NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Anxiety

May17
I realized this past weekend exactly how great I am at talking myself out of things. No one knows this about me, or so I thought and perhaps that’s still true, but I was faced with the reputation I didn’t know I had. I went to a good friend’s birthday party last Friday. I missed her terribly and didn’t understand how we’d drifted apart or why we didn’t hang out more now that we were reunited. I walked into the party full of apprehension and anxiety. I knew I was the oldest and fattest person there and I also didn’t know anyone but the birthday gal and her girlfriend. But then I saw her face light up when she saw me and most of that melted away. When she took me outside to say hi to her girlfriend, who may be the first person ever to genuinely scream when they saw me, they confessed to taking bets on if I’d show. Yikes!
Anxiety sucks, yo! It controls you and makes you believe you are controlling it. It’s bullshit. It’s inhibiting and life stealing. It sucks your will to live and robs you of your lust for life. It hampers your joy and hides your opportunities. I can personally attest to the fact that anxiety affects how I live and what I do. I choose to willfully ignore it at times and push myself out of my comfort zone (where life actually happens). But I also often turn down invitations or cancel plans due to this anxiety and I had no idea anyone was paying attention. Oops! Yeah, gee, what we do has an impact on others and their opinions of you. Huh? Yeah, it was a bit tough for me to hear, but I am grateful for my friend’s honesty. Knowing that I have this reputation will push me to do better for myself and my friends. I enjoy seeing them so much. Why do I keep myself away?
My anxiety makes me not great company at times, too. I often cannot handle an unexpected guest or sudden interruption. I hate last minute plans or anything last minute really. I need to mentally prepare for things. Like being around people I don’t know or places I’ve never been. You wouldn’t know or understand this unless you also had this same type of anxiety. If you invite me somewhere, it is best to let me know up front who will be there or what I should expect. When invited out with a friend to do something, I expect it to just be me and them. If there are others that I didn’t know about it can put me on edge or worse. I will try to get out of it or leave or talk myself into something else entirely and I don’t like that. I want to be able to just go with the flow. Ugh!
I have seen anxiety turn friends into strangers. I have seen it take over someone’s life and pretty much change their entire personality. Medication helps some, but for others I have seen it only worsen. I don’t know how I got so lucky as to get to where I am now with my own anxieties, but it always takes work and a conscious effort. My first inclination is to hide, run, etc. To turn down what would normally be a good time and instead sit at home and wallow in sadness. I am working very hard to get rid of this mode of being, but shit if it isn’t super hard! Most of the time I genuinely want to go to a party or other gathering or get together, but it either becomes “the big scary thing” or how I’m feeling at the time or on the day of makes me balk and cancel. I hate that. Mostly because I hate when people do it to me and I do my best to not do it to others.
I was doing so well, too. It is almost as though opening myself up to people who are generally quite flaky and frustrate me to no end has lead me to become flakier, too. That sucks! I literally did to a friend what I was pissing and moaning about someone else doing to me over the weekend. Shitty!!! I don’t want to be that person. I need a code word that I can text to someone so that they know that I want to be in touch but just can’t or something. Like, I know I said I would call/text you but I’m just not able to at the moment. Often I just don’t know what to say or I know that once I start I won’t stop. Ugh!
How do you manage your anxiety? What should my code word be? Right now I’m thinking “Shittles” because it’s hilarious, but I’m open to suggestions. What motivates you to try new things when your anxiety is fighting you on it?
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10 Comments to

“Anxiety”

  1. On May 17th, 2012 at 8:01 am E Says:

    Have you ever been on anxiety meds? I’m only asking because I have similar issues to you and have never tried medication, because I think that it either won’t work, or will affect other aspects of my mood in weird ways. I’m curious how people handle anxiety, but I don’t have any good solutions to offer.

  2. On May 17th, 2012 at 10:26 am Not Blue at All Says:

    E: Sadly, no, I have not tried anxiety meds, but my husband did and hated them. Then when I looked up their side effects online I was horrified and he now uses a natural prescription. Being poor and without insurance it has honestly never occurred to me to talk to anyone about my anxiety and I only recently started talking to friends about it. But I have been exposed to some brilliant minds who have given me plenty of good advice on the subject and for now it’s helped a lot. For me it’s about recognizing that it’s anxiety causing me to act a certain way and trying to snap out of or nurture what I’m feeling. I know we’re all different and i Hope that you can find ways to make yourself feel better soon. *Hugs*

  3. On May 17th, 2012 at 12:07 pm fattiboomballatti Says:

    Hello there my dear!

    I can SO relate to this post. I deal with anxiety off an on and sometimes it’s just enormous… last weekend my Hubs and I were going to go to a park and paint and after trying on 8 different permutations of outfit simply decided that I was too horrible to go, crying, being dramatic and the whole bit…. but, I do this often and I can list every stage of this anxiety panic attack game. What helps me is to tell myself, “this is not real.” “do not take your thoughts so seriously.” “you cannot possibly know what others think or feel so stop getting upset imagining this shit”

    At other times I might get tough on my anxiety, “Hey listen UP! You need to STFU because I want to go out and have a good time and Im not going to let you ruin it!” Sometimes I distract myself with math or thinking about colors which both have been proven to shortcircuit anxiety like having a puzzle on hand… that one really helps. A nice review of lovely fat ladies on tumblr helps too 🙂 And at other times I see that my anxiety is a little girl who is just scared and scarred so I visualize myself holding her and telling her she is loved, she is perfect as she is, she is enough…

    Using these techniques above I have been able to go from almost debilitating anxiety that would take hours and hours and even days to die down to an hour at the most. I just refused to be bullied by it anymore. I know where it comes from (ungodly bullying as a fat child) and I know that I have maladapted to negative stimuli and I am well on my way to mitigating this. I hope some of my ideas will help you, too.

    hugs honey,
    fatti

  4. On May 17th, 2012 at 12:09 pm fattiboomballatti Says:

    oh also i can totally relate to hating last minute events… i LOATHE them because like you I feel I have to mentally prepare for them… but that is also whats called a maladaptive way to soothe your anxiety, too… working on that chips away on anxiety bit by bit

  5. On May 18th, 2012 at 2:28 am librarychair Says:

    I feel you. My thing is that I CANNOT do much in the way of advance planning AT ALL or I start to get overwhelmed and anxious. I have to literally take things as they come, one at a time, or the weight of having to deal with ALL THE THINGS comes down on me and I can’t move. This is part of why I’ve been so unsuccessful at taking classes, even though I’m usually one of the smartest people in the ones I’ve taken. I’ve just been trying to make allowances for it, and TRYING to accept that certain things are beyond my reach, without being disappointed in myself. I try to plan for it instead of planning against it, if that makes any sense.

    As for meds, I’ve also had experiences both good and bad. The two things I can recommend with a whole heart are community acupuncture and general being kind to yourself.

  6. On May 18th, 2012 at 2:30 am librarychair Says:

    Ah! And I can recommend taking lactobacillus acidophilus supplements. There’s a whole episode of Radiolab about guts that talks about how that works, and I highly recommend listening to it. But having plenty of lactobacillus in your gut does actually measurably help suppress stress response.

  7. On May 18th, 2012 at 9:09 am Not Blue at All Says:

    librarychair: Very interesting! Thank you for the recommendation. I will tell my husband about it as well since I know he’d be into listening to it as well as looking into the supplements. 🙂

  8. On May 18th, 2012 at 5:55 am Rachele Says:

    I have had pretty severe anxiety my entire life. Talk therapy helped a bit, when I found a good therapist. But I had to go through a lot of crap ones first. I didn’t get the help I needed in childhood, so eventually I figured things out for myself. Now I have a kid with the same issues, and I’m trying to give him the tools he needs to fight back. I don’t want to medicate him so young because the side effects can be nasty. So I started getting books on childhood anxiety. There’s one aimed at kids called, What to Do When you Worry Too Much, and I’m finding some of the stuff targeted to kids helps me quite a bit. The things I’ve read that are written with an adult audience in mind come off as so condescending and critical, which is the last thing an anxious person needs. Child focused treatment takes advantage of their vivid imaginations and engages them in a lot of visualization and meditative work. This has always been what works best for me, too, and I have been able to add some more imagery to my repertoire. My fav: You are a fisherman in the ocean and the fish are the experiences of your life. You cast your net wide to catch the biggest, most beautiful experiences and haul them on board to see them, silver and shining and wriggling about vibrantly. The little fears, those ugly, sick, little fish, sometimes enter your net, but they are too small to be caught; they wiggle right through the gaps in the net returning to the deep waters, leaving no sign of ever having been there. You have caught only the best of life by your fearlessness and strength. That way, when I catch myself saying no to something, I check to see if I am turning it down because I’m not casting my net wide enough or if my boat is full and I need to head back home.

  9. On May 18th, 2012 at 9:12 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Rachele: That is a great visualization! Thank you! *Hugs*

  10. On May 18th, 2012 at 10:15 am Rachel Says:

    This post is so timely! I will confess that atm I don’t have my anxiety under control at all. Even as I type that, I realize that maybe that isn’t the right way to be looking at it. Fattiboombalatti’s comment about the anxiety being a scared little girl is def adept, and scared little girls don’t want to be dismissed, just reassured. Have you read Sark’s books? Maybe I need to break mine out, she has some good stuff, if you can get used to her style. **Hugs**

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