...worry, concern, apprehension, apprehensiveness, happens
uneasiness, unease, fearfulness, fear, disquiet, disquietude,
inquietude, perturbation happens..that mind-racing, irritation, tension, nerves fried, angst, nerves, crabby agitation, misgiving, nervousness, tension, tenseness..
it happens... feeling misunderstood, frustrated, electric, can't shake it, someone's-looking-at-me, I-feel-surrounded-by-dry-heat-like-bread-in-a-toaster-set-on-HIGH...afraid to look around the next corner, to lower my guard...shoulders so tight, clenched teeth, RBF and it's difficult to take a deep breath...It happens. ...oh, the feelings...ghosting in-and-out-of here...heebie-jeebies, butterflies, jitteriness, the jitters, twitchiness, the heartbeat-beat-beat-beat-beatbeatbeatbeatb-b-b-b-b-beat...oh...yeah...that...bad b-b-b-beat feeling...something will go wrong...thinking I don't want to die - no but then again I might...something bad is going to happen...I can't go out...I just feel tired...distracted, pre-occupied....pressure like springs are going to pop out of my head...my chest will explode. I want to go to bed but my mind is racing...will it ever stop? the self-doubt, self-denial, self-hatred...
I stay alone...awake...and listen to the brutality...electric-tense muscles, flip-flop-flip-flop on my pillow...
Today I wonder how my energy is...
and I wake up and it is okay...and...why...why
is it different today?...and will it stay different,
today? I have a lot to do.
To have. To be.
Dare I say the sun is...well...actually SHINING...?
What do I believe, anyway?
Don't get so enthralled, attached and connected to a label. It will take away all of your power. (Better said, labels - and the people who assign them to you - make it convenient for you to give away your power.)
It is natural and normal to find the experience of anxiety unpleasant...even horrible. Your brain is hardwired to give your body and mind feelings of danger and dread for a reason.
Anxiety is not a condition. It's not a noun.
It is a collection of emotions. It's a verb.
It can happen. Or it can not.
It will happen. And, it will not.
But the moment you grab that label - Anxiety - and attach it to yourself, is the moment you agree to look at yourself and the world through those lenses.
Yeah, EVERYONE has it. Sometimes.
What the heck? How is it that 40 MILLION Americans 'suffer anxiety'...and the rest don't?
“You HAVE anxiety” – What is it supposed to mean, anyway? Really. What does it mean?
• One person experiences agitation, easy anger, jumpiness and dread.
• Another person experiences worry mixed with anguish, and shortness of breath.
• Another person experiences muscle tension and repetitive thoughts.
• Another person experiences a fluttering heart, racing mind and easy crying.
• Another person experiences a fear of death and constant questioning of the unknown.
• Another person experiences self-consciousness, easy embarrassment and sweating.
• …and there is a unique person for every and any combination or permutation of a long list of related signs and symptoms describing typical responses to what is unfamiliar and uncomfortable…so the list goes on and on…
So, WHAT, oh, WHAT does it mean? How can there be ONE DIAGNOSIS?
I get it. We need nouns.
Fair Warning: Nouns used as labels are dangerous.
You already know this.
"She is fat."
"He is stupid."
"She has a herpes."
"He has issues."
...oh, I know, I know...it's hard to avoid using labels. And, yes, I suppose
it is kind of fun to use labels to generate superpowers. For example, who
"I am a genius."
"I am beautiful!"
"I am worthy!"
But, think about it! How often do you do that? And, no matter which word
you choose - Wow. It's amazing how one word can conjure up an entire
encyclopedia of images, emotions, judgments, expectations!
You've gotta respect those things called words.
Just a bunch of letters lined up in a row...can mean so much.
Now, just imagine what kind of powerlessness happens when either you
label yourself - or you allow someone to label you - with the word anxiety.
Slap the word "my" before it, and you own it.
I am not an Anxietist.
I don't believe anxiety can be had.
I do believe it can be experienced.
It was miscast!
Poor anxiety. It should have been a verb.
Laughing. Crying. Anxieting.
That way, it could have been transient.
Just passing by like any other emotion in the human biodrama.
I call anxiety a happening.
That way it can remain a noun, but act like a verb.
Stop kneeling in front of the Altar of Anxiety. Get up. Turn around. Walk away. Or, run up there, grab Anxiety by its feet, turn it on its head and shake it silly.
You decide if you are an Anxietist.*
Do you really believe it has power over you?
I don't. No sirree.
I know where the power is.
It's inside you.
Anxiety is not a diagnosis. It is a happening.
You do have all you need (to resolve anxiety) right inside your own body and mind.
You may not know it yet, but I do. And you will, too.
In the meantime, yes, it makes sense to have some help. Some connection. Strategies. Tools. Thought-provoking lessons. Classes. Courses. Something to read. Someone to Be There.
So, right now you could use a survival kit, of sorts...a few checklists...some go-to actions to find comfort...to start to get into a new groove.
Scroll to the bottom of this page. You can get a little something for your survival kit there. Go ahead. It is there. For you.
Definition of ANXIETISM
1: the theory of the origin and perpetuation of the existence of an uncontrollable condition of abnormal and overwhelming emotions marked by an irrepressible sense of apprehension and fear often accompanied by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), characterized by uncompromising doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by intractable self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it
2: the teachings formulated by American healthcare intelligentsia and introduced into the American culture and perpetuated by the egregore, emphasizing the existence of an abnormal unchangeable state, characterized by feelings of powerlessness and inability to cope with threatening events, typically imaginary, and by physical tension, shown by sweating, trembling, etc.
(If you are like me, you are not an Anxietist. No. No. Au contraire, though we do not deny the phenomenon of stress, we believe what is known as anxiety is a transient condition. It is feedback that a limit has been reached. We believe it can be reinterpreted. We believe we can feel as right as rain...once we learn how to do it best.)
I love that word.
(I just made it up. I will admit: It looks like a type-o. And that's why I love it.)
It means High Functioning Anxiety Survival Kit.
It's time to start collecting some tools.