It’s easy to get out of. It’s so easy to not work on it, and to let it fester, and then let it take over. It’s so easy to be miserable, isn’t it? You don’t see people running to therapy and just gobbling up advice and bolting back to their daily lives and applying all they’ve been taught and then moving on with complete success and a smile on their face. It takes a lot of work (see above paragraph) and if you’re already pretty miserable, “a lot of work” might not even cut it.
The teensiest little break from real life, from reality, is welcomed now. My mind can zone out faster than I realize, maybe in some kind of self-preservation effort. Walking into the post office for six minutes is like entering another realm. Leaving it, and walking back through the rain and fog, back into my ever-familiar car, is like an unpleasant slap on the face with a dirty dish towel. Reading a book or a blog is as if my world dissolves around me as I crumble into pieces and land together in another person’s more-upbeat world. I have my crocheting, where I watch the hook dive in and out of the yarn loops, mesmerized at something creative and imaginative occurring outside my body. But usually, my head’s just in a fog, and walking into the post office or getting into crocheting does nothing more than stir up my brain cells a little, unresponsive.
Unfortunately, my brain responds better to misery. Is it a curse, or am I to work on it, and fix it? Maybe I don’t respond well to other people’s misery. Studying in South Africa was nothing but confusion for me. My brain could not physically piece together the data it was receiving, I think. Mansions, bordering slums? Extravagant shopping malls on the wharf, bombarded with the homeless? Internally, it was nothing but anxiety. My body was literally rejecting what I was sending it. And it still does. I have to remind myself to unclench my stomach while I’m at work, suffering through a lock-in drill (a drill, unaware to us). As Maggie of Flux Capacitor puts it: “I can feel the weight of mortality and suffering from around the globe pressing me down into the dirt like a horrible gravity.” Isn’t that the truth? The anxieties from South Africa and crime and poverty in the city give way to petty anxieties from endless triggers, like being late to an appointment or hurrying to bed with the fear of not getting eight hours of sleep every night.
So I drive in to work, acting the typical white suburban girl, making sure all my doors are locked at stoplights and practically running out to my car after work and fumbling with my keys as images of muggings and heads at gunpoint dance through my mind. Before long, stomachaches set in at the tiniest tinges of worry, and soothing tea and antacids are regular supplements. This isn’t right.
Anxiety is a hard thing to work on. Sure, tactics and methods to stop anxiety before it sets in are fabulous ideas, but only for those who can employ them. For those that have a nice stable environment in which to practice them. If you can’t work on yourself, and you can’t comprehend the skills, and you can’t get your head out of the fog, you can’t fix things. You probably can’t. Unless something huge gives way, and a little glimpse of sunlight peeps through, and it inches your heels forward just enough to push you to do something about it. Because these types of things don’t just go away.
i almost didn't post this, but then clicked PublishPost before i could think otherwise. so if you've struggled through this, i apologize. comments are welcomed openly.