Home » Monday Musings » Monday Musings – Anxiety

Monday Musings – Anxiety

Anxiety. We all feel it to some extent. I’ve got some things coming up soon that are causing me great stress and it got me thinking.

I talked not long ago about how I’m a worry bird. I worry about nearly everything and I also have anxiety issues. Related, but different in some ways. It’s been a part of my whole life.

It does limit me sometimes. It prevents me from driving to some places because I have a terrible anxiety about driving. It doesn’t stop me completely though. I’ve driven in quite a lot of situations that I was super nervous about. There is some driving that just pushes me to my limit and I’m actually worried that I will make a mistake and cause an accident. I’m lucky that my family is very understanding about it. And, truth be told, I know I would if I really had to. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it.

I can’t allow anxiety to take over my life. But I could see it happening if I let it.

I’ve missed out on so much because of it, but I’ve experienced so much in spite of it.

I have forced myself to get out there and do things because of love. Love of my family, business, and interests that I’m passionate about. I volunteered in so many things my two kids were involved in. I chaperoned countless field trips. I chaired fundraisers. I was a Girl Scout leader and a Cub Scout Den Leader. I was very involved in my son’s Boy Scout troop in many ways. I’ve served on different boards. I’ve even had to speak in front of groups.

And here’s a little secret. Don’t tell anyone. 🙂 I have felt some level of anxiety with each thing in which I’ve been involved. But I refuse to let it stop me. For the most part, I’ve learned to accept it as part of my life. I know it will be there – butterflies, that dread feeling in the pit of my stomach, headaches, the shaky weak-in-the-knees feeling – and I just have to work through it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not trivializing someone who has extreme anxiety. By all means, I think that someone with crippling anxiety issues should seek some help. I would if I needed it. I’m simply pointing out that the issues are there for me and I’ve managed to live with them.

Sometimes I think it would be easier to just step back and do my job, clean my house, read, and pursue some hobbies. Yes it would be easier, but I would miss out on so much and, as my husband would say, my brain might turn to mush.

So, I venture out of my comfort zone and brave my way through the storm of anxiety.

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10 thoughts on “Monday Musings – Anxiety

  1. I think sometimes it’s taking the small step. I can be hard on myself to always be in control and to look to everyone like I’m competent and in control of everything. I know that it will keep me from trying something new or that I have to have a friend to do it, whatever it is, with me. Most of the time they aren’t willing. I went with a few people at Laurapalooza to a wine karaoke bar. I love to sing, but I know I don’t have a lot of talent. OTOH, I knew no one in the town. I turned in a song. I didn’t get called up, but I am so proud of myself for turning in a song rather than making an excuse because I was afraid I would look silly.

  2. Anxiety is something that many of us experience and so often we are told to “get over it” or that it is “all in (your) head” and I am so glad to hear you make the distinctions between anxiety in mild vs more severe forms. I can really relate to what you say about keeping involved in so many activities yet experiencing anxiety in that very pursuit. Anxiety when ignored can manifest itself in ugly ways and can truly undermine one’s performance in tasks that the person is otherwise perfectly capable of doing and doing very well. But to those who don’t experience it, or who deny its existence as meriting attention, the anxious person can be deemed “weak” or “unreliable” or even “irrational.” Yet, truth be told, anxiety can be a blessing! When managed carefully and when given respect for its influence, anxiety can cause us to weigh our choices more carefully and to prioritize our lives while building a keen sense of empathy for those around us. While I recognize how crippling anxiety can be to anyone…sometimes most so when it presents itself unexpectedly in a person who is unaccustomed to the feeling and its sometimes physical manifestations…overall I think we would all do well to take a cue from your approach. That is, to recognize our anxieties and their triggers and do what we can to push through when possible and ask for support from our families or friends when we really need it. I applaud you, Laura, for taking such a sensible course!

  3. Great job Lauri! That’s how we have to do it. “Knowing no one” in a new place or considering I am unlikely to necessarily see most of the people I encounter in my travels is one of my favorite ways to talk myself into doing something that is stressful but desirable…otherwise I’d NEVER be able to present my programs or wear the LIW outfits in public! I had to “practice” a lot by attending events like fundraisers in my costume just to see if I was really going to be able to handle the looks on other people’s faces. I still get anxious but now it is less about how I look and more about whether I will be stumped by an unexpected question. Next LP maybe your name will come up for karaoke before the night is over. I’m sure we’ll all be right there to sing along if you want us to!

  4. If you had not ventured outside your zone I would not have met you. So thank you for pushing through it. I remember our days at Morton. I am an introvert and never felt that I was meant to lead anything. But I did a year with Jared as a Tiger Cubs( was that what they were called?) leader, I did several years as Caitlin’s Girl Scout leader, I chaired or co- chaired school committees from grade school through high school. And it started at Morton with our group. I think we helped and needed each other. It helped make us who we are today. I will be forever thankful to God for letting me be a part if that group.

  5. I really cherish those times, Mary. I was already deep into the parent volunteer days at that point, but being part of the Morton group really helped give me more self-confidence to put myself out there a little bit more.

  6. Great thoughts, Melanie! I always felt bad that my anxiety held me back somewhat, but I’ve learned to work with it and sometimes around it. What I put myself out there for is really important to me!

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