Do I really have anxiety? It’s such a buzz word thing these days. That’s pretty sad, isn’t it? That everyone suddenly has an anxiety disorder? Mine is legit though. I had mine before Covid. I take medicine for it and everything. My doctor and my therapist agree. So there. At least once or twice it has accidentally been called depression. Easy mistake to make. What I’ve learned recently is that I am not necessarily sad about the world ending, I just am really worried about it. That’s not to say I am not sad about it. It just means that is not my primary focus. Does that make sense?
Here is an example. I like to travel. I really do. I love to experience places. To see things for myself. However, the thought of getting somewhere is, like exhausting. I am a terrible flyer. I’m not afraid of it. It fascinates me. Traveling so fast yet from the ground it looks like you are barely moving across the sky. Clouds are breathtaking. The patchwork of land is astounding. Thinking of all the lives and stories being lived in the grids of a place. I could go on and on.
And then these types of thoughts come: Why did Jim and I fly together? At least we are sitting next to each other though. I mean if the plane goes down at least we will be side by side. That will make it easier to identify us. Oh, our poor boys. How will they cope? Jake and Mac will never be the same. Who is going to take care of them? Mama will be a basket case. She and Daddy will have to raise the boys. Gosh, what if something happens to them? Why weren’t we more specific in our will? At least they come with a nice house and funds to raise them all. Oh, the dogs! I should have written down what I wanted for my funeral. I wonder if anyone will come? Will anyone care that I have died? They better bury me next to Grandmother. I called it.
I’m not kidding. These are actual thoughts I have had. Most times I can talk myself out of it. Otherwise, I have a panic attack. Boy, those are not fun. Once I start crying, it’s all over. You just have to wait it out. Zoloft (and the occasional Xanax) have been game changers for me. I thank God for the scientist that created them, for Him giving people gifts that help us live better lives. I am not ashamed to be medicated. I definitely need it.
Good therapy has helped a lot too. For one thing being validated that there is something, an actual diagnosis, that is wrong with me makes a difference. I can say, “See. I’m not weird. Just a little crazy.” I don’t know why that is helpful? Having proof that I am a little off in the head. Also, age has helped. I think in your forties you kind of reach the point where you are finally more comfortable with who you are. You are able to be more honest with yourself, about yourself. At least I am. Acknowledging and naming things is so helpful. It is what it is has become something I say a good bit. My Popa used to say, “It will get better or worse or stay about the same.” Advice that is 100% true no matter the situation. The plane may go down, but they will figure it out. I won’t know the struggle they have. I will be too busy singing with the angels and asking God a lot of annoying questions.