another boat and get rescued. πŸ™‚

      • youin5minutes June 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

        I like that idea! there’s actually a giant boat that we just never look at, actually a whole armada, it’s God’s ship. why don’t we just get out of this leaky sail boat and get in the ship that God’s been wanting us to join him on since forever? I don’t know… because we like being soggy and miserable? I really don’t know…

      • Emory July 1, 2013 at 10:14 am #

        AAH I love that analogy! πŸ™‚ So true!

      • youin5minutes July 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

        πŸ˜€ thanks! πŸ™‚ it’s so true though…

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