Ep. 8 I’m good

Trying to find the words to describe anxiety can be challenging. Nervousness, worry, and unease often come up when touching on the subject. For those of you unfamiliar with the struggle imagine for a moment the feeling of falling. That weightless sensation of your body descending downward faster and faster as if you had just fallen off a cliff or building from a great height without a parachute. Or the feeling of holding your breath under water. The pressure on the sides of your head building as your heart begins to pound harder and harder. Now imagine what your mind wants to do next. Your heart’s racing while you try to process all of your options. What can I do? How can I fix this? Time is running out. You’re falling closer and closer to the ground. You continue to swim to the surface but you don’t seem to reach it fast enough to catch your breath. Make a decision quick. Think of something. Hurry before it’s too late!! Now imagine you’re feeling those same emotions except you’re not falling or drowning. You’re doing something completely normal like sitting in traffic or shopping at the grocery store or simply waking up in the morning just before you get your day started. It can sometimes be difficult to explain the range of emotions that you experience to outside people looking in. The feeling of being late for an appointment when you’re right on time or even early, the feeling of missing a deadline when you’ve finished the assignment weeks ahead of time or the feeling of getting into a car accident when there’s absolutely no traffic is what anxiety, to me, feels like. It’s understandable when there’s something in front of you to be stressed or in a panic about. However, there are times when there is nothing to dread yet there you are, heart racing, maybe even breaking into a sweat and your stomach feels like a whirlpool. I know that makes no sense to some but I have to believe I’m not the only one in the world that struggles with this, right?

Today, it’s pretty simple to gain access to this pill or that pill to help cope with the disorder that you’ve been professionally diagnosed with. Just say the word anxiety enough times in a doctors office and you can be prescribed some pretty good shit. The kind of stuff that they say will just “take a little bit of the edge off” or the stuff that is said to be “mildly sedative”.  All methods of western medicine and pharmaceutical profit. A cure found is a customer lost. These billion dollar companies profit on people’s misery by pushing these man-made coping methods for this and that diagnoses/disorder. Not to mention the side effect(s) that each prescribed drug comes along with is enough to go insane. What practitioners of western medicine don’t tell you is that the anxiety “disorder” that can appear to come out of nowhere can be masked emotions triggered by something as small or insignificant as a red traffic light. One thought leads to another thought that leads to another, and another, and before you know it you’re panicking and you can’t remember the thought or thoughts that lead you to lose your breath. Following every ounce of energy spent on keeping yourself intact for the sake of everyone around you, you can easily spiral down a dark hole of depression with thoughts of hopelessness and sorrow. There are times when taking care of you is all the medicine that’s needed. Time to debrief, cool out, unwind, release the tension that’s built up inside. I think often times we don’t allow ourselves those opportunities because we feel guilty. As if we are not worthy or deserving of a break from taking care of everyone and everything else yet. So we push it off for another day or the end of the day. Let me handle this situation first and then I’ll get to myself later. So we sacrifice eating healthy or even enough, and we ignore the messages our bodies send us. We lose out on sleep and then we end up with aches and pains, getting sick and or even collapsing. I for one am 100% guilty of making sure everyone else is alright before I check on me. It’s hard to admit that I constantly play a competition game in my head, but I do. A game of being better than my father and trying to outdo myself is a subconscious reoccurrence. To some extent, I think everyone should in some way strive to be better than their parents. I think that in itself is the goal of a parent, right? To build our kids into adults that are better versions of ourselves. That doesn’t mean that we as the child must live our adult lives living up to that standard. We were each born to be an individual standard yet we spend a majority of our time trying to fit into A standard. I’m constantly thinking of my kid growing up better than I did and making sure the mother of my child never feels alone in this journey called parenthood. That alone is doing more than my father did. Even after all my bills are paid, my daughter is happy and healthy, Babymomz is happy and satisfied, I drive a decent and fairly new car that I don’t worry about breaking down, my apartment is one of the best pads I’ve ever lived in (and I’ve lived in a lot of places), I made it out of LA to cross off a bullet on my bucket list to live away from home and out of my comfort zone, and yet I’m still trying to compete. So much that I have fallen through the cracks a couple times and for what? Absolutely no reason at all. I’m doing my complete best and it’s ok to say that I sometimes stumble and fall but I also get back up and enjoy the scenery. It’s true that life goes on and you have to keep moving forward. Even the best Nascar drivers have to make pit stops to refuel, change and rotate the tires, clean off the windshield and take a sip of a Gatorade before they get back on the road to victory. I may struggle with it from time to time I’m still human, but I’m acknowledging it and choosing to say it out loud. So, with making sure I eat better, breathing and meditating, praying often, going to the gym (which is a struggle), and making sure I enjoy the time I have and the life that I’ve built are ways that I’m choosing to take care of myself and realizing that that’s enough. I think it’s safe to say that for a kid from the valley who was never shown how to successfully execute self-care without being irresponsible, I’m doing pretty well for myself. I’m ok. I’m good.

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