I always imagined keeping my blog and YouTube channel upbeat and filled with cheerful content, especially my blog posts. Written words can be interpreted differently than spoken words, so I thought it was important to emphasize the positivity when writing. And so there is some bit of irony in the fact that my second (first in a while) blog post isn't going to reflect these ideas.
With so much down time this week, I had intended on making a new video. At first I told myself it would be done on Tuesday, which turned into a "snow day" (the weather channel totally lied, but hey school and work were both closed so I'm not mad). The cold weather and being home with my parents made it feel like the only choice was to wrap myself in blankets and watch tv all day, which was honestly quite enjoyable. That left today, Wednesday, to be my last full day available to create something new.
I woke up with the fresh feeling of a new day ahead of me and made a lenient list of tasks to accomplish. However, the entire day still felt off. I had no motivation after a quick workout, which typically pushes my day along, and right away I knew my attempt at studying for school was going to be tricky. I moved passed the unexplainable, weird feelings and continued with my day.
The more I tried to concentrate on my textbook, the more uneasy I felt. Within minutes my anxiety was through the roof. I can't exactly put my finger on what caused this; I don't believe it was school. I was bothered by the fact that I couldn't decide what to make my video about, but why would that cause so much anxiety?
The older I become, the more I am able to recognize my anxiety and to what extent it is interfering with my daily life. When it's bad, like it was today, it starts with small, but noticeable ticks. I shake my leg, my eyes take long, hard blinks. Sometimes the anxious feelings will even personify with noise; quick and persistent grunts will come from what feels so far deep within my body I'm not even convinced I'm the one making the sound most of the time. Then comes the inconsistent breathing patterns. The feeling of some sort of large mass being stuck in my throat emerges and it's almost as if my memory of how to breathe properly becomes foggy (I'm not so much gasping for air as much as my ability to breathe just seems, stuttered, if that makes sense).
Normally when this happens, I am in a position in which there is no time to fix to my panicked state. Today there was. Normally the world is moving quicker than ever and I have no control over its pace. Today I did.
I stopped reading, I stopped obsessively checking my phone, and I took myself upstairs to take a bath. This by no means is my remedy to getting rid of anxiety; I don't quite believe there is one, but I knew if I was in my bath tub, there would be no need to focus on any one topic, such as studying or my video. I simply laid there, with my eyes closed, and listened only to the strong winter wind gusts coming from outside.
During this time of reflection, I never did quite figure out where this rush of unpleasant feelings came from. I realize now that I won't always know. When this happens, when any type of anxiety happens, all I can do is accept that it is there. Wishing it were gone and figuring out what to do to reverse it will only make it worse. I think I believe now that if I let the anxiety run its course through my body, it will come to an end sooner. As a human, there are just some things you can't control.
I'd rather embrace my anxiety than spend more time worrying about its cause.
Until now I've never really confronted it or talked about it. You can easily tell someone you're stressed, but there is a whole spectrum involved with stress.
In high school I was big on taking my emotions and frustrations to Tumblr. I know, I know who's surprised. There was something about Tumblr that usually put my harsh feelings at ease. To know that my voice was being heard by at least one person, maybe more, was more comfortable than confronting my problems in person to a familiar face. This idea doesn't necessarily stand true today as I write, but there's comfort in approaching my thoughts and emotions with a similar outlet.
And so, a long awaited second blog post seemed more appropriate than trying to fit this into a concise, sensible video.
If anything, assuming you read this far, you've learned something about me as a human. Or maybe reading this will allow you take take a step back and look at your own anxious feelings from a different perspective.
How do you feel about anxiety? What puts your mind and body at ease? Let me know in the comments, I would love to connect and share with you.