What to do when you feel OK
Over the last week, my anxiety has unexpectedly peeled away to reveal a fresh layer of life. I feel more motivated, determined and productive than I have in years and although this feeling is a pleasant surprise, it isn't a phenomenon that I am totally unfamiliar with.
In my teens and early twenties (which don't technically end until I'm 32, but mathermatically speaking are now past), when confronted with this well earned anxiety-break I would assume "CURE!" and rejoice. Weeks later, when I felt that horrible anxiety hug engulf me again, it would be coupled with grave disappointment. I remember thinking "I will be anxious forever." and sinking deeper into the idea that the world was hopeless and shit.
So what's different now?
Generalised Anxiety Disorder is a chronic illness that will be with me forever. I am ill, it is the illness that I have. Do I like it? Absolutely not. Have I accepted it? Almost.
I'm not feeling anxious today, not even tiny background Anxiety. Nothing. That doesn't mean I'm cured though, and that is what I HAVE accepted. I'm cool with that. Because it does mean that I have an opportunity.
Every few weeks I am gifted a non-anxiety day, and it is bliss. At 21 (ahem and like 26) I would have seen this as THE CHANCE to start a new project, to take the world by storm and to smash into future plans like the blind idiot that I sometimes am.
So what's different?
Today, I know that I have the opportunity to get ahead of some of my self care goals.
Will they cure me? No. But they will both prolong this period of calm AND make the next anxious period less of a crash and more of a joining.
Today is MY DAY to make life that little bit easier for future Anneli.
Here are some things I have done this weekend to make life a little sweeter:
- Stayed sober (alcohol is anxiety's enemy number 6)
- Eaten a quiche (I really like quiche)
- Been into the Peaks
- Spent quality time with my dog
- Finished draft 1 of my novel
- Had a long soak in the tub
- Done all my scary life-admin
And here is what I haven't done:
- Had an existential crisis, worried about where my life is heading, let in the tick-tock-death-clock and set myself up for failure with an unrealistic new venture or social plan.
My point is, don't let the fear of anxiety cause you anxiety. Cherish your calm moments, let them soak you completely. Yes, anxiety will come back, but so will the periods of calm.