I’m not Super Woman, or Wonder Woman or even Bat Woman. I am Anxiety Woman. I literally am anxious over things I know I should not be anxious about, that I have no control over and that are self-destructive. (The image says Anxiety Girl but I am not a girl so I have changed it).
Those of us who live with anxiety on a daily basis understand the daily battle of leaving the bed or any designated safe space. It is not easy, but the image below makes it even more clear.
Shutting down the emotion. Bah! It’s like trying to climb Mt Everest (for want of a better example) without any gear or guide. You are literally on your own inside your head and fighting. Well, not so much fighting, let me see if I can complete the metaphor.
It’s Mt Everest. It is still summer, at the foot of the mountain and you have set off on what feels like is a gentle climb. You can do this you tell yourself. The sun is warming you up, you feel calm and around you everything feels a little surreal. It starts getting a little harder and you feel a little worried about the cloud over there, you haven’t noticed any other people on the pathway, but hey! it’s a good day and you’re not going to let any bad thoughts get you down. On you go and the clouds get a little heavier and the climb is getting steeper, you haven’t really noticed being so engrossed in what is going on around you with the flowers, insect life and general busy-ness of life. I mean have you really noticed just how busy life is around you? Your legs are sore now and the air is cooler but you carry on cause that outcropping looks really interesting and you are not sure but you are almost certain you saw something and maybe you’ll find a guide there too… By now your mind is going wild with thoughts and possibilities and you wish you had brought your camera and pen and paper and a million other recording devices and you can’t really leave this space because no matter how uncomfortable you may be physically, if you turn around now it is going to freak you out. So you carry on climbing and the clouds have gotten darker and the mountain is starting to get gloomy, shadows falling everywhere. Sleet has started to fall and you realise that the jacket that would be perfect for this is sitting in the tent somewhere else and you just have an anorak on. Yet you can’t turn back. Your mind won’t slow down and now along with noticing how busy life is on what appears to be a desolate mountain side, you are also realising it could be your coffin. It could be your salvation. You are reaching for any and every thought that comes and your breath hitches in the air that is thinning with every step and still you cannot stop and turn around. This is your safe space, this placing one step in front of the other, this continuation forward. Sleet turns to snow and the wind whips up and soon you are engulfed in a whiteness that seems impenetrable. There is nothing beyond the whistle of the wind, the gasp of air as it grinds into your lungs and that noise that is coming up behind you. Your body aches and your heart is in your throat, every muscle is screaming in agony and still you cannot turn back. Eventually you collapse and a hot tear forces its way down your cheek, and you succumb to the cold and to your fear. There is no way out except to submit and start again.
And that was just to get out of bed this morning.
Hard isn’t it and I am not sure that I have even done a partially good job with the metaphor. I am learning though to limit my super villain a little each day. This means that I am limiting people’s access to my life. Especially those that drain my positivity and feelings of happiness. I am learning the the “unfollow” button on FB is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean I am not friends, it just means I do not subject myself to the negativity and unhappiness.
I am choosing to be happy. I am choosing to be positive. It doesn’t work every single day, but it works most days. I am also learning to not take on more than I should, even though I am busy and happy ~ I am taking on that which I enjoy and which fulfills me. Anything more and I say no. Without guilt. Again, it doesn’t work every day. One minute at a time.