Saturday, October 8, 2011


I've been battling my thoughts this week.  I have a real problem with negative self talk.  I have a problem with doubting myself.  I have nagging worry, always there.  I'm constantly trying to quiet her annoying voice.  I recently heard someone describe anxiety as a feeling of impending doom.  "Yes, that's it," I thought to myself.  Not, oh, yeah, that's what I've been struggling with; I already knew what that feeling in the pit of my stomach was from.  I just had no idea how to describe the feeling; it's more of a you know it when you feel it sort of thing. That's what I've been feeling all week.  Dread.  Fear.  Panic. 

This so frequently results in paralysis.  I freeze.  I don't study enough for the test.  I apply for too few jobs.  I put off making important phone calls or filling out necessary paperwork.  I avoid social situations that make me uncomfortable.  The list goes on, and as you can imagine (or have experienced for yourself...sorry) this has had significant impacts on my life.  It has taken from the quality of individual days. I become physically ill, experiencing nausea and headaches.  I feel uncomfortable; I only see the negative; I dwell.  This feeds the anxiety, and it becomes heightened as well as prolonged.  Of course, it has also had more long-term effects on my life.

I have read that over half of people diagnosed with depression also have anxiety, and that when the two are coupled together, they can be particularly debilitating.  My own experience confirms this.  No, I have not been diagnosed with either, but it is my opinion that one does not have to be professionally trained or speak with a professional to recognize the evil that is staring one right in the face. 

Here's one of the ways that I have found that the two feed each other.  I have developed a strong flight response.  Like I said, I avoid: social situations, making important  I frequently have an urge (that I often don't resist) to sleep, just go to sleep and avoid.  Except that I have this other problem; I've recently developed a bit of insomnia (from the anxiety?).  I frequently aimlessly scan channels and/or surf the internet (so when I can't sleep, I numb) until very late and only go to sleep when I finally fall asleep (after fighting heavy eyelids for sometime).  Then I don't sleep well.  I wake up later to turn the t.v. or computer off.  Or sometimes (like when the husband is out of town for work) it gets particularly bad.  I have an even harder time going to bed then.  I don't turn the t.v. or lights off and have bizarre dreams with pieces of whatever is on finding its way in.  It's not very restful.

Another evil one that walks side by side, holding hands with my depression and anxiety: perfectionism. The three are like a clique of mean girls, relentless, making me feel like shit about myself. The perfectionism leads to a lot of planning on my part but doesn't result in a lot of doing.  I plan and plan and plan how I'm going to make everything just so, another great method of avoiding.  I make to-do lists that I never complete.  I make workout/diet spreadsheets to track my progress that I never fill in.  I research job posting after job posting and make a spreadsheet for that too, but then I only apply for a handful per week.  I set unrealistic short-term goals, instead of taking smaller steps.  I have ridiculous expectations of myself.  I'm not saying these are bad goals in and of themselves; I believe I should set high standards for myself.  However, I definitely need to properly categorize certain goals as long-term.  I am very all or nothing.  I must go from little to no exercise, poor eating habits, terrible sleep habits, etc. to daily exercise, no fast food, lots of fruits & veggies, a bedtime/wake time, etc. overnight. When I don't, I beat myself up over it.  There it is, the negative self talk, the names that I call myself: failure, weak, loser... I can intellectually recognize that I am being ridiculous, but it was not until recently (with the start of this blog) that I started making true efforts to really change my outlook and approach.

Here's what I've been doing this week.  I've been working to quiet that bitch in my head.  When negative thoughts start creeping in, I've been repeating certain simple phrases to myself.  Reminding myself to be present: Be right here, right now.  Reminding myself not to be insecure and compare myself to others: Don't compare.  You are you.  They are them.  You are both okay.  Reminding myself to focus on one thing: Do this right now; think about that later.  This is enough. And that's what I did; I focused on one thing this week (a project I promised the husband I would help with since he is so busy with work).  I broke it down into smaller parts.  I suppressed my anxiety, my need to rush onto the next thing.  I completed the project.  I quit avoiding it.

I am ready to fight more running away.

No comments:

Post a Comment