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This past week, despite all Instagram indications to the contrary, was a very hard anxious week for me.
It should have been calm and lovely. But that’s the thing about anxiety. “Despite all indications to the contrary,” should be its slogan.
Because anxiety is tricky. It’s different than it’s partner-in-crime worry, because worry is reasonable.
But anxiety pops up just because. Because it can.
I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember — the kind that made first grade unbearable. The kind that made me worry about my grandparents and baby sister when I should have been learning spelling words and subtraction.
It’s taken me a long time to realize that the two things anxiety needs most are love and humor.
But these things can help too:
What anxiety needs
Anxiety needs space to go inside. No questions, and (Geez Louise) no requests for answers to anything, and that includes what I want on a pizza.
It needs soft words and open arms, but maybe not hugs right now, because I’m currently being slowly crushed by my own chest. So please.
And never loud music. Neither Mumford and Sons nor Fun. Although some Ingrid Michaelson might be nice later. It’ll let you know.
Anxiety needs to know that the people I love are there, but that they don’t really need anything right now.
(Because it’s selfish and rude, and trust me, I hate that enough for the both of us.)
Because it needs me to be able to disappear for just a minute. So if you see me blocking things out, it’s because I need a break, but I might already be in too deep to ask for it.
Because anxiety needs to sneak up on you apparently.
Anxiety doesn’t need a reason, by the way. And it’s no one’s fault.
It’s doesn’t need you to fix anything.
It doesn’t need you to diagnose anything or figure out where it came from. (Moon cycles, or hormonal cycles or bicycles or icicles?)
Speaking of which, sometimes, anxiety needs carbs, and it doesn’t want to hear about it.
Chocolate can help, but caffeine doesn’t.
(Talking to a doctor might. It’s OK, I promise.)
But then again, sometimes it’s just a matter of time. Until something magical shifts back again.
(Do you see how frustrating this is?)
Anxiety doesn’t need you to try to understand, but I do.
Maybe you do too?
I should tell you that this post is not a replacement for medical advice. I’m not a doctor, but I do deal with anxiety sometimes, And I today I wanted to talk about it with you. If you deal with anxiety too, I’m sending a hug and loads of support, but if you need more than that, PLEASE don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for it. I promise it can help.