If you know me or this blog at all, you know that Sunday is not my day. For whatever reason, my anxiety spikes on Sundays. Now, I do not hate anxiety. It is part of my basic language, my ABC's. I think it is part of what it means to be human. Like Mr. Kierkegaard, I believe that "anxiety is the dizziness of freedom" and like T.S. Eliot I believe that "anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity." Freedom and creativity? These are not terrible things. We all want these things. It's just that feeling anxious - even if it is a symptom of liberty and intimately connected to ingenuity - is not always fun. I might not be Soren or T.S., but I can come up with a fancy quote too. Here it is.
"Feeling anxious sucks."
I will give you a moment to let my utterly eloquent words sink in. Okay, time's up. Please know that I don't particularly like the word 'suck.' To me, it is not a nice word. To me, it is an example of faux profanity. It's a word I do not say in front of my girls. It's a word I don't say often. But here I am saying it. Why? Because feeling anxious sucks. It does.
Instead of succumbing to the waves of anxiety that buffeted me today, I took action. I conducted research. Research? Yes. Super scientific research online. I asked a number of anonymous strangers over at YouBeMom the following question:
We are all anxious, but we deal with anxiety in different ways. How do you cope?
- Exercise, exercise, exercise [Ditto plus alcohol and prayer (not always in that order)]
- Therapy, and Halo [Halo? Xbox. It feels good to blow things up. Oh! LOL! I thought it was some new antidepressant or something ;-)]
- I really go nuts if I dont work out
- 7-8 dance classes per week
- Therapy, occasional valium, Robert Pattinson
- I call on my intellect [Does it ever answer? Naturally :) What are you anxious about?]
- Zoloft and wine [Ditto but with a side of Valium]
As I am sure you guessed (you ILI readers are smarties), the replies are listed above. In brackets, I indicated follow-up conversations. It turns out that, yes, there are others who experience anxiety (and are online chit-chatting about it on a Sunday afternoon). It also turns out that people cope with anxiety in many different ways, from exercising to playing video games to praying to taking prescription drugs. Personally, I have been known to deal with anxiety in myriad ways, some healthier than others - from hitting the elliptical machine to diving into a good novel to pouring Pinot to looking at pictures of my girls to writing.
One of the anonymous strangers who unknowingly participated in my exceedingly empirical poll above asked what I was anxious about. A fair question. Is it a bad sign that it would be far easier for me to list the things about which I am not anxious at the moment? (Nothing.) Maybe. But telling you that I am anxious about everything under the sun (while true) would be a little bit of a cop-out. So, anonymous stranger, here you go. Here's an abridged list of all of the things I am worrying about at this lovely moment in time, in no particular order: cow's milk allergies, Toddler tears, book deadlines, finances, kitchen countertops, future children, swine flu, calories in candy corn, unreturned emails, unbought airline tickets, the long-term effects of Splenda and cell phones and blogging.
There you have it. Just a taste. Yummy. Thankfully, writing this blog post, taking a few minutes to be honest with you and me, regaling you with my neuroses du jour has made me feel a little less anxious, a little less dizzy. It's a start!
What are you anxious about on this very first day of November? How do you cope with anxiety when it crops up in your life?