In a recent conversation with a friend, I mentioned that I take medication for anxiety and depression. My friend was floored. She always thought I was zen and never bothered by anything. This new revelation changed her mental picture of me and who I was, and, in a way, I think it helped her feel a bit better about herself. Like most folks, she compares herself to others, and due to some self esteem issues, she feels that she falls a bit short.
But that got me to thinking. People often have misconceptions of other people. They hold them in high regard or complete disregard without knowing the true pictures. It’s easy to forget that all the thoughts and emotions that swirl in your own head also swirl around in the head of every person you encounter throughout your day. Yes, even the lady working the DMV or the barista at the coffee shop has thoughts and feelings while they renew your tags or make your coffee. Unless they are very good at meditating on their jobs, but I doubt that’s the case considering how difficult it is to meditation while alone in a quiet room.
I decided I wanted to start a project. One that allows me to get raw, share my feelings, let people know who I am. Hopefully, I will inspire someone else to do the same. It may not be in a blog, but it might be in an every day life situation. So I’m setting my timer for ten minutes. I’m allowing myself to make grammatical mistakes, and I’m going to write about me.
I figure my anxiety is the best place to start. I think my anxiety stems from my struggle with perfectionism. As a child, I really had a hard time with making mistakes. For me, making a mistake shows a weakness - something someone can tease you about - and I REALLY hate feeling vulnerable to teasing. Thankfully, I’ve overcome a lot of that need for perfection. Some has come with time. Some with experience. Some with spending time with my mother-in-law (who has no fear of making a mistake). But the anxiety I haven’t kicked. A lot of it involves being late. I loathe being late. I like to be early, freakishly early, because it allows me to avoid that panicky rushed feeling.
Another thing that sets of my anxiety is excess noises. Ticking sounds. Tapping of Fingers. Dogs barking excessively. Kids making obnoxious persistent sounds. That pretty much sums out the sounds of my house, right? I’m probably a noise pollution tyrant. I try really hard, but Chris’s constant drumming along with the song stuck in his head can drive me bananas.
Once I get annoyed with those types of things, it gets really internalized. I don’t know how other people feel when they’re anxious, but I can feel it from my brain to my chest. I get worked up in the cyclone, and it’s hard to stop it. It’s not a thought, it’s a feeling. It’s not just a distraction. It takes over my body, and it sucks.
Thankfully, with the help of medication, I only get that way around my period. There are other times, but it’s not bad. I’ve wondered if I would be okay without medication, but I’m not sure I’m afraid that will turn my family into cannon fodder. Let’s just not go there.