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 photo: lieke anna

a personal anxiety journal….

I ran out of shipping supplies and have orders waiting. The moment I realized this, my stomach began twisting itself into knots. I’ve been putting off going to the store for a week now, half purposely, half due to being busy… but the time has come and I need to go.

Thoughts keep racing through my mind… playing out my entire journey from leaving the house, to the car ride, to the store… and that checkout line. Oh how I hate that checkout line.

I imagine the worst things happening. I see myself having that uncomfortable feeling of panic moving through my bones… up to my brain, and wanting to hurry, hurry, hurry the entire time. I know in the end I will be fine, but the “what ifs” drive me bonkers. To the point of nearly telling myself that I can put this off for another day.

My stomach tightens. I feel hot just at the thought of having to do this. I try to use some coping techniques I’ve pick up along the way and nothing seems to help. Sure, you think that it would be easy to apply some kind of technique you’ve learned because you know it so well, but when the time comes to put it into motion, you freeze. It’s the same feeling I would get when sitting down to write a test in school. I would study my ass off, and I knew my stuff, but as soon as that paper was in front of me… blank.

I wish I could just get some form of amnesia and forget that I was ever afraid of anything. Erase these fears and start fresh. Remember all of the good things but eliminate the bad. Wouldn’t that be nice? The things I would do!

So I’m sitting here, delaying the inevitable, knowing I am going to force myself to do something that makes me uncomfortable. This is a normal day, not one of my worst, but it’s strange how I can move up and down the scale so easily.

The most frustrating part is that I know how good I will feel once I accomplish this insignificant task. I will feel as though I just had the best workout of my life and I will feel like I can keep going and can do anything.

So I did it… and I came back in one piece. It was busier than usual for a Monday night and the moment I reached that dreaded checkout, the lineup filled with ten people or more. I can do this.  I focus on the aisle of candy behind me. This checkout guy is young and seems to be new. He’s taking forever. It feels like forever. Finally, another girl opens her register. I scurry over and empty my basket as if I was in some sort of race to the finish line. “$14.13 please”. I give her exact change and leave while releasing that oh-so-common sigh of relief. I did it.

My stomach relaxes and my body is loose… and then tomorrow it will all come back….

disclaimer: those that suffer with anxiety understand how difficult things like these are to post. those that don’t “get it”, i hope to bring awareness and understanding to your hearts. i don’t wish to bring down the happy vibe of this blog, but i believe that if i have a voice i want to use it to let others know they are not alone. maybe together we can become stronger.